Phillies defeat Angels 6-4 in series opener

Lucas Giolito gave up three home runs and the Angels lineup couldn't do enough to pull out the victory.

After losing the final game in the weekend series vs. the Mets, the Angels couldn’t get back on track Monday in Philadelphia. Despite the lineup producing 11 hits, they yielded just 4 runs as the Angels went 4-13 with runners in scoring position. Lucas Giolito continued to give up the long-ball, giving up two home runs to Trea Turner and one home run to Bryce Harper on Monday. Though both Luis Rengifo and Mickey Moniak had three hits a piece, it wasn’t enough to spark the rest of the lineup to produce runs. The Angels are now 63-69 and six games under .500 entering Tuesday’s matchup vs. the Phillies.

Here are my three takeaways from the game:

Lucas Giolito has another disappointing start

Lucas Giolito just can’t stop giving up home runs. He’s already eclipsed his career high in home runs given up of 27 with 30 surrendered already this season with a few more starts to go. On Monday, Giolito gave up two home runs to Trea Turner and one home run to Bryce Harper, as that accounted for 4 of the Phillies 6 runs right there. The Angels gave up a lot to get Lucas Giolito from the White Sox and it simply hasn’t worked out.

However, if people say they didn’t see this coming, then they would have failed to look at Giolito’s abysmal 4.62 FIP on the Sox this season as his 3.79 ERA before being traded was a bit misleading. For whatever reason, Giolito had allowed just 20 home runs in over 120 innings pitched for the Sox this season, but has already allowed 10 home runs in just over 32 innings pitched for the Angels. With Giolito being an impending free agent and boasting just a 4.45 ERA with 165 strikeouts in 153.2 innings pitched, it is going to be difficult for Giolito to demand a lot of money this offseason.

Luis Rengifo strikes again!

Luis Rengifo is the hottest hitter on the Angels right now, even more so than Shohei Ohtani. Rengifo already produced back-to-back two hit games against the Mets before entering Monday’s contest, but on Monday he took it up a notch with three singles and an RBI. Rengifo struggled to start the year and many Angels fans were adamant about him being designated for assignment (DFA), but just like last season, Rengifo has produced a scorching second half campaign.

In the span of two months Rengifo raised his average almost 50 points from around .200 all the way up to .252. In the month of July Rengifo hit .315 with 6 home runs and 23 hits overall, and in the month of August he’s been arguably better with a .311 average, 2 home runs, and 28 hits (and counting) so far. Rengifo’s season OBP of .337 is also roughly 40 points higher than his .294 OBP of last season as he’s become a more mature hitter at the plate. Over the last six games alone Rengifo has produced 12 hits and he will look to bring that momentum into Tuesday’s game.

Mickey Moniak on a new hot streak

After a 9-64 stretch over the second half of July and into the middle part of August, Mickey Moniak’s stellar OBP of 1.000 dropped all the way down to .800 in the span of a month. When Moniak was boasting that OPS hovering around 1.000, he had produced a 17-game hit streak and was one of the biggest reasons why the Angels were still in the thick of the playoff race. Moniak seems to be back on track as of late as he notched another 3-hit performance against his former team on Monday. Moniak fell just a home run shy of the cycle as he hit a single, double, and triple going 3-4 with an RBI as well.

Monday’s performance was Moniak’s second 3-hit day over his last six games and he’s raised his average back up to .284 and his OPS up to .817 (still way down from his earlier mark of 1.000). In fact, Moniak has produced 9 hits over his last six games overall and when he’s hot, the Angels have an astronomically higher chance of winning, indicative of their win streaks in June and July. Moniak will look to build off of his 3-hit performance on Tuesday.

The Angels will play the second game of this three-games series against the Phillies on Tuesday with Tyler Anderson set to take the mound against former Angel Michael Lorenzen. First pitch is scheduled for 3:40 PM PST.