Angels Week in Review – August 8-14, 2016

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Albert Pujols runs out a double during the ninth inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 11, 2016 (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Albert Pujols runs out a double during the ninth inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 11, 2016 (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Angels Week in Review – August 8-14, 2016

Week Start: 49-62, 4th AL West

Week End: 49-68, 5th AL West

Week W-L: 0-6

It’s been a pretty ugly week for the Angels as they’ve continued their 9-game road trip that has taken them through Seattle, Chicago and Cleveland. The Angels went completely winless this week and have lost 10 in a row overall, marking the first time they’ve lost 10 straight since they lost 11 in a row in July 1999. While the Angels faced some difficult competition this week as they faced two first place teams in the Cubs and Indians, they really struggled on the pitching side of things, and it was mostly the starting pitching that really struggled. The only quality start they got all week was from Ricky Nolasco at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, but even then the Angel offense only managed 1 run in support of Nolasco. In the end it was just an ugly week and road trip all the way around for the Angels, so they’re hoping some home cooking can help them get things turned around next week.

Monday August 8, 2016 – Travel Day

A United Airlines Airbus A320-232 (tail registration N467UA), the same airline & type of plane the Angels typically charter, prepares itself for landing at Charlotte's Douglas International Airport (Copyright: Hawkaire)

A United Airlines Airbus A320-232 (tail registration N467UA), the same airline & type of plane the Angels typically charter, prepares for landing at Charlotte’s Douglas International Airport (Copyright: Hawkaire)

Off the Field: The Angels sent RP Al Alburquerque outright to AAA Salt Lake.

On the Field: The Angels had no game as they had a travel day to travel from Seattle to Chicago.

Tuesday August 9, 2016 – Angels Lose


Off the Field: The Angels placed RP Cam Bedrosian on the 15-day DL, retroactive to August 4, with right middle finger flexor tendinits. The Angels also optioned SP Tim Lincecum to AAA Salt Lake after he had been designated for assignment on August 6. In corresponding moves, the Angels claimed SP/RP Brett Oberholtzer off waivers from Philadelphia and selected the contract of RP A.J. Achter from AAA Salt Lake and placed him the active MLB roster.

On the Field – Angels lose to Cubs 5-1: The Angels kicked off a brief 2-game set at Wrigley Field Tuesday night, marking their first trip to “the friendly confines” since July of 2013. The pitching matchup featured two former teamates with Jered Weaver taking the ball for the Angels, and former Angel John Lackey taking the ball for the Cubs. It was something of a student against teacher game as Lackey once mentored Weaver when Weaver first came up with the Angels. Well, this time the teacher won the battle as the Angels could only muster a single run – a solo home run by Kole Calhoun on the 3rd pitch of the game – along with just two other hits off of Lackey over his 8 innings of work.

Meanwhile the Cubs scored all 5 of their runs off of Weaver in the 3rd, 4th & 5th innings, including home runs by Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras. Weaver was charged with 5 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits over his 5 innings of work and took his 9th loss of the season as the Angels dropped their 5th straight game. With the win, the Cubs increased their winning streak to 8 in a row, and became the first team in baseball to reach 70 wins. It marked the fastest the Cubs have reached the 70-win mark since 1945, which, probably not so coincidentally, was the last time they appeared in the World Series.

WP: Lackey (9-7), LP: Weaver (8-9)

Wednesday August 10, 2016 – Angels Get Swept, Again


Off the Field: The Angels activated C Geovany Soto from the 15-day DL and optioned C Carlos Perez to AAA Salt Lake. In explaining the choice to send Perez down rather than Jett Bandy, Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said basically that there’s some things Perez needs to work on to “get his game where it needs to be”, so he needs to be down at AAA playing every day to get himself there.

On the Field – Angels lose to Cubs 3-1: The Angels wrapped up their brief 2-game trip to Wrigley Field along with their season series against the Cubs Wednesday night sending newly acquired Ricky Nolasco to the mound to face the Cubs Jason Hammel. Nolasco pitched much better in his 2nd start with the Angels as he allowed just a couple of runs on 6 hits over his 6 innings of work, but the Angel offense once again came up flat, managing just a single run on an Albert Pujols RBI groundout in the 8th inning. Addison Russell added a solo home run off of J.C. Ramirez in the bottom of the 8th to put the nail in the coffin and propel the Cubs to their 9th straight victory and send the Angels to their 6th straight defeat.

With the win the Cubs completed their thorough dominance of the Angels this season as over their 4 games, the Cubs outscored the Angels 23-3. They outscored the Angels 8-2 in this series, and also outscored the Angels 15-1 in their two-game set at Angel Stadium to open the season back in early April.

WP: Hammel (12-5), LP: Nolasco (4-9), SV: Chapman (24)

Thursday August 11, 2016 – Angels Lose 7th Straight


Off the Field: The Angels officially activated RP Brett Oberholtzer after claiming him off waivers from Philadelphia on Tuesday. In a corresponding move the Angels optioned RP A.J. Achter to AAA Salt Lake.

