An ugly first inning that featured two
The Angels fell to 16-17 and three games behind first-place Oakland in the
The glass-half-empty view: The Angels are 2-8 in one-run games, six of their losses coming in the opponents' last at-bat, and they led at some point in 12 of 17 losses, the highest percentage of losses with blown leads in the majors.
Ernesto Frieri was so shaky in his first 10 games, yielding a 9.35 earned-run average and five home runs, that he lost his closer job April 25.
The bullpen has converted six of 10 save opportunities and allowed 23 of 52 inherited runners (44%) to score. If the relievers were more reliable, the Angels could easily be in first place.
The glass-half-full view: The Angels lost cleanup batter
Though No. 3 starter
The Angels may be treading water, but at least they're not drowning in a 91/2-game deficit like they were through 33 games last season, when they were 11-22 and had gaping holes in the rotation and bullpen.
"I think we're playing well under the circumstances," ace
"I know it's difficult from the fans' perspective when you're playing .500 ball, but we've had a decent start," he said. "We don't have to dig ourselves out of a big hole. We're right there."
A .500 record suggests mediocrity, but Iannetta thinks it's OK to spin your wheels for a while as long as you mix in an occasional burst of speed.
"I think the best teams are the ones that play .500 the whole season and then get hot," Iannetta said. "It doesn't necessarily have to be all at once. If you play .500 and win five games in a row, all of a sudden you're five games up.
"You play .500 for another month and win another five straight, you're 10 games over. By the end of season you could be 20 games over, but the majority of the time you're playing .500 ball. That's the sign of a good team to me."
Despite the injuries, the Angels ranked second in the major leagues in runs per game (5.2), third in runs (166) and fourth in home runs (40) before Wednesday.
"We're going out there and scrapping," Weaver said. "When we get those guys back who are on the shelf right now, it's going to make it that much better."
Calhoun and Hamilton traveled to Arizona on Wednesday night to resume their rehabilitations. Calhoun hopes to return by late next week. Hamilton, who will begin hitting off a tee Friday, could be back by May 26. Freese should return May 18.
And key late-inning reliever