The Angels, Yankees and Red Sox made sure American sports’ longest postseason drought would continue into the the 2022 season. The Angels took control of Game 162 early and led throughout in the Angels’ 7-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. If the AL East foes wouldn’t knock the Mariners from postseason contention, the Halos would take care of it themselves.
The Mariners’ elimination extends their playoff-drought streak to 20 years (they last made it in 2001). Though the Angels have been eliminated for awhile, they can take solace in being able to keep a division rival from achieving success.
While the season finale ultimately didn’t keep the streaking Mariners from a postseason berth, the Halos played one of their best series of the season and could’ve easily had a sweep of Seattle (the bullpen had other ideas on Saturday).
“We played well enough to win all three games,” said Joe Maddon after the game. “On the road, in this environment with a team that had to win their games, I could not be more pleased.” On the team’s performance, Maddon added, “You saw we came to play in the first inning today. It happens every game with this group.”
Ironically enough, the Angels’ victory over the Mariners on Sunday cemented the first series win they had against a division rival not named the Texas Rangers all season.
The Angels finished the 2021 campaign with a 77-85 record.
- T-1st Inning: Shohei Ohtani HR (46) (LAA 1 - SEA 0), Jack Mayfield RBI infield single (LAA 2 - SEA 0)
- T-2nd Inning: David Fletcher RBI double (LAA 3 - SEA 0), Jared Walsh sacrifice fly (LAA 4 - SEA 0)
- B-2nd Inning: Jarred Kelenic RBI single (LAA 4 - SEA 1), J.P. Crawford RBI single (LAA 4 - SEA 2)
- T-4th Inning: Walsh 2-RBI HR (29) (LAA 6 - SEA 2)
- T-5th Inning: Fletcher RBI Triple (LAA 7 - SEA 2)
- B-6th Inning: Crawford RBI force out (LAA 7 - SEA 3)
- W: Oliver Ortega (1-0, 4.82 ERA) (1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO)
- L: Tyler Anderson (7-11, 4.53 ERA) (1.2 IP, 5H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO, 1 HR)
Players of the Game
- Shohei Ohtani capped off one of the most remarkable seasons in MLB history by picking up his 46th home run and 100th RBI of season. Ohtani went 1-3 with the leadoff home run and collected two more walks. He finishes his MVP-caliber season slashing .257/.372/.592 and a .965 OPS. He hit 46 home runs, amassed 100 RBIs and stole 26 bases. On the mound he went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 130.1 innings of work while striking out 156 batters. If he’s not selected as the AL MVP, it’ll be a blatant theft.
- Jared Walsh may have been the most hated man in America outside of Orange County this weekend. The 2021 All-Star torched the Mariners this series and had the dagger in the fourth with his 2-run home run. The first baseman of the future and notable upgrade from Albert Pujols, Walsh had 3 RBIs in the game and finished the season with 29 home runs and 98 RBIs. Had he not been hurt late in the season, he could’ve very well had over 100 RBIs. Regardless, Walsh had an outstanding year and did it with absolute swagger.
- David Fletcher will finish the season hitting only .262 after being in the conversation of leading the league in hits and batting average for a good chunk of the year, but he came on late to close out the season. On Sunday, Fletcher went 2-4 with an RBI double and RBI triple in the win. He’ll also undoubtedly be in the conversation for a Gold Glove this offseason.
Play of the Game
- Walsh getting a hold of one and strolling out of the box like a boss while simultaneously crushing the hopes and dreams of the opposing team’s city is one of the most beautiful sights in the game.
- Ohtani capped off his incredible season in dramatic fashion, Jared Walsh continued to be a monster against opposing pitchers, the bullpen mostly locked it down and LHP José Quijada was able to minimize damage. He would’ve stranded the bases loaded had Fletcher fielded a double play ball cleanly in the sixth, but rebounded nicely by getting out the next batter. Overall, the Angels put in a complete team effort that was on track most of the day to knock off the Mariners from playoff contention and silence a fanbase that had no issue talking smack to Angels fans all season. The nice mix of everything going right for the Halos was a nice parting gift to end the year.
- As has been the case this season, RHP Mike Mayers had one last Jekyll and Hyde moment, mowing down hitters in the fifth before getting into trouble in the sixth. He exited the game after getting one out but allowing two to reach. Only one would score, however.
- Fletcher started to come around offensively in the last two days and had two big RBIs. His defensive lapse allowed a run to score in the sixth, but he’s been so good all year it would be unfair to judge his tremendous defensive season on one moment. He still got the out at second and Quijada was able to get out of the jam against the next batter.
- Jack Mayfield went 2-4 with an RBI to finish a nice season for the Angels as an emergency infielder. Phil Gosselin went 3-5 and scored two runs in the series finale. He finished the season hitting .261 and could factor into a utility role with the team going forward if the interest is mutual.
- LHP Reid Detmers was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to start this game and was put on a pitch count, so he was never going to be a deciding factor in this one unless he blew up. Detmers was mostly good, but allowed the bulk of the runs and seemed a bit too amped up in his start. Overall though, there’s nothing to really knock here and he largely did his job. If all goes as planned, he will continue to develop in the minors next season and has shown to be a promising piece for the Angels’ future, especially with that nasty curveball of his. Detmers finished 1.2 IP, with 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB and 2 SO.
- Ohtani expressed interest in signing an extension this offseason.
Shohei Ohtani said he is "very open" to negotiating an extension this winter. #Angels— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) October 3, 2021
- RHP Raisel Iglesias finished the season with 34 saves, second-most in the AL behind Chicago’s Liam Hendriks (38).
- Ohtani finished with 46 home runs, which is the second-most in franchise history for a single season behind Troy Glaus (2000, 47).
- ALBERT PUJOLS’ ALBATROSS CONTRACT IS OFFICIALLY OFF THE BOOKS
Optimism. The Angels enter the offseason with money to spend and a core (when healthy) that can compete for a playoff spot. The front office has a lot to do starting tomorrow, but the biggest first steps would be to extend Iglesias and Ohtani.
Here at Halos Heaven, we’ll keep you up-to-date with the Angels’ latest in what we’re hoping to be an active winter.