The Angels went from bad to worse to… the debacle that culminated in Saturday night’s first inning, a five runs, four hits, four walks and one miss fiasco that plumbed the depths of their recent despair.
Michael Lorenzen, one of the team’s most reliable starters, dug a hole with a 37-pitch, 16-strike, 11-batter opening act that sent the Angels ahead 36,313 in a 7-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies couldn’t climb out in the Bürgerbankpark.
The Angels have lost 10 straight games, their longest streak since losing 11 straight games on August 4–15, 2016, and 14 of their last 17 games.
They were 24-13 and tied for first place with Houston in the American League West on May 15, fueling fans’ hopes that they could end their seven-year playoff drought. They are now 27-27 and 7½ games behind Houston.
“Of course you’re concerned,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “It went so well and it’s almost like we turned the tap off. It is hard to explain. About 10 days ago we are on top of the world. Now we paddle upstream. It’s obvious why. We didn’t serve either. We don’t hit everything.”
Nobody wrestles like their best thug. Mike Trout was unsuccessful with three strikeouts in four at-bats on Saturday and is 0 for 23 in his last six games, the longest drought of his career, surpassing his 0 for 21 sled from May 11-18, 2018.
Trout hasn’t looked like a three-time most valuable AL player for nearly two weeks — hitting .103 (four for 39) with a .372 on-base plus slugging percentage, a homer, two RBIs, 16 strikeouts and a walk in In his last 10 games, his average fell to .278 from .328 on May 24.
“I’m on it,” Trout said. “I have to find a way to get out of this. i search too much I feel rushed up there. I need to see the ball better. But I am fine. I have to stay positive.”
Lorenzen’s night ended on a higher note. The right-hander cleaned up his own mess and followed the nightmarish first with 4 2/3 scoreless innings, during which he gave up a bat, struck seven and walked one. His last line: 5 2/3 innings, five hits, five runs earned, five walks, a career-high nine strikeouts.
“I didn’t really give us the opportunity to win tonight,” said Lorenzen. “But I thought let me just go out there and try to save the pen and be as efficient as possible and, you know, the adjustments worked.”
Lorenzen said the pressure he felt to end the losing streak caused him to work too quickly in the first. His front shoulder flew open. He fell and his fastball straightened up, making him easier to hit. He didn’t finish his pitches.
“Just slow down,” he said of his adjustments. “I think I was just excited. I wanted to get out there and compete. I literally wanted to do the opposite of what I was doing.”
Lorenzen’s first throw of the game was slammed off the right midfield wall by Kyle Schwarber for a brace. Rhys Hoskins flew to the middle, but Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos walked to load the bases.
JT Realmuto shot a two-run double to the left. Alec Bohm struck. Bryson Stott walked to load the bases and Johan Camargo blasted a two-run single run to the right to take a 4-0 lead.
Mickey Moniak’s grounder buckled Lorenzen’s glove and dribbled past the mound for an RBI single and a 5-0 lead. Lorenzen retrieved the ball, but his off-balance throw wide from first base for an error allowed Camargo to finish third.
Schwarber went to reload bases before Hoskins struck and mercifully ended the inning for the Angels.
A television camera caught Lorenzen and Trout exchanging words in the dugout after the inning, and Maddon intervened. But all three laughed at speculation that Maddon would end an argument.
“You saw how terrible that first inning was,” Lorenzen said. “Trout is pretty good at catching pitches and I haven’t missed any barrels. I flew open and they saw the ball way earlier so I felt like I didn’t [tipping], but I said, ‘Mike, do you think I tip?’ And that was it.”
The Angels scored two goals ahead of Phillies ace Zack Wheeler on Jared Walsh’s RBI single in the third and RBI double in the fifth, the first time they hit more than one run in a game in five games on the trip. But that was all they could take offense at.
Maddon, mild-mannered by nature, said before the game that he wasn’t the type to turn over a table in anger after the game like many old-school managers did. He also didn’t feel the need to admonish players during a team briefing, preferring instead to have one-on-one chats with players.
His approach didn’t change after the losing streak hit 10.
“OK, I’ll ask you a question, who should I be mad at?” Maddon said afterwards. “You’re busting your butt. we play hard The preliminary work is great. It’s not a lack of effort or work. We just don’t strike. Everyone wants [Vince] Lombardi needs to show up, but for me it means reading the situation and working with your people until we come out the other side.
https://www.latimes.com/sports/angels/story/2022-06-04/angels-mike-trout-continue-slumps-lose-to-phillies-skid-reaches-10 Angels, Mike Trout fall to Phillies for 10th straight defeat