For a team that boasts Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels sure lose quite a lot of games: 61 to date, with only 44 wins.
But Thursday night’s game needed to be especially galling.
Hosting the even worse Oakland Athletics, the Angels got two homers from Ohtani, and one each from Kurt Suzuki, Taylor Ward, Jo Adell, Jared Walsh and Mickey Moniak. Seven in all, tying the club record set in 2003.
They usually still lost.
How could this have happened? How could versions of this occur so often that a tweet concerning the team’s futility despite its generational stars has change into the franchise’s calling card?
Well, it sure didn’t help that each one seven blasts on Thursday were solo shots — one more first for a team that has change into used to its singularity. Even then, seven runs must be enough to win most ballgames. However the Angels, in fact, gave up eight, most of them in a six-run third inning. Janson Junk, the team’s starter, pitched two and a 3rd innings and was credited with having allowed six earned runs.
Eighty-five teams have hit seven homers in a game, and their record is 79-6. Though the games stretch back to a Philadelphia A’s win in 1921, the losses have all are available in modern times, starting in 1995. Indeed, the Minnesota Twins lost a seven-homer game, 17-14, to the Detroit Tigers just last yr, and even within the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the Toronto Blue Jays managed to drop a game despite hitting seven long balls.
All 31 times a team had eight or more homers, thankfully, it won the sport, although one in all them, the 2006 Braves, needed 11 innings to beat the Cubs, 13-12, at Wrigley Field. The record for many home runs by a team in a game remains to be held by the 1987 Blue Jays, who smacked 10 against the Baltimore Orioles sooner or later that season, with Ernie Whitt hitting three. The rating then was more like what one would expect: 18-3.
To many traditionalists who don’t like the best way baseball has been changing, Thursday night’s game may need been the final word example: loads of home runs, but not nearly enough baserunners. The Angels had only two other hits in the sport, a single and a double, drew just two walks and struck out nine times.
“I assume they all the time say solo home runs don’t beat you, but you’re feeling like in case you hit seven, you may,” Phil Nevin, the interim manager of the Angels, told reporters after the sport. “It didn’t work out for us.”
The team’s batting average for the sport, .257, was easily the bottom in a seven-homer-plus game. The standard average in such games is around .400.
The Angels are only above average in homers this season, but rank fifth from last in runs scored. While Trout (currently on the injured list), Ohtani and Ward have been hitting, the remaining of the team is putting up uninspiring numbers.
Of the 13 batters with 100 plate appearances, eight are hitting under .250, and a few quite a bit under. Not to select on Walsh, because there are numerous candidates, but a primary baseman hitting .231 with 20 walks at this point within the season won’t win you too many games, his home run on Thursday notwithstanding.
The Angels are below average at every nonpitching position by Baseball Reference’s version of WAR, except, unsurprisingly, center field (generally Trout) and designated hitter (normally Ohtani).
And as that viral tweet implied, Ohtani’s having an enormous game hardly guarantees the Angels a win. Thursday’s game was his eleventh two-homer performance within the majors. The Angels are only 6-5 in those games.
The possibility to see Ohtani and Trout means there are few teams that may draw neutral fans’ eyeballs greater than the Angels. But those viewers are getting used to seeing two great players, an honest variety of home runs, but not quite a lot of victories.