It is continuously tough to say, but you can add another loss for the Angels against teams with a winning record. 35-55 (.389), which ranks 20th in Major League Baseball, is where the team sits after a 9-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox Tuesday night. The game featured power from both teams, but dominant pitching from the playoff caliber White Sox put on display what the Angels are missing in their organization at this moment.
For not playing in the Windy City in over two seasons, early scoring in the first inning favored the Angels in their return to Guaranteed Rate Field for the first time since September of 2019. After David Fletcher (Groundout) and Shohei Ohtani (Strikeout) were retired by Lucas Giolito, making his return from the Injured-List with a left hamstring strain, Phil Gosselin ambushed a first pitch 4-seam fastball over the wall in left-center field to crack open the scoring, 1-0 Angels.
The blast was the sixth of the season for the “Goose” and more impressively, the first hit in his first career game at Guaranteed Rate Field. Gosselin has been on seven different teams in his MLB career, but the schedule never landed him in the south side of Chicago until today.
Starter Packy Naughton worked around a hit by pitch in the first inning by striking out Tim Anderson and inducing back-to-back fly outs of Jose Abreu and Yasmani Grandal. However, the second inning was not kind to the 25-year-old Boston, MA native, as he surrendered the lead by yielding a solo home run to Luis Robert (8th HR of the season) and a RBI single to Gavin Sheets (23rd RBI of the season).
Down 2-1, Fletcher nearly tied the game in the third with his third home run this year, but outfielder Eloy Jimenez decided to put his name in the running for “SportsCenter Top Play of the Day” with a robbing catch just in front of the White Sox bullpen.
CATCH OF THE YEAR NOMINEE FROM ELOY JIMENEZ pic.twitter.com/yhLTZ3ZECD— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) September 15, 2021
With momentum shifting in favor of the White Sox, their offense knocked Naughton out of the game with Jimenez (Single) and Robert (Double) recording consecutive two-out hits. The achilles heel of Naughton tonight was the 6-8 batters of the Sox lineup. Robert, Leury Garcia and Sheets combined to go 4-4 with a home run and two doubles.
Packy Naughton Final Line: 2.2 IP | 6 H | 4 ER | 1 BB | 2 K | 1 HR | 4.32 ERA (58 Pitches - 37 Strikes)
Andrew Wantz entered the game to wiggle out of the jam, but lady luck was not on his side. A ground ball off the glove of Luis Rengifo increased the lead to 3-1, but it was a three-run bomb off the bat of Sheets that ignited a frenzy in Chicago for the 6-1 White Sox advantage.
Being in a slump is a thing of the past for Jared Walsh as he continues to swing a white hot bat in September. Crushing his 27th home run of the year, this of the two-run variety, inched the Angels back into the game in the fourth inning by the score of 6-3. Walsh’s home run was the 27th dinger allowed by Giolito this season, which ties his single season record.
The White Sox tacked on one in the home half of the fourth and two in the fifth to wrap up the scoring for the night. The Angels had back-to-back innings with the bases loaded (5th and 6th), but succumbed to no runs in each inning, totaling 1-for-7 with RISP and nine left on base.
On the bright side, rookie Kyle Tyler extended his scoreless innings streak to begin his Halos career to seven innings with three clean frames out of the bullpen. The former Oklahoma Sooner allowed only three base runners (one via walk, one via hit by pitch and one via a Cesar Hernandez single), lowering his BAA to .091.
With two consecutive losses, the Angels will look to bounce back and get in the win column tomorrow night as RHP Janson Junk (0-1, 2.45 ERA) will go toe-to-toe against former AL Cy Young Award winner (2015) LHP Dallas Keuchel (8-9, 5.33 ERA).
Angels News & Notes
- INF Jared Walsh is slashing .364/.417/.667 with 2 HR and 5 RBI in 10 September Games. He is on a 5-game hitting streak and has recorded a hit in nine of the 10 games played
- Pitching Rotation for the next few games: Wednesday @ CWS - RHP Janson Junk, Thursday @ CWS - TBD (expecting RHP Alex Cobb to come off IL and start), Friday vs. OAK - RHP Shohei Ohtani
- According to reports, INF Luis Rengifo is facing legal troubles back home in Venezuela due to falsifying documents in a divorce with his ex-wife
- OF Mike Trout was announced by MLB as the Angels 2021 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award