It was dual wield Ohtani day again. While not as dominant as in starts past, he was not nearly as gassed either, instead throwing far fewer pitches per inning. He lasted 6 innings as a pitcher giving up 2 runs on 4 hits while striking out 10 and 0 walks on only 76 pitches. It was the first time in his MLB career that he walked no batters. Despite looking like he could pitch more, Maddon pulled him after 6 innings to much confusion.
This move was further questioned as Mayers fell apart in the 8th inning and getting another 3 outs or more from Ohtani could have helped a ton. It did set the stage for closer Iglesias to put on an epic performance, however, as it seems like he can only pitch well when under immense pressure.
Things started off on the wrong foot with a leadoff home run to the Mariner’s leadoff hitter. It was the only hit for the inning but starting in a 1-0 hole was not good. This especially hurt as the Angels could not respond, with Ohtani himself hitting into a double play.
Ohtani didn’t allow a run in the second, keeping the pitch count down as well. In the bottom half, the offense failed again with another GIDP to boot.
In the 3rd, a double, bunt, and sac fly gave the Mariners their 2nd run. 2-0 Mariners. But Fletcher got on and Upton hit a home run to tie the game! It was enough to knock out the starting pitcher. Shohei walked and Rendon hit into a GIDP to end the inning.
4th inning came and despite giving up a double, Ohtani kept the score at 2-2. In the home half, an old friend, Hector Santiago pitched for the Mariners. Rojas greeted him with a 2 out solo shot! 3-2 Angels!
For the 5th, Ohtani only allowed a 2 out single against the Mariners. The Angels only managed to get a 2 out walk in the bottom half of the inning. Still 3-2 Angels.
Shohei Ohtani pitched a 1-2-3 6th inning and efficiently as well, under 80 pitches through 6. The offense didn’t manage to add on at all and it was still 3-2 Angels after 6.
9 outs for the Bullpen
Watson came in for the 7th inning despite the efficiency of Ohtani. He did his job, shutting down the Mariners and preserving the lead. Lagares bunted for a hit, made it to 2nd on an error and to 3rd on a bunt by Wong. With 1 out and the runner at 3rd, Fletcher struck out on a called check swing, and Lagares was thrown out at home on a wild pitch. Still 3-2 Angels after 7.
Mayers had the 8th and immediately gave up a leadoff double. Then he misplayed a bunt. A 4 pitch walk was the last straw and Mayers was pulled for Closer Iglesias to get the 6 out save with the bases loaded in the 8th. He got the first out on a pop up, the sedond one on a strikeout, and the third on a strikeout! Marines leave them loaded, still 3-2 Angels!
Looking to add on, Ward singled, but was stranded there. Still 3-2 Angels headed into the bottom of the 9th.
He came out for the 9th and made it look easy, a 1-2-3 inning. Save 116 was a tough one, a 6 out save, but he did it, securing the Angels win.
The Angels are now 26-31 on the season and face the Mariners again tomorrow. Drink responsibly.