The Los Angeles Angels’ 2021 season officially came to a close on Sunday afternoon. And while it ultimately would not have mattered for the Seattle Mariners given the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees each won their respective games, the Angels were able to successfully play spoiler in the final series of the year.
In a playoff atmosphere — and near sell-out crowds — the Angels went into Seattle and won two out of three games, including a 7-3 win on Sunday. Shohei Ohtani and Jared Walsh homered while the bullpen put together 7.1 innings of one-run baseball.
It was a perfect outing for Joe Maddon, who wanted his team to finish the season on as high of a note as possible. Finishing 77-85 is never an ideal situation, but the last three games absolutely serve as memorable for the Angels manager, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“I think it’s great,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “We played really well. We could have had all three. We played well enough to win all three games on the road, in this environment, with the team that had to win their games. And I could not be more pleased.”
Had the Mariners swept the Angels, they would have been tied with the Red Sox and Yankees for both Wild Card spots, forcing a Game 163 and 164. Given that the momentum was entirely on the Mariners side and the Angels had nothing to play for, a sweep wasn’t an unrealistic outcome.
The Angels season was also defined by abysmal showings against the other four teams in the American League West. For the year, L.A. finished 29-47 against AL West opponents, a 62-100 pace over a whole season. Against every other team in the Majors, they went 48-38, a 90-72 pace.
All of that to say that going into Seattle and taking two of three from a team with playoff hopes signals an impressive weekend. It also provides momentum and confidence to a team that really needed it heading into a massive offseason.
Alex Cobb, Raisel Iglesias hoping to re-sign
The Angels have a number of important decisions to make regarding free agency. Some of those decisions include whether or not to retain their own free agents.
Two of their biggest expiring contracts are Raisel Iglesias and Alex Cobb, both of whom came to the Angels with their value at its lowest, only to turn things around with incredible seasons. Now, they figure to command some real money in free agency.
Both Iglesias and Cobb have made it known that they want to stay in Anaheim, and that they will go into negotiations with the Angels keeping that in mind.