This is no time to panic. But it might be getting close.
The Angels came out of the All-Star break believing they had one of the best bullpens in the American League -- and they did. So what's happening now?
Their strength has become a glaring weakness. The relievers can't maintain leads, can't keep opposing hitters off base, can't close out games.
They struggled again Monday night in Detroit, where a 5-2 lead suddenly dissolved into an 8-6 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park.
The Angels are now 1-3 on their seven-game trip, and relief pitchers -- Scott Downs on Friday night in New York and LaTroy Hawkins on Monday -- have two of the losses. In the four games, relievers have worked seven innings and allowed 11 runs, all earned, and 11 walks.
This is the same bullpen that went into the break with a collective 3.16 ERA. Ernesto Frieri hadn't given up a run in 26 appearances; Downs' ERA was 0.30. Hawkins and Jason Isringhausen were superb as set-up men. Hisanori Takahashi was rel...