It’s felt like a long and difficult season for the Los Angeles Angels. They’ve suffered numerous injuries to key players and have put together stretches of MLB-worst pitching and defense. However, Joe Maddon’s clubhouse may just be turning things around.
In the Halos last 16 games, they are 11-5. They’ve also put up a 3.32 ERA in their last 13, and went 5-2 on their recent homestand. This included a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals with a total score of 22-5, signaling complete performances from pitchers and hitters.
For Maddon, all of this is showing up in the locker room culture, as he’s sensing a much greater energy than earlier in the year, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“When you’re doing that, you have a chance to win every game,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “When you pitch like that, you are always in the game. The players feel it too. If we get a couple (runs) right here, they are going to hold them. It’s just a different vibe completely right now. I am proud of the way our guys have hung in there to this point. We’ve got a lot of work left, but this is starting to look and feel like it should. The centerpiece is the pitching and defense.”
In the month of May, the Angels went 12-18 as they faced a brutal stretch of schedule that included the Tampa Bay Rays, L.A. Dodgers, Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, and Oakland Athletics. Now, they’re taking advantage of a much more bearable stretch.
They went 2-2 against the Seattle Mariners, 3-0 against the Royals, and now head into a three-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are an MLB-worst 20-43. To continue their hot streak, they must ride the staring pitching of Shohei Ohtani, Griffin Canning, Patrick Sandoval, Alex Cobb, and Andrew Heaney, all of whom have turned in remarkable performances the last few weeks.
This is the Angels best chance to put themselves right back into the playoff conversation, and the way they’re playing, they just might be able to do it.
Maddon praises team efforts in formulaic win
On Tuesday, the Angels defeated the Royals 8-1. The moment that everyone will look to in that outing was a 470-foot bomb from Ohtani in the first inning. However, Maddon made sure to keep the praise on the whole team for what was a formulaic win in his eyes.