How to find an offense?
This is about as low as you can get. Your pitchers throw a no-hitter and you still can't win. I don't think the Angel pitching can be much better than it has been since John Lackey returned to the mound, and if the Angels want to keep first place and avoid a second half meltdown they are going to have to rediscover the art of touching home plate.
Last year Garret Anderson got off to a slow start (285/286/424) and surprised us with a great second half straight out of his 2002-2003 prime. This year his first half is even worse (255/289/372). I don't think we can expect lightning to strike twice. We have options, like a guy who hit 310/362/525 the last time he was given regular playing time, or a 2nd year player who had a .391 OBP his rookie year. At the very least we need to move Anderson down in the order, maybe bring Kotchman into the #3 spot.
Back in April the offense actually looked good. Napoli was blasting dingers. Kotchman was hitting for power and average. Figgins was getting on base 5 times in every 4 plate appearances. Howie was hitting .500. Hunter began his Angel career with a bang. With Vladimir struggling, it seemed like this offense could only get betteronce he inevitably started hitting every pitch for a line drive. After April the team was hitting 279/339/427.
In May, 232/300/346, and in June 258/311/373.
At least we hit bottom in May (when we were forced to give too many atbats to minor leaguers) and June is a bit of an improvement. Right now it just looks really bad. I know the Angels are not a patient team. They are not the A's who worship walks, in fact they have been the middle finger to the A's, saying "that is BS, this is the way to really win!".
Looking back at the 2002 team, they did not draw a lot of walks but they did not swing at bad pitches either. They waited for a good pitch and put it into play. They finished last in strikeouts and first in batting average. The 2008 team has the 6th most strikeouts and is 11th in batting average. I am tired of watching an entire lineup that cannot resist swinging at every pitch in the dirt.
The highest scoring offenses in baseball are the ones that follow the advice of Ted Williams' Science of Hitting. I can accept that we aren't going to be the Yankees and Red Sox when it comes to putting that into practice, but can this team at least follow the successful approach Mickey Hatcher has taught to the hitters in the past? You can't build an offense around singles unless you can put the bat on the ball. And you can't put the bat consistently on a series of balls in the dirt.