The eight-game, 10-day road trip commences this afternoon as the Angels look to secure the rubber match of this three-game series against the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox. This opportunity for the Halos to win their 15th series this season was made possible last night by a clutch solo home run off the bat of Brandon Marsh in the 8th inning, as well as stout bullpen pitching from Mike Mayers (3 K), Steve Cishek (3 K) and Raisel Iglesias (2 K and 32nd Save). With a 3-2 win securing their 23rd win in one-run situations, the team looks to make it two in a row and finish the year 5-2 against the Pale Hoes.
For the first time since July 23, manager Joe Maddon will tab veteran Alex Cobb as the Angels starting pitcher. Prior to his near two month stint on the injured-list for right wrist inflammation, Cobb had a rejuvenated July through four starts going 2-0 with a 1.09 ERA. July 3 against the Baltimore Orioles encapsulated his stellar month by going the deepest in a game since 2018 (7.2 innings), while yielding just one run on four hits and fanning six batters.
Overall in 2021, the right-hander is 7-3 with a 3.82 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 15 starts (77.2 innings pitched). Pitching away from the Big A has not been friendly to Cobb, posting a 5.71 ERA and .299 BAA in eight starts. However, Cobb did face the White Sox already this season back on April 3 in his Angels debut. He suffered a no decision after spinning six strong innings of three-run, eight-hit baseball and chipping in seven strikeouts to boot.
For the White Sox, they will turn to right-hander Reynaldo Lopez who is making just his seventh start of the year. The 27-year-old Dominican was promoted from Triple-A Charlotte on July 16 and primarily making an impact out of the bullpen with spot starts in the starting rotation. In 16 overall appearances, Lopez is 3-2 with a 2.05 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. Pitching at Guaranteed Rate Field is where Lopez thrives as the righty is 2-0 with a sub-one ERA (0.90) and a BAA of .111 in 20 innings pitched. Getting length out of Lopez is unusual for the White Sox as he has only reached the five inning plateau three times this season, but they have been favorable outcomes with two of the three resulting in wins.
“GOOSE” The Sun God
Letting a goose roam in the sun correlates two things in life, one, a happy goose and two, solidifying a hot bat for Phil Gosselin. The eight-year veteran ranks number one on the Halos with a .341 batting average in 27 day games this season, while chipping in four home runs and 19 runs batted in. Gosselin has been a catalyst in the shuffled Angels lineup this season, playing in 89 games and shifting around the diamond at five different positions (1B, 2B, 3B, LF and RF). This unexpected boost in playing time due to injuries across the roster has led to the “Goose” setting career-highs in Home Runs (6), RBI (40), Runs Scored (32), Hits (77) and Walks (22).
Fans want it and Raisel is out there proving it every time he takes the mound. The 31-year-old Cuban closer continues to be lights out for the back of the Angels bullpen. Iglesias is 1-1 with a 1.21 ERA in 22 appearances since the All-Star break and has converted 11 consecutive save opportunities. He ranks fourth in all of Major League Baseball with 32 saves (5 behind Mark Melancon, SD) and currently holding a WHIP below one at 0.91.
Angels News & Notes
- In 42 Day Games this season, the Angels are 20-22 (.476), currently riding a four-game losing streak when the afternoon sun is shining
- RHP Alex Cobb reinstated from the Injured-List, RHP Jake Petricka designated for assignment
- RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani will not make his next scheduled start as predicted on Friday vs. Oakland. His arm felt sore after playing catch this morning. Joe Maddon and the team will see how Ohtani feels over the next few days and discuss if shutting him down (pitching) is the best course of action with only 17 games remaining. Ohtani may also see some upcoming days off at the plate due to his recent slump
- RHP Jose Marte will be activated tomorrow from the COVID-IL. A spot on the 28-man roster will need to be cleared in exchange for his return