Angels equally ‘baffled’ by slow start …

Confused by the Angels’ slow start?

So are they.

“We’re just not clicking,” center fielder Peter Bourjos said. “It’s either the offense doesn’t do anything, or the pitching struggles. Right now it’s a little bit of both. It’s amazing. It’s baffling.”

“It’s just not clicking like we’d like it to,” first baseman Albert Pujols said. “We don’t want to play like this, either, but it’s part of the game. We just need to keep pushing, keep going, and try to do whatever it takes to come out of whatever we’re going through right now.”

Let me throw some numbers at you …

  • The Angels’ 2-8 start to the season ties for the worst start in franchise history. The only other time they lost eight of their first 10 games? 1961, the expansion year, on their way to a 70-91 finish.
  • The Angels have never started a season 0-5 at home. They’re 0-4 right now.
  • They’ve lost five straight games, just got swept by the A’s at home for the first time since 2001 — getting outscored, 28-11, in the process — and are already 6 1/2 games out while in last place in the American League West.
  • Last year’s start: 4-7.
  • The offense came into the game with a Major League-worst batting average with runners in scoring position. That wasn’t a problem on Friday — because not a single runner reached scoring position against Bud Norris, who had a 6.94 ERA on the road last season and proceeded to throw seven shutout innings.
  • The starting pitcher has allowed a first-inning run in four out of the Angels’ last five games. In seven of their last nine, they’ve failed to score first.

“I’ve always been told that starting pitching sets the tone, and I didn’t set the tone,” Tommy Hanson said after a start in which he gave up three first-inning runs while struggling to get on the same page with catcher Hank Conger. Postgame, Angels manager Mike Scioscia pointed to that as the biggest reason why the Angels have struggled.

Through 10 games, the Angels have yet to have a starting pitcher record an out in the seventh inning. Think about that.

“We’re getting behind early, and when you get behind early, it really gives the other team a chance to match up and use their bullpen,” Scioscia said. “It really gives their starter some breathing room so he can pound the zone and change speeds at will and not worry about the one mistake. The heartbeat of your club is your starting pitching, and when your starting pitching isn’t getting to a certain point in the game, it makes it very, very tough to not only get roles established in the bullpen, but for your offense to get rolling and do some of the things we can do.”

Here’s my biggest takeaway from Friday: I never felt like the Angels had a chance to come back. I remember feeling that last April, as the offense struggled and the Angels were on their way to a 6-14 start. It just didn’t seem like they had any life, any fire — any belief. I know it always feels that way when you’re not hitting, but there just seems to be an overall lethargy on this team right now.

It was clear in the ninth, when a throw in to second base bounced off the glove of Howie Kendrick and allowed the runner to take second. And when Josh Hamilton forgot how many outs there were on a foul pop-up and was doubled off at first base.

“I think we’ll be OK, man,” Pujols insisted. “This is a good test that we’re going through right now. I think at the end, we’re going to come out on top.”

Heading into the season, all the talk about the Angels centered on getting off to a better start. But Bourjos had an interesting counter-point …

“Obviously you can look at that. But we didn’t play well down the stretch in September. We [lost three of four at home against the A's in September]. That shouldn’t happen to a team that’s supposed to make the playoffs. It’s a long year, we’re going to be fine. We just have to go out and battle.”

Alden

24 Comments

Too many chiefs, not enough indians.

What is to be baffled about? Hamilton wasn’t needed, PITCHERS were needed. EVERYONE who watched the 2012 season could tell you that.

You are 100% CORRECT. Could not have said this better myself.
The trouble with this franchise is that ARTE needs to BUTT OUT and let his BASEBALL PEOPLE run the club. Too many moves have been made for the single purpose of media hype, and too little for team chemistry and real baseball success. Right now, this organization is nothing more than a well-funded embarrassment.

Mike Scioscia era has finished, new manager is needed, please Mr. Moreno do something

Look its not Scioscia he is a great manager, as a fan its easy to lay blame on an individual. I see the problem is pitching I saw the writing on the wall when Grienki left and CJ wasn’t pulling his weight. Its hard to always play from behind. When starting pitching gives up 2 3 or 5 runs in the first 2 innings its hard to muster up that much offense so players try too hard and things just spiral down hill from there. Come on pitchers I know you are trying but remember who is behind you give your offense a chance. Just pitch stop thinking do what you do best.

What constitutes a great manager? A world series win over a decade ago? He’s had decent rosters to work with for YEARS and has produced very little with them. So… blame the players for failing and credit the manager for success? No.

I see your point it is valid. My point is he manages what he is delt unfortunately he does not have a good viable pitching staff, now with Weaver out this season has all the ear marks for disaster.

Sciscia had a great run, and did some great thinks for the team – and Angels fans should be grateful for it. Having said that, it seems clear that the Scioscia’s laid back approach no longer works in Anaheim – instead of level-headed, the team plays with absolutely no fire. And then there’s the pitching, which has gotten progressively worse for the past several years. It’s sad, but when things stop working, it’s time for a change – Scioscia and Butcher need to go.

*Scioscia.

