Angels Not Making Playoffs But Still A lot To Play For

As the final week fast approaches, many teams have already punched their tickets to playoffs. Two of these teams are from Southern California, but unlike them, most are already out of playoff contention. This unfortunately, is the fate for the final team in SoCal.  

The Angels following their final game against the Rangers are now 24-31, meaning that they will not have a .500 record, but they could end up messing with some of the National League seedings to finish the season.  

Before talking about that though, we will go over what happened this past week.  

Their three-game series against the Diamondbacks was eventful. On Tuesday, they were down 8-1 going into the bottom of the fifth and were able to erase that by the sixth. Their comeback wasn’t enough as David Peralta was able to hit a home run in the eighth, resulting in the 9-8 loss for the Halos. 

The next day wasn’t as eventful and even saw Dylan Bundy have his worst performance of the season. He only pitched 2.2 innings, gave up five runs, six hits and two walks. It didn’t get any better as the D-backs were able to put another three runs on the board while the Angels only put up six. 

After already losing the series, the team decided to finish it with a bang, winning 7-3. They out-hit their opponent 14-8 and Griffin Canning pitched five full innings, had seven strikeouts and gave up one run, six hits, and two walks. The Halos also had two errors, something that the need to focus on minimizing as they prepare for next season.  

The Halos continued that winning momentum against the Rangers as they came to town for the final American League matchup of the season for Los Angeles. They were looking for payback after the series last week when the Rangers took two of three. 

Pujols continued to make history in the first game hitting his 661st home run in the fifth inning, passing Willie Mays for No. 5 on the all-time HR list. He wasn’t done though as two innings later, he hit his 662nd. 

Jaime Barria gave up all of the Rangers’ six hits and two runs in his 6.1 innings of work, giving the Angels a 6-2 win. 

The next day, Shohei Ohtani hit a solo home run in the second inning to start off the scoring for the Halos with Mike Trout breaking the tie with a single in the eighth frame. Andrew Heaney pitched 6.2 innings and just like Barria the night before, gave up all of the hits and runs that the Rangers had. The game finished in a 4-3 win for the Angels. 

Both Heaney and Barria had eight strikeouts during their respective games. If these bullpen performances are any indication, it looks like it will be a bright future for the team. 

Sunday afternoon’s game however was a different story. Julio Teheran gave up two home runs in the first two innings, resulting in Joe Maddon pulling him in the second inning without recording an out. In this outing, he gave up two hits. 

The day just got worse as the Halos gave up three more home runs, putting the total up to five on the day. They lost 7-2, this was the only loss of the series. 

Maddon has stated that the pitchers are on a short leash and prior to the game said that every game is a must win. Obviously, this didn’t go the way they wanted but are going to work hard to finish the season strong. 

Going into the fourth inning on Monday, the Rangers were leading 2-1. After three runs came in during the frame, Jared Walsh came to the plate with the bases loaded. With one swing of the bat, Walsh hits the first grand slam of his career and the second for the Halos this season, breaking the game open. 

With this grand slam, Walsh has now had a hit in 12 consecutive games. Dylan Bundy bounced back from his game against the Diamondbacks and pitched five innings giving up only five hits and three runs.  

As this was their final home and AL series, the team now shifts their focus to the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers.  

With both teams already having clinched a playoff spot, it is now about seeding. However, I feel that both the Padres and Dodgers will be resting starters to prepare for the following week.   

With this in mind, I see the Angels winning three of their final five games. If the Padres can finalize their seeding with a win in the first game, the rest won’t matter as much. 

They head to Petco Park for a two-game series Tuesday and Wednesday before heading north on the 5 freeway to Dodger Stadium on Friday for the start of the three games between the two.  

Like I said earlier, the Angels could mess with the seeding a little bit, especially if they could win both against the Padres. The Dodgers have pretty much clinched the one seed but because the Padres are in the same division, the best the Pads could get is fourth.  

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