The Los Angeles Angels are in trouble. That was the case before this three-game series in Texas and even if they somehow swept the first place Rangers, that would've been the case. The postseason, which once seemed to be very much within reach, is nothing more than a dream at this point.
The Angels, a team that got embarrassed in each of the first two games in Houston responded with a much-needed victory. Their offense has continued to struggle with key pieces out and deadline additions struggling, but they pitched their way to a win. It felt like the team got some momentum by beating an Astros team they struggle to win against and heading to a ballpark in which they had taken three of four earlier this season.
It turns out, there was no momentum. The Angels put forth one of, if not their most lifeless and embarrassing performance of the season. It truly felt like they had given up.
LA Angels give fans reason to panic after latest embarrassing loss in Texas
The score should tell you enough. 12-0 Rangers is obviously pathetic. The box score tells you even more. No runs, one hit (an infield single), and three (3) errors. Their hitters struck out 12 times and their pitchers walked eight batters. Just about the only thing that went right for the Angels was Eduardo Escobar allowing only an unearned run in his inning of work.
Phil Nevin was seen as animated as ever in the dugout. After the game, he had this to say about what was unquestionably the worst loss of the season.
"It's (lack of) focus, from the first play of the game. That's what I saw... Disappointed? Absolutely. Mad? Yeah. But I know this group in there. They'll rebound and come out tomorrow. It'll be better.""- Phil Nevin via OC Register
I certainly hope it'll be better, it certainly can't get any worse. The Angels were lucky to not get no-hit, and they're lucky to have only allowed 12 runs. They should be embarrassed with their effort as even with it being unlikely, they're still in the postseason race.
The Angels saw prized trade deadline acquisition Max Scherzer dominate them while their own acquired players with the exception of the two relievers they got have struggled. They've been thoroughly outplayed on this road trip in Texas, being outscored 35-8 in just four games. They haven't hit well in any of the four games and they haven't pitched well in three of the four. Hard to win that way.
The Angels are now 12.5 games behind the first place Rangers as the division is practically out of reach, but their 7.0 game deficit is not fully out of reach if this team just plays better. Unfortunately, they've shown you nothing to believe they're capable of going on a big run.