The Los Angeles Angels failed to stay even remotely competitive against the L.A. Dodgers over this weekend’s Freeway Series. Over the course of a quick two-game set, everything went the Dodgers way, leaving the Angels floundering as they head into the All-Star break.
The Halos scored just two runs — both Brandon Marsh solo homers — bringing their total runs scored against the Dodgers this season to three. They were swept 4-0 on the season with an aggregate score of 22-3 over those games. And now, L.A. enters the break at their lowest point, 14 games below .500.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong this weekend for an Angels team that usually competes well against the Dodgers. Both on the mound and at the plate, the Angels simply had zero answers for the clearly superior L.A. counterparts.
Now, it’s just a matter of finding a way to regroup over the next five off days if they want to have any chance of competing for a postseason spot in the second half of the season.
Game 1: Angels lose 9-1
Losing Pitcher: Patrick Sandoval
On Friday night, Patrick Sandoval faced a similar fate to Reid Detmers the night before. He allowed the first four batters to reach base safely, giving up two runs in the first inning. From there, he managed to collect himself and work scoreless second, third, and fourth innings.
In the fifth inning, poor defense became a factor, as a poorly played ball by Jo Adell led to a Hanser Alberto two-run triple. Neither run was charged to Sandoval, who finished his day with two earned runs, seven hits, three walks, and three strikeouts over 4.2 innings.
On the other side, Clayton Kershaw was absolutely dominant. In fact, through seven innings, he was perfect. The Angels did not get their first baserunner until the leadoff man of the eighth frame, Luis Rengifo.
Rengifo roped a double to ensure the Angels would not be on the wrong side of history, but it didn’t change the legendary outing by a surefire Hall of Famer in Kershaw. A Marsh home run in the ninth inning marked just their second hit of the night and their lone run.
Game 2: Angels lose 7-1
Losing Pitcher: Jose Suarez
While Sandoval was able to recoup after a difficult first inning until poor defense became his downfall, Suarez simply struggled with the immense talent of the Dodgers offense. In the opening frame, he gave up a solo home run to Trea Turner.
In the third inning, he allowed Turner to go yard again, taking him deep for a two-run shot. That was quickly followed by a three-run Max Muncy home run, making it 6-0 before the Angels could even blink. Suarez pitched 3.2 innings, giving up six earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six.
But yet again, the Angels offense couldn’t muster anything against a Dodgers starting pitcher. Julio Urias was on the mound for the finale, and he too made quick work of the Angels.
Over 7.0 innings, he gave up just one earned run — a Marsh solo homer again — on five hits and no walks. He struck out eight in the process, another notch in the Halos’ continued struggle to get runners on base. Their 4-9 in Saturday’s order went a measly 2-for-23 on the night.
The two Dodgers starters in this series combined to pitch 15.0 innings and allowing only one run on six hits and no walks. They struck out a combined 14 batters in that span.
The Angels — desperately in need of a break — now get five days off for the All-Star Break. They’ll return to the field on Friday when they begin a three-game set against the defending World Series champions, the Atlanta Braves.