You know the story: the Angels play well, someone gets hurt. They start playing poorly then turn it around. Someone gets hurt again and then repeat the cycle. Over, and over, and over.
There’s light at the end of the tunnel with money coming off the books and young talent blossoming, but before we get to the offseason of optimism, we have to continue to deal with the season of “what ifs?”. As the Angels sit 10 games back of the AL Wild Card with only 16 games left in the season, they’ve been hit with even more injuries. Shocking, I know...
But, hey, here you are, emerging from the frustration that has been the 2021 season and seeing it through to the bitter end. You’re ready to tough it out a couple more weeks and then get hyped about free agency.
It hasn’t been easy, but nothing worth rooting for ever is.
Vs. Chicago White Sox (2-1)
Sure, the White Sox are 29-28 since the All-Star Break and aren’t nearly as good as they were before the Midsummer Classic. And sure, they’re going through an injury spell of their own. But dang it, this was a nice series win. The series started rough with a 9-3 loss on Tuesday, but the pitching and hitting got better as the games progressed.
On Wednesday, RHP Janson Junk and the bullpen held the White Sox offense to only two runs and CF Brandon Marsh hit the go-ahead home run in a clutch at-bat to earn a hard-fought 3-2 win. Raisel Iglesias recorded his 32nd save of the season and today is a great day for the Angels’ front office to extend him.
Clobbered by the Caveman pic.twitter.com/bhxd6fCcmC— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) September 16, 2021
On Thursday, RHP Alex Cobb returned from the IL after being out for over a month and shoved in five innings of scoreless baseball. The offense exploded for nine runs and returned the favor from Tuesday with a 9-3 win of their own.
A big blast from the Anaheim native! pic.twitter.com/sUc4Mkquls— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) September 16, 2021
There were some theatrics with Shohei Ohtani being hit by a pitch and couple ejections, but the Angels walked away with a series win and taking the season series against Chicago, 5-2.
The Angels are back home for their final homestand of the season, beginning Friday against the Oakland A’s. The A’s are currently three games back of the AL Wild Card and are fresh off a series victory in Kansas City. They are 5-5 in their last 10 and aren’t playing their best baseball, giving the Angels a golden opportunity to play playoff spoiler.
Ohtani was supposed to pitch the series opener but was scratched due to a sore arm.
Oakland All-Star 1B Matt Olson leads the A’s in nearly every offensive statistic category and is hitting .275 with 35 HR and 101 RBI. He’s coming in hot after hitting .321 with 10 RBI in his last 28 at-bats, so it goes without saying that Olson is a key player to watch. Starling Marte will also be a problem, as he leads MLB with a .321 batting average.
Oakland has dominated the season series, going 12-4 against the Halos.
The Angels will see LHP Cole Irvin (9-13, 4.04 ERA) on Friday, RHP Daulton Jefferies (1-0, 3.60 ERA) on Saturday and RHP Frankie Montas (12-9, 3.72 ERA) on Sunday.
First pitch of the three-game set will be at 6:38 p.m. at the Big A and the game can be accessed on YouTube and KLAA-AM830.
- OF Jo Adell was placed on the 10-day IL retroactive to Sept. 12. Adell had a rough collision with the left field wall in Houston and has been diagnosed with a left abdominal strain. It is unlikely he plays again this season.
- Ohtani was scratched from his Friday start. There is a chance he gets shut down on the mound with only a couple weeks remaining.
- INF José Rojas was called up in Adell’s absence and homered in his first game back.
- Cobb was activated from the IL and picked up where he left off. To make room, the Angels DFA’d RHP Jake Petricka. RHP José Marte is also expected to be activated from the IL before the upcoming series.
- In case you’re still wondering, it’s highly unlikely Mike Trout plays again this season. The future Hall of Famer and franchise GOAT is this year’s Angels’ Roberto Clemente Award nominee.
- This doesn’t really qualify as “fun” per se, but it sure is wild:
Angels infielder Luis Rengifo has been charged with forging divorce papers and selling real estate without his ex-wife's consent https://t.co/kdAhXUqHfm— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 16, 2021
- Angels 2021 first-round draft pick Sam Bachman is scheduled for his Double-A debut Friday night in Rocket City.
- Ohtani’s popularity has transcended the sport of baseball, as he been labeled one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine:
- According to The Athletic’s Sam Blum, the Angels are 61-0 when leading after eight innings. EXTEND RAISEL!!!
- The kids are alright: