Don’t ask me, I don’t know. I’ve tried to figure it out but to no avail. I can’t even begin to tell you what I think may be the reason because I keep coming up short. Somehow, someway the Angels need to figure out what is going on at home cause I’ve never seen anything like it during my tenure in Southern California.
Sure, they’ve faced some incredible pitching…David Price, Doug Fister, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jeff Samardjiza, Johnny Cueto, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia. These eight pitchers all started games against the Angels at The Big A and while not all of them received a decision, the Angels went 0-8 against this bunch. The lone win for this team over their last 9 home games was against Derek Holland and the San Francisco Giants. In that start, Holland didn’t pitch poorly as he gave up 4 runs in 6 innings of work while striking out 6 during the 4-3 Angels win.
But just go back one week when I stated how important last Monday’s start was for Tyler Skaggs. It fell on his shoulders to turn the tide against the Astros in Houston after a 1-5 homestand. Skaggs delivered and so did the Angels as they ended up taking 2 of 3 from the defending World Champions. The starters they faced in that series? Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton and Justin Verlander. It was Verlander that possessed the highest ERA of the three going into the series and that was 1.10. Cole took the loss, Morton gave up 4 runs and lasted just 4 innings and Verlander Verlander’d…he dealt. But still, the Angels came away feeling pretty good about themselves after making a statement in the first meeting of the year between the two teams.
The so-called statement disappeared over the weekend as the Halos returned home only to be swept by the New York Yankees. The boys in red, over their last 9 home games, have hit a collective .174, carried a .249 OBP, slugged at a .288 clip & scored a total of 15 runs (1.66 runs/game). It’s not all equal because not all teams in MLB played 9 games at home during the same time frame as the Angels, but the rankings for the numbers listed above are: 29th/29th/29th/T-25th. But it’s not just the offense. Angels pitchers have combined to allow 59 runs (6.55 runs/game – most in MLB), .291 Batting Average Against (26th) and have allowed 19 HR’s (2.11/game – most in MLB) during those same 9 games. Again, don’t ask me because I just don’t know the answer.
I guess the silver lining in all of this as we sit here on the off-day is that it’s April 30th and the team sits above .500. It may not be the amount of games over .500 that we would all like, but it’s winning baseball through the first month-plus of the season and currently at 2.5 games back of the Astros. Will this trend continue? I don’t think it’s possible, the law of averages says this team won’t continue to play this way at home the rest of the year. Just like it’s very difficult to continue the pace they’re currently on out on the road (11-2). I guess it’s much better to have the team go through this type of struggle right and get it out of the way now rather than having them experience this while playing important games down the stretch in late August and September.
There are 5 more months of baseball to be played and there are way too many good players on this team to have these ‘home’ issues plague them all year long. For now, it’s about focusing on the Baltimore Orioles for the rest of the homestand and then continue to take care of business on the road (Seattle/Colorado next road trip beginning next weekend). Like it did a week ago with Skaggs (and Sunday, as he pitched masterfully against the Yanks minus one pitch), it all begins with Nick Tropeano on Tuesday night.
Just livin’ the dream…
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