Joe Maddon Remains Confident In Angels Struggling Bullpen
Ryan Tepera
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels are currently riding a six-game losing streak, and it was the bullpen that was credited with the loss in three of their four losses against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Angels manager Joe Maddon’s bullpen posted a 5.63 ERA after allowing 10 earned runs and a .288 batting average against in 16 innings versus Toronto. Outside of closer Raisel Iglesias, the Angels bullpen has been very middle of the pack and their depth has been strained as of late.

On the season, Angels relievers are 19th in MLB with a 4.02 ERA but have also allowed the 5th most home runs with 24. They’ve been able to limit their free passes and surrender just a .227 batting average to opposing hitters, and Maddon believes they’re just in a really bad stretch, via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:

“We’ve played this [kind of] game too often,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “We have to get by that and really settle the back end of the bullpen down. I have a lot of faith in these guys, but it’s just not working right now. We’ve had several games over the last week or 10 days that we should have put away, and we have not. I don’t have a really good reason for you right now.”

The positives are what highlight this stretch and could signal just a string of bad luck or just getting beat in a particular matchup. Reliever Aaron Loup was one pitch away from securing a win for the Angels on Saturday, and those moments have made the bullpen issues seem far worse than they probably are:

“I want to believe it’s just a bad run with the pitching right now, because these guys are good,” Maddon said.

Angels starters have provided some decent length in recent weeks and have taken the heavy usage tag off of the bullpen, and starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen believes they still have the guys to get it done regardless of their performance:

“It’s a long season,” Lorenzen said. “We have the talent in here. We have the right guys in here. There’s no doubt about it. We’re fine.”

The bullpen has otherwise been particularly decent in 2022, but a thorn in their side continues to be the home run ball, and they will continue to falter if they are unable to figure out a remedy to miss more bats and limit the damage.

Reliver Jimmy Herget thriving with Angels

On May 15, Maddon called on Jimmy Herget in the seventh inning against the Oakland Athletics to face a pair of hitters that have a history of punishing L.A. Herget retired those two and went on to finish the rest of the game, earning him his first Major League save.

Herget elected free agency following his departure from the Texas Rangers in August 2021, and the Angels signed him to a Minor League deal one day later and assigned him to their Triple-A affiliate.

Herget appeared in 14 games for the Angels in 2021, which signaled there was something the club liked about the tall, skinny, right-hander with a funky delivery.

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