Do you remember when the Angels had every Thursday off for the first six weeks of the season? Sooner or later, the schedule was not going to be as loving. That time has come. Since the beginning of July, excluding the All-Star break, the Angels have had one off day ... but they get two this week.
Monday's off day comes before a two-game set with the Phillies at Angel Stadium. Thursday will be a travel day for the club ahead of their weekend set with the Rangers that will kick off a 10-game road trip to Texas and Boston.
The week behind
The post All-Star break blues continued for the Angels as the club lost three of four in the Freeway Series and two of three to the Red Sox. At one point in the week, the Angels lost four in a row and only were able to break the skid after Albert Pujols blasted a walk-off home run to get past the Red Sox 5-4 in the 19th inning Saturday. The club is 11-12 since the break.
Record and standings
The Angels entered last week one game behind first-place Oakland. This week, however, the Angels are four games back in the American League West as the A's have won five of their last seven entering Monday.
Tyler Skaggs needs Tommy John surgery, out for season.
Jason Grilli bounced back beautifully after his rough outing in Tampa during the Angels last road trip. The Angels’ reliever gave up three earned in just two-thirds of an inning on Aug. 3. In his last four outings, he's thrown 3.2 innings and gave up just two hits. He's lowered his ERA from 3.07 to 2.45 in the process.
In losing five of their last seven games, the Angels hit just .191 as a team. Three times, the team reached double digits in strikeouts. In their last seven games, the Angels struck out 58 times and walked just 17 times. During that span, they've averaged just 2.6 runs per game.
Player to watch
Since being recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake in June, Hector Santiago has been one of the Angels’ best arms. He's 3-1 during that span, while appearing in 12 games, nine of which were starts. The Angels are 8-4 in those games he's appeared in and his ERA is 2.72. Opponents are hitting .201 off of him during that span. With Sunday's news that Tyler Skaggs will undergo Tommy John surgery, it's even more important for Santiago to retain his consistency every fifth day.
Stat to watch
Gallery: Pujols, Angels outlast Red Sox in 19 innings
After the Rangers had their way with the Angels over the last couple of seasons, the Halos have done like the rest of baseball in 2014 and beat up on the Rangers. The Angels have won eight of 10 meetings this season, including last month's four-game sweep in Arlington.
"When I was 23, we were coming off of our first World Series in 1981. ... I had just probably stepped in to get sized for my World Series ring." -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia on what he was doing at the age of 23. Angels slugger Mike Trout turned 23 last week.