Angels 12 Rangers 6
This is embarrassing, and I apologize right out of the gate, but this post-game is going to sound very, very similar. So similar, in fact, that you may think you've clicked on the wrong post-game, or that maybe perhaps i'm copying pasting these things now, in a lazy attempt to get something by our dear readers. But no, this is no mistake. It was yet ANOTHER game in which the Angels completely smoked the Rangers on the offensive side of the ball. They put up a massive 12 runs, all coming from different spots in the lineup, and they get out of Arlington with a huge series sweep.
Something has gotten into the team this weekend, be it a little Josh Hamilton-infused bulletin board material, or perhaps the focus on the front office strife this week put a chip on the team's shoulders and set them out to prove they can win. Whatever it was, it was really just a continuance of their play as of late, and them winning four series in a row(three on their last home stand). But this sweep, and the way it was accomplished, was an exclamation point on an already hyperbolic week of Angels fandom.
Like Friday and Saturday night, everyone was getting in on the act today. Albert Pujols had two RBI, including another dinger, his AL-leading 25th of the year. Kole Calhoun keeps loving him some Texas pitching, as he had a gargantuan 4 RBI afternoon, that included a three-run bomb to right field(his 5th homer in Arlington on his career). Johnny Giavotella provided some spark right from the beginning, as he lead off the game with a double to left center, and would end up with a couple base hits on the day, as well as two RBI. Pretty much everybody had an RBI, to put it simply...everybody but Matt Joyce and Chris Iannetta, which is to be expected, even such run-friendly games as these.
Further solidifying his epic rebounding from his last call-up, C.J. Cron had another masterful day at the plate, this time going a monstrous 4-5, with an RBI and two runs scored. This week has been revelatory for Cron, and it's coming at a perfect time. The Angels are proving that they can contend in the AL West, and having an extra bat pop up in the ranks is the type of thing that can be the difference between the post-season promised land and twiddling their thumbs come October.
Oh yeah, there was some pitching in this game, too. C.J. Wilson got the start for the Halos, and had the same problem that his previous teammates had in this Texas series, which is the offense was SO strong that it partly overshadowed some pretty good outings by our guys. Wilson followed in the footsteps of Hector Santiago and Garrett Richards by throwing a solid outing and keeping the game completely out of reach for the Rangers. C.J. finished with 6 IP, 6 H and 3 ER. He would be replaced by Trevor Gott, who gave up a big homer to Rougned Odor, that closed the Angels gap a bit. The Odor homer represented the first runs surrendered by Gott in his first 10 appearances with the Halos, which is a streak that deserves a tip of our caps.
This series felt like a cathartic moment for the Angels, as their tumultuous week would seem to have them set up for the bad vibes to manifest in on-field play. But no, this team keeps powering through opponents and winning series, and now on Fourth of July weekend, when we're gunning into prime baseball season, they may have uncorked a largely unused portion of their potential. There were storylines galore, but they took those proposed headlines and smashed them to pieces with a resounding, brute force assault that lasted three games and didn't let up once. Don't look now, but Houston lost again, so while the Angels are reclaiming the beat reporter narrative, they're also climbing up the ranks of the AL West. This team has it's issues sometimes, but when they're firing on all cylinders, they are a force to be reckoned with as much as any other team in the league. And the drama with their owner, coach and former GM may have been just the thing they needed to light the fires. In the meantime, we'll just keep on lighting up that Halo and turning the page. The Angels are now six games over .500, their highest such mark on the season, as well as 3 games back on the division lead, the hits just keep on coming and all of a sudden I can barely remember the all-encompassing drama from just a few days ago. This was a good weekend to be an Angels fan.