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Los Angeles Angels feeling ‘upbeat’ despite June Swoon

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Jun 27, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia looks on prior to the game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 27, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia looks on prior to the game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Angels have lost nine of their last 10 games and are on pace for a franchise-record 96 losses — but after a team meeting, many players still feel optimistic about this year.

The Los Angeles Angels started the season as a bubble team.

There were some that thought they could turn the tables and make a run at a division title and maybe even win a playoff series.

There were others who didn’t give the Halos a shot at being competitive in clinching even a Wild Card spot.

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Unfortunately for the Angels and fans alike, it seems like the latter more correctly read their crystal ball.

The Halos finished their final homestand of the season’s first half on Wednesday by getting swept by the Houston Astros, three of six losses the team endured at the Big A last week as part of a 1-6 homestand.

But those are small numbers in the big picture.

The Angels have lost nine of their last 10 games and finished the month of June with an 8-19 record, their worst month since 1980. The team won back-to-back games only twice in June and had a five-game and six-game losing streak.

The spiral has cost the team dearly in any sort of hope they had to clinch the division.

On May 31, the team was 24-28, in 3rd in the AL West, and 7.0 games behind the Texas Rangers.

On June 30, the team was 32-47, in the cellar, and 19.0 games behind the Rangers.

And while Angels fans may be rolling their eyes as the season painfully moves along, multiple players on the team are optimistic that things will get better with time.

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The team held a meeting after Wednesday’s loss and discussed the importance of perseverance.

“I have played on teams where it’s pretty clear that by the fourth or fifth inning, guys just phone it in,” closer Huston Street told MLB.com’s Fabian Ardaya. “No one is doing that here. Not one person. That’s what I see, that’s what I believe.”

Street was terrible in June, compiling a 10.80 ERA with two blown saves. On Wednesday, he came in with the Angels trailing 7-4 in the 9th and gave up three earned runs and four hits in 0.2 innings pitched. He also walked two, the fifth time in eight June appearances in which he walked at least one hitter.

The veteran entered June with a 1.04 ERA but it has since ballooned to 5.28, well-above his 2.91 career average.

Street made it clear in post-game interviews on Wednesday that it’s “frustrating” when he doesn’t perform as well as he knows he can, but added that he’s “not feeling sorry for myself. We’ve got to find a way to get better results.”

After the team meeting, manager Mike Scioscia defended his guys, saying he recognizes that they are “giving it everything they have, but the results aren’t there.”

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The reality is that the team has been hurt since the first week of the season, and dug themselves into such a deep hole in April they have spent the last few months trying to catch up.

Perhaps the All-Star break is what the team needs to reboot. After all, Mike Trout is probably the only player that will be asked to join the MLB’s best in San Diego.

Trout, quietly hitting .323 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI, is the brightest spot on the team, but he will likely get ousted in MVP voting because of how bad his team is.

It’s silly that voting works that way, but it does. The only time Trout won the MVP award, the Angels had an MLB-best 98 wins.

Alas, Trout will have to remain patient and optimistic with the team as will the fans.

“We are going to play better,” Scioscia added. “We all believe it.”

The question now for the fans is, do you?

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