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1979 Angels Week 3: Nolan Ryan wins AL Player of the Week

In two starts for Ryan, a shutout win and flirting with his 5th no-hitter

California Angles Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images

Looking back on the third week of the season for the Angels in 1979, when the Halos finished up a road trip in Minnesota against the Twins before returning home to play the A’s during the week of April 16-22. The Angels continued to romp, and Nolan Ryan was named American League Player of the Week.

The good

Ryan pitched a shutout on Tuesday in Minnesota, striking out 10, his 36th shutout since joining the Angels in 1971, trailing only Jim Palmer during that time.

Then Saturday back home against Oakland, Ryan had designs on a fifth no-hitter, holding the A’s hitless until Mitchell Page singled with one out in the eighth inning. This was a classic Ryan start with 12 strikeouts and also nine walks allowed in his 7⅔ innings.

This was the sixth Player of the Week award captured by Ryan since joining the Angels, but his first since May 27-June 1, 1975. Ryan during this week lowered his ERA from 7.84 to 3.33.

Rod Carew had his second three-hit game in four days, on Wednesday against the Twins, continuing to torment his old team. Traded by Minnesota in December, Carew is 9-for-21 (.429) with a triple and three doubles in two series against the Twins. Then again, Carew is also 17-for-42 (.405) against everyone else. That includes 12-for-25 (.480) with four doubles, five RBI, seven runs scored, and four walks against Oakland and Minnesota. Carew ended the week on a seven-game hitting streak.

Bobby Grich was right there with Carew, going 12-for-24 (.500). He tormented the Twins with two three-hit games and a two-hit game, hitting a home run, a triple, and a double in the series. Grich added a four-hit game in Saturday’s 13-1 blowout of Oakland.

Dan Ford returned from the disabled list Sunday after missing 10 games with a knee injury, and homered in his first game back, going 2-for-3 with two walks against the A’s.

The bad

Chris Knapp got banged around in his two starts, and suffered the Angels only loss of the week, allowing six runs on Sunday to the A’s. But his first start of the week was even worst, allowing five runs in only 2 innings, though four of the runs were unearned. For the week the 25-year-old right-hander allowed 11 runs on 12 hits in nine innings, with six walks.

The Angels have gotten nothing out of the shortstop position so far this year. Rance Mulliniks has started all 18 games at the position, but that plan might have to change after going 1-for-20 last week. The 23-year-old is hitting just .148 (8-for-54) so far this season.

Weekly summary

5-1 record
49 runs scored (8.33 per game)
22 runs allowed (3.67 per game)
.812 pythagorean record

Year-to-date summary

12-4 record
117 runs scored (7.31 per game)
66 runs allowed (4.13 per game)
.740 pythagorean record

AL West standing: 1st place, 2 games up (over Texas and Minnesota)

Game results

Up next

The Angels continue their homestand Tuesday against the Orioles, who are just 8-8 but head to Anaheim on a five-game winning streak and have Jim Palmer starting the opener against Don Aase. The AL East-leading Red Sox come to town for the weekend.