Aug. 1 in Texas — more than just 1 of 162? …

You remember that game, right? The Angels, up six at one point, blew a one-run lead in the ninth, then a three-run lead in the 10th, capped by a walk-off single by Elvis Andrus off Jason Isringhausen. Had the Angels won that night, they would’ve taken the first three on the road against the Rangers, moved to two games back in the American League West — representing their shortest deficit since way back on April 11 — and put themselves 11 games over .500 for the first time all season.

But they lost. Then they lost the next night, finishing with a split against the Rangers. Then they proceeded to drop two of three against the White Sox, Athletics and, most recently, Mariners, putting them 3-7 since that Texas heartbreak. Now, they’re eight back in the AL West (largest deficit since May 22) and only five games above .500 (least since June 19). The Rangers, meanwhile, are 7-3 since that game, having just taken back-to-back games against a talented Tigers team.

After that Aug. 1 game at Rangers Ballpark, Torii Hunter dropped his oft-used line and talked about how the Angels “need to have amnesia.” Tough game, heartbreaking, but they needed to flip the page.

Easier said than done, though.

Sometimes one loss — especially a loss like that one — can linger a little longer than others.

Was that the case with the Aug. 1 defeat?

Albert Pujols didn’t believe so when asked about it after Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Mariners.

“You can point at that, but I don’t think so because we came back the next day and scored nine runs. We fought back,” Pujols said. “I don’t think so. You can look at the series in Texas and that game, but we went to Chicago and put ourselves in position to win the series, too. We went to Oakland and we did the same thing. I wish we would know what it is. It’s the same thing I tell myself — ‘What happened two weeks ago? I was killing everything. And now the same pitch, I’m missing it, fouling it off, hitting a groundball.’ And I just laugh at myself. I think that’s the beautiful thing about this game, that sometimes when you think you have it figured out, you don’t.”

This is just one theory about why the Angels are struggling again. Others have asked whether they expended so much energy coming back from their April funk that they’ve now hit a proverbial wall. And the numbers will tell you that it’s the pitching staff — with an AL-worst 6.04 ERA since July 30 — that’s mostly responsible.

After Sunday’s loss, manager Mike Scioscia called a meeting to bring some perspective to his team.

The message: As bad as they’ve played, they’re only two games out of a playoff spot (the second Wild Card).

“We just need to continue to push and know that we’re a pretty good ballclub,” Pujols said. “Every ballclub goes through this. I mean, Texas just went through this, Oakland — everybody. Everybody has to go through this for you to be a championship ballclub. If everything is roses, then there’s nothing to help you grow and get better at. Because when the tough situation comes, how can you handle that? I think what we went through in April, we handled it pretty well and we got into a good groove, now we’re [struggling] again. We’ve been there before, and we know that there’s no time to panic or anything. There’s still a lot of baseball left.”

The Angels hope there aren’t any more games like Aug. 1 left.

Alden

13 Comments

If we are still talking about Aug 1st, well then it’s certainly a problem for the team. Why did you leave off the part about no pinch runner for Morales in that game? That was the last nail in the coffin. How can a team have confidence in a manager that refuses to use a runner for Morales in that crucial situation?

You guys punched us… Be we deliver the haymakers in this division!!! Rangers>Angels #thirdplaceproblems

Kind of like the haymaker to miss the catch for the final out in the World Series huh?

NOOO! The link is dead. I know its almost a year old, but if any of you know where I can find this song *please* let me know! I loved this movie/song when I was a kid and have been trinyg to find it for years!ekleveland@hotmail.com

The failure to pinch-run, as I said at the time, was a fatal and stupid error on the manager’s part. It was the single reason for that one loss, and HAS to be considered HUGE in the way things have gone since then.

failure of the bull pen to hold the lead was the primary cause of the loss.failure to pinch -run is a manager’s decision based on many factors such as—-if we go more innings we lose his bat.
Also I don’t see YOU listed anywhere as part of the angel coaching staff.Hind sight is always better! Obviously you have no coaching experience or you wouldn’t make such a blatantly
STUPID remark.

It’s not a stupid remark. At the time it made no sense not to pinch run. It would have been at least two innings until Kendrys came up again. Don’t insult people because they disagree with you. You end being the one that sounds stupid. Sure the bullpen blew it but it would have been an entirely different situation if we had scored. I have coaching experience , although that’s shouldn’t be an issue here

On a sidebar, does anybody know what Joe Torre does. Does he watch any video? The protest on Kernerko should have been upheld. No way he didn’t interfere. Also they talk about consistency of the strike zone. It’s bad enough that each ump has they’re own zone, but each one doesn’t stick to it, apparently getting tired as the game goes on.

Also we need a review flag. The 2 calls where Carp was pulled off the bag, could easily have been fixed upon review. I’m not opposed to Unions, but until they find a way to fire a few union umps they are going to continually screw up games. We’re not supposed to notice them during a game. By the way I watch a huge amount of games on MLB here in Mexico.

When Kendrys was sitting on second base we kept saying why isn’t Mike pinch running for him!!!!!!!!!! Bad decision, and there swwm to be a lot lately

My intention was NOT to insult you .I was merely making a point. We are all dedicated fans and are probably just as frustated as Scoscia and the team.There has been a large expenditure of $$$$$$$ and the results just aren’t there at this point in time. In my opinion it’s not my place to second quess the manager and I did not appreciate it when it was done to me and I’m sure you wouldn’t either. Anyway enough said! I enjoy your column–keep up the good work!

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LOL, I saw those ads and thought that they had to be digaitl ads because the paying fans would riot! It does seem really overboard though. I will admit that I stopped looking at them after awhile, but they really jump out at you at first look! I think it sucks but thats life and their product to sell (The Rangers and MSG Network).

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