CJ Wilson and Top of Rotation Are Sinking Angels’ Playoff Chances

Remember the slow start Albert Pujols had the first month of the season, before hitting his grove? Well, the Angels other high-priced free agent signee, CJ Wilson, has had an opposite pattern this season, and he hit a season, and maybe career, low point tonight against Tampa Bay.

Wilson began the season going 9-4, and on June 26, had a 2.36 ERA. Since then, he has compiled a 5.70 ERA, and his season ERA has risen more than a run a game, to 3.62, while going 0-5. What is worse, though, is that the team has lost eight of his ten starts since June 26.

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Tonight, it looked like his personal five game losing streak would end, when the Angels scored eight runs in the first three innings. CJ, not to be outdone, gave up seven runs to Tampa Bay in their half of the fifth inning. The struggling bullpen could not stop the carnage, and Jason Isringhausen gave up a game-tying eight run in the sixth. Two more off of Kevin Jepsen in the eighth, and the Angels were 10-8 losers.

The team has lost 11 of their last 16, despite continued hot hitting from the top five spots in the lineup.

Trout, Hunter, Pujols, Morales and Trumbo went 12 for 23 with all eight RBI tonight, But how do you win when the three guys at the top of your rotation – all in the top echelon of starting pitchers in the league – are racked up as Dan Haren, Jered Weaver, and Wilson were over the last three games, giving up the unbelievable total of 21 runs in 11-1/3 innings against a team that posses a .236 team batting average, 4th worst in the majors, and that has scored the third lowest run total in the American League? How? Haren, Weaver, and Wilson? Not possible, is it?

With Texas and Oakland both winning today, the Angels now sit eight games out of first, and three behind Oakland. Three other teams are ahead of them in the race for the final wild card spot. The last six weeks of the season may not be so exciting for Angels’ fans, after all.

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