Series Recap: Mariners Outplay Angels In All Phases For Three-Game Sweep
MLB: Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Very rarely does a three-game sweep at the hands of a divisional opponent have any sort of silver lining. And nothing is different in the case of the Los Angeles Angels mid-week series against the Seattle Mariners.

In just three games, the Angels saw their team give up 25 runs (8.33 per game), score only 11 (3.67 per game), and commit a number of mind-boggling errors and suffer multiple late-game collapses in outings that could have been close.

After winning five of their previous six games before this series, it was assumed the Angels would have some momentum and rhythm, preparing them to face a higher quality opponent. Instead, the Mariners made it apparent why they are 65-54 and hold the first Wild Card while the Angels are 51-67 with the fourth-worst record in the AL.

Here, we’ll break down what went wrong in each of these blowout losses, and how the Angels could potentially bounce back as they head out for a 10-game road trip.

Game 1: Mariners def. Angels 6-2

Based on the score alone, one would think that the Mariners simply flexed their muscle over the Angels in a game that was never close. However, this one was tied heading into the ninth inning. At 2-2, behind another strong start from Shohei Ohtani, the Angels put themselves in solid position to steal a win.

They also put themselves in a position to lose the game with historically bad defense in the final frame. Wild pitches, rare mistakes from catcher Max Stassi, and poor decision-making from the Angels infield contributed to four Mariners runs.

There were also legitimate criticisms of the home plate umpire in the series opener. The critical moment came in that ninth inning, when the umpire granted Carlos Santana a walk on a 2-2 ball because he lost track of the count and believed it to be 3-1.

Aaron Loup, the pitcher in that final frame, gave up four runs. All of them were unearned, as he only gave up two singles and a walk.

Game 2: Mariners def. Angels 8-2

Just like the opener, this final score indicates an outing in which the Mariners were simply the better team throughout. However, it doesn’t mention that Jose Suarez was perfect through five innings. It also doesn’t mention that going into the ninth, the Angels trailed by a slim 3-2 margin.

Umpires again drew criticism in this game, mainly from Jesse Chavez. Chavez threw a perfect strike down the middle for what would have been the second out of a scoreless ninth inning. Instead, it was called a ball and led to the first walk.

The Mariners proceeded to score five runs after this moment, marking another meltdown by the Angels. This time, it was all pitching, as Chavez allowed three consecutive hits, including a home run and a triple.

Game 3: Mariners def. Angels 11-7

With all of the extracurriculars that went on in the first two games, it’s easy to forget that the Angels offense put together just four runs over 18 innings. Luckily, behind Shohei Ohtani’s 4-for-5 day, the offense exploded for seven runs in Wednesday afternoon’s finale.

It wasn’t enough, as Touki Toussaint (4 ER over 2.2 IP), Mike Mayers (5 ER over 5.1 IP) and Jaime Barria (2 ER over 1.0 IP) all struggled to stop the Mariners offense. The Mariners hit four home runs — Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, and two from Cal Raleigh — and held a 7-1 lead by the fifth inning.

As the Angels wipe the slate clean from this series and move ahead to Friday’s opener against the Detroit Tigers, all three phases of the game must hit the reset button if they want to be competitive on a difficult road trip.

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