It has been a rough past weeks on the mound for C.J. Wilson, which is something the Los Angeles Angels need the veteran left-hander to work through if they want to make a legitimate run to the playoffs in the second half of the season.
Over the past month and half, Wilson has been a shadow of himself and anything but reliable for the Halos. After a solid first two months of the season, where he posted a sub-3.30 ERA in each month, the 33-year-old has struggled mightily over his last several starts. This includes an atrocious month of June that had him post a 2-2 record with a 5.97 ERA, giving up four or more runs on four occasions, and walking 17 batters while allowing 34 hits in 31.2 innings over the six starts made in the month.
His pitching problems have seemingly followed him into July as he has a 9.00 ERA through both of his starts. He failed to go at least five innings in each game. In his most recent outing against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, everything seemed to come to head as he went just 3.2 innings allowing six runs with three of them earned on eight hits, and three walks. This is nowhere near what was expected from the veteran lefty as it has been thought he would be a source of reliability along with Jered Weaver on a pitching staff that features three first-time full-time starters in Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, and Hector Santiago.
In many aspects, Wilson has been the Angels least dependable starter outside of Santiago. Despite his struggles, Los Angeles has had success in the first half of the season as they currently hold the league’s second-best record at 53-37 behind the Oakland Athletics. In his 19 starts in 2014, the team has kept afloat with a 10-9 record but that will need to change in the second half of the season with the intensity of each game ramping up with postseason implications on the line.
That in mind, the All-Star break could be exactly what the nine-year veteran needs to clear his mind and get himself back on track. A little time away from the game could do him wonders and allow him to refocus on pitching with confidence and possibly return to being the pitcher he was in the first two months of the season. If he can be the reliable pitcher he has been over the first two seasons with the Angels, his level of play will play an important part in helping the Halos reach the postseason and possibly claim their first AL West crown since 2009.