Well now that this road trip is over we can all sigh with relief, we're coming back home with strong footing. Almost everything looked great for the Angels this series, Trumbo is finding a comfort zone at the plate, Our co-aces continue to perform like so, Back to Back 1-2-3 9ths from Walden (haven't seen a 1-2-3 9th in a while), and the top of the lineup looks NOTHING like it did early last year. Izzy is proving to be a strong leadoff man, Kendrick is looking better than anyone could have imagined, and Abreu is proving that old age won't take away his speed OR his bat. Of course the bullpen still looked slightly spotty, but it's progressing in a very positive direction. The first thing i thought after the completion of the sweep was "The Angels swept? They did exactly what we needed them to do?! This surely can't be MY Angels!". Lets just hope the Angels keep everything going in the right direction
Angels 5 Rays 1
- Trumbo went 3-4 with an RBI and 3 singles. Even though he's just slapping singles and doubles, that's something to get very excited about. Trumbo is starting to get locked in the plate, he's getting loose, he's getting very comfortable. Right now he's getting used to seeing the ball and making solid contact, and he's making strides. Once Trumbo finds complete comfortability in the plate he's going full force, he's going to start putting on HUGE power displays, these won't be displays for long. Once Trumbo in complete control those displays will become the norm, I'd would look for him to start putting up the power numbers he's capable of sometime soon after April, maybe if we're lucky he'll get it going near the end of the month. Oh, and he also stole a base today, that was very interesting to see.
- The top of the order is looking very good, nothing like what it did last year. Aybar was looking like he was getting back to his 2009 form, and Howie Kendrick is looking like an absolute animal at the plate. Remember those problems he had with walks? He's walked 5 out of the last 20 AB, on top his 9 total hits. Kendrick is slugging a clean 1.000 and getting on base at a .520 clip. I know its just the beginning of the season and those numbers are gonna drop, but they are still very encouraging to see. Howie is hitting better than anyone else on the team, except Callaspo, who's hitting a smooth .450/.476/850. That's the .300 hitter that we were all excepting from Kansas City, the true Callaspo has arrived. Speaking of getting different than what we're used to seeing...
- Vernon Wells struck out 3 times today, 7 times in the last three game. What's going on with him, he's looking nothing like the All-Star Vernon Wells from last year. Thinking Wells is an underperforming is thinking a little rash though. Whats going