By Pete Zarustica/Garden Grove Journal
O my. O my gosh. O well.
Whatever hopes the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim had of climbing back into the American League West race pretty much were O-bliterated after the Halos dropped three games to the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend, concluding a 1-5 homestand.
It was the first time in over a half-century of competition that one of those two teams swept the other, the O’s winning all six contests in 2010.
“It’s the worst ever,” said Torii Hunter after the Angels 1-0 loss on Sunday. “These three games have just been terrible. Offensively, this might be rock bottom. We can only go up from here. We’ve been looking at ourselves for a long time, trying to figure it out. We’ve tried to make changes [in the lineup], and it’s just not working.”
The Angels scored only one run in the series, wasting a strong pitching job Sunday by Jered Weaver.
“Any time you go out there and you’re worried about giving up a solo home run that might be the difference in the game, it’s never a good feeling to pitch like that,” said Weaver. “But you just go out there and keeping battling, try to pitch your game and try to keep us in it.”
Moods improved Monday after the Halos popped three home runs and defeated the last-place Seattle Mariners 5-3.
“I can tell there was a good feeling in the dugout,” said Peter Bourjos, who hit the first Angel home run. “Everyone was laughing and smiling. We hadn’t done that for a while.”
On Tuesday the Halos went back to losing, and the offense went back on hiatus.
Dan Haren pitched seven scoreless innings, but the L.A. bullpen couldn’t hold on and the Mariners won, 3-1.
The sole consolation was that both Texas and Oakland also lost, so the Angels didn’t lose any ground, just more time.
The series with the M’s in Washington concluded Wednesday (results too late for our deadline. Today (Thursday) is a travel day, so the three-game series against the A’s in Oakland will be Friday through Sunday.
On Monday the Angels are back home to start a three-game series with the Cleveland Indians in Anaheim.
While no one in an Angel uniform is throwing in the towel, the outlook is getting grim as the season enters its final month. Going into Tuesday’s game, the Halos were not only 10.5 games back of the AL West-leading Texas Rangers, they were 17.5 games back in the race for the American League wild card spot, trailing seven other teams.
On the other hand, the Angels have plenty of experience in the “rally” business.
“We go through stretches like this periodically,” said manager Mike Scioscia. “The one we’re in and hopefully trying to get out of rivals anything we’ve seen here. It’s been frustrating but the guys are playing hard and we know it’ll get better and hopefully we’ll get some consistency to start putting wins up.”