DENVER, CO - JUNE 10: Torii Hunter #48 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim singles in the fourth inning of a game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 10, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Angels defeated the Rockies 10-8. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Many baseball analysts negate detailed debates of lineup construction, pointing out that sophisticated models have determined that the best lineup a team could field and the worst lineup a team could field (i.e. pitchers batting cleanup) would yield a range of five wins total at the end of a 162-game season. And yet here was a veteran who looked to be on his last career legs based on his production at the plate.
Does a lot of it have to do with the fear that Albert Pujols in the on-deck circle must strike in the hearts of opposing pitchers? If so, why did this not show up in the results Howie Kendrick produced (or better described... flat out did not produce) batting #2 earlier this season? Does the presence of Mike Trout in the lineup (i.e. "and therefore on base") assist Torii in having yet another layer of concern on the minds of pitchers? Is Torii seeing better pitches, guessing right or just benefiting from a small sample size?
A good weekend gave Angels fans lots to chew on as we wait the beginning of tonight's freeway series.