If it wasn’t happening in front of our very eyes, it would be unbelievable to see the drastic nature of the Los Angeles Angels offensive woes. The eye test — which has been very ugly in the team’s last 42 games — is met by stats that show just how difficult things have been in Anaheim.
Through 44 games, the Angels were 27-17. They ranked seventh in batting average in MLB, eighth in On-Base Percentage, first in slugging, fourth in runs scored, and second in home runs. Their ERA even ranked eighth as their pitchers looked like a cohesive unit.
In the 42 games since, their ranks have plummeted. During this abysmal span, the Halos rank second-to-last in batting average, OBP, slugging, and runs scored while ranking 21st in home runs and dead last in strikeouts. They’ve gone 11-31 in that time and have fallen impossibly far out of the playoff picture.
Angels interim manager Phil Nevin had spent significant time praising opposing pitchers, but after a 1-0 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, Nevin took a different tone, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“You can say all you want about good pitching, but this is the big leagues, there’s good pitching everywhere,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “Make adjustments and drive some balls. When we get runners on and we’ve got a chance to add on runs or start rallies, we’re just missing that big hit. It’s hard to just lean on the top of the order every time. I think we’re getting good at-bats at the bottom, but we need those better at-bats when we’ve got guys on base, and out of the top really. We just really didn’t have those today.”
During this team’s 42-game skid, they had been externally criticized for what was being referred to as “toxic positivity.” That’s to say, remaining so positive that it neglects the very real and obvious issues facing the team.
The pitching has fallen off in a major way, with starters struggling to stay in games as long and the bullpen blowing an increasing number of leads. The bottom of the Angels order has been a mess, ranking dead last in nearly every category from the 6-9 holes.
Nevin’s quote is one of the first steps towards accountability that has been displayed in the Angels clubhouse in a few weeks. The only issue is that it might be too late.
Of course, Mike Trout doesn’t feel this way, even going on record to say that the Angels have the ability and the time to turn things around. Perhaps he’s right, but going into a Sunday afternoon meeting with the Orioles with the task of avoiding a four-game sweep is not an ideal start.
Trout, Ohtani named All-Star starters
Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani headlined the crop of American League All-Star starters, announced Friday afternoon by MLB. Trout was the leading vote-getter among AL outfielders for Phase 2, while Ohtani just barely scraped by Yordan Alvarez for the designated hitter spot.