Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesterday …. specifically, April.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim had the best hitter in baseball, the best lineup and the best starting rotation in all of the major leagues. Why, it was just a matter of tossing the ball out onto the field and sitting back to collect World Series money.
Well, shucks. Even though on paper the Halos looked like the team to beat, the game is not played on paper. The Angels are in a mid-August slump, and if they don’t find a higher gear soon they will be spending a third straight season on the sidelines come October.
After Monday’s 6-2 loss to a mediocre Cleveland team, the Halos were in third place in the four-team American League West and two games out in the wild card competition. It was their third straight loss and fifth in six games.
On Tuesday, though, the Angels bounced back with a 9-6 victory. Zack Greinke got his first win in four starts for the Halos and Alber Pujols homered and drove in four runs.
Erick Aybar also homered for the Angels.
The win not only snapped the loss streak but moved them within seven games of the Rangers.
Monday’s loss emphasized two of the big disappointments in season. C.J. Wilson, one of the All-Star pitchers in the starting five, pitched fairly well, giving up just two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. But he tried to catch a line drive bare-handed suffering a bruise, although he will likely not miss a turn in the rotation.
The Angels were only able to score two runs on nine hits in losing to a team that’s eight games under .500.
“It’s disappointing, but it’s where we’re at,” said Mark Trumbo after Monday’s game. “That’s the reality of it. So you can either pout and sulk over what’s been going on, or you can chalk it up and say it’s going to happen sometimes. I think everybody probably wishes they were doing a little better at this point. We’re not terribly removed from the top teams, and I think everyone in this room really believes that’s where we’re going to be.”
The series with the Indians concluded Wednesday (results too late for our deadline). Today (Thursday) the Halos start a new series in Anaheim against the Tampa Bay Rays that runs through Sunday.
After that, the Angels are back on the road, starting a three-game series with the Red Sox in Boston on Tuesday.