What’s the quickest way for a surging team to lose its momentum, you ask?
Try getting swept by one of the worst teams in baseball — that usually does the trick.
This was the position the Los Angeles Angels found themselves in a month ago, when they dropped four straight games at home to the dreadful Houston Astros by a combined score of 8-15. The sweep came after the Halos had won 10 of their previous 12 matchups and appeared to be reversing their fortunes in what had already been a disappointing season.
A month later, the Angels are no better off and are still looking for answers.
They’d better find some tonight against the Astros (30-49), who are 7-3 against Los Angeles this year. The only other teams the Astros have gotten the better of this season? The Chicago White Sox (32-43), Seattle Mariners (34-45) and Colorado Rockies (39-41). Not the company you want to be in if you’re the Angels.
At this point, the Halos will have to hope that their inconsistent offense finds itself against the horrendous Astros pitching staff (4.74 ERA).
To start off, Los Angeles will face Bud Norris (5-7, 3.60 ERA) who has baffled Angel hitters thus far. In three starts against the Halos, Norris has given up just one run through 21 innings for a 0.43 ERA, a streak that Los Angeles looks to end tonight.
It is unclear exactly why the Astros have been so difficult for the Angels to handle, but all Mike Scioscia‘s squad knows is that the time for excuses is over, and the time to deliver is now. The season depends on it.
Tony Baker is a Los Angeles Angels blogger for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @tonloc_baker.