At least Joe Blanton was feeling it.
The Los Angeles Angels’ right-hander earned the dubious consolation of turning in the best losing performance of his season Monday night, yielding two runs on just three hits while striking out 11 Houston Astros through eight innings. The loss dropped his record to 1-9 on the season and brought his ERA down to 5.53.
That was about the only bright spot for the Angels (25-33) on a night in which their offense remained stuck in the doldrums, producing only one run on seven hits while leaving 10 on base.
Just a week ago, the Angels were riding high on an eight-game win streak, and I wrote that their offense had finally found its groove and was headed for better days.
Well, getting swept by one of the worst teams in baseball and scoring only eight runs in four games is probably the best way to undermine that progress, and the Angels did just that.
Oh, in case you were wondering, the Astros’ pitching staff isn’t exactly known for its stinginess; it is dead last in the MLB in ERA (5.05).
The culprits for Los Angeles’ poor offensive performance were in the middle of the order, as usual, Monday night; Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick were a combined 1-11, leaving seven on base. Indeed Pujols (0-4, .243) seems determined to join Josh Hamilton in his race towards the Mendoza line (a .200 batting average).
As Hank Conger watched the final pitch of the game sail over the plate for a called strike three, I wondered how much worse the Angel offense could possibly get if my late golden retriever Katie took a turn at the plate. At least she would have shown signs of life.
The Angels will be set up with a two-game series against another awful team when the Chicago Cubs (23-32) come to town tonight and tomorrow. Ace Jered Weaver will get the nod tonight, but if the Los Angeles offense continues its stagnant ways, he may have to pitch a shutout to get the win.
Tony Baker is a Los Angeles Angels blogger for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @tonloc_baker.