The Los Angeles Angels fell to the Minnesota Twins in an 8-6 loss on Friday, after the pitching faltered during the latter parts of the game.
The story of Friday is the young bats, mainly that of catcher Logan O’Hoppe and Nolan Schanuel. The pair have been consistently productive over the last few weeks, and a driving force in a dwindling offense.
Schanuel tallied an RBI with a one out single to drive in Randal Grichuk in the top of the fifth inning, notching the game at three a piece. In the eighth, O’Hoppe hammered an 0-1 breaking ball for a two-run homer, his seventh of the month.
Angels manager Phil Nevin highlighted what it’s like having his young players produce on the offensive end, but having to watch the Twins celebrate a playoff berth after a tough loss, per Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“I want them to see that, absolutely,” Nevin said. “That’s where we want to be, where we expect to be, and I think we have that good young core to get there.”
The unfortunate part for games like Friday are the sliding scale of how to view a struggling team. Suffering a loss that was aided by 10 walks from the pitching staff, while seeing enough offense that should be enough to win.
A lot of roster turnover is expected to take place following the season, but the holdover, cemented core is a bright spot. Having to play Major League Baseball games is an invaluable opportunity when the need is there, and the Angels rookies are making the most of their chances.
Looking into Logan O’Hoppe and his return to Angels lineup
Since his return to the MLB roster on Sept. 1, O’Hoppe has found much more than his feel for game day speed. In 70 at-bats, the rookie has clubbed seven home runs, driven in 12 runs, scoring 10 of his own.
O’Hoppe has a combined nine extra-base hits, while managing a carousel of arms as the season begins to come to a close. Against the Seattle Mariners on Sept. 11, he notched two homers, adding a double, with three RBI.
It was his comeback game, providing a hint of what he’s capable of with his newly healed shoulder.
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