Nice. Fresh off of stumbling against the Padres, the Angels took on the Detroit Tigers and their insular followers. The Tigers had recently been obliging enough to split a 4-game series with the AL West leading Astros, so it was necessary to abuse them likewise, at a minimum. The Halos did better. Much better. The Tigers rotation is in shambles (and it doesn't look like it is going to be repaired very soon), and such a thing is always an excellent tonic for an ailing offense.
All in, the Angels' offense roared back for 26 total runs in the 4-game series, while our pitching allowed but 10 runs. that's averages out to 6.5 to 2.5, game after game after game after game.
And, in the sidebar that will be preeminent in the minds of Tiger fans for the balance of this decade (while Miggy might reasonably remain at the top of the game), Trout garnered 4 hits, including 1 home run and a double, while driving in 3 runs. Cabrera also had 4 hits with 1 double. But no home runs and he never scored. Now, considering the fact that Tiger fans think that what one does when standing at the plate with a bat in one's hands is 110% of the value of any baseball player, even if we discount anything Trout did in the field or on the base path, Trout wins.
So you woke up super-thrilled this morning, and the Angels are only 4 games back of Houston. Have some fresh links:
TAMPA BAY RAYS @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Angels Stadium. Anaheim, CA.
|Day||Game Time||Probable Pitchers||TV|
|MONDAY||7:05 PM PDT||Alex Colome (3-1, 4.55 ERA) versus Garrett Richards 4-3, 3.12 ERA)||FSW|
|TUESDAY||7:05 PM PDT||Chris Archer (5-4, 2.12 ERA) versus C.J. Wilson (3-3 3.18 ERA)||FSW|
|WEDNESDAY||7:05 PM PDT||Nat Karns (3-2 3.32) versus Hector Santiago (4-3 2.18 ERA)||FSW|
This is Mike Scioscia's contract year, so we should expect a "walk year bump", right? Right? It turns out that Scioscia has the ability to opt out after this season. And the option requires that Sosh wait until season end before he can make his decision. Just don't expect anything meaningful to be said by Sosh himself on the matter. That day is pages and pages and pages away.
Albert Pujols joins Erick Aybar with the owies, but at least Pjols can play. He has been limited to DH duties due to a sore groin. It's an old man disease. Anyway, that's why you see Efren Navarro up from AAA.
Taylor Featherston is a Rule 5 Feature over at Fangraphs. Mostly because his MLB struggles are entwined with the regulations surrounding Rule 5 players. He is not getting playing time and he can't be sent to the minors. "It’s also been an exercise in frustration. Featherston has but a lone base knock in 27 at bats. It’s easy to picture him removing splinters from his backside when Scioscia calls his name. To his credit, he’s taking a glass-is-half-full approach."
Overall, the franchise is a tiny bit lighter and you might have missed it. Chad Smith, whom we obtained from Oakland a month ago, was placed on waivers and claimed by the Marlins. He gone.............Also, The Marc Krauss Era may be over. Krauss was placed on waivers, cleared them (meaning that nobody found him desireable) and ended up being outrighted to Salt Lake.
Elsewhere in Baseball
The Astros are turning around, and we all DID see it coming. What we did NOT see coming was how fast. "If the projection for this season holds, the Astros will have increased their winning percentage by .200 over two years. Since 1950, that kind of reversal has happened a grand total of seven times — and when it has, it’s usually because a decent team has gotten radically better." Yeah, we have our work cut out for us.
Continuing to bring some levity to the game of professional baseball, Bartolo Colon registered his third hit of the season. This is an event, partially because his hitting coach Kevin Long Terry Collins had recently compelled Colon to attempt to improve on his 2014 batting exploits (2 hits) by 100%, and reach 4 this year. Colon compromised, and settled at 3. Folks have been tracking his season, suspense-fully. The other reason this event is noteworthy is because Colon legged it out for a double! (Watch it for yourself. It could potentially have been an inside-the-park home run had it been Mike Trout.)
Some guys have all the confidence. David Ortiz, being the on-field asshat that he can be, decided to take a stroll to first base in anticipation that the next pitch would be ball 4, and he would be drawing the walk anyway. Unbearable, but not the most amazing of the day. That one belongs to....Joey Votto, so confident that he can draw a walk...on ball 3! (By the way, check out his at-bat there in the 7th inning of the official play-by-play for that game. You'll have to expand the at-bat. It shows that an extra pitch has been inserted as pitch #5, without the associated pitch speed and classification data.)
One of the advantages of playing in a domed stadium is that the vagaries of the weather outside are fended off for the comfort of the fans and the ability to continue play. In Houston, however, the recent storms have been of such strength that the indoor fans got flooded anyway.
Chase Headley laid down the bunt of the century. The Angels coaching staff needs to remember this, since this is clearly a byproduct of the groundskeepers and the way they groom the baseline.
Bryce Harper, he of 18 home runs already, will most likely skip the All-Star Home Run Derby because his Derby pitcher of choice - his father - is out with a rotator cuff injury suffered while snowboarding.
This isn't really that big of a deal, unless you have lived long under the shadow of insufferable BoSux and their even more insufferable BoSux fans. Hailed as an AL East and World Series contender what with all the off-season activity, they are 7 games under .500 and would be 9 games out if first if they were in the AL West. So they need to hold a team meeting. Of course, being Boston, even those team meetings are elitist.