The Los Angeles Angels had one final game to decide whether or not they should buy or sell at Friday afternoon’s trade deadline. That game was against the Oakland Athletics, a team they’ve struggled mightily against throughout this season. Joe Maddon also had to deal with the lack of a true starter, as Alex Cobb was forced to miss his start due to a blister.
In his place, it was Dylan Bundy, who was removed from the starting rotation after multiple disappointing performances. Despite giving up three runs in the first inning, Bundy ultimately pitched well, allowing just those three runs over 4.2 innings of work. In total, the Athletics mustered just four runs, certainly a reachable total for an Angels team that averages closer to five per game.
Instead — like they’ve done multiple times against Oakland this season — the Halos scored zero. It was their second time in a row being shut out by the Athletics, and Maddon vented his frustration about it after the game, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“We’ve actually not played badly,” Maddon said. “We haven’t hit them well, and they’ve made some great plays against us. … We haven’t stayed toe-to-toe with them offensively. We’ve actually pitched OK for long stretches of games and they got us late. But more than anything, we’ve got to figure out their pitching staff. Tonight’s a game we definitely pitched well enough to win that game. They’ve done a nice job of building a really good staff and we have to figure it out. That’s how we’re going to beat them.”
Whatever the Angels need to do to figure out how to beat Athletics pitching, they’ll need to make trade deadline decisions beforehand. The deadline will pass Friday at 1:00 p.m. PT, and the Angels don’t take the field again until Friday at 6:38.
At 51-51, the Angels are once again at .500 and are six games back of the Athletics for the second wild card spot. They could cut that gap to three games with three straight wins, but the Angels can’t make decisions based on that happening.
The Angels offense needs to figure out the Athletics in a hurry, or else the season could be close to over by the end of the weekend.
Maddon has confidence in Perry Minasian
There is still no indication as to where general manager Perry Minasian is leaning on the day of the trade deadline. However, he has the trust of Maddon no matter which way he goes. Maddon said that Minasian has spent enough time around the team to know what they need to improve or who they should be selling.