Angels Need ‘A Total Team Effort’ To Close Out Games
MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels
Apr 25, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) reacts after hitting a foul ball in the seventh inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels are following a similar track record they’ve had in recent years, and after a month of the season, there are definite signs their difficulty in later game scenarios is a large issue.

An April record of 15-14 has them in the third spot in the American League West behind the Houston Astros and division-leading Texas Rangers. They’ve found themselves in 12 games decided by one run, and they’re winners of just five of those contests.

The offense has been fine at scoring runs in the majority of games, and the bullpen has been one of the better units in baseball. Unfortunately for them, they haven’t had both of them line up at the same time, resulting in some one-run losses that could easily have swung the other way.

Manager Phil Nevin’s offense has posted a 69 wRC+ from the seventh inning through extra-inning play, which ranks fifth-worst in Major League Baseball. General manager Perry Minasian wants his club to find some cohesion when they enter these tight, late-game spots, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:

“We’ve had a lead in a lot of games, which is a good sign,” Minasian said. “Now we have to find ways to close out those games, not just on the mound, but defensively, offensively, base running. It’s a team effort. A total team effort. We have to do everything better. It’s no secret.”

The Angels are leaving wins on the field with their .601 on-base plus slugging from the seventh inning on, and those extra wins could be the deciding factor in a division that’s seemingly wide open.

Angels ‘In a good place’ despite mixed April performance

With a month of the regular season marked off of the calendar, the Los Angeles Angels are in the thick of the American League West after playing above .500 baseball despite some hiccups.

Their offense ranks within the top 10 with a 108 wRC+ and has registered a top-five hard-hit rate in all of baseball.

The additions of Hunter Renfroe’s power bat alongside Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, Taylor Ward, and others are doing all they can by scoring 5.1 runs per game heading into play on May 2. But scoring runs hasn’t been the difficult part.

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