The Angels got a chance to experience some October baseball as they played at an announced sold out T-Mobile Park tonight against a Seattle team fighting for a playoff spot. The red hot Mariners who’d won 10 of their last 11 games are in the midst of an intense, and crowded, race for the second AL Wild Card spot with the only thing standing between them and postseason baseball being the Los Angeles Angels.
The Mariners opened the scoring against Jose Suarez with a double from Jarred Kelenic that scored Abraham Toro from first base and the Mariners lead 1-0. The first Angel hit of the night belonged to Luis Rengifo as he singled to lead off the third. Fletcher then worked a rare 3-2 walk to put 2 on with no outs. Dylan Moore couldn’t catch Marsh’s hit into centerfield and 2 runs came into score as the Angels took a 2-1 lead.
Aggressive base running for the lead #WeBelieve I @Angels pic.twitter.com/OyxbRfoJfO— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) October 2, 2021
Jose Suarez settled in for the rest of the night and was done after 85 pitches and 5 innings. His final line tonight: 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K. He had his changeup working and you can see how much that benefits him:
Suarez's changeup was sharp again tonight. Threw it 27 times, got 8 whiffs, 3 Ks, 3 grounders (incld 2 DPs) & only allowed one hit off it— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) October 2, 2021
Entering tonight, opponents were batting just .145 against it with a 38.2% whiff rate. Combined w/ a better curveball, it has keyed his year https://t.co/Quzer4fpPd
It was a strong final outing of the year for him as he ended the year with a 3.75 ERA. Following his performance, Maddon commented post game saying, “Jose Suarez is part of the rotation (in 2022). It’s his to lose.”
Mike Mayers came in in relief and pitched a 1-2-3 top of the sixth. Then in the seventh, Luis Torrens led off with a triple that Juan Lagares just missed in right field. Lagares crashed into the right field fence and was replaced by Jose Rojas to begin the next inning. Jose Quijada then came in to escape Mayers jam, and with two on and no outs, struck out the side, keeping it 2-1 Angels.
K-JADA #WeBelieve I @Angels pic.twitter.com/GIxLl9U28d— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) October 2, 2021
Cishek entered in the bottom of the eighth looking to protect the 2-1 lead as he faced the top of the Mariners order, and sent them down 1-2-3. The Angels offense couldn’t get anything going against Diego Castillo in the top of the ninth which made way for Raisel Iglesias to come in and try to protect the lead for the Halos.
Kyle Seager led off the inning with a double, putting the tying run in scoring position with no outs. The 44,169 sellout crowd was on its feet as Iglesias worked his way through the rest of the inning and stranded the leadoff runner. Iglesias got a groundout, pop out, and then flyout to leave Seager on second and hand the Mariners the loss. Iglesias got his 34th save on the year which ties a career high.
The Angels face Chris Flexen (14-6, 3.67 ERA) and the rest of the Mariners again at 6:10 PM PT tomorrow. The Halos will send Jhonathan Diaz (1-0, 3.12 ERA) to the mound as they look to secure a series win and push the Mariners further from the playoffs.
Angels News and Notes:
- Juan Lagares has low back discomfort and will not be in the lineup tomorrow.
- Maddon said he will need to talk to GM Perry Minasian about outfield options this weekend. It is possible the will need to call someone up with a best case scenario being Lagares being available late on defense. As of right now they have only one healthy true outfielder on their roster in Brandon Marsh.