The Los Angeles Angels dropped a very winnable game against the lowly White Sox yesterday which caused them to split the series. The Angels took the first two despite not playing their best baseball, but struggled to pitch effectively in each of the final two games and will officially enter a daunting stretch on a sour note.
I felt this was an important series for the Angels to have with the July schedule being tough and because they had just lost two of three in Colorado. Going 3-4 against the Rockies and White Sox is obviously unacceptable.
The Angels had their chances to win this game but failed to do anything with runners in scoring position, and after being handed a 4-1 lead Patrick Sandoval really struggled on the mound. Now, the hard part of the season is here, and the Angels have to prove themselves against quality competition.
LA Angels enter brutal stretch against good teams on sour note
The end of June was the time for the Angels to fatten up ahead of the tough schedule. It was their chance to try and separate from the pack as they try and make it to the postseason for the first time since 2014. Unfortunately, they were unable to do that.
Since that thrilling series victory in Texas, the Angels have gone 5-7. They've played .500 baseball against the Royals, Rockies, and White Sox while losing two against the Dodgers. That's simply not good enough.
The surprising Diamondbacks come to town this weekend for what will be a very tough three-game series. The Angels then end the first half on the road in San Diego and Los Angeles. While both the Padres and Dodgers are not playing their best baseball, those teams are littered with talent and can get hot at any moment. We've already seen the Dodgers beat the Angels twice.
It doesn't get any easier after the all-star break with two premiere Wild Card contenders, the Astros and Yankees coming to Anaheim.
The season is obviously far from over, but the Angels are making their lives more difficult. They had a chance to really separate from the competition in the Wild Card hunt with a stretch against bad teams and failed to do so.
I'm not ruling this team out because they've hung around all year, but it's go time now. They have to prove they can beat good teams consistently to remain in the hunt.