The Angels hit the road this week, playing a 2 game set in Baltimore, followed by a 4 game series in Toronto. The Angels came away with 4-2 record across the week, which was filled with action that was sometimes sublime (yeah you know which play that one was) and other times awful (way to many of those).
Last week we began TWIB with an amazing play - Mike Trout scoring from first on a Torii Hunter single. Mike Trout is fast. Erick Aybar is a pretty fast player and when he saw Mike Trout score from first on a single he said, "I'm gonna show those Hombres that I can do that too." So he tried.
That's your Erick Aybar bonehead play of the week, folks. I'm pretty sure he ran through Dino Ebel's stop sign there.
But Dino had no reservations about sending Trout home on this week's Mike Trout is Fast play of the week, which features Trout scoring from second base on an Albert Pujols sacrifice fly. Mr. Aybar, please do not try this next week.
Mike Trout is fast. Mike Trout is going to run right out of this GIF.
Mike Trout had a great week, capped by a selection to the All Star Game. Everybody wants to bask in the baseball glory of Mike Trout. Heck, I'm wearing a Mike Trout jersey as I write this. And this kid is basking in the Mike Trout aura in his own unique way:
Yeah I was probably that awkward at age 13 too. hilarious.
Several other Angels were named to the ASG, and Mark Trumbo will be participating in the Home Run Derby. I admit that I kind of like the Derby, silly though it is with all those kids running around in the outfield and nothing but meatballs to hit into the stands. I want to see the Trumbomber put one clear out of the stadium. He had several Trumbombs this week. Like this one:
That home run went 448 feet, and according to ESPN's Home Run Tracker (good site, by the way), it would have been a homer in 29 out of 30 parks. What?! In which park is this thing not a home run? Is there really a major league park where you can hit a ball 448 feet and not get a homer? I couldn't figure out which park it might be after messing around with the ball park overlay section of the site, and remain flabbergasted.
Speaking of homers, Albert had one too. He's been playing well - batting close to .400 on the week with a bunch of walks, runs, rbi's and good defensive plays. FSW used this angle to show several Angel homers in Baltimore, but none of the homer swings looked as good as Albert's. This beaut is the Vladimir Guerrero Swing of the Week (good bad or ugly):
Obviously, that's a good swing.
So after the mini-sweep in Baltimore the Angels moved on to Toronto. They kept playing good baseball, but every now and then there were some horrible plays (and calls). I think this sequence from Torii sort of defines the series for me.
Great Play... Bad Play
Wut? I don't know if Pujols should have been there. It does seem like Torii should have looked before he threw it. Thankfully, Hester corralled the ball and no runs scored. That's more than can be said about the melt-down that happened on Saturday when Richards was pitching. He had to watch two of his teammates miss the ball.
First this from Bobby Wilson:
And then this from Peter Bourjos:
Both those guys are in there for their defense but on consecutive plays they blew it. That's how baseball is, though. You try to play the percentages with batter-pitcher match-ups or defensive alignments and it's only percentages, not certainties. Even the best teams lose dozens of games, have terrible melt-down innings, and suffer bad calls from the umps. Every couple days I holler about a play saying, "I have never seen that before!" And because I watch a lot of baseball my wife looks at me with incredulity. And then I explain what happened and she shrugs her shoulders and says, "huh, that's pretty weird." Life is weird. Baseball is weird. I ♥ Baseball.
So the Weird, I've Never Seen that Before play of the week was an rbi doinker by Trout that only went about 5 feet but still drove in a run.
Now one of weird things about playing Toronto was that Jeff Mathis was the starting catcher on Thursday. Jeff Mathis hit a weak grounder to short and everybody thought, "Ha, Jeff Mathis is terrible. Weak grounders suck."
Jeff Mathis was safe on that weak grounder. Jeff Mathis went 4-4. Jeff Mathis hit a home run off Dan Haren, who was not happy and so he used his Halo's Heaven once-per-month F-bomb.
I think that captures the way HH felt about Jeff Mathis' game on Thursday.
Pitchers sometimes do funny things when they are on the mound. Sometimes they are animated. Sometimes they are stone-faced. John Lackey could be both, so we'll give CJ Wilson the John Lackey Pitcher Expressions award:
CJ was on the mound during our BS Call of the Week. This call on Sunday was ridiculous. First it was a strike (and indeed it was inside of the little FSW strike-zone box on the replay. side question: are those things reliable?), but then it got called ball four! Everybody was kind of confused, and rightly so, since the ump appears confused too:
I think he is arguing that if there is a catcher-runner collision and the catcher hangs on to the ball then the normal call is for the runner to be called out. Sounds reasonable to me. Here's the play:
Yikes. Hester gets run over by the Canadian Hulk, holds on to the ball, and walks away still alive. That's got to be worth something. It didn't get easier either. This is our Balls to the Wall play of the week, because this has got to hurt, even with a cup:
But John Hester is not a warrior. He is not the Hulk. He does not need a handlebar mustache to communicate his toughness to others. No, John Hester is a philosopher... at least momentarily:
Plato: Philosophy begins in wonder
Hester: I wonder who just touched my butt
Ok enough of that. There is one more play we need to talk about and you all know what it is. It was the play of the week, month, season or whatever. It was amazing, spectacular, and soaring. Mike Trout soared higher than any bird, because Mike Trout is an ANGEL! (ok that was a corny pun). But aren't we all glad he's an Angel?!
Here is the Angels Soar Higher play of the week
Let's slow that down a bit and watch it again (even though you've probably seen it a dozen times already):
Hat tips from everyone at HH. Soar like an Angel Mike Trout!
Also, don't forget to vote for Frieri to go to the ASG. You can vote for him here.
That's it for TWIB - Angels Edition. Thanks for watching. Go Angels!
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