On the Field – Angels lose to Indians 14-4: Thursday night’s series opener at Progressive field turned ugly for the Angels early even though they took an early 1-0 lead on a first inning solo home run by Mike Trout off of 2014 AL Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber. That would be the only lead the Angels would hold all night however, as Jhoulys Chacin really struggled in his return to the rotation replacing Tim Lincecum, who was demoted to AAA earlier in the week.

Chacin went on to give up 5 first inning runs including a Carlos Santana home run. It didn’t get any better for Chacin in the 2nd inning as after getting a groundout to start the inning, he gave up 2 more runs and was removed from the game after just 1 1/3 innings in which he gave up 7 runs. Things got out of hand a couple innings later as after Jose Alvarez gave up another run in his 1 2/3 innings, Brett Oberholtzer made his Angel debut and that did not go well at all. Oberholtzer gave up 2 more runs in the 4th, then 4 more in the 5th, capped off by back-to-back home runs by former Angel Mike Napoli and Jose Ramirez. In the end the Indians had scored 14 runs in just 5 innings. Fortunately Mike Morin, Jose Valdez and Fernando Salas were able to put up zeros in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings respectively to keep it from getting historic.

The Angels chipped away, scoring single runs in the 3rd, 5th, and 9th innings, including a Cliff Pennington home run, but obviously never came close to competing in this game and extended their losing streak to 7 games, a new season high.

WP: Kluber (12-8), LP: Chacin (3-8)

Friday August 12, 2016 – Angels Lose 8th Straight


Off the Field: The Angels claimed RP Cody Ege off waivers from Miami and optioned him to AAA Salt Lake. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Angels transferred SP Nick Tropeano to the 60-day DL. Ege is a 25 year-old left-handed reliever originally drafted by Texas in the 15th round in 2013. He owns a 4.50 ERA over 44 innings at the AAA level this season and briefly earned a call-up earlier this season with Miami. His big league experience consists of 5 games in which he tossed a total of 3 innings, giving up 4 earned runs. The Angels also sent IF C.J. Cron out on a rehab assignment to AAA Salt Lake.

On the Field – Angels lose to Indians 13-3: The losing streak continued Friday night in Cleveland as even though the Angels got out to a quick 2-0 lead in the 1st inning thanks to another 1st inning home run by Kole Calhoun and a RBI single by Albert Pujols off of Indians starter Carlos Carrasco, Angels starter Tyler Skaggs and catcher Geovany Soto had trouble controlling the Indians’ running game and the Indians chipped back and tied the game at 2 after 2 innings.

After the Angels & Indians traded runs in the 3rd & 4th innings to send the game into the 5th inning tied at 3, things really got out of hand for the Angels in the bottom of the 5th inning. That’s when the Indians manufactured 4 more runs off of Skaggs with a few hits and several stolen bases. At that point the Indians opened up their lead to 7-3 and never looked back. Skaggs exited the game after 5 innings having been tagged with 7 earned runs on 10 hits, and the Angel bullpen didn’t fare any better as they went on to allow 6 more runs on 7 hits over the next 3 innings. The Indians tied a franchise record with 8 stolen bases in the game, something they haven’t done in nearly a century. The last time was in 1917. To their credit, both Skaggs & Soto blamed themselves for losing control of the running game, saying after the game that they will watch film and work on getting better.

The 8-game losing streak marks a new low in recent Angels franchise history, as it marks the first time in Mike Scioscia‘s tenure that the Angels have lost 8 consecutive games. The last time the Angels lost 8 straight was in September 1999, a streak after which then manager (and current Mets manager) Terry Collins handed in his resignation, paving the way for Scioscia to take over the following year. There have been no reports of Scioscia handing in his resignation as of the published time of this post.

WP: Carrasco (8-6), LP: Skaggs (1-1)

Saturday August 13, 2016 – Losing Streak Reaches 9


Off the Field: The Angels placed OF Shane Robinson on the 15-day DL with a right hip strain and selected the contract of OF Nick Buss from AAA Salt Lake and added him to the active MLB roster. To make room on the 40-man roster the Angels designated IF Sean Coyle for assignment. Also, the Angels signed RP Andrew Bailey to a minor-league contract.

Buss is a 29 year-old outfielder originally drafted in the 8th round of the 2008 draft by the Dodgers. The Angels signed him to a minor-league contract this past winter and he opened some eyes in Spring Training before starting the year at AAA Salt Lake. Buss owns a solid .290/.345/.462 batting line over 372 plate appearances for the Bees this season. Bailey is a 32 year-old reliever originally drafted by Oakland in the 6th round of the 2006 draft and made a big splash early in his career winning the 2009 AL Rookie of the Year award as Oakland’s closer. He also made the AL All-Star team in both 2009 & 2010. Bailey’s time as an All-Star was short lived however, as he’s fallen on rough times over the last 3 or 4 years. So far this season he’s pitched 32 1/3 innings out of the Philadelphia bullpen, posting a 6.40 ERA. Philadelphia released him on August 6.

