The Los Angeles Angels put together a valiant effort in their four-game series against the playoff-contending Seattle Mariners. After losing back-to-back home series’ to the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics, the Angels bounced back nicely to draw an even split with the Mariners.
Successes came from both sides of the plate, as pitching held a deep Mariners lineup to only three runs per game while the offense managed nearly four runs a game with one especially strong outing. Starters Reid Detmers and Patrick Sandoval impressed, while David Fletcher helped to shoulder the offensive load.
In a season where team results matter less and less each day, seeing individual breakouts — from young players, specifically — can give the front office hope of putting together a contender in 2023.
Below, we break down all four games of this series, and what the Angels can build on as they look ahead to the rest of the 2022 season.
Game 1: Angels def. Mariners 4-3
Sandoval may bashfully describe his 5.1-inning scoreless outing as “lucky,” but there’s no doubt that he managed to keep the Mariners at bay in the series opener. He allowed three hits and walked four batters, but never gave Seattle the opportunity to scratch on the scoreboard.
Thanks to a Jo Adell RBI single in the first inning that scored Luis Rengifo, the Angels held a lead for the entirety of Sandoval’s start. They added to that lead in the top of the ninth, when Max Stassi crushed a two-run home run to make it 3-0.
However, Angels interim manager Phil Nevin no longer had his closer — Raisel Iglesias — to finish the game. Instead, he turned to veteran journeyman Jesse Chavez, who was acquired in the Iglesias trade. Chavez mixed some bad pitches with some bad luck and ultimately allowed three runs to score in the bottom of the ninth.
This forced extra innings, where the Angels used small-ball to get the ghost runner home from second without recording a base hit. This 4-3 lead would hold as Jimmy Herget would earn his second save of the season.
Game 2: Mariners def. Angels 2-1
In the first game of a Saturday doubleheader, the Angels needed just two pitchers to get through eight innings of work. Jaime Barria allowed just two runs on a third-inning Ty France homer, while Mike Mayers — in his return to the Majors — pitched 3.1 scoreless frames.
Normally, this would be the makings of a winning formula for the Angels, with a starter only allowing two runs and one reliever going for a multi-inning scoreless appearance.
But the Angels only managed one run, a Mickey Moniak RBI single that scored Jo Adell. The Mariners bullpen was nearly flawless, allowing one hit and striking out five in three innings. This evened the series ahead of the nightcap on Saturday.
Game 3: Angels def. Mariners 7-1
Detmers was a huge bright spot for the Angels in this wire-to-wire victory on Saturday night. For the second start in a row, Detmers tossed 7.0 frames and allowed just one earned run. And while he wasn’t perfect — six hits and one walk — he did strike out seven en route to a win.
On the offensive side of things, several players contributed towards this seven-run outburst. Taylor Ward kicked things off with an RBI double to score Magnueris Sierra, and then scored himself thanks to a Stassi single.
Moniak continued his hot hitting with the Angels by smacking a solo home run in the fourth inning to make it 3-0. In the sixth frame, a two-run home run by Fletcher made it 5-1, and solidified a legitimate hot streak for the Angels middle infielder since returning from injury.
The last two runs were scored via a Fletcher single and a Shohei Ohtani sacrifice fly. However, the Angels also lost Moniak for the foreseeable future when he fractured his left middle finger on a sacrifice bunt attempt in the ninth.
Game 4: Mariners def. Angels 6-3
Tucker Davidson made his Angels debut on the mound in the finale with a chance to secure a series victory in the process. However, it didn’t go particularly well for the former Atlanta Braves prospect, as he allowed significant traffic and big hits.
In the first inning, he walked two batters before giving up an RBI double to Eugenio Suarez, making it 1-0 right off the bat. Two frames later, the Mariners blew the game wide open.
Davidson gave up an infield single to Ty France, a single to Mitch Haniger, and a walk to Suarez, loading the bases for Jesse Winker. Winker then took a ball 392 feet into deep right field for a grand slam to give the Mariners a 5-0 lead.
The Angels tried to cut the gap, but could only scratch across three runs, leading to a series split in Seattle.