After falling victim to their fourth consecutive series loss yesterday in a 7-6 defeat at the hands of the Texas Rangers, the Angels will have the opportunity to carry momentum into the offseason by playing spoiler to the playoff hopes of the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners have put together a strong month of September going 18-8 and currently finding themselves tied with the Boston Red Sox for the final AL Wild Card berth. Like most teams in the AL West, the Angels come into tonight on the losing side of a head-to-head record against the Mariners (6-10), with no shot of at least getting to a .500 record as there are only three games remaining on the schedule.
For manager Joe Maddon, he will tab southpaw Jose Suarez for his 14th start (23rd total appearance) of the season. The Venezuelan has been a fixture in the starting rotation this season going 7-8 with a 3.86 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 93.1 innings. His last start on September 24 came against Seattle, settling for a no-decision after allowing four runs on five hits in five innings pitched. Based on the numbers, Suarez is a much more effective pitcher on the road than at Angel Stadium. In 12 road appearances (6 starts), the lefty is 6-4 with a 3.18 ERA and a BAA of .213, while totalling a 4.68 ERA in 10 appearances (7 starts) at the Big A. Suarez’s last road win came on September 11 in Houston as the Angels defeated the Astros 4-2.
For the Mariners, they will send fellow lefty Marco Gonzales to the hill for his 24th start of the year. The Fort Collins, CO native enters the night 10-5 with a 4.00 ERA and 103 strikeouts across 137.1 innings, which ranks third on the team behind Chris Flexen (174.1 IP) and Yusei Kikuchi (157 IP). His most recent win came last Sunday at Angel Stadium, tossing seven strong frames and yielding just one run on three hits. Gonzales has been perfect since the All-Star break with a 9-0 record and 2.68 ERA in 13 starts, including a complete game performance versus the Rangers on August 12 at T-Mobile Park.
Lights, Camera, SHOTIME!
After slumping for the majority of September, Shohei Ohtani has come out of his shell just in time to continue setting records before the season runs out. Over his last six games, Ohtani is slashing .350/.519/.700 with 4 Extra-Base Hits (3 Triples and 1 Double), 4 RBI and 2 Stolen Bases. Wednesday night in Texas, Ohtani became just the second player in Major League baseball history to record 45+ Home Runs, 20+ Steals and 7+ Triples, joining Willie Mays who accomplished this feat in 1955. His RBI Triple in the first inning of yesterday’s game catapulted him to a tie of the Major League lead in Triples (8) with David Peralta of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
If anyone needs more evidence that Ohtani is clearly the frontrunner for the AL MVP, the Angels PR department has got you covered:
Angels News & Notes
- LHP Reid Detmers is with the team in Seattle. It is unclear if he will pitch on Sunday as the current starter is TBD. It is likely he will take Taylor Ward’s spot on the active roster once he is officially added
- All three games in Seattle (T-Mobile Park) are projected to be sell outs as the Mariners are tied for the final AL Wild Card Spot entering this weekend series
- Happy Birthday to former Angel and Hall of Famer Rod Carew! The hitting machine turns 76 today