Not trying to make a precise comparison between the Blue Crew and the Halos; the latter are still far ahead of the latter in many ways. But it’s been a gloomy June for both of them, beset by injuries and a “now-you-see-it-now-you don’t” offense.
As everyone knows, the Angels lost 12 in a row, fired manager Joe Maddon, and then lost three of five. Sunday’s defeat dropped them into third place in the American League West and just one game ahead of the fourth place Seattle Mariners.
The boys from Chavez Ravine are doing better, but June is proving to be a tough month for them, too. They’ve lost nine times in their last 13 games, including a three-game sweep in San Francisco. Their lead over the San Diego Padres in the National League West is a paper-thin half game.
Dodger manager Dave Roberts tried to explain it all. “People get caught up in their own individual paths,” he said. “But the whole focusing on just winning the game, and whatever it takes to win that day, we got to get back to that mindset.”
Better situational hitting would help, too. The Dodgers went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position on Sunday. Over the three-game series, the team was two for 24. That – in previous seasons – has been the Angels’ bit.
The loss of Walker Buehler for six to eight weeks with a ligament strain in his right elbow doesn’t help.
What might help either of the two teams is a chance to prosper at the others’ expense. They’ll clash in a two-game series in LA Tuesday and Wednesday. We can determine, perhaps, which team might be ready to end its slump.
No dog in this hunt, but …
The series is tied two games each and the fifth game is tonight with the Boston Celtics visiting the Golden State Warriors. As Californians we might have a little bias for the Warriors, and certainly have to admire Friday’s Game Four performance as Stephen Curry scored 43 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Game Five is on Thursday in Boston and Game Six will be back in the Bay Area.
The Final Out: Get your head in the game
Former Angel manager Joe Maddon reportedly got a “Mohawk” haircut in a last ditch effort to put them life into his team. “I’m doing really well,” he said, after he was canned. “I mean, that sincerely. Don’t feel sorry for me.” Except, maybe, about the haircut.
“Sports Monday” is written by Pete Zarustica.