Hello, peeps! It’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote and felt today would be a good time to catch up on what’s happening in my world.
The last time I posted, we were talking about the struggles the Angels have had at home. Since then, the boys have swept the Orioles and split a 4-game series against the Twins at the Big A. In between those two series, the boys managed a winning record on the 5-game road trip through Seattle (2-1) and Colorado (1-1). So, since I said Nick Tropeano needed to step up on May 1stand see if he could help get things turned around, the Halos have produced an 8-4 mark and at the start of the May 14thweek, they’re 8 games over .500 overall and just a game back of the Houston Astros in the West (Astros are in town for a 3-game set beginning on the 14th).
There have been many positives through the first couple of weeks of May. Sure, anyone can look back at the game in Seattle or the two against the Twins and talk about the ‘would’ve, should’ve & could’ve’ of it all but you can’t do that in baseball. You have to keep looking ahead and take care of the business that’s in front of you and not the one in the rear-view mirror. I know as fans that it’s easier said than done but it’s really out of our hands and while the team continues to sort some things out, we trust those in charge to continue to provide the best solutions going forward.
On the offensive side, Andrelton Simmons, Justin Upton & Mike Trout have been tearing the cover off the baseball. Simmons leading the way in the month of May with a .388 AVG and Trout is right behind him at .375. The base on balls have piled up and with that being the case, Trout’s OBP has soared to an astonishing .545…WHAT? Guess who the beneficiary is of all these free passes? Upton, of course and J-Up hasn’t let you down. This month, Upton’s currently at .314/.368/.706 (AVG/OBP/SLG for those that may not be familiar with the line) with a team-leading 6 HR’s and 18 RBIs. Zack Cozart has benefited from the move back to the top of the lineup as well, with his overall May numbers coming in at .275/.370/.550. Ian Kinsler, the previous leadoff man, has had a couple of multi-hit & multi-walk games since being dropped down in the order with the hopes it jump-starts his offensive season.
On the pitching side, we’ve the seen the starters begin to straighten things out. To date, Angels starters collectively have a 5-1 mark while carrying an ERA 2.27 and limiting opponents’ batting average to just .216. The 6 combined starters are very close to averaging 6 innings per start during the month of May, which is something they continue to build on and a bit different from what was happening with the boys earlier in the season.
The bullpen has had some issues this month as the back-end continues to be sorted out. Losing Keynan Middleton certainly didn’t help matters especially the way he had started his season. While he came off the DL last week, having to leave Sunday’s game early with an apparent injury, really shortens this ‘pen. Blake Parker, after a slow start, is starting show glimpses of his 2017 self (5 IP/0 R/7 Ks/.118 BAA in May) and while Noe Ramirez has sucked up some runs in his last couple of outings because of his multi-inning usage, he has been effective in some pretty high-leverage situations. I love what I see in Justin Anderson and 2 of his last 3 outings haven’t been up to his standards but he has unbelievable stuff and make-up that allow him to compete at the highest level and in high-leverage situations as he has already.
At the end of the day, this team really hasn’t clicked on all cylinders. Starting pitching, offense and bullpen haven’t all been on the same page for an extended period of time and even with that, the boys stand at 24-16 (1 GB of the Astros). The defense remains spectacular and while some of the guys have had issues on the offensive front, none of them have carried it out onto the field defensively…these guys put on a clinic every night. Of course, everyone would like to point the finger at something for the couple of losses suffered in the last week-plus but there’s blame to go around and that’s ok. Very rarely will you see a team clicking from start to finish…it’s impossible to sustain through the course of a 162-game schedule. One thing’s for sure, these guys all care and if one falters, there seems to be someone there to pick them up and that will be huge for this team going forward. Barring any major injuries, this team will continue to improve. So many wonderful things have happened already this year and I foresee so many more in the coming months.
As always, feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Livin’ the dream…