Progress doesn’t always have an immediate impact, and sometimes can be greatly interrupted by a storm.
That storm for the Angels on Tuesday night was the Houston Astros, namely, Carlos Correa.
All the scrappiness in the world wasn’t going to be enough to overcome the seven earned runs given up by Angels starter C.J. Wilson in the team’s 13-3 loss to Houston.
On Monday night, the team showed progress. Albeit not the preferred way to a win, the team showed if pushed it could scrap out a run to get a win.
On Tuesday, the offense wasn’t given much of a chance.
Wilson gave up seven earned in 3.1 innings. It was his shortest outing of the season and the most runs he’s allowed since August of 2012.
Correa was 3-for-6 with four RBI on the night and by the end of the fourth inning he was flirting with a cycle. He had a single, a three-run home run, and a double. He scored a run after each of his first three plate appearances on the night.
"(He’s), obviously a really good player," Wilson acknowledged.
Scioscia went as far as to say the Astros phenom reminded him of Mike Trout in some ways.
Correa’s exploits on Tuesday night helped the Angels land right back in a familiar spot –.500. It’s the 17th time this season the Angels have been even on the year and the seventh time this month. Yet, the frustration of not being able to consistently trend upward has yet to set in.
"If everything is clicking on your team and everything is working the way it’s supposed to work and you’re at .500 you might be a little frustrated but we’re, potentially, a better team than our record indicates right now," Scioscia said. "We’ve made a little bit of progress in some areas that we need to. That engine just hasn’t really fired the way it can. We’re going to keep plugging away."
On a smaller scale that includes being able to win the rubber match against Houston on Wednesday.
"They’re leading our division so if we can get out of here winning the series that’s big for us," Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun said of the Astros.
On a much larger scale, it includes being able to put a string of wins together to create some separation from the .500 mark. Scioscia says it’s too early to be concerned about standings and the team’s record but admits he hopes this team has a run in it similar to the 2014 version of the Angels that went on to win the American League West.
"Hopefully we evolve into that team much like last year as we made the turn into the latter third of the season we were playing at a high level and almost got to 100 wins," Scioscia said. "I don’t know where we’re going to end up but I do know we’re a better team and our focus is going to be on improvement from day-to-day."