The Angels almost couldn’t get a single run off the Dodgers in two consecutive games.
If not for Shohei Ohtani’s monster bat breaking up Tyler Anderson’s no-hit bid in the ninth inning Wednesday, they would have concluded this edition of the Freeway Series without putting up much of a fight.
“Anderson pitched a heck of a game,” Angels’ interim manager Phil Nevin said afterward.
With one out in the ninth inning, Ohtani stared down the Dodgers starter and crushed his first pitch, an 86.9-mph cutter, to the right-field corner.
Ohtani broke for first and didn’t stop until he reached third. He eventually made it home on Matt Duffy’s single. But it was all for naught. The Dodgers still walked away with a 4-1 win over the Angels.
“This game’s hard,” Nevin said. “I’ll never forget how hard it was to play. I promise you that. … I wouldn’t consider this getting blown out at all. It just doesn’t look good because you don’t get a hit until the ninth.”
To make matters worse, the update on Anthony Rendon’s wrist before the game also didn’t afford much clarity for the Angels.
The third baseman was pulled in the middle of Tuesday’s Freeway Series loss at Dodger Stadium and ruled day to day with more evaluation to be done Wednesday. But before Wednesday’s game, neither Nevin nor athletic trainer Mike Frostad had much more to offer, other than he felt sore and they’re hoping he feels better during their series in Seattle.
Rendon wasn’t in Wednesday’s starting lineup, but Nevin, at least before the game, had not ruled out his two-time Silver Slugger making an appearance off the bench.
The nature of Rendon’s wrist injury differs day to day, according to Nevin. And avoiding the injured list, for the most part, will be dependent on his pain tolerance, according to Frostad.
The Angels’ conversations on whether to put him back on the IL will start sooner rather than later.
“He’s exhausting all options, treatment and everything he’s doing,” Nevin said before the game. “Feels like today, if he can give it a day, maybe tomorrow when we get to Seattle he may feel better. It’s more on, he wakes up each day and it feels differently.
“Hopefully tomorrow he wakes up and he feels better. If not, then we’re gonna have to start those [IL] conversations.”
When asked whether Rendon was activated off the IL too soon, Frostad said his return wasn’t “any sooner than we were expecting. …Once we had another opinion on it, we maybe sped some things up a bit [and] we’re going off of him as well.”
For now, the Angels have no plans to run him through another MRI exam or give him any kind of pain injections to help with his discomfort — the word Rendon used on Tuesday to describe what his wrist felt like. His wrist issue is a flare-up of the injury that sidelined him May 28.
While utility infielder Jack Mayfield who was with the taxi squad is an option, he was not listed as available. Nevin has no intention of putting Rendon on the IL without at least getting him some extra rest to see if his wrist improves in the coming days.
Nevin reviewed video of Rendon’s at-bats Tuesday and did notice his top hand start to come off the bat when he swung — and that he winced while doing so. But the issue, as explained by Rendon on Tuesday night, doesn’t just bother him at the plate. It affects him when he’s fielding as well.
“I appreciate what he’s doing trying to go out there for his club,” Nevin said. “It’s really like how he’s functioning and the function’s not great right now, but it changes throughout the day.”
In the 45 games he’s played so far this season, he’s logged 37 hits, 15 runs, including five home runs, 24 RBIs and 23 walks.
He returned from his last IL stint June 10.
More Mariners’ starters
Right-hander Michael Lorenzen is scheduled to pitch for the Angels on Friday, the second game of their series with the Mariners.
Left-hander Patrick Sandoval will start Saturday’s first game of the day’s two-game set in Seattle.
This season’s Angels’ IL longtimers have made some progress.
Right-handed pitcher Cooper Criswell (right shoulder soreness), who’s been on the injured list since the beginning of the season, has been throwing off a mound and facing live batters at the team’s facility in Arizona, according to Frostad.
He last faced live hitters Tuesday and is expected to have another live BP session Friday.
The Angels hope to put him in live game simulations if all goes well after Friday.
Fellow right-handed pitcher Chris Rodriguez (shoulder surgery) was able to start playing catch this week after his six-week shutdown. The Angels don’t have a timeline for his return and are skeptical he will make an appearance this season.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.