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1979 Angels Week 16: Baltimore chopped

First-place Angels got throttled by first-place Baltimore

California Angels v Baltimore Orioles

In a week that saw the first-place 1979 Angels recognized with six All-Stars in Seattle, the Halos fell flat in their first weekend after the break, dropping four of five games, including yet another series loss to the Orioles in Baltimore.

The Orioles are the other American League first place team. At 63-32 they own the best record in baseball, and 8½ games better than the Angels.

Now that their regular season series is complete, the Angels and Orioles can’t meet again until the American League Championship Series. The Halos will need to turn things around after dropping nine of 12 games to the Orioles this season, including 1-5 in Baltimore.

The good

In the series finale in Baltimore on Saturday, Rod Carew was back in the lineup at first base, his first game after missing over seven weeks with a sprained right thumb. Carew walked twice in that game, then got two hits and another walk in Sunday’s series opener at Fenway Park.

The Angels lost both games, but adding a .352-hitting, seven-time batting champion back to the lineup bodes well going forward.

Don Aase pitched scoreless ball into the eighth inning in the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader in Baltimore, only to have it blown by the bullpen.

Rookie right-hander Steve Eddy made just his second major league start on Sunday in Boston, and allowed only two runs (one earned) in seven innings. The Angels even rallied for four runs in the top of the eighth inning for a 5-2 lead and possible first major league win. But Dwight Evans had other ideas with a three-run home run off Dave LaRoche in the ninth inning to tie it, followed by Bob Watson singling home Fred Lynn in the 10th inning against Mark Clear for a Red Sox win.

Don Baylor doubled home a run, singled and scored twice in four at-bats during Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Seattle.

Brian Downing singled in the eighth inning and had designs on scoring the go-ahead run, but Pirates outfielder Dave Parker had other ideas:

The bad

Baylor was just 1-for-17 (.059) in four games in Baltimore, and hit just .196 (9-for-46) against his former team this season. He did homer and drive in two in Sunday’s series opener against the Red Sox.

But Baylor wasn’t alone in struggling this season against the Orioles:

  • Carney Lansford was 4-for-36 (.111) against Baltimore, with three of those hits this weekend
  • Joe Rudi was 6-for-38 (.158)
  • Carew was 4-for-21 (.190) in six games

The Angels have the highest-scoring offense in baseball this season, averaging 5.46 runs per game. But they managed just 2.75 runs per game against the Orioles, roughly half the production.

Nolan Ryan allowed three runs in two innings in his first All-Star start Tuesday, then got bombed four six runs (four earned) in just four innings in Saturday’s series finale in Baltimore.

Mark Clear made his All-Star debut on Tuesday, allowing a run in two innings. He got another blown save allowing three runs in the ninth inning in Baltimore Thursday, then took the loss Sunday in Boston, allowing the walk-off run. Clear in his two Angels games this week allowed four runs on five hits and two walks while recording four outs.

Weekly summary

1-4 record
12 runs scored (2.40 per game)
24 runs allowed (4.80 per game)
.220 pythagorean record

Year-to-date summary

56-42 record
535 runs scored (5.46 per game)
442 runs allowed (4.51 per game)
.586 pythagorean record (57-41)

AL West standing: 1st place, two games up on both Minnesota and Texas

Game results

Up next

The Angels continue their road trip with one more game in Boston Monday followed by a series in New York, before coming back home to host the Twins in Anaheim.