Angels bullpen and that ticking sound

August, 30, 2011
8/30/11
8:20
AM PT
A punchless offense has been the anchor on this Angels' season, but it might be the bullpen that eventually keeps this team home in October.

We got a little sneak preview of that Monday night when the Angels lost a game in Seattle, 5-3, because reliever Hisanori Takahashi gave up two eighth-inning runs on a towering Mike Carp home run. That seemed like a bad idea at the time.

The Angels' bullpen issues were evident back in the first series in Kansas City.

Middle relief is the most fluid position in baseball. Most teams have a carousel of relievers shuttling between Triple-A and the majors until they find the right combinations. In Mike Scioscia's clubhouse, that still hasn't happened and they're running out of time.

The Angels lead the league with 21 blown saves and have lost 17 games they either led or were tied after seven innings.

Even if things go well in the next four weeks and those final three games in Anaheim against the Rangers are winner-take-all, you know Scioscia will be sweating out a call to the bullpen every time he has to make one.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Mike Trout
BA HR RBI R
.317 5 10 11
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Trout 5
RBIR. Ibanez 12
RK. Calhoun 12
OPSM. Trout 1.019
WC. Wilson 2
ERAT. Skaggs 2.40
SOC. Wilson 24