Getty Images

The Angels looked like they were finally going to win a game on Monday night. They had scratched and clawed for three runs in the sixth and seventh innings after being stymied by Logan Webb's sinker for five innings. They led the Giants 3-2 heading to the top of the ninth with All-Star closer Carlos Estévez coming on for the save. 

The Giants flipped everything on this hit from Patrick Bailey

That opened the proverbial floodgates. The Giants would score six runs that inning and the game ended up looking like a blowout. 

Estévez started the season 23 for 23 in save chances, but he's now blown two straight saves. 

The Angels have lost seven straight games, a losing streak that just about coincides with their decision to not trade Shohei Ohtani and instead be buyers in front of last Tuesday's trade deadline. They now sit eight games out of the third and final AL wild-card spot. That isn't really contention. To illustrate that point, the Mets and Pirates are both 7 1/2 games out on the NL side and we don't consider either of those teams contenders. They were both sellers (the Mets being the biggest seller there was). 

Ohtani continues to do all he can to prop up this sorry mess of a team. He was 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored on Monday. He's now hitting .308/.409/.673 while the Angels as a team (including his stats) hit .254/.329/.443. He leads the majors in triples, homers, slugging, OPS, OPS+, total bases and WAR. 

Also on Monday, Ohtani stole his 15th base of the season. This is kind of an arbitrary benchmark, but he's the first player in MLB history to reach 40 homers and 15 steals in his team's first 115 games, according to ESPN. The next fastest player (120 games) was Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998. 

There's simply nothing more, within reason, Ohtani can do to help the team win. The way this is shaping up, many will view the Angels' decision to hold Ohtani instead of trading him for a prospect package as an all-time blunder. When they made the decision, though, they were only three games out of a playoff spot. In my mind, there's no way to justify selling the best player in baseball while only three games out of playoff position in the standings. 

Instead, the Angels tried to supplement Ohtani as best they could. The three main players they acquired at the trade deadline haven't done so to this point. 

  • Lucas Giolito is 0-2 with a 12.00 ERA in his two starts. 
  • C.J. Cron is hitting .207/.281/.207 without an extra-base hit in his eight games. 
  • Randal Grichuk is hitting .233 with 11 strikeouts in 30 at-bats, though he does have two homers. Of course, go back up to the highlight of the Angels losing the lead Monday night. That's Grichuk in left field playing a single into a game-changing double. Plus, watch Wilmer Flores on second. He was hanging, as he should've been with one out, about 1/3 of the way to third base, meaning if Grichuk played the ball off the bounce and held Bailey to a single, the Giants would've very likely wouldn't have scored at all on that play. 

Mike Trout is making progress on returning, but by the time he does, he'll be joining a team that has been buried, again. The concern now has to be finding a way to retain Ohtani in free agency. Given that he's expressed his desire to play in the postseason, surely by the time he reaches free agency he'll have arrived at the point in his head where he thinks something like, "it's just never happening here." Because that's how it looks to pretty much everyone else.