Angels fire manager Joe Maddon after their 12th consecutive loss

The Angels, mired in a 12-game losing streak that derailed a promising start to the season, fired manager Joe Maddon Tuesday and appointed third-base coach Phil Nevin as interim manager.

Maddon, 68, was in the final year of a three-year, $12 million deal that included a $4 million option for 2023.

The Angels tied 24-13 with the Houston Astros for first place in the American League West on May 15, but have since lost 16 of 19 games, falling to 27-29 and 8½ games behind the Astros.

The Angels were defeated at home by the Toronto Blue Jays in a four-game series before embarking on a six-game journey in which they were carried away by the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies, including the 9- 7 loss on Sunday that saw them lose the lead by four runs in the eighth inning and one run in the ninth to Philadelphia.

Monday night’s 1-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox extended their losing streak to 12, a stretch that saw the Angels suffer breakdowns in rotation and bullpen and saw their offense slip away, and that was enough for general manager Perry Minasian to make the change Tuesday.

Maddon, who spent three decades with the Angels as a minor league coach and coordinator and big league coach, finished five seasons as Angels manager with a record 157-172 (.477), including two stopovers in 1996 and 1999. He was manager Mike Scioscia’s bench coach when the Angels won the 2002 World Series.

Maddon has a record 1,382-1,216 in 17 years as a major league manager, including a hugely successful nine-year run in Tampa Bay and five years in Chicago, where he led the Cubs to their first World Series championship in more than 100 years led in 2016.

The Angels haven’t made the playoffs since 2014, but expectations were higher for 2022 after beefing up their rotation with the signings of right-handers Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen and strengthening their bullpen by holding closer to Raisel Iglesias and the veterans Aaron Loup, Ryan Tepera and Archie added Bradley.

Six weeks into the season, the Angels seemed to have a team that could end their seven-year playoff drought. The rotation, aided by young left-handers Patrick Sandoval and Reid Detmers, who threw a no-hitter, went well and the relief work was solid for the most part.

Mike Trout, the American League’s three-times most valuable player who missed most of 2021 with a right calf strain, got off to a great start, hitting .328 with a 1.129 percentage on base plus slugging, 12 home runs and 26 RBIs in his first two games.

Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon speaks to the media before a baseball game

Joe Maddon preached patience during the Angels’ losing streak.

(Alex Gallardo/Associated Press)

Right fielder Taylor Ward looked like a Triple Crown threat, hitting .375 in his first 29 games with 1,209 OPS, nine homers and 23 RBIs; third baseman Anthony Rendon, who missed the second half of 2021 with a hip injury, returned and delivered several clutch goals; and shortstop Andrew Velazquez, standing in for the injured David Fletcher, looked like a Gold Glove Award nominee.

But Ward slammed face-first into a wall to catch a ball on May 15, suffered a neck and shoulder injury and hasn’t been the same batsman since. Rendon suffered a right wrist injury and was placed on the injured list on May 28.

Trout went into a tailspin at the Plate and was unsuccessful for a career 26 at-bats ahead of his first single on Monday night. Shohei Ohtani failed to repeat his 2021 AL MVP season, hitting .242 with .768 OPS, 11 homers and 32 RBIs.

The Blue Jays’ four-game sweep, in which the Angels squandered several late leads and suffered three one-run losses, halted their momentum and appeared to pierce their confidence.

They were defeated in three games in New York and Philadelphia and shot in the seventh inning or later five times in the 12 games ahead.

Their offense produced .216 averages and .596 OPS throughout the 12-game streak, including a .176 average, .469 OPS and just 12 runs in their last seven games. Their starting pitchers have a 6.88 ERA during the streak; Her helpers have an ERA of 5.88.

Almost everything that could go wrong went wrong for the Angels during the losing streak. The games they get start well, offense doesn’t add anything. The starting pitcher puts them in an early hole, the batsmen fail to compensate. There were critical mistakes in defense.

They take the lead in the later innings, just like they did when they led the Phillies 6-2 in the eighth, and the bullpen blows it — Iglesias gave up a grand slam to Bryce Harper in the eighth, and Jimmy Herget gave up one Walk-off, three run homers against No. 9 hitter Bryson Stott, in ninth place.

Maddon, naturally mild-mannered and optimistic, emphasized patience during losing streaks, rarely showing frustration or criticism of his players.

“I’ve been involved in a lot of firsts,” Maddon said after Monday night’s loss. “This isn’t one of them I want. Regardless, my mindset has to be, one thing at a time, one game at a time, win this game tonight. Try to go 1-0 tomorrow.

“I mean seriously, that’s all you can do. If you want to sit on it and linger, it will eat you alive. And it’s not worth it. If you just look around the globe and see what’s happening, it’s not worth getting eaten alive by a baseball game.”

https://www.latimes.com/sports/angels/story/2022-06-07/angels-fire-manager-joe-maddon-amid-12-game-losing-streak Angels fire manager Joe Maddon after their 12th consecutive loss

Emma Bowman

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