Halos Effect: Week 1
April, 27, 2012
By Kenton Wong, ESPN Stats & Info
Kim Klement/US PresswireIt's not secret by now, Albert Pujols is really struggling at the plate so far this season.
Welcome to the first edition of Halo Effect, a weekly look at the Angels from a statistical and historical perspective.
So far this season, there’s no sugar coating it, things have been ugly.
The Angels are riding a four-game losing streak. It is their third losing streak of at least three games this season. Last season they had only seven losing streaks of three games or more.
WEAVER IN MIDSEASON FORM
Jered Weaver, one of the team’s few bright spots so far will be tasked with stopping the skid. In his start Saturday, Weaver threw his first complete game of the season. He has been among the league’s best at staying out of the stretch. Opponents are reaching base against Weaver at a .209 clip. That is fifth-lowest in baseball behind only Matt Cain (.178), Cliff Lee (.200), Kyle Lohse (.202) and Jordan Zimmermann (.202).
IT'S NOT HOW YOU START ...
A glaring problem for the Halos has been the pitching staff’s inability to hold onto leads. They have already blown six leads their offense has given them this season. The only team that has blown more leads so far is the Houston Astros with eight.
PUJOLS PRESSING EARLY?
After going 1 for 4 Thursday, Pujols is homerless in his 76 AB this season. That is the fourth-longest single-season streak in terms of at-bats in his career according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The slugger’s power outage isn’t the only concern. Here are some other areas where Pujols is struggling:
ESPN Stats & InformationAlbert Pujols' spray chart this season.
Pujols is hitting just .125 against non-fastballs and is chasing over half of offspeed pitches out of the strike zone. That lack of plate discipline has led Pujols to strike out twice as often against offspeed pitches as he did last year.
Oddly, Albert Pujols ranks among the worst hitters against left-handed pitching this season. Among the 120 hitters with at least 20 plate appearances against lefties, Pujols .160 BA ranks tied for 21st-worst and his .462 OPS ranks 17th-worst. Last season, Pujols hit .295 against lefties with a .946 OPS.
GETTING PULL HAPPY
A look at Pujols’ spray chart for this season, shows he has been pulling a lot of pitches – many of which have ended up being ground balls to shortstop and third base. He has gone the other way in just eight of his 82 plate appearances (9.8 percent). Last year he went the other way 16 percent of the time.