July 1, 2022

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Angels manager Joe Maddon thinks his team and Astros are ‘very close’

2 min read

The Angels opened their season by losing three out of four to an Astros team that had last year’s American League batting champion Yuli Gurriel for just one game and rested stars Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Michael Brantley a game each. The Angels were outscored by 10 runs in those four games.

Still, Joe Madden thinks the two teams he saw on the field on the opening weekend of the season are “very close.”

“By no means am I discouraged,” the Angels manager told reporters after Sunday’s 4-1 loss in Anaheim. “We played really well against that particular team right now, and we actually pitched very well against that team right now outside of one game and that was the latter part of our bullpen. Otherwise, that game was very close too, so don’t be deceived. We’re very close to Houston.

“I liked the way we played a lot. I liked our energy a lot. There’s certain things we’ve got to get better at, I agree, but we’re very close to beating that team.”


Is that Maddon’s head or his heart talking?

The Angels should be better. After all they do have two perennial MVP candidates on their roster with Shohei Ohtani winning the award last season and Mike Trout winning it three of the past eight years.

Instead,  the Angels haven’t had a winning record since 2015, haven’t made the postseason since 2014 and haven’t won an actual playoff game since 2009.

Or, put another way, the Astros have made the postseason six times during the Angels’ seven-year playoff absence and have made it to three World Series, winning one, in that same span.

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It was a great opening weekend for the Astros, who figure only to have to contend with the Angels and Mariners in the American League West with the Athletics trading away everyone who’s not bolted down and the Rangers still in rebuilding mode. Having dispatched of the Angels, the Astros get their first look at the Mariners this weekend in Seattle.



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