The All-Star break may have been the worst possible thing to have happened to the Angels.
Los Angeles went through a huge surge in early June and carried it through mid-July, coming back from 5.5 games back of division leading Athletics to cut the deficit to just one. Over the last week, however, the once hot-hitting lineup has gone absolutely cold.
The Angels finished off their first half schedule with a series in Arlington during which the offense scored a combined 33 runs over the four games. This includes two games with double digit scoring. Four days off followed, which was going to give everyone much needed rest; it was anything but helpful.
The Halos started the second with an extremely tough schedule; the surging Mariners, the first place Orioles, and the high octane Tigers all visited Angel Stadium. The playoff contender brough with them three former Cy Young award winners. The offense came out of the gate rather slowly, but they took the series versus Seattle, lost the series to Baltimore, and took three of four from Detroit.
This stretch actually put the Angels at a season-high 22 games above .500; remaining the second-best team in baseball. Over that next week, the Angels would keep pace with that same record.
Looking back at that part of the schedule, it seems as if the Angels had somewhat overachieved, but over the last week, the team’s play has started to put doubt in the minds of some fans.
Obviously teams and players go through slumps and hot streaks throughout the season but it seems as if everyone on the team is slumping at the same time. The Angels started the highly anticipated Freeway Series against the Dodgers with an impressive 5-0 victory in which the offense took down Zack Greinke.
The next night, they scored three times off the mighty Clayton Kershaw. The next two games were started by Dan Haren and Hyun-Jin Ryu who have been mediocre this season; they only managed one lone run and curtailed into a three-game losing streak. The Boston Red Sox then came to town with a whole new starting rotation, send out pitchers with ERA’s in the fours and fives. The Angels dropped game one 4-2 to extend the losing streak.
On Saturday night it took 19-innings to scratch out a 5-4 win. Sunday they dropped the finale, 3-1, in which the lone run came off the bat of Mike Trout.
No doubt it was a very tough week for the Angels and anyone following them. Fortunately they have about a month and half to figure things out before. If they want to make a run at Oakland, the turn around must be sooner rather than later.