By Pete Zarustica/Garden Grove Journal/With wire service reports
When the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim resume the 2010 season today (Thursday), they’ll have to put a lot of fresh paint and new tires on the old team after the wreckage of the first part of July.
They’ll need that because after a series with last place Seattle, they’ll head into a brutal stretch of games against the New York Yankees, AL West leader Texas Rangers and oft-time nemesis Boston Red Sox.
The Halos have had a sub-par July, and staggered into the All-Star break having lost eight games out of the last 10. Only a 3-7 slide by the Rangers kept the Angels from slipping right out of the division race entirely.
A low point came Saturday when the team was hammered 15-1 by the Athletics in Oakland, although Sunday’s 5-2 loss was no gem either.
“The last 10 games have not been good,” Angel manager Mike Scioscia said. “We have guys who have underperformed and we need them to do what they are capable of doing.”
Give the man the All-Star for understatement. The Angels lost three straight series for the first time in three seasons.
It might not get any better soon. After four games against the Mariners in Anaheim (through Sunday), the Angels will travel to the Big Apple for a pair against the Yankees Tuesday and Wednesday.
That will follow four games in Arlington, Texas on July 22-25.
If the Angels are going to get back in the winners’ circle, they’ll have to get a complete engine overhaul.
In July the Halos batted .213 as a team. Torii Hunter and Erick Aybar did well, batting .364 and .333, respectively, but the next ranking batter was Howie Kendrick with a .256 mark.
The team’s top 2010 free agent acquisition, Hideki Matsui, hit .194 with one RBI for the month.
Pitching-wise, the Angels didn’t do much better. The team ERA was 4.74, and one Halo starter – Scott Kazmir – had two losses for the week, and a 15.88 ERA.
Not all the fault is with the Angels’ hurlers, frankly. For instance, Ervin Santana pitched well (2.75 ERA) but picked up two losses in July thanks to poor hitting support.