2022 Los Angeles Angels
2022 Los Angeles Angels / Franchise: Los Angeles Angels / BR Team Page
The 2022 Los Angeles Angels began the season with high hopes, anticipating the return of superstar outfielder Mike Trout, who had missed most of the 2021 season because of injury, to join the defending American League MVP, two-way player Shohei Ohtani. They had also made a special effort to rebuild a pitching staff that had let them down in previous seasons. Their hopes seemed justified when they began the season on a tear, going 27-17 through May 24th.
Their great start included a no-hitter by rookie starting pitcher Reid Detmers on May 10th, in a 12-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. And then it all suddenly cam crashing down. With a 7-2 loss to the Texas Rangers on May 25th, they went into a death spiral, being swept at home in four straight games by the Toronto Blue Jays, and then travelling to New York to be swept by the New York Yankees in a three-game series. They were also swept in Philadelphia, including a game on June 5th when they blew a 6-2 lead in the 8th and another lead, this one of 7-6, in the 9th, against the Philadelphia Phillies. A loss to the Boston Red Sox the next day made it 12 in a row, and on June 7th, it was manager Joe Maddon who paid the price, being fired and replaced on an interim basis by coach Phil Nevin. The Angels lost again to the Red Sox that day, tying the franchise record with 13 straight losses. During this spell, Trout went through the worst slump of his career, going 0 for 26. On June 8th, the Angels tried something radical to break their bad luck, having their hitters use nothing but Nickelback songs as their walk-up music; alas, the ploy did not work (in fact, it's likely that it hurt more than it helped, not to mention the cruelty inflicted on the poor fans present), as they lost that game as well to the Red Sox, 1-0, giving them a record 14 straight losses. It was Ohtani who ended the streak, winning the game of June 9th on the mound with 7 innings of one-run ball while also hitting a homer in a 5-2 win over Boston. Two days later, on June 11th, 1B Jared Walsh became the 9th Angel to hit for the cycle in an 11-6 win over the New York Mets, in a game in which Trout hit a pair if homers, his hitting slump finally over.
On June 26th, the Angels were involved in a big bench-clearing brawl in a game with the Seattle Mariners. There was some bad blood from the night before, when a Seattle reliever threw a pitch close to Mike Trout's head, after there had already been several batters hit in the series, and before the game, the umpires issued a warning to both benches not to attempt anything untoward. However, interim manager Nevin decided at the last minute to replace scheduled starter Andrew Suarez with reliever Andrew Wantz, making his first career start, and the purpose soon became clear as Wabtz threw a pitch behind Julio Rodríguez in the 1st inning, then hit Jesse Winker square in the hip with his first pitch of the 2nd inning. Winker objected, began arguing with the Angels' bench, and soon charged it, triggering a huge and violent brawl. When the dust settled, eight persons were ejected including Winker, Wantz and both managers. Suarez then took over for Wantz on the mound, making it even more clear that the events were no accident. MLB did not take kindly to this and issued 12 suspensions including ten games for Nevin, three for Wantz, and others for various other participants. That included 3B Anthony Rendon, lost for the season because of a wrist injury, who was an active participant and would need to serve his five games at the start of the following season. A couple of players were injured in the pile-up: Seattle C Luis Torrens who found himself at the bottom of the pile of players and suffered a number of bruises, and Angels P Archie Bradley who fell over the dugout railing and fractured his elbow, forcing him to miss two months of action.
Awards and Honors
- Jack Baer: "Angels resort to nothing but Nickelback walk-up songs amid 14-game losing streak", Yahoo! Sports, June 8, 2022. 
- Greg Beacham (Associated Press): "Angels aim for stars with Trout, Ohtani, Rendon all healthy", Yahoo! News, March 29, 2022. 
- Zach Crizer: "How the Angels’ promising start evaporated in 12 games", Yahoo! Sports, June 7, 2022. 
- Mike DiGiovanna (Los Angeles Times): "AL West preview: Angels hope improved pitching makes them a contender", Yahoo! News, April 6, 2022. 
- Steve Gardner: "Joe Maddon out as Los Angeles Angels manager as losing streak hits 12 games", USA Today, June 7, 2022. 
- Daniel Kramer and Rhett Bollinger: "12 receive suspensions for heated Mariners-Angels incident", mlb.com, June 27, 2022.