A diving catch by the opposing right fielder ended the game, and Shohei Ohtani had to hang his head again.
The Los Angeles Angels have suffered their fifth heartbreaking loss of the season. Now, they’re on a downward spiral that could put the playoffs out of reach.
The Angels came from behind to lose 8-9 at home to the Houston Astros on Sunday at Angels Stadium. The Angels’ typical bullpen struggles were on display.카지노사이트
With a 7-3 lead in the top of the eighth, the Angels brought in closer Carlos Estevez early, but he gave up a two-run homer to Chas McCormick to cut the deficit to two runs, and in the top of the ninth, Jaime Barria, who came in to close out the game, put runners on first and second with no outs, and two batters later gave up back-to-back homers to Alex Bregman to left-centre and Kyle Tucker to right-centre to make it 7-9.
It’s hard for a team to come back from a deficit like that in the bottom of the ninth, but the Angels got a run back in the top of the inning when Ohtani hit a leadoff single to centre, followed by an infield single from Mickey Moniak and a walk from Mike Moustakas to put runners on first and second.
Matt Tice followed with a sharp shot to right-centre field, sending the Angels’ home crowd of 34,679 into a roar. It was a double play ball. But Houston right fielder Kyle Tucker sprinted to the plate, threw himself down and barely missed the ball, ending the game. If the ball had dropped, both runners would have crossed the plate and the game would have been won. At this point, Ohtani and the rest of the Angels were left with a collective sigh of disappointment.
Angels manager Phil Nevin said after the game, “It hurts. It hurts. We want to put it behind us, but we fought for everything, and it’s a tough loss.”
Nevin explained his decision to bring in Estevez in the eighth inning, saying, “They’re a middle-of-the-order lineup with Bregman, Tucker, and Jose Abreu, and it was a right-hander-right-hander matchup. We thought it was our best option. But it didn’t work out.”
Houston right fielder Kyle Tucker throws out the Angels’ Matt Tice on a line drive to right-centre field. Photo by MLB.TV
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Ohtani drove a 90-mph fastball from right-hander Phil Meyton over the centre field fence. Archie’s 34th of the season. It was the second straight day he’d come out of the cannon with a solo homer in the top of the ninth inning, trailing 12-9 at Houston the day before, to maintain sole possession of first place in both leagues in that category. The gap to second-place Matt Olson of the Atlanta Braves (30) widened to four.
Up until this point, Ohtani would have been dreaming of a comeback win. But the Angels were not a winning team, and at 46-48, they remained in fourth place in the AL West and seventh for the wild card. They were nine games behind the division-leading Texas Rangers and six games behind third-place Houston for the wild card.
The case for the Angels to trade Ohtani is getting stronger. Based on the objective facts and traditional behaviour, the Angels should trade Ohtani. However, it seems more likely that they won’t.
As MLB.com notes, “The Angels’ rights to Ohtani expire this year, but that complicates things. The Angels want to make the playoffs and re-sign Ohtani. If they are out of the playoffs by the trade deadline, they could sell him,” but added, “But they are unlikely to trade him. No matter what they do,” he said.