On the Field – Angels lose to Indians 5-1: One of the most dreadful road trips in recent franchise history continued Saturday night as rain in Cleveland delayed the start of the game 2 hours, 11 minutes. Once the game finally did get started at 9:21pm local time, the Angels starting pitching and offense once again failed them. Saturday night’s pitching matchup featured Matt Shoemaker going up against former Angel farmhand Mike Clevinger. Clevinger was traded to the Indians by the Angels on August 7, 2014 in exchange for RP Vinnie Pestano. While Clevinger was just recently called up by Cleveland and had a bit of a rough go of it leading up to Saturday’s start, he was certainly stellar Saturday as he flirted with history when he took a no-hitter into the 6th inning. While the Angels managed to score a 2nd inning run with no hits (2 walks and 2 productive ground-outs), Clevinger was still working on a no-no with 2 outs in the 6th when Andrelton Simmons barely snuck a ground ball through the left side of the Indians’ infield for a base hit. It would turn out to be the lone Angel hit of the evening.

Meanwhile, Shoemaker struggled through his first two innings, giving up 3 runs in the 1st inning and another in the 2nd. He was able to settle down after that and put up zeros in the 3rd, 4th & 5th innings, but ran into a bit more trouble in the 6th and gave up another run. In the end Shoemaker was charged with 5 runs on 12 hits over 6 innings and the Angels fell once again for their 9th consecutive loss. The game finally came to an end at 12:25am local time, 5 hours and 15 minutes after its scheduled start time. Not exactly what any MLB player wants to see with a day game on the schedule for the next day.

WP: Clevinger (1-1), LP: Shoemaker (6-13)

Sunday August 14, 2016 – Angels Drop 10th Straight


Off the Field: The Angels made no roster moves on Sunday

On the Field – Angels lose to Indians 5-4: Sunday’s series finale at Progressive Field became the 3rd of the 4 games in the series to be delayed by rain in Cleveland. Sunday’s game started an hour and 38 minutes behind schedule with the first pitch coming at 2:48pm local time. Once they did get started the pitching matchup featured Jered Weaver going up against the youngster Trevor Bauer. The game started out well enough for the Angels as despite a 1st inning solo home run by Jason Kipnis, they were able to build a 4-1 lead by the end of the 4th inning. The Angel attack featured home runs from Ji-Man Choi and Geovany Soto. Weaver was scattering a few hits, but had put up zeros in the 2nd-4th innings and it looked like the Angels may just bust their worst losing streak in 17 years.

The Angels lead didn’t last long however, as Weaver’s control began to allude him in the 5th. After allowing the first 3 batters of the inning to reach base, Weaver then walked in a run and allowed another on a RBI fielder’s choice. He got out of the inning allowing just the 2 runs, but then ran into more trouble in the 6 inning as well. He allowed a single to lead off the inning, then a RBI double by Tyler Naquin tied the game at 4. That served to be a knockout blow for Weaver, but then Jose Valdez allowed a RBI single to the next batter – Abraham Almonte – which gave the Indians the 5-4 lead they would not relinquish. In the end Weaver was charged with 5 runs on 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings in the loss which extended the Angels’ worst losing streak since July 1999 to 10 games. It also completed a dismal 0-9 road trip through Seattle, Chicago and Cleveland.

WP: Bauer (9-5), LP: Weaver (8-10), SV: Allen (22)

Up Next for the Angels

The Angels will try to turn things around with a little home cookin’ as they begin a 7 game homestand with the Mariners coming in for 4 this Monday-Thursday, and the Yankees coming in for 3 next weekend.

  • Mon 8/15: Mariners @ AngelsTickets
  • Tue 8/16: Mariners @ AngelsTickets
  • Wed 8/17: Mariners @ AngelsTickets
  • Thu 8/18: Mariners @ AngelsTickets
  • Fri 8/19: Yankees @ AngelsTickets
  • Sat 8/20: Yankees @ AngelsTickets
  • Sun 8/21: Yankees @ AngelsTickets

Updated 2017 First-Year Player Draft Order

  1. Atlanta: 44-74 (.373)
  2. Minnesota: 47-71 (.398)
  3. Tampa Bay: 47-69 (.405)
  4. Arizona: 48-69 (.410)
  5. Cincinnati: 48-68 (.414)
  6. Angels: 49-68 (.419)
  7. San Diego: 50-67 (.427)
  8. Oakland: 52-66 (.441)
  9. Milwaukee: 52-64 (.448)
  10. Philadelphia: 56-63 (.471)