An ode to the LA Angels 2019 season. What could have been?

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 12: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim players lay their jerseys on the pitchers mound after they won a combined no-hitter agasint the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. The entire Angels team wore Tyler Skaggs #45 jersey to honor him after his death on July 1. Angels won 13-0. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 12: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim players lay their jerseys on the pitchers mound after they won a combined no-hitter agasint the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. The entire Angels team wore Tyler Skaggs #45 jersey to honor him after his death on July 1. Angels won 13-0. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
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The 2019 season started out with such promise for the LA Angels as just before the end of Spring Training the team locked up Mike Trout to a 12-yr deal through 2030.

Unfortunately the LA Angels couldn’t build on that momentum starting off a less than stellar April.  The early struggles were due in large part to missing both Shohei Ohtani and Justin Upton which severely weakened the line-up.  The pitching was less than perfect as well with key free-agent acquisitions Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill struggling as well as last-minute addition Chris Stratton struggling in the fifth starter role.

Andrew Heaney‘s season debut was also delayed due to soreness in his arm which led to a 29-37 record two months into the season. In early June the Angels got a big lift sweeping the Dodgers in Anaheim.  The team finally reached close to.500 starting July when disaster struck. First and foremost the Angels whole organization was rocked with the death of friend and teammate Tyler Skaggs.  The next day the Angels lost all-star second baseman Tommy La Stella to a broken tibia in his right leg.

The team actually used Skaggs’ death as a rallying point and they were able to get on a roll winning five in a row to go a season-high five games over .500. It looked as if the team was going to make a run toward the playoffs and maybe ever they could have gotten a wild-card spot.

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However, as the injuries started to mount the team started struggling mightily and never could seem to get right the rest of the season going 18-41 the rest of the way to finish at 72-90.

The highlights of the season were Albert Pujols‘ 2,000th RBI and sweeping the Dodgers in two mini two-game sets to go 4-0 against them.

The other special moment and best moment of the season hands down was on July 12th.  That night the Angels honored the momeory of their fallen teammate Tyler Skaggs and combinged to throw a no-hitter and win 13-0.  The best moment was at the end the whole team stripping off their match #45 jerseys and placing them in a circle on the mound.  There was probably not a dry eye in the house.

Next. What the off-season hold for Angels in 2019-2020? Hopefully a lot.

The Angels saw debuts of two strong pitching candidates in Griffin Canning and Patrick Sandoval and also the emergence of David Fletcher as a jack of all trades plus another MVP season from Mike Trout although it was cut short due to injury.  Hansel Robles also emerged as a formidable closer and fourth outfielder Brian Goodwin emerging as a potential diamond in the rough.