There Is Constantly A “However” With This Angels Team

Updated: May 9, 2017

The Angels came into 2017 with various uncertainties. Can the starting pitching exceed expectations and remain healthy? Will a patchwork bullpen be able to keep the ball club in games? Is this defense going to perform as advertised? And so on and so forth.

So far this year the Angels sit at 16-18 in the AL West and are six games behind the Houston Astros. Yesterday’s game in Oakland was yet another instance as to why Houston is just that much better (and luckier perhaps) than the Halos.

All in all Ricky Nolasco did his job. In what was probably his best start in 2017, he made it through seven innings with 10 punch outs. On paper those numbers look fantastic and that is difficult to strike an argument against. However, the two pitches he wishes he could have back both resulted in home runs for the opposition. This trend is all too familiar for the Angels’ pitching staff this season. All too familiar. When those two earned runs are obliterated the Halos would have won the series opener.

In the bottom of the first Luis Valbuena clubbed his first long ball as an Angel. Additionally, it just so happened to be his first extra base hit since joining the squad as well. In most cases, this would leave fans ecstatic. However, Valbuena produced the only runs the Angels ever accrued yesterday. It was a small glimpse into the prior game when Yunel Escobar did most of the heavy lifting with his two solo blasts.

Last night Andrelton Simmons got hit by a pitch on his hands. He initially opted to stay in the game because that is just the kind of guy Simba is. However, Simmons had to be replaced not too much later because it was just that nagging of an injury. Although the injury is more or less a day-to-day type one, it is not what the Halos needed. The team is already pretty thin on options. As a result, whenever anything happens to a player it makes perfect sense for fans to be covering their eyes. It is becoming harder and harder to swallow.

Last night Deolis Guerra actually pitched pretty well for the most part. He recorded 2.2 innings in his outing which again showcases the reliability of some of the guys in the bullpen. However, there is a catch when yesterday is examined. The game winner came with two outs in the 11th. Two outs. Once again a spectacle that has become all too common. It is not even funny. Not one bit.

It is already a challenge when a team is without their best player. A challenge that too much to describe. But these snapshots from yesterday are a fairly decent synopsis of what has continued to go wrong for the Halos this year. Certainly, they are not firsts. Things like injuries cannot be controlled (alas). But when it is accompanied by a couple mistake pitches and/or a lack of productivity so often, the team’s mediocrity thus far starts to make more and more sense.

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