The Los Angeles Angels were just two games behind the Houston Astros in the American League West on May 25, but prior to Thursday’s doubleheader, have lost six in a row and are trying to stop the spiral.
Before the losing streak, the Angels’ record stood at 27-18 and were boasting one of the top offenses in all of Major League Baseball, but they are now 5.5 games back of the Astros with manager Joe Maddon’s pitching staff completely falling apart.
Fortunately for Maddon and the Angels, it’s still very early in the season, and have time to figure it out, via Sam Blum of The Athletic:
“Fortunately, we got off to a wonderful start so that you could kind of absorb a moment like this,” Maddon said after the game. “When you get off to a really bad start, moments like this could be devastating.”
The Angels were relishing in the production from Taylor Ward and Mike Trout, who is back playing like an MVP, and it appeared as if their deficiencies in their bullpen and thin starting rotation could be hidden. Still, with a premier offense and mid-season additions— maybe it can, but injuries and cold spells have highlighted their issues during this stretch:
“We’re just going through a little skid right now,” Trout said. “Every team goes through it. We’ve just got to get out of it. We’ve got a lot of baseball left, had a great start. We’ve just hit a real rough patch, but we’re going to stay positive in there.”
Angels general manager Perry Minasian, prioritized starting pitching and bullpen addition in the offseason with Michael Lorenzen, Noah Syndergaard, Archie Bradley, Aaron Loup, and the re-signing of closer Raisel Iglesias. But he believes this period isn’t who the Angels are:
“I don’t look at things in six-game blocks,” Minasian said. “Again, two months in and our goal two months in is to be in the mix. And right now we’re in the mix. Do we want to win more games? Sure. I think everybody would like to win more games.”
The Angels have a difficult stretch yet to play against the New York Yankees and Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, and L.A. Dodgers in the coming weeks. They will need to get healthy, reset and hopefully win some games.
Rival executive questions Angels playoff hopes
After losing the first game of their series with the Yankees, the Angels are trying to patch up the holes in their current losing streak.
Currently, multiple projection systems have the Angels as a playoff team in some capacity, mostly as a wild card team, according to FiveThiryEight.com, Fangraphs, and Baseball Reference, but some executives around the league aren’t so sure about that.