Angels hold team meeting after loss, remain upbeat

Angels hold team meeting after loss, remain upbeat

ANAHEIM -- It's hard times for the Angels and manager Mike Scioscia. The Halos lost, 10-4, to the Astros on Wednesday, wrapping up a 1-6 homestand and continuing a stretch of nine losses in the past 10 games. They finished the month of June, the franchise's worst since 1980, at 8-19 and with more questions raised about the club's future than answers.

Yet as Scioscia sat after the game talking in a team-only meeting after another loss, he said he found the players "upbeat." There are still pieces for a successful club there, the manager said, even after the losses of Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney and C.J. Wilson among countless others have led the team to use 43 different players.

"I don't think these guys are taking losing in stride, and that's a positive, but it has to be tempered with filtering out some of the frustration that could easily creep into a clubhouse or a dugout," Scioscia said. "Those guys seem like they're playing free and giving it everything they have, but the results aren't there."

Wednesday unfolded much like many others have for the club during this stretch -- going down early, not generating offense in critical situations and relying on an exhausted bullpen to keep things close.

Right-hander Jered Weaver worked in and out of trouble, with the ever-declining velocity on his fastball requiring him to be as precise as ever. He wasn't quite precise enough, allowing six runs in 5 1/3 innings. The offense struggled to capitalize, stranding 12 runners on base (six of which were in scoring position). The bullpen, now having worked 37 1/3 innings over this 10-game stretch, gave up four runs, including three off closer Huston Street in the ninth inning.

"It's always frustrating when you don't perform up to your capabilities, but quitting or feeling sorry for yourself, when you see guys doing that, it will not turn," Street said. "I'm not feeling sorry for myself. We've got to find a way to get better results."

Street agreed with Scioscia after the meeting, which he said simply reemphasized that the Angels have hope entering July.

"I have played on teams where it's pretty clear that by the fourth or fifth inning, guys just phone it in," Street said. "No one is doing that here. Not one person. That's what I see, that's what I believe."

The Angels, who sit in last place in their division, are 19 games behind first-place Texas in the American League West. The Halos start a 10-game road trip Friday, going through Boston, Tampa Bay and Baltimore before hitting the All-Star break. The challenge seems daunting, especially as the team tries to stagger back and avoid being completely knocked from the playoff picture.

Scioscia doesn't see it that way.

"We are going to play better," he said. "We all believe it. The chemistry in that clubhouse is terrific. We know we've seen some guys performing at their absolute worst for this first half, and we know they're better than that. That's our goal, to get these guys playing better."

Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.