There was no live chicken to sacrifice, and a bat bonfire made no sense, so in an attempt to break their two-week skid, the Angels they all used the same intro song – part of Nickelback’s “Photograph” – during Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox.
Who’s got the next, “Buttercup?”
The slump-buster attempt did not work. The Angels failed to score against Red Sox owner Nathan Eovaldi and four rescuers in a 1-0 defeat in front of a crowd of 26,587 at Angel Stadium, extending the losing streak franchise record to 14 games, with seven of those one-point losses.
“I don’t know whose idea it was, but I like it, I like Nickelback,” said Phil Nevin after his second game as interim manager in place of the fired Joe Maddon. “Throughout the game, I have a song in my head and I can’t stop singing. … I mean, it was good for a while.
Boston scored the game’s only run in the sixth, an inning that started with Angels Jimmy Herget’s right-hander knocking out Xander Bogaerts with a 75 mph turn and Trevor Story with a 92 mph fast ball.
But Alex Verdugo kept the inning alive with a walk and Bobby Dalbec cut a 1-and-1 ballast in the corner of the right field for a brace that scored Verdugo from the first for a 1-0 lead over the Red Sox.
Eovaldi gave up six hits in five goalless innings, eliminating five, and Tyler Danish (one inning), Jake Diekman (one inning), John Schreiber (1 1/3 inning) and Matt Strahm (last two outs) canceled the Angels the rest of the course to compensate for a solid start by Angels southpaw Reid Detmers, who pitched 4 innings and 1/3 goalless.
“It’s a broken record, I think,” Nevin said. “Good effort. It’s a great throwing performance. We hit some balls at people again. … I keep saying, the effort is good. These guys really want to win a game right now. I mean, we all do it. . We know what it will mean for us ”.
The Angels were 24-13 and drew for first place with Houston in the American League West on May 15. They lost 18 of their next 21 games, including their 14-game losing streak, dropping to 27-31 and 9 and a half games behind Astro.
According to Elias, the Angels are the third team in baseball history to be 10 or more games above .500 and have a losing streak of 10 or more games under .500, joining the 1978 Oakland Athletics and 1970 Chicago Cubs.
Not since 1995 has an Angels club gone from top spot to unlucky so suddenly. That team suffered nine-game double losses from August 25 onwards and blew an 11-game American League West lead against the Seattle Mariners, one of the worst slumps in baseball history.
Those angels have gone 73 consecutive innings without a lead during their first nine straight losses from August 25 to September 25. 3 and 75 consecutive innings without advantage during the second crush of nine games from 13 to 23 September.
This year’s team isn’t that weak – they actually had the lead in the seventh inning or later in six of 13 defeats – but there are many parallels to 1995.
There were rotations, bullpen and defensive failures, lack of clutch strikes and poor quality lines, or the offense simply disappeared, the Angels scored five points in the first five games of last week’s trip to New York and Philadelphia.
The Angels weren’t able to combine a good pitch with a robust attack on the same night. They play a relatively strong game and the bullpen jumps ahead in the end.
Key players like Taylor Ward and Anthony Rendon were injured. Others, most notably AL’s three-time most valuable player Mike Trout and reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani, struggled.
Trout, who missed the game on Wednesday night due to strain in his left groin and is listed as day-to-day, hit a record 26 at-bat without a hit until his first single inning on Monday night. Ohtani is hitting .191 (nine for 47) with two homers and four RBIs during the winning streak.
Several players have also acknowledged that they feel pressured to be the hero, the one who puts an end to the winning streak, and that only seems to make matters worse.
“What happens is you have the team you’re playing with and the second opponent is the pressure,” said Tim Salmon, the right fielder of that club from 1995 and now one of the squad’s broadcasters. “You feel so much pressure to end the winning streak that it’s almost like playing with one arm tied behind your back.”
Salmon, 53, spent his 14-year career with the Angels from 1992 to 2006 and won a World Series with the team in 2002. Although he stressed that he does not forgive violence, he said the players and teams of the his generation sometimes resorted to effort to trigger a long crisis.
“The mentality back then, when you were going through a losing streak, is what we need for a good fight,” Salmon said. “We are hitting someone [with a pitch], and we will fight. What he did was create this energy, this excitement.
“You’re all bloody, drink beers and talk about it after the game and have fun, lighten the mood and help you get out of your funk. In a way, it’s almost like they need something like this. I wouldn’t forgive the fights, but that’s how it was played back then. “
Nevin says he thinks the Angels just need a few friction hits and take a break or two. Juan Lagares and Brandon Marsh singles put two without outs in the second, but Jack Mayfield flew out to the left, Kurt Suzuki jumped out in the second, and Tyler Wade went down as shortstop.
They put in two with two outs in the third, but Lagares knocked out to end the innings.
Suzuki was hit by a field to open the bottom of the seventh, but pinch-hitter Max Stassi went down in a 6-4-3 double game with first baseman Christian Vazquez, a transformed receiver, making a superb stretch. and backhand scoop of Story’s Leaping Jump while keeping his foot on the bag.
“You feel like when you go out on the pitch every day, everyone is free, everyone is ready to go,” said Nevin. “You can talk about it as much as you want, but it will just take a big hit or a mistake here and there. We just haven’t come across this, and if we have one, we simply haven’t capitalized on it. “