In 2008 when the Angels won 100 games, they played 52 one-run games and won 31 of them. What kept those games close more often than not wasn’t offense but pitching and a reliable defense — a stable of the winning years for the Angels under Mike Scioscia. That 100 win season, the Angels were 15th in the league in runs on average per game but in the top 10 in least amount of runs allowed and least amount of errors.
In today’s game against the A’s, the of type of Angels teams that defined Scioscia teams like the 2008 Angels was not on display. There was miscommunication and misplayed balls in the outfield which at one point saw Josh Hamilton and Mike Trout collide. The pitchers walked seven. The bullpen gave up 5 runs while the starter, Tommy Hanson couldn’t pitch out of the 5th inning.
The last time I saw a game like this they handed out juiceboxes to all the players afterward.
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) July 28, 2013
Even then, the offense scored 6 runs on 6 hits and walked nine times. Unfortunately they also went 4 for 14 with runners in scoring position. Even so, when a team scores six runs, five of which came in the first inning, they should often times be expected to win. But when the defense is shaky and the pitching unreliable, it proves to not be enough. And today in Oakland, it wasn’t as the Angels lost 10 to 6.
The years of defying pythagorean have caught up with the Angels. They used to baffle statisticians by winning more games that expected. Now they continue to baffle stat heads by losing more games than they expected.
The Angels drop to a season-low 13 games out of first place. They head to Texas to take on the Rangers in a three game set tomorrow.