Angels at a crossroads

Updated: August 30, 2015

Tell me if this sounds familiar, entering a winnable series against a sub .500 baseball team, and only a .5 game back of a playoff spot, the Angels fail to capitalize. It seemed the Halos road woes were somewhat soothed after a convincing series win on the road against the Tigers. But, like the roller coaster season this has been, the Angels find themselves in another valley, perhaps close to being swept by the Indians. With August coming to a close, every game seems to multiply in importance, and if there’s ever a time for a three game losing streak, late August is not the time.

The Halos are now in third place in the AL West, sitting 6.5 games back. More stunning, the Halos, whom seemingly had control of at least one Wild Card spot, now find themselves 2.5 games back of that mark, most recently being leap-frogged by the Minnesota Twins. Its hard to believe that the core components of this team had the most wins in baseball just one year ago. I understand that a lot can happen in less than a calendar year, and this team does have a different look than last years, but still, this team knows what it takes to win, especially down the stretch.

Whats more alarming is that reigning AL MVP Mike Trout is mired in one of the worst slumps in his young, yet fantastic career. Through 27 games in August, Trout is batting a measly .194 with 1 home run, 6 RBI, and 30 strikeouts. Compare those numbers to last August, where Trout batted .254 with 7 home runs and 21 RBI.

If the Angels are going to be playing baseball into October, Mike Trout will take them there. Sure, any moron can state that, but the fact remains the Angels will be on the outside looking in if the MVP isn’t a big contributor. Having said that, the team’s collective performance at the plate has been abysmal to say the very least. David Freese should be quite close to a return and he could potentially add a boost to that anemic hot corner the Angels have been dealing with.

Todays matinee with the Indians could prove to be a crucial one. The Halos can’t afford to slip any further back in the playoff races and with the Athletics and Rangers slated next on the schedule, the Angels could shorten the gap between them and October baseball.

Jered Weaver gets the rubber today against Josh Tomlin in the series finale. Weaver had a bit of a bumpy start his last time out in Detroit, but prior to that Weaver was pitching with an ERA around 2.00 since return from injury. Tomlin has also been bit by the injury bug this season as this is only his fourth start of the season. However, in his previous 19 innings pitched, he sports a 3.26 ERA with 18 strikeouts.



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