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Los Angeles Angels vulnerability exposed in 4-game sweep

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Jun 6, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Los Angeles Anglels relief pitcher Jose Alvarez (48) reacts after giving up a go-ahead three-run home run to New York Yankees right fielder Carlos Beltran (36) during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees defeated the Angels 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 6, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Los Angeles Anglels relief pitcher Jose Alvarez (48) reacts after giving up a go-ahead three-run home run to New York Yankees right fielder Carlos Beltran (36) during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees defeated the Angels 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Angels have had issues this season — that’s been obvious — but those issues hadn’t all hurt the team collectively in a single series. That changed in New York.

The Los Angeles Angels started last week’s road trip well, taking two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the trip took a turn for the worst in New York as four games in the Big Apple became a big embarrassment.

Get out the brooms, the mops, and the Swiffers while you’re at it because it was a 4-game sweep of epic proportions.

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The pitching was poor, the offense didn’t show much fight, and the result was the Halos falling to 26-34 on the year, 11.0 games behind the Texas Rangers and only one-half game ahead of the Oakland A’s for the cellar spot in the division.

On June 9 of last season, the Angels were 29-29 but had fixed some of the mechanical problems they had earlier in the season. They would go on to finish the first half of the season 48-40.

It’s become clear that this Angels squad still hasn’t figured out a lot of the issues that have hurt them (literally and figuratively) this year.

It’s easy to blame injuries and luckily Andrelton Simmons is among a few players who may be close to returning.

But the reality is that the Angels have some holes that need to be plugged and they were exposed by a New York Yankees team that really isn’t that great.

Let’s take a look at some of those problems:


Big innings by opposition

The Angels had chances in each of the four games in the series against New York, but they allowed a big inning in each game.

The Halos allowed at least one 3-run inning in each game, allowed a 4-run inning twice in Game 3 and allowed a 5-run inning in the series finale.

Besides allowing 12 runs in Game 3, Angels pitching did a decent job keeping the Yankees off the scoreboard for most innings, but when New York did break through it was in bunches.

Which leads us to…


The longball

I thought the Home Run Derby was not for another month in San Diego — but if you were to ask the Yankees, it was a week-long event against Angels pitching.

New York hit nine (9) dingers in three (3) games after failing to hit a longball in the season finale.

And they weren’t a bunch of solo shots either.

The Angels were winning Game 1, 2-0, heading to the 7th inning before the Yankees connected for three home runs in two innings.

Carlos Beltran his a go-ahead 3-run home run in the bottom of the 8th to essentially win the game for the Bronx Bombers.

In Game 2, he went yard again for a 2-run shot and Starlin Castro homered for the second consecutive game to give the Yankees an early-inning lead that the Angels couldn’t counter.

In Game 3, Beltran hit yet another homer — his 16th of the season — and Chris Parmalee hit his first and second home runs in a Yankees uniform.

While the Angels had a few home runs of their own in the series, the fact that they couldn’t keep the ball in the yard helped the Yankees get some momentum as they ultimately ran the table in the series.

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The offense, or lack therof

The Angels scored fewer than three runs in three of the four games against the Yankees.

In the first two games of the series, they were held scoreless for 15 of 18 innings before “erupting” somewhat for six runs in Game 3.

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In that game, Jefry Marte, Mike Trout, and Gregorio Petit all went yard and the Angels took a 6-4 lead into the 6th, but the bullpen couldn’t contain it.

In Game 4, they were held to just three runs for the second time and went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position while leaving six on base.

In the series, the Halos batted just 7-for-31 with runners in scoring position including a 3-for-11 outing in Game 3.


What’s next?

The Angels are back in Anaheim this weekend to take on the Cleveland Indians (33-26) before they host the Minnesota Twins (18-41) from June 13-15.

The Halos don’t leave Southern California again until their six-game road trip through Oakland (25-34) and Houston (29-33) from June 17-22 before they return home for six games against the same two teams.

Then they pack their bags for one of their longest road trips of the season — a 10-day, three city tour of the AL East that takes them through Boston (34-25) for three games, Tampa Bay (27-31) for four and then Baltimore (36-23) for three in consecutive days.

Next: Working their way back to the majors

Those are their final games before the All-Star break from July 11-14.

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