Aug 26, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) gets set to bat in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
(American League team that is struggling)
Los Angeles Angels: A dreadful 10-19 record last month has dropped the Angels back to .500 and 3.5 games out of a playoff spot.
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What happened to Mike Trout? He had been running away with the MVP race in the first half of the season, but has plummeted back to mere mortal levels. He hit a meager .218 in August with only 1 homer and 7 RBI. He’s still drawing walks, boosting his OBP to a respectable .352 for the month, but he’s not driving the ball with authority. That suggests the wrist issue that cost him a few games in late July may still be lingering. Trout put together a four-hit game over the weekend that included a pair of extra-base hits, so perhaps that’s a sign that he’s about to heat up again. The Angels will need him to if they expect to hang in this race.
The rest of the team isn’t doing much to pick up the slack for their struggling star. Los Angeles is last in the league in runs scored, batting average and OPS since the break. The pitching hasn’t been much better, ranking 11th in the season’s second half with a 4.57 ERA.
It wasn’t long ago that Hector Santiago was contending for the ERA title, but he owns a 5.93 ERA over his last 9 starts to drop out of the top-10 in the league. Santiago has issued the 9th most walks in the league with 54, so those control issues were bound to catch up with him eventually.
The Angels need their best players to start playing like stars again in order to carry this top-heavy team to the postseason.