The defining feature of recent Los Angeles Angels teams is a great — bordering on elite — offense that can’t muster consistent pitching from the starters or the bullpen. That formula applies when the Angels face every team in MLB except for the Oakland Athletics, who have managed to turn them into the complete opposite.
This has been emphasized through two games of a four-game set in Anaheim. Starters Dylan Bundy and Patrick Sandoval allowed a combined four runs in 10.1 innings. Even the bullpen has done good work, allowing just two combined runs in the other 7.2 innings pitched. It’s the offense — known for it’s ability to manufacture and use the home run — that has gone anemic.
The Angels have yet to bring a run across in the entire series, and have not scored a run against the Athletics in 27 innings. They’ve scored just one run in their last 43 innings against them. Joe Maddon vented that frustration after Friday’s loss, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“They’ve just beaten us because we don’t score any runs against them,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “And they play good defense, which is part of why they pitch so well. We’ve been staying with them toe-to-toe, but we just have to break through offensively. We had another really good pitching performance with Sandy outstanding again and the bullpen was very good. But we’ve got to figure it out offensively.”
The best the Angels can do during this set with the Athletics is pray for a 2-2 split. This would ensure the Halos don’t lose any ground in the wild card race, keeping them five games back of the final spot. However, to do that, they have to score runs.
Obviously, not having Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, or Jared Walsh in the lineup hurts. But they have to figure out a way to push runs across if they want to justify their lack of a big move at the trade deadline.
Andrew Heaney and Tony Watson traded
The Angels made just two moves at the hectic 2021 trade deadline, trading the expiring contracts of Andrew Heaney and Tony Watson away. In return, they received a total of five pitchers — one Major League ready and four prospects — that will continue to bolster organizational depth on the mound.