If you were to guess which pitcher had the most swings and misses in a start this season, who would your first guess be? Jacob deGrom? Gerrit Cole? Those would be great guesses. But they’d be wrong.
The correct answer would be Patrick Sandoval. On Sunday, he had 32 whiffs, the most in baseball this season and the most by an Angels pitcher since pitch-tracking began in 2008. Unfortunately, his solid performance wasn’t enough as the Angels fell to the Mariners, 9-5.
On the afternoon, Sandoval struck out 10, which not only is a season-high for him but also the most of his career. He issued only one walk and allowed three runs. Had the offense done their job, or the bullpen not struggled in the ninth, this would be talked about as one of the best starts in years by an Angels starter. Unfortunately, it will likely be forgotten about as the loss will be remembered more.
A day after scoring 12 runs, the Angels were held to only two through eight innings. Justin Upton led off the bottom of the first with a solo homer, his 13th homer of the season. The Angels had a prime opportunity to do more damage that inning. After two walks, they had two on with one out. Unfortunately, they couldn’t capitalize. This would be one of a number of times they’d strand runners on base.
An inning later, the Angels had another opportunity to tack on some runs. They began the second with two runners on and no outs. After two consecutive outs, Shohei Ohtani was intentionally walked to load the bases for Anthony Rendon. On the first pitch, Rendon grounded out to end the inning.
With two outs in the fourth inning, David Fletcher doubled and Upton walked to put two runners on for Ohtani. After jumping ahead in the count 3-0, Ohtani struck out to end the inning.
The Angels actually made a bit of a comeback. Back-to-back hits in the bottom of the eighth cut their deficit with only two runs. After a double from Jared Walsh, the tying run was at the plate with no outs. Unfortunately, they couldn’t bring in any more runs and entered the ninth down two.
Still a close game, the Angels’ bullpen allowed the Mariners to score five runs in the ninth, putting the game out of reach. At least…. for some part.
The Angels made a mini-comeback in the ninth, scoring three runs and having a chance to score more. Unfortunately, three wasn’t enough and they lost by four.
For the game, the Angels were 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 runners on base.