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ICYMI: Angels look to build upon positives as they head into final 3 weeks of the season

As per usual, the Halos experienced highs and lows last week in their pursuit of finishing the season strong.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels finished up a challenging week on the scoreboard last week and there’s no getting around it. However, with the playoffs out of reach and only three weeks left on the season, Joe Maddon and company are using player performance to gauge offseason plans and possible roster moves headed in 2022. While the scores weren’t optimal, there were some player performances and games worth mentioning.

Vs. Texas (2-2)

The Angels split the four game series against Texas. They lost the Sunday and Monday games but OF Jo Adell homered twice on Sunday in a 7-3 loss and RHP Jaime Barria pitched seven innings and allowed three runs with three strikeouts in the 4-0 loss on Monday.

At San Diego (1-1)

The Angels split the two-game series at Petco Park. On Tuesday, they broke up a perfect game and no-hitter from Blake Snell in the seventh inning courtesy of a Jo Adell 2-RBI double. The pitching was outstanding, especially from LHP Packy Naughton, who went five innings of 2-hit baseball. He struck out five in the Angels’ 4-0 win.

The Padres scored eight runs in the second inning the next night in a bullpen game for the Halos. Although the Angels climbed back and made things interesting, they ultimately fell 8-5. Adell and Juan Lagares each homered in this one.

At Houston (1-2)

Shohei Ohtani only lasted 3.1 innings on Friday against the Astros. Although he homered in the first inning, his night was cut short after he allowed six runs on nine hits. 1B Jared Walsh continued his hot streak with his 26th home run of the season, but the Angels fell 10-5.

José Suarez cooled off the Astros lineup on Saturday, going 5.2 innings and allowing only three hits, one run and collected seven strikeouts. Luis Rengifo homered in the 4-2 win.

Barria worked out of a few jams on Sunday and allowed only one run on four hits while striking out six, but he only lasted four innings due to a high pitch count and walked four. The Angels’ bats were quiet with only four hits in the 3-1 loss.

What’s Next

The Halos (70-73) continue their road trip and will take on one of the best teams in baseball, the Chicago White Sox (82-61), in a three-game series. The Angels will rely on Naughton, the ever-popular TBD and his twin brother, TBD in the series. In all seriousness, stay tuned as the ChiSox haven’t released their starters for the series yet so pitching matchups may end up being a bit last-minute.

The White Sox are coming off a series win against Boston, are 5-5 in their last 10 games and lead the AL Central by 12 games. They’re currently dealing with an injury bug, especially in their rotation, and will try to use this series against a decimated Angels team to create some good consistency as they near the playoffs. They are currently top five in the AL in all major team pitching stats and are ahead of the Angels in most AL team hitting stats. The Angels have their work cut out for them, healthy rotation or not.

The Angels won a four-game series against Chicago, 3-1, in the opening week of the 2021 season. It is the only time the teams have shared a series this season.

Injury News

  • Adell was kept out of the lineup on Sunday after a collision with the left field wall the night prior. Maddon said Adell’s back was sore but is expected back for the Chicago series.
  • LHP Reid Detmers threw a bullpen session last Wednesday but isn’t stretched out enough to start again. If he comes back, it will likely be out of the bullpen.
  • RHP José Marte also threw a bullpen session on Wednesday and is expected to return to the bullpen shortly.
  • OF Justin Upton is out again with back pain. He is not on the road trip and no specific timeline has been announced. Upton’s injuries the last few seasons have been problematic, robbing him of consistent playing time and creating struggles when he briefly returns. In regard to this season, he has dealt with a lingering back issue since June. With Adell and Brandon Marsh emerging as possible 2022 outfield starters, Upton’s role on the team becomes incredibly fuzzy as he enters the final year of his contract.
  • RHP Chris Rodriguez has been shut down for the year. He hasn’t experienced any setbacks but time limitations on his rehabilitation make a return before the season ends impossible. He last pitched with the Angels on Aug. 10 and is out with a right lat strain.

Fun Tidbits

  • GM Perry Minasian was in Salt Lake last week and talked about 2016 draft pick Matt Thaiss’ move back to catcher: