The Angels first half of the season was horrible, horrendous, and came with 52 losses. Now, the focus shifts to the second half of the season and the lowered expectations that come with it.
The Angels made it to the All-Star break with key players on DL and inconsistent pitching. Now, the real fun begins, leaving the Angels faced with an interesting task.
Can this team, as it stands, make a run for the wild card spot?
Now usually this is one of those “win one for the Gipper” speeches. However, the cards aren’t stacked in the Angels favor. Besides the Gipper just needed one game, and the Angels need to win many games for the Gipper. I’m sure that if the Gipper needed to win at least 50 games out of 71, that speech wouldn’t hold as much weight.
The Angels are in last place in their division; midway through the season, for the first time since 1999. They have 2 mountains to climb in order to place a band-aid on a season that looks as if a cannon ball hit it. Those mountains begin the Al West and the wild card race.
Here’s the major issue: The rotation is completely out of wack. With injuries sustained to Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney, it only began the line of players to ride the DL like they’re in line to ride at Disneyland.
However, the emergence of Nick Tropeano and Cam Bedrosian have been note-worthy bright spots for the Angels this season. The defensive play from Andrelton Simmons has been a major plus. The bats from Yunel Escobar, C.J. Cron (prior to his injury), and Kole Calhoun have helped Mike Trout and company keep the Angels from having the worst record in baseball.
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As of today, the Angels sit a mere 13 games behind Boston for the wild card spot. The Angels have 71 games remaining to turn a corner and make a charge in the right direction. The Angels would need to win at least 50 to give themselves a chance at a comeback trail for the post season.
Keep in mind Texas has almost 20 more wins than the Angels and the Red Sox have 12 more wins than the Angels.
However, it seems likely the Angels will remain bottom-feeders due to a suborn GM and his bull-headed decision to leave a depleted roster in tact. What’s sad is that GM Billy Eppler has stated that he’d rather wait and let more players ride the DL versus making a move to bring in someone who can help this team to the post season.
Despite the injuries and lack of trades, the Angels have show signs of being dominant. They blasted Boston for 21 runs in Beantown most recently. They scored five runs off six hits in the first inning against the White Sox back in late May. While the wins are few and far, the Angels are impressive when they do win.
As far as July goes, the Angels have a moderate schedule. Following this series versus the Chicago White Sox, the Angels will host the Texas Rangers before traveling to Houston and Kansas City. They’ll finish out the month at home versus Boston.
These games aren’t out of the realm of possibilities for victory; in fact, if you believe in movies such as Major League, the turn around should happen right about now.
Sadly, it’s unlikely the Angels have a string of wins that stretch across two months putting them in a new position to contend. It’s likely we will see more losses pile up and Mike Scioscia will keep telling us to “Trust the Process.”