Angels Slump Continues – Is It Time to Panic Yet?

 

Oh my god! The Angels lost five in a row! Weaver’s choking and Torii’s all washed up because he dropped the ball. It’s 2010 all over again. The Angels are driving me to drink. And the sky is falling. And the end of the world is coming this weekend. And, and…insert list of increasingly dire sounding hyperbole here

Actually, it was my husband who drove me to drink. Literally. In a car. Because he’s a sweetie and a half and it was our circle’s standing Wednesday night happy hour. And the further reality is, I am pretty far from panicking. Because this is not 2010. I repeat. This is not 2010.

Mind you, I’m not trying to put a pretty face on the last two weeks. This is an ugly slump and that’s all there is to it. But here’s the thing. That really is all there is to it. It’s a slump. Does it point out team weaknesses? Yes, much like any other slump does. Slumps aren’t generally known for being caused by strengths.

But, unlike May 2010, we only just slipped below .500. We haven’t been dancing around trying to climb up to it for several weeks. This season, we have a couple of guys in the bullpen in regular use that I trust every time they take the mound…which doesn’t mean they aren’t going to mess up from time to time, like this week for example, but more often than not we do have some reliable relievers. This season, the bats have been slumping off and on but this does mean that at least they have also been on at times, definitely not the case this time last season. Current scouting reports are starting to get around on our formerly hot hitting rookies, exposing some of their youthful mistakes, like Peter Bourjos’ penchant for fastballs high and away outside the zone. At the moment, it’s affecting their averages and they just need time to adapt again, much like they all managed to do when they made the jump to the big leagues.

We have given our starting pitchers run support in 2011, just not so much this month. Some of the fielding errors in this slump were the result of guys getting used to recent changes in the infield and outfield, changes that will cease to be novel soon. And, unlike the Angels great June last season, wins so far this season have been because of things the team had done right, not because of adrenaline in the aftermath of losing a teammate for the season to a crazy accident. Also, this season, when the Angels are down, I see them fighting back to regain/gain the lead. They aren’t always successful but, unlike 2010, they aren’t just giving up either.

Is Jered Weaver choking? No. I think he’s still recovering from the flu and losing so much weight in uncomfortable fashion. In hindsight, Weaver probably should have skipped his start against the Red Sox and rested a few more days before jumping back into the fray. He was showing signs of improvement to my eyes before Monday’s game. I think coming home to warmer weather might get him back on the healing track. And as for Torii, I think folks should also look at his amazing Gold Glove catch in the 7th inning before they really start judging the final missed catch. One shows us why he is a 9 time Gold Glove winner and the other shows why he’s made the switch to right. Taken together, the catches show us an Angels veteran who can still play great ball but has a few more off days than he did in his prime.

The last two weeks were a perfect storm of events resulting in a slump and the Angels just need something to break the cycle. The bad road trip is all over now. I hope the return to home cooking and their own beds is enough to jar the Angels out of this slump. If not, then I’m sure the start of Interleague play is just the ticket, hopefully this weekend but, if not, then certainly right after. Even in a bad season like 2010, the Angels do love to play the National league. Come to think of it, maybe the Angels need a standing happy hour too, like we have in my circle of friends. Forget team meetings and laying down the law. Go out together and relax for the evening. Have a tasty beverage or three. Talk, laugh and unwind until people start saying things that are so silly, they have you laughing for days after at the memory of it all. It does wonders for one’s ability to break the cycle of a bad week – or two! – let me tell you.

8 Comments

All slumps have to end. I think that’s the mystery of baseball too that there is a superstition into slumps. Not because they’re doing anything wrong.

—Mark Gauthier

http://cubden.mlblogs.com/

Mark – I think there’s reason for some of the superstition, but only because so much of the game is mental so phychology plays a big role. But lack of confidence and psyching yourself out still come down to something being done wrong.

– Kristen

I am waiting for the Cubs 100+ year World Series slump to end so don’t fret, lol. If the world ends tomorrow then that means the world won’t end in 2012, right??? Great post Kristen.

Ron

http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/

Ron – This look on the bright side thing? I think you’re doing it wrong, LOL! Thanks Ron. :)

– Kristen

Remember my fatalistic posts about the White Sox’ horrific start to the season? And now they’ve won four straight. Now it’s my turn to say, everything will work out.
Catherine

Catherine – yeah, your guys are doing great right now, which is more what I expected of the ChiSox this season. I’m not panicked, quite the contrary. The Angels will right the ship, it just may or may not be this weekend.

– Kristen

It’s always time to panic. That’s part of what makes this game fun. :) However, it’s less fun when the constant disappointment takes all of the fun out of it. Us in the ChiSox camp had a long stretch where there wasn’t much fun happening (and by no stretch are things perfect now), so I can totally sympathize.

However, it looks like there’s smiling in the Halos’ camp tonight and the fog brought some gloom back to ChiTown. So, once again, everyone is raising a glass tonight. Some in celebration, and some to drown out the memories. :)
-Keleigh

http://keleighannah.mlblogs.com

Keleigh – Yes, the Halo is lit and pretty and there is a lot of smiling over here. But I wouldn’t worry too much in ChiSox land. You had a streak going and you’ll pick it up again. And you’re right, sometimes the panic is all part of the fun. It makes the wins just that much more amazing at least. :)

– Kristen

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