November 28, 2022

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Angels’ losing streak reaches 11, team dips below .500: The week that was

PHILADELPHIA — Two weeks ago was, at the time, the Angels’ worst week of the season. They went 2-4. Then last week happened — they went 1-5.

Both the bad and good news for the Angels? It literally cannot get any worse than last week: An 0-6 road trip capped by a disastrous walk-off loss to the Phillies.

Here’s a look back at the week that was. A week that saw the Angels’ season spiral. They fell below .500, out of a playoff spot, and completely washed away any good vibes from the early-season success.


A brutal collapse

It finally seemed like this team could win a game. Over the last week and a half, there have been so many ways for the Angels to lose. Starts not lasting more than three innings became a common theme. The bullpen blowing late leads did too. Scoring one or fewer runs became commonplace this road trip.

But nothing can top the way the Angels lost Sunday. They’d gone up 5-0 in the fourth inning. Held a 6-2 lead in the eighth. Then watched as Raisel Iglesias allowed a game-tying grand slam in the eighth and Jimmy Herget allowed a walk-off with two outs in the ninth to lose 9-7 — after the Angels had re-taken the lead.

“Yeah, it’s pretty tough,” said Matt Duffy, who had a critical error in the eighth inning that led to four unearned runs. “There’s really no other way to put it. It’s the toughest stretch I’ve been a part of. It sucks. There’s not really much more to say about it.”

The 11th consecutive loss is just one shy of the franchise’s single-season losing streak record set at the end of the 1988 season. The last time the Angels lost this many games in a row was 2016. Both those teams were well below .500. This group was supposed to be different. They appeared different through the first six weeks.

The Angels have held two team meetings, Duffy said. One was player-driven, one was coach-driven. Joe Maddon had said as recently as Saturday that he was opposed to full team meetings. Though the circumstances have become desperate.

Iglesias stayed in full uniform at his locker after the game, his head down. He declined to speak with the media after the loss.

At this point, though, what is there to say? The Angels pitching has been bad. The hitting has been bad. The defense has been bad. The Angels, as a team, have been incredibly bad.

“We’ve lost a lot of tough ones,” Maddon said. “It really makes no sense. We’ve got the right guys out there at the right time. And again we gave it up late. We have to get that fixed. I love the fight all day, we did it again. But we’ve got to finish these games off.”

Three up, three down

Jared Walsh (up): Amid the team slump over the week, Walsh was the lone producer of offense. He went 8-for-22 over the week. He has a seven-game hit streak.

Kurt Suzuki (up): Credit where it’s due. Everyone was happy to see he was healthy after the scary loss of consciousness he dealt with Saturday in Anaheim. He also had three hits in the two games he played this week, including two RBI singles.

No one (up): Max Stassi had a couple of two-hit games. Duffy had five hits this week. But there really isn’t a third player on this team right now doing well enough to be considered trending up.

Mike Trout (down): Trout is in an 0-for-26 slump, the longest of his MLB career.

Chase Silseth (down): Silseth is going to stay in the rotation, but his last three starts have at least made that worth discussing. He allowed four runs Friday before getting pulled after just 1 2/3 innings.

Andrew Velazquez (down): After seeing his average slowly creep up, Velazquez’s offensive woes have continued. He has just one hit in his last 26 at-bats.

Analysis of transactions

May 30, Kyle Barraclough optioned: The Angels needed long relief help and Barraclough hadn’t looked very good in his previous two outings last week. Kenny Rosenberg being recalled immediately helped as he went 99 pitches in relief for Noah Syndergaard.

June 1, Andrew Wantz recalled, Rosenberg optioned: This move made sense for the Angels to get another relief pitcher after Rosenberg went five innings.

June 2, Mike Mayers outrighted to Triple-A Salt Lake: It was a little bit of a surprise that no other team put a claim on Mayers. But the Angels got lucky that they could keep Mayers in the organization. He’s shown an ability to be very good, even if it’s in short spurts.

June 2, Jhonathan Diaz recalled: He represented the 27th man for the Angels in the doubleheader and threw in relief in the first game.

June 5, Jo Adell recalled, Taylor Ward placed on IL: Maddon made it clear that this call-up was not so much about Adell playing well in Triple A, because he wasn’t hitting well recently. This was more a reflection of a need to replace Ward. There’s the hope that Adell can provide a spark for the fledgling Angels. But it’s his third time being called up. Can he stick around? Ward, on the other hand, has been getting injured in various ways regularly. This might make the most sense to let him just get fully healthy.

Quote of the week

“I’ll ask you all a question. What should I be angry at? Who should I be angry at? They’re busting their butts. We’re playing hard. Our prep work is great. There’s so many good things we’re doing, except we’re not winning.” — Maddon on if it was time for a team meeting after the Angels’ 10th consecutive loss.

Five key stats

The Angels’ 11-game losing streak is the longest since an 11-game losing streak from Aug. 4-15, 2016. The longest losing streak was 13 games that spanned 1988 (12 games) and 1989 (1 game).

Shohei Ohtani generated just three swings-and-misses in his 75 pitches thrown Thursday. He’s had as many as 27 in a game this season.

The Angels scored five runs in the fourth inning Sunday. That total matched the number of runs in the five-plus games scored on the entire road trip.

Adell had been just 5-for-his-last-41 in Triple A before his call-up. That included one home run, 18 strikeouts and five walks.

Iglesias’ outing Sunday was his first appearance for the Angels since last Friday — a span of nine days without the Angels’ closer pitching. He allowed a game-tying grand slam to Bryce Harper.

Minor-league report

David MacKinnon hit his 12th home run of the season for Triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday.

Angels’ top prospect Sam Bachman did not pitch for Double-A Rocket City this week after exiting last week’s game. The Angels said earlier this week that Bachman was dealing with back spasms and was day-to-day. GM Perry Minasian declined to provide a status update on Bachman when asked this week.

High-A pitcher Adam Seminaris has an 0.98 ERA in seven games (five starts) this year. He was a fifth-round draft pick in 2020.

• Triple-A infielder Michael Stefanic exited Sunday’s game after slowing up while running out a hit.

Triple-A pitcher Jake Kalish was named Pacific Coast League pitcher of the month. He had a 1.05 ERA over 25 2/3 innings in May.

• Triple-A pitcher Jose Suarez hasn’t taken the mound since May 28, likely because he’s expected to be used as a starter this week when the Angels need seven starters.

(Photo of Shohei Ohtani: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images)