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Are The Angels Clutch? Not Quite, At Least So Far This Year

If you have watched the Angels in June, you may have noticed the team has been struggling. The club is 3-8 in June, and has scored just 28 runs in 11 games this month, an average of 2.55 runs per contest. Jeff Sullivan at Baseball Nation has noticed too, and the reason is that the 2011 Angels have been uncharacteristically un-clutch.

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For the nine-year period from 2002 to 2010, the Angels overall ranked first in both batting and pitching in a rating on Fangraphs simply called Clutch, which measures performance in high-leverage situations. However, this year the Angels are number 5 in pitching and number 28 in offense. Per Sullivan:

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This is not to suggest that the Angels don't or didn't possess some mysterious clutch ability. Two-and-a-half months in 2011 don't negate all the evidence from previous years. But for people who feel like this year's Angels haven't looked like the usual Angels - there's a reason for that. They haven't been themselves in important situations at the plate, and it's cost them games.

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The Angels, who were in first place in the American League West as late as May 27, have dropped to four and half games out with their performance of late. They are in the very early stages of their longest road trip of the season, a 12-game sojourn that takes the Halos to Seattle, New York, Florida, and Los Angeles. If there was ever a time for the Angels to recapture some of their performance in the clutch, this would be it.

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For more news and information about the Angels, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Halos Heaven.