Originally written September 24, 2012 on Pro Sports Daily:
The Los Angeles Angels can't blame their offense anymore. The underperforming unit that led to the firing of long-time hitting coach Mickey Hatcher in May leads the majors in several offensive categories, including runs per game, since the start of June. They can't blame their rotation. A slump that claimed everyone but Jered Weaver for a seven-week stretch from late June into mid-August has turned around. In 31 games through Sunday, that same rotation has a 2.89 ERA, holding opponents to two runs or fewer 21 times. However, the bullpen has gone nearly wire-to-wire as a trouble spot for the Angels. Twenty-two blown saves rank first in the American League, and 20 losses charged to relievers have done enough damage to leave the Angels on the outside looking in at the playoff race with nine games left in their season. "I want to make this clear -- at times, our bullpen has functioned at a very high level," manager Mike Scioscia said. "But it hasn't been...
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