The Dog Days Of August

By MJ Lloyd

For the Angels, more like doggin’ it days of August. Amirite? While July ended with the Halos taking the first two games of a four game series against Texas and pulling within three games in the West, August has seen the Angels flop to a 4-9 record. The pitching has been (googles a synonym for several profanities) bad.

Zack Greinke got his first win in four starts Tuesday night against the Indians but gave up four earned on eight hits and a walk. The Indians. The Cleveland Indians. And the Angels might not have even won that games except Ubaldo Jimenez has been throwing batting practice for about two years now.

Okay, it’s unfair for me to say the team has been dogging it the whole month. The position players are second in fWAR (Fangraphs wins above replacement) in baseball since the month kicked off behind only San Francisco. Unshockingly, Mike Trout leads the way with a 0.7 WAR but is only hitting .269/.365/.481 with three homers and six stolen bases. Slacker. The Angels hitters lead baseball in home runs in August with 22 thanks to Albert Pujols. But, even Pujols with his six homers in 13 games is just hitting a .255/.300/.655 line. Erick Aybar, by the way, has hit everything (.419/.455/.645 with two homers and two steals) in his eight games back.

On the other hand, the pitchers have done everything possible to sink the USS Angels ship. The Halos staff has combined for the worst, and only negative, fWAR in baseball for August. The starters 6.28 ERA is only outdone by the Rockies relievers 7.87 ERA and, surprise!, the Angels relievers 8.41 ERA. Woof. I know, two weeks is a small sample size but it’s getting to be crunch time. Dan Haren isn’t right and neither is C.J. Wilson. Even Jered Weaver lost a game. The good news is the pitching will get better. I base that on the philosophy that it can’t get any worse.

It’s not time to hit the panic button. The Angels are only 2.5 games out of the coin flip Wild Card spots. I hope Trout is as strong as he looks because he might have to drag this team into the playoffs.