Angels drop series against Cleveland, struggle with 6-19 record at home

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Angels dropped their third straight game against the AL Central leaders on Sunday, leaving their record at home 6-19.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Angels record on the road sits at 14-14, but their time at home tells a much different — and puzzling — story. After being swept by the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday, the Angels record at home is now 6-19.

When asked what he thinks is behind the drastic difference in these records, manager Ron Washington said he didn’t have any theories, but when it comes to winning, it all goes back to getting on base. 

“I don’t have any theories,” said Washington. “The only theory I have is that a base hit would work in some of those situations. A base hit in some of those situations will take care of everything.” 

Heading into an off day on Memorial Day, the Angels dropped the series against the American League Central leaders, 5-4.  

Here are three takeaways from Sunday’s game: 

In his start against the Guardians, Reid Detmers tossed five innings, allowing three runs on four hits with eight strikeouts and four walks. 

Two of the three runs penned into Detmers’ final line occurred in the third inning. After hitting Andrés Giménez with a 95 mph fastball, Detmers walked José Ramírez and David Fry to load the bases, setting up right fielder Johnathan Rodriguez to score two runs with his first double of the season, a ground ball hit into left field. 

Despite leaving the game with three runs on the Guardians’ board, Detmers showed significant improvement in comparison to his previous outings, indicating that he’s inching his way closer to the starter he was at the beginning of the season. 

In his first three appearances this year, Detmers recorded his first and only three wins of the season, but he’s struggled to repeat those performances in recent months. His last win occurred on April 12 against the Boston Red Sox when he tossed 6.1 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. 

Starting April 22 against the Baltimore Orioles, he lost a career-high four consecutive decisions. Since then, Detmers has thrown 36.2 innings over seven starts, leaving him with a 10.53 ERA and 35 earned runs. 

Throughout May, Detmers has continued to struggle with his command, giving up six or more earned runs in three of his last five starts.

Today marked a shift in his performance as he implemented a couple changes that resulted in better results. 

“There was a lot more positive this week than the last several weeks. My command has to be better. Other than that, I felt like I had good stuff,” said Detmers, who has been making adjustments to his wind up. 

“Obviously, it felt a little different because I’ve been doing my old wind up for so long that it feels natural, but I like it. It’s something to mess around with and keep improving with, but for the most part, if felt pretty good,” he said. 

Detmers has also put more strength behind his slider, elevating his velocity from the mid 80s to the upper 80s.

Taking a backseat to catcher Logan O’Hoppe, Matt Thaiss has struggled at the plate this season, going 2-for-21 in May, but today, he answered the Guardians’ first two runs with his first home run of the year — a 446-feet rocket knocked into right field. 

The ball was hit off Guardians starter Ben Lively, who has gone 4-2 this year with a 2.80 ERA. 

Several of the Guardians’s runs on Sunday were the result of free bases as the Angels pitching crew gave up seven walks and hit two batters, which helped the Guardians secure themselves a 5-2 lead in six innings. 

Despite a late comeback in the eighth inning where the Angels scored two additional runs, they were unable to recover the runs that resulted from a total of nine free bases. 

“It obviously hurts. You don’t want to walk guys and usually walks score, so it’s not what we’re trying to do,” said Detmers. 

Despite close losses on Saturday, 4-3, and Sunday, 5-4, Washington emphasized the importance of resiliency, staying in the game and putting themselves in a position to win. 

“We kept fighting and we even put ourselves in a position to get the closer,” said Washington. “Even last night, we put ourselves in a position where a big blow could have made the difference.”

“We just got to keep working and keep getting better. I feel good about the way we played against Cleveland,” continued Washington. “I felt that yesterday, we had a chance to win, and today, we had a chance to win. We just have to find ways to do it.”