Joe Maddon: Angels Still ‘Playing Hard’ During 10 Straight Losses
Mike Trout
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels looked like a lock to make the postseason, and possibly even win the American League West, with a record of 27-17. Then, the losses started to pile on.

It started when they dropped a series finale to the Texas Rangers on May 25. Then they were swept in a four-game series by the Toronto Blue Jays, swept in a three-game series by the New York Yankees, and have lost two of their first three to the Philadelphia Phillies.

They have now lost 10 consecutive games and sit on the edge of a playoff spot with a .500 record. It seemed like it all happened within the blink of an eye, and Angels manager Joe Maddon is concerned about the direction his team is heading, he said via Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times:

“Of course, you’re concerned,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “It was going so well, and it’s almost like we turned the spigot off. It’s hard to explain. About 10 days ago, we’re on top of the world. Now, we’re paddling upstream. It’s obvious why. We haven’t pitched as well. We’re not hitting it all.”

While slumps are bound to happen throughout the season, it seems the entire club went into a slump at the same time, which seems to be the main problem right now. Although the results clearly haven’t shown up on the field, Maddon is still happy with the effort and work his team is putting in and hopes that will lead to turning around their struggles:

“OK, I’ll ask you a question, who should I be angry at?” Maddon said afterward. “They’re busting their butts. We’re playing hard. The prep work is great. It’s not a lack of effort or work. We’re just not hitting. Everybody wants [Vince] Lombardi to show up, but for me, it’s reading the situation and working with your guys until we come out the other side.”

And perhaps their biggest problem is the lack of hitting from their starts, particularly Mike Trout, who is in the longest slump of his career. Since May 29, the future Hall of Famer is 0-for-23 and he has only reached base once via a walk:

“I’m in it right now,” Trout said. “I have to figure out a way to get out of it. I’m searching too much. I’m feeling rushed up there. I’ve got to see the ball better. But I’ll be fine. I’ve got to stay positive.”

While the Angels were projected to be a playoff team by most projection systems, some rival executives had questions about that.

Are the Angels showing those executives were correct or are they truly just in a bad slump? It’ll be up to them to prove which is true.

Angels trying to remain positive

Thankfully for the Angels, it is still early in the season and they have more than 100 game to figure it out. The hope is they figure it out before it’s too late, and they are trying to remain positive they’ll do that.

Angels general manager Perry Minasian also believes the club is just in a rough stretch and thinks they’ll end up turning it around.

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