After pushing their win streak to five games with a dramatic extra-innings win on Monday, the Mariners lost the remaining two games of their series against Oakland in pretty disheartening fashion. Even worse than those losses is Kyle Lewis’s knee injury, which will likely keep him out for the majority of the rest of the season, and Justin Dunn’s shoulder fatigue. Hopefully Dunn will only miss one turn in the rotation because the pitching staff is already stretched incredibly thin, even with the return of Marco Gonzales earlier this week. Starting with this series in Los Angeles, the Mariners embark on a long 10-game road trip as they hit the midpoint of their stretch of 30 games in 31 days.
At a Glance
|Game 1||Thursday, June 3 | 6:38 pm|
|LHP Justus Sheffield||RHP Griffin Canning|
|Game 2||Friday, June 4 | 6:38 pm|
|TBD||RHP Shohei Ohtani|
|Game 3||Saturday, June 5 | 7:07 pm|
|LHP Yusei Kikuchi||RHP Alex Cobb|
|Game 4||Sunday, June 6 | 1:07 pm|
|RHP Logan Gilbert||LHP Patrick Sandoval|
|Batting (wRC+)||101 (8th in AL)||86 (13th in AL)||Angels|
|Fielding (OAA)||-16 (15th)||2 (8th)||Mariners|
|Starting Pitching (FIP-)||104 (9th)||115 (14th)||Angels|
|Bullpen (FIP-)||114 (12th)||91 (5th)||Mariners|
It’s hard to believe given the amount of talent on their roster but the Angels have floundered once again. They’ve allowed the most runs per game in the American League and are looking like they’re on track to finish fourth in AL West for the fifth time in the last six seasons. It’s a truly remarkable stretch of futility for a roster that has featured the best player in baseball for nearly a decade.
Speaking of Mike Trout, he’s been sidelined with a strained calf muscle and will probably be out for the rest of this month. Since he was placed on the injured list, the Angels have gone 7-8 and recently split six games against the two teams from the Bay Area. Their playoff dreams are quickly slipping away unless they can find a way to win without their best player.
Without Trout in the lineup, the Angels are a lot less intimidating. Jared Walsh has been fantastic and Shohei Ohtani has continued to do his best Babe Ruth impression. Anthony Rendon has been surprisingly punchless this year, but he’s dealt with a few nagging injuries and has been a bit better as of late. More concerning are the struggles of David Fletcher. The Angels signed him to a big extension this offseason but his high-contact approach just hasn’t worked out this year. Without much power and an aggressive plate approach that doesn’t produce many walks, he’s almost entirely dependent on BABIP luck for all of his offense.
- Stuff+ scores for Mariners starters (updated for June)
RHP Griffin Canning
From a previous series preview:
Griffin Canning had tons of potential as one of the Angels top pitching prospects back in 2019. But after two years of middling results, we still haven’t seen him meet the high expectations many had for him after a quick rise through their organization. His best attribute is a fantastic slider that generates a healthy amount of whiffs, but the rest of his repertoire is just okay. His fastball has all the characteristics of an elite, riding four-seamer but the results he gets with it are really disappointing. This year, he’s ditched his cutter and is now throwing his slider more than any other pitch in his arsenal. The results haven’t followed.
In his previous start against the Mariners, Canning allowed a single unearned run on three hits and two walks. He struck out nine in 5.1 innings in his best outing of this season.
RHP Shohei Ohtani
Beyond his phenomenal exploits at the plate, Shohei Ohtani has also been healthy enough to make seven starts this year. And he’s been as good as his brief 10 game stint on the mound in 2018. His return to the mound is actually quite remarkable. After those ten games in 2018, he had Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow but he continued to hit while he was rehabbing. Last year, he pitched in two games but a flexor strain sidelined him and a knee issue hurt his ability to produce at the plate. Finally healthy this year, the Angels have been extremely cautious with their two-way superstar. He’s rewarded their patience with an elite strikeout rate that comes with bouts of wildness. But his fastball and splitter have been so good, he’s been able to thrive even with all those free passes. And while they aren’t featured as often, his two breaking balls have been exceptional when he does throw them.
RHP Alex Cobb
The Angels acquired Alex Cobb from the Orioles this offseason as part of their efforts to revamp their pitching staff. Among all their new acquisitions, Cobb has worked out the best. He really struggled to replicate his early career success in Baltimore and much of that is likely due to his fickle splitter. His feel for that pitch comes and goes but he’s definitely found some consistency with it this year. He’s throwing it more than ever and batters can’t help but chase it. His chase rate is the third highest in the majors behind Jacob deGrom and Julio Urias. The success of that pitch alone explains his career high strikeout rate.
LHP Patrick Sandoval
Patrick Sandoval will be making his fourth start of the season on Sunday, taking the place of José Quintana who was placed on the injured list with a shoulder injury after his last start. Like Canning, Sandoval had shown lots of promise as a prospect but has had difficulty making the jump to the big leagues. The Angels adjusted his release point last year to help him command his pitches. His walk rate dropped to 7.5% but he continued to allow far too much loud contact to really be successful. He’s given back all those gains to his walk rate this year and an extremely high strand rate has been the only thing keeping his ERA down below his elevated FIP.
The Big Picture:
The AL West
|Team||W-L||W%||Games Behind||Recent Form|
|Team||W-L||W%||Games Behind||Recent Form|
The Astros have won the first three games of their four-game set against the Red Sox with the final game scheduled for this afternoon. They travel to
Toronto Buffalo to face the Blue Jays over the weekend before taking on the Red Sox again early next week. The A’s are off today and travel to Colorado for an interleague matchup with the hapless Rockies. The Rangers have lost eight straight and are looking to stave off a series sweep against those same Rockies this afternoon. They return home tomorrow to host the Rays, the best team in the American League.