Not much has been going right for the Angels recently as Mike Trout went on the IL again, Shohei Ohtani can’t pitch for the rest of the season, and the team entered Saturday’s matchup against the Mets five games under .500 and well out of the postseason picture. However, for the second consecutive day the Angels picked up a victory against the Mets but it wasn’t pitching that secured the win like Friday’s series opener. Ohtani had two extra-base hits, Brandon Drury and Luis Rengifo also added two hits a piece, and Mickey Moniak hit his first home run in over three weeks as the Halos put a 5 spot on the Mets to cruise to victory.
Here are my three takeaways from the game:
Shohei Ohtani continues to marvel at the plate
What can’t Shohei Ohtani do? Despite having a tear in his Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) Ohtani can still dominate at the plate as he hit a double and triple on Saturday all before the 3rd inning began. Ohtani’s two extra-base hits led to four of the Angels’ five runs and if the Mets had continued to pitch to him over the rest of the game, perhaps Ohtani could have hit for the cycle.
Over the first two games of the series so far Ohtani has reached base a whopping 8 times with 3 hits and 5 walks. Ohtani has hit .321 in the month of August alone with 5 home runs, 7 doubles, and 16 walks and also has 19 stolen bases on the season now after stealing two bags in the 4th inning of Saturday’s game. Despite Mike Trout and Zach Neto being on the injured list, Ohtani continues to rake despite not having much of a safety net in front of him and behind him in the lineup.
Chase Silseth exits after hit to head
In the 4th inning of Saturday’s game a scary situation occurred as starting pitcher Chase Silseth was struck in the head by a throw to third base. It took a few seconds for Silseth to react, but then he fell to the ground in agonizing pain and had to be removed from the game. To explain how this happened exactly, after Francisco Lindor broke for 3rd base following a pitch from Silseth, catcher Logan O’Hoppe threw to first base instead of third base for some reason.
Following that, first baseman Trey Cabbage tried to throw out Lindor with a rocket to third base that resulted in hitting Silseth (who was running toward third base) in the back of the head. There is no update yet on how Silseth is doing, but he has been one of the few consistent pitchers they’ve had recently, posting a 1.69 ERA in July and boasting an ERA of 4.10 on the season overall. With all of the injuries the Angels have had over the last few months, if Silseth goes on the IL that would be yet another huge blow to this team.
Mickey Moniak hits solo shot
Mickey Moniak was one of the best hitters in the MLB just a few months ago boasting an OPS over 1.000 and producing a 17-game hit streak in July. However, a brutal 9-64 stretch at the plate lowered all of his numbers dramatically throughout most of August and he was striking out at an alarming rate. Nevertheless, Moniak has been hitting better at the plate over the last few games indicative of his 3-hit performance against the Reds on Wednesday.
On Saturday Moniak launched a 405 foot home run in the top of the 2nd inning to put the Angels up 2-0, his first long-ball since August 4th. When the Angels were winning a lot of baseball games at the end of May and most of June, Moniak was instrumental in providing nonstop offense at the plate and if he can get back some of that production, then the Halos could piece together a lot of wins in the coming weeks.
The Angels are now four games under .500 with a 63-67 record and will look for a sweep over the Mets on Sunday with Griffin Canning on the mound against David Peterson. First pitch is scheduled for 9:35 a.m. PT.