Having worked with high-creatives, I can tell you THE PROBLEM IS NOT SCIOSCIA. It’s the management decisions of the GM and the Owner to ignore the obvious–PITCHING. Jared Weaver is the only A-quality pitcher on the roster. We didn’t need Hamilton. We needed Greinke or King Felix or one of the other A-quality guys OR better pitching prospects. We also need one really awesome Catcher who is a Scioscia-clone. Tall order to fill. Butcher is actually pretty great. As all our former pitcher-commentators say, “no one but the pitcher can actually make the pitches.” So guys, suck it up. It’s a long season.

You can clearly see that Trout is NOT having any fun. He lost that big smile he had last year and I think some of that is because Torii was a great mentor to him and he misses having him in the dugout.
That, and not playing center have put a dent in this kids scale of happiness.
Torii was a great fit, and by letting him go and getting Hamilton at the expense of pitching was in my opinion a mistake.
That being said, at some point, somebody is going to pay for this!
You just know this offense will come around and ignite and it won’t be pretty for opposing pitchers.
Do the Angels have enough pitching to make the playoffs? No.
But they will become entertaining to watch when that offense finally does get going.

You don’t think it has anything to do with being 2-8, and losing 5 straight? It’s really hard to have fun when your team is playing like crap. Pitching is putting all of the pressure on the offense, and the defense to back the horrid pitching. It’s stressful.

Sure being 2-8 has a lot to do with Trout’s demeanor, but losing his mentor and center field position while getting handed a slap in the face by Dipoto before the season began set a bad tone.

Someone does have to pay for this. It is becoming a trend, the pitching staff is coming into the season unprepared and unmotivated…one of two things should happen: (1) DiPoto should go away (Hamition? Why? Talk about a cancer…the only person i’ve seen that swings more carelessly than Vlad G.) or, (2) Butcher should go away (What is going on man? These pitchers would produce elsewhere, Butcher, do you even know the names of your bullpen pitchers?).

Look at Hamilton’s previous numbers and he will be just fine in the long run of a season.
The problem is Torii and Trout had chemistry.
Maybe Hamilton can develop that type of relationship over time with Mike.

Its really getting ugly. Come on this is bad worst start forever get your crap together. Managers start managing take the gloves off and kick ASS.

In watching the first 10 games and scoring 8 of them, the problem is pitching. Starters and relievers alike are not pounding the zone and going after hitters.
This has been the recipe for the disaster that is now officially the start of the
2013 season. Mike knows this and said it.

“We’re getting behind early, and when you get behind early, it really gives the other team a chance to match up and use their bullpen,” Scioscia said. “It really gives their starter some breathing room so he can pound the zone and change speeds at will and not worry about the one mistake. The heartbeat of your club is your starting pitching, and when your starting pitching isn’t getting to a certain point in the game, it makes it very, very tough to not only get roles established in the bullpen, but for your offense to get rolling and do some of the things we can do.”

Bottom line, we need to pound the zone and take the advantage back. They have
been worried about the mistake as it is, and that hasn’t stopped them from occurring.
It’s time for the pitching to go after these guys and not worry about the big
mistake. They are bound to win some if not most of these encounters! Bet it
turns this mess around.

I agree with the guy who said that the problem started when Dipoto ignored the need for pitching and chose to let Tori Hunter go while bringing Hamilton on board. Bad move Jedi. Hunter was the heart and Soul. He inspired guys in the club house and the field. And made everyone around him better. But Jedi let him go to bring in a guy who needs a baby sitter to keep him out of the local bars to insure that girls don’t drink shots off his half naked body. Not smart Jedi, Jedi should have figured out a way to keep Greinke and retained Hunter. Instead he was so intent on making a move to weaken the Rangers that he forgot to make the right moves for his own team. Hamilton is a CANCER !!!!!!!!! A selfish, immature, unmotivated, empty headed cancer ! And he is not going to do anything to help Trout in his development, he is the type of guy you don’t want around younger guys, because its always going to be about Josh and not the team.

Pitching is a problem, no question, but all the pitching in the world won’t help if you don’t hit. The last four games – the A’s sweep and the loss to Houston – the team batting average wouldn’t be any worse if all the players had been replaced by their grandmothers.

This is about as bad a start as could be imaginable. They can’t hit, pitch, field, or run the bases. On top of that, mental errors, base running mistakes at the worst possible times, striking out with runners on third and less than two outs about 80% of the time, walking guys with the bases loaded. I was so excited for this season, have been an Angels fan for a long time, the first week watching them play baseball I wanted to stick a knife in my head, now I simply can’t bare to watch them any more. They are a disgrace, and clearly not mentally prepared to play major league baseball. At $150 million bucks, they look like they could be Oakland’s triple A affiliate.

Sad. Embarassing. The whole team should be ashamed. Arte, I love you but it is time to come up with a long range plan. No pitching, no minor league talent. Signing Kip Wells should tell us all we need to know about the state of our team. Reminds me of the Ken Hill days. Only difference was then we had some good talent in the farm system….not now.

Arte, I will not pay money to see this team play.

oh my God, I can’t believe Pujols didn’t run on a ground out to third base. Last night Hamilton forgets how many outs there are. If I’m Arte, paying these guys 25 mil, I suspend both these guys for three days. If my manager and general manager won’t correct this, I’m taking action. These guys are simply not mentally into it.

Perhaps there should be a more concerted effort to win games in the last two weeks of Spring Training so you go into the regular games with a winning feeling.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 116 other followers

%d bloggers like this: