Eight Straight Losses for the Angels

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The Los Angeles Angels have lost 8 straight after a 27-17 start to the season. Each consecutive loss continues to paint the picture of an Angel squad that has absolutely no idea what they are doing. After 8 straight losses, the Halos are 6.5 games behind the first-place Houston Astros — who are sitting at 33-18. Let’s go into detail about what exactly has transpired over the last 8 games. 

A Jays Sweep

The Toronto Blue Jays visited the big A last week and chased the Halos out of town. The Angels had Shohei Ohtani lined up for Game 1, but from the start, you could tell he wasn’t going to have his best stuff that day. He gave up a leadoff homer to George Springer, a 2-run double to Bo Bichette, and a solo homer to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 

Shohei’s Woes

In his last 2 starts, Shohei Ohtani has been blitzed for a total of 9 earned runs, fourteen hits, and 5 homers. Not the Ohtani we are accustomed to seeing. His sliders are flat, and his sequences have not been great. To mention, he doesn’t look like he’s throwing anything with conviction, he’s not attacking hitters – rather, he’s flirting with them. 

Toronto went on to win the next 3. A blown save by Raisel Iglesias – who, in his last 6 appearances, has taken 2 losses and has 1 blown save. A crucial misplay by Juan Lagares in right field gave the Jays a 1-run 8th inning lead in game 3. Lastly, an 11-10 brutal loss in which Shohei Ohtani, Max Stassi, and Taylor Ward combined for 8 hits, 5 of them being extra-base hits and 4 of them homers. Trout went 0-5 in the final game of the series. 

Sub-Par Pitching

Since May 25th, the Halos team ERA has risen from 3.36 to 3.82. Halo starters have combined to give up twenty-four earned runs since May 25th, and Halo relievers have given up eighteen earned runs since last Friday. 

Let’s be blunt. Angel pitching has not delivered over this 8-game stretch beside Reid Detmers shutting out the Yankees for 4 innings. Relievers haven’t been able to shut the door and get the outs they need. Home runs have hurt the Angels the most, having given up twelve since the start of the losing streak. 

Sub-Par Hitting

In the last 3 games, the Angels have scored a total of 3 runs. The Yankees easily handled them, getting some help courtesy of a 7 inning perfecto from Jameson Taillon, and a clutch hit from first baseman Anthony Rizzo in Game 3 to complete the sweep. 

Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Jared Walsh, and Taylor Ward have combined to go 7-for-45 in this stretch – a .155 BA. These 4 are easily the powerhouses of this Halo offense. Especially with Rendon out with a wrist injury, they’ll need to start having better at-bats and start taking advantage of runners in scoring position. 

Only a Spark Is Needed

Not only are the Halos lacking pitching and hitting, but they’re also lacking fire. The spark that burned during the 27-17 stretch doesn’t seem to be there. The rush of winning has faded, and the solemnness of losing has taken its place. The ignition will have to come from the clubhouse, from within. Because ultimately, that’s what makes a championship team. A team that is strong through adversity, built for the bright lights of October. Someone will need to be a leader in that clubhouse to guide the Angels back to the path of victory. One at-bat, a string of hits, is all it takes to get 1 win. Baseball is a crazy game, and that 1 win can turn into a stretch of sheer dominance. 

Leadership Roles

Speaking to reporters after the Halos 2-1 loss to NY, Trout said that the team was “staying positive” and continue to show up ready to work. Will a hot Trout bat help the Angels get back on that path of victory? Yes. But maybe even more than that will be his leadership in the clubhouse to help pull his team out of this 8-game gutter. 

Halos in Philly

The Halos will start a 3-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies this weekend. Maybe they will be able to get back on track and take advantage of a Phillies team that is going through managerial woes. 

The Angels will face Zach Eflin in the opener. They’ll have Chase Silseth, Michael Lorenzen, and Patrick Sandoval starting for them during the final road trip before they head back to the big A.

Main Photo:

Embed from Getty Images

Players Mentioned:

George Springer, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Max Stassi, Reid Detmers, Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Jared Walsh, Taylor Ward