The past week notwithstanding, the 2020 season has been one to forget for the Angels. Their 4-2 win over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on Tuesday was their fifth victory in their past six games.
The Angels (25-31) are 3 1/2 games behind Houston for second place in the AL West, and 3 1/2 games behind Toronto for the final AL wild card spot, with four games left in the season.
For a handful of individual players, the season is ending too soon. Griffin Canning limited one of baseball’s deepest lineups to one run in six innings while striking out a career-high 10 batters. Max Stassi hit two home runs for the first time in his career and finished 4 for 4. Jared Walsh extended his hitting streak to 17 games. Taylor Ward went 2 for 4 and scored twice.
Each of them is a potential core piece of the Angels’ 2021 roster. The quartet offered an optimistic glimpse of the future on the same day that shortstop Andrelton Simmons opted out, potentially ending his career as an Angel.
“It would have been fun to go through the 162” games in a normal season, Stassi said. “I know we have a chance to go to the postseason. I feel we’re hitting our stride, where we’re really starting to click. Hopefully we get in there and do some damage.”
In what might have been his final start of the season, Canning was nearly finished early himself. The Padres loaded the bases in the first inning on two walks and a single. Eric Hosmer’s sacrifice fly scored Trent Grisham, giving San Diego an early 1-0 lead.
The threat ended there. Stassi threw out Fernando Tatís Jr. attempting to steal third base, and Canning froze Tommy Pham with a two-strike fastball to end the inning.
Stassi’s first home run against Zach Davies (7-4) tied the game 1-1 in the second inning. At 436 feet, it was the longest homer by a visiting player in Petco Park this season.
San Diego loaded the bases on two walks and a single again in the third inning. This time, Canning was even more efficient working out of trouble. Manny Machado tapped the first pitch he saw back to the pitcher’s mound, and Canning threw home to initiate a 1-2-3 double play.
The right-hander then threw four consecutive curveballs to Hosmer, getting a swing and a miss on a bender in the dirt for strike three.
“He’s got some plus off-speed pitches,” Stassi said of Canning. “When he falls behind is when he tends to get into trouble. He fell behind early on and established his fastball. He just had a good feel for everything tonight, too.”
From there Canning (2-3) leaned more heavily on his secondary pitches, to splendid results. He did not allow another hit over his final three innings. He pitched efficiently enough to earn his second victory in his last three starts, after meeting the five-inning threshold just twice in his first eight games this season.
Canning “can and will look like this on a consistent level as he moves his career forward with good health,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said.
Stassi’s second blast against Davies followed a sixth-inning double by Ward and gave the Angels the lead for good at 3-1. The veteran backstop also blocked a ball in the dirt with runners on second and third base in the third inning.
The Angels’ 7-8-9 hitters (Ward, Stassi and Luis Rengifo) collected eight of the team’s 10 hits and accounted for all the scoring. Rengifo contributed two singles and stole two bases. His biggest contribution was a safety squeeze in the eighth inning that allowed Ward to slide in safely from third base.
A switch-hitter, Rengifo batted right-handed against the Padres’ right-handed pitchers. Maddon said that was unique to the circumstances of the game.
“There are certain pitchers that he may want to choose to hit right-handed against, based on their kind of stuff,” Maddon said. “He’s got a really good right-handed swing. The prime reason why he did it was Davies and his (reverse) splits.”
Down 4-1, the Padres threatened to rally. Grisham walked to begin the eighth inning and ultimately scored on a double by Machado. Mike Mayers got out of that jam without allowing another run, striking out Mitch Moreland to end the inning.
Mayers finished the job, working around a leadoff single in the ninth, to pick up his second save of the season.آموزش سئو