Ben Joyce did not make the Los Angeles Angels Opening Day roster, much to the disappointment of Angels fans. Joyce and his electric stuff will be in Anaheim at some point this season, but for now, he's not with the big club.
A guy who is here, is someone many Angels fans wanted to get rid of if the Angels did opt to bring Joyce north with the team. Jose Quijada is still an Angel, and showed he's an important piece to this bullpen.
LA Angels RP Jose Quijada silences doubters with save in Seattle
The Angels were in the final game of their three game series in Seattle, looking for a series victory. They got it, thanks to a gutsy effort from Shohei Ohtani and some timely hits by Ohtani and Mike Trout late in the game. Jose Quijada was key as well.
Ohtani departed after somehow completing six innings and only allowing one run. He walked four, hit two batters, and seemed to struggle with his command all day. He's still Shohei Ohtani, and gave the Angels a chance.
The bullpen promptly made things interesting, as Matt Moore and Jimmy Herget allowed two runs to score in the bottom of the seventh. That made what was a 4-1 Angels lead become 4-3.
The Angels got a much-needed scoreless inning from Jimmy Herget to keep it 4-3, but the ninth inning was still in play, and I had no clue who the Angels were going to turn to.
Carlos Estevez is the team's closer, but he threw 28 pitches on Sunday, followed by another 15 on Monday. This made him unavailable for not only Tuesday's game, but Phil Nevin wanted to give him another day off yesterday. Jaime Barria was also unavailable, so the Angels options were limited.
With Herget and Moore used, Nevin had to decide between Quijada, Tucker Davidson, Aaron Loup, Ryan Tepera, and Andrew Wantz for the ninth. I had thought Nevin would go to Tepera or Loup because they're the veterans and they're the guys he turned to on Opening Day in a one-run game. Davidson and Wantz weren't really in my mind. Quijada is the guy Nevin turned to.
The task was tough. He faced the eight and nine hitters which isn't too bad, but Julio Rodriguez was due up third. He was able to get Sam Haggerty to fly out to begin the ninth, but J.P. Crawford singled. This set the stage for Rodriguez to come up in a spot where one swing could've won the game for Seattle.
Rodriguez ended up grounding into a fielder's choice for the second out. Quijada then struck Ty France out with a high fastball to end it. The Angels got a huge series win.
Quijada isn't the easiest guy in the world to trust because of his command issues, but when he's on, he's quite good. Quijada was able to come up huge when the Angels needed it. It looks like he's bypassed Loup on the depth chart, so it's possible we see him in more high-danger chances in the near future.