ANAHEIM -- The underachieving season of the Angels' starting rotation appears to be a group effort. Together -- minus the one constant in Cy Young-hopeful Jered Weaver -- Angels starters struggled mightily beginning in early July, posting a 5.71 ERA over a 42-game stretch that was the second-highest in the American League. But over the past nine games -- a stretch in which the Angels have won seven games -- starters have posted a 3.99 mark that may not be spectacular but is certainly an improvement.
In that span, Ervin Santana has put together a good run and Zack Greinke has had back-to-back solid outings, while C.J. Wilson and Dan Haren have each turned in starts that could very much be deemed steps forward.
While there's certainly something to starters feeding off each other when they're going well, and perhaps putting too much pressure on themselves when they're going wrong, Angels manager Mike Scioscia noted that each starter has struggled for different reasons. Wilson: Overanalyzing. Santana: Commanding counts. Haren: Seemingly a drop in velocity and health. Greinke: Perhaps adjusting to a new environment. "It's some individual things that I think are tied to each pitcher," said Scioscia, whose staff ranks 12th in the AL with a 4.10 ERA on the year. "There's no doubt four guys in our rotation, which we've obviously counted on, struggled at the same time. But what the rhyme or reason was, I don't think it's just one blanket analogy for everybody."