Another year, another elimination in the regular season for the Los Angeles Angels.
Year in and year out, they enter spring training with huge expectations and aspirations, only to disappoint themselves and their fans in September.
The franchise last won a World Series in 2002, a championship that preceded a strong run that netted them several American League West division titles: in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009.
After that, they haven’t been able to do much.
The Mike Trout era started with an unsuccessful late-season cameo in 2011, but by next year, he was baseball’s biggest star.
He still is, even to this day, an absolutely elite hitter and player.
The problem is that the Angels haven’t been good at putting together a strong, talented roster around him.
In other words, they haven’t put Trout in the best position to succeed, and sadly, fans are getting used to disappointment.
The only time Trout has advanced to the postseason in his entire career was in 2014, and the Angels exited quickly.
A Bitter 2021 Season
Trout got hurt in mid-May, Rendon had a season filled with injuries, and even though Ohtani was a best-case scenario (a star with both the bat and on the mound), he can’t do all the work by himself.
The Angels’ pitching has been subpar, once again, like seemingly every year.
Yes, Patrick Sandoval (3.62 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 87 innings) impressed, but the Angels need more.
Jose Suarez is finally turning into a useful starting pitcher, but it came too late, when the Angels’ postseason odds were already low.
Alex Cobb (3.59 ERA) proved to be a nice addition, too, but the Angels need one or two truly impactful starters to pair with Ohtani at the top of the rotation.
It was great to have Alex Cobb back.
Alex Cobb vs. the White Sox in his return from injury (first start since 7/23): 5 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 0 R, 5 Ks, 66 pitches.
— Optimistic Angels Fan (@nightdrive82) September 17, 2021
With better health, and one or two additional stars in the rotation, the 72-74 Angels could theoretically compete next year.
The 2021 season, however, was a waste.
A Rough Finish For The Fans
And Angels fans are going through yet another sad finish of a baseball year.
They have won two straight, but only four of the last 10.
Trout won’t return from his grade 2 calf strain, and it’s baffling that he missed more than four months with an injury that usually takes a month and-a-half, two months tops, to heal.
And now, Ohtani is dealing with arm soreness and won’t make his scheduled start on Friday.
You would think “arm soreness” at this point of the season and with nothing to play for would be enough for the Angels to shut Ohtani down, at least as a pitcher, but an official decision hasn’t come yet.
If there are any bright spots in the Angels’ season (they are hard to find, to be fair) it is the fact that Ohtani may end up winning the MVP award.
Hear you brother, Angels fans have been pissed all year. Bright spot Ohtani!
— Mike from the OC (@MikefromOC) August 13, 2021
Unfortunately, that will only make him more expensive when it’s time to negotiate.