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Angels humiliate M's in return from break

The Mariners returned to action following the All-Star break with a three-game set in Anaheim against the Angels, and it was ugly. Not only were the Mariners swept, they were also no-hit in the first game. Mike Leake had his monthly meltdown, Wade LeBlanc served up a pair of home runs in three innings, and Matt Carasiti relieved Yusei Kikuchi and predictably allowed all inherited runners to score before Anthony Bass came in and did what he does best: put runners on and take the loss in a game.

There was nothing good about this series, really, except Dee Gordon's pinch-hit at-bat in the ninth inning on Sunday. Dee stepped in with two out and the team losing by the eventual final score of 6-3, worked Angel reliever Hansel Robles for nine pitches, fouling off several high-octane fastballs before lacing the tenth pitch into left field for a hit. He'd be stranded three pitches later, game over, but that was the highlight of the weekend.

Friday's return was stacked against the M's in some ways anyway; it was the Angels' first home game since the untimely death of Angel pitcher Tyler Skaggs, and the team and the ballpark was emotionally charged. Pregame tributes to Skaggs set the tone and the Halos all wore jerseys with Skaggs' name and number 45 on them, then after the game ended each of the Angels removed his jersey and laid it on the pitcher's mound, which was stenciled with "45," to further honor the man who it was said would "give you the shirt off his back." They were on a mission that night and it showed—the lineup teed off on Leake and the Seattle bullpen and pitchers Taylor Cole and Felix Peña set down 27 of 28 Mariner batters, allowing just a walk to Omar Narváez in the 13-0 Angels win.

angelsjerseys

So, OK, give the Angels that one. Understandable. But Seattle's offense remained impotent Saturday night, with all scoring opportunities squandered through five innings while the Angels plated six. By the time J.P. Crawford drove in Mallex Smith from third on the top of the sixth, the game was essentially over; manager Scott Servais then went to relievers Bass and David McKay, basically conceding the loss. Albert Pujols would tag McKay for a three-run homer and the Angels would win in another laugher, 9-2.

Sunday afternoon looked like it might be better, at least initially. Tom Murphy gave the M's an early 1-0 lead in the first with the third of three consecutive base hits and Kikuchi looked strong in the early innings, despite a long home run served up to Kole Calhoun leading off the second. Kikuchi was victimized by bad umpiring, though, and in the bottom of the fifth, leading 3-1, leadoff batter Dustin Garneau was awarded a walk despite taking a 2-2 pitch nearly down the middle that should have had him heading back to the bench. The next batter singled on a very generous 3-1 count and with his pitch count up to 87, Servais decided he'd seen enough and pulled Yusei in favor of Matt Carasiti. It was yet another curious pitching decision from Servias and it was yet another one that bit him in the ass when Carasiti immediately served up two walks that required no umpire assistance, scoring an Angel run. Shohei Ohtani then drove in the tying run on a deep sacrifice fly before Carasiti could wriggle out of trouble. Still, tie game, middle innings, plenty of time to regain the lead, right? Well, Mallex Smith was thrown out at home on a contact play after tripling in the seventh and the offense didn't generate any other threats; meanwhile, Servais again went to Bass for two innings of relief, so the Angels had their go-ahead runs ready on base when Servais remembered that Bass wasn't reliable and pulled him for Roenis Elías and those runners crossed the plate on Halo third baseman Matt Thais' first career home run.

Nothing went the Mariners' way in this series. The pitchers were off their game, the lineup couldn't execute when it counted, the defense booted the ball, the umpires screwed Kikuchi, and Scott Servais continued to make weird relief calls and to trust Anthony Bass.

After a day off, the M's will suit up in Oakland for two against the A's and try to pretend that these three games never happened. 

 

Mariners vs. Angels, by the numbers

  • Total runs scored: 33 (SEA 5, LAA 28)
  • Home runs hit: 9 (SEA 2, LAA 7)
  • Bases stolen/attempts: 6/8 (SEA 3 - Smith, Gordon, Moore; LAA 3)
  • Errors committed: 3 (SEA 3 - Murphy, Gordon, Williamson)
  • Quality starts: 0
  • Pitching changes: 23 (SEA 14, LAA 9)
  • Starters ERA (includes “openers”): 7.40 (SEA 13.50, LAA 3.00)
  • Bullpen ERA (includes “headliners”): 3.26 (SEA 5.87, LAA 0.60)
  • Runners left on base: 35 (SEA 14, LAA 21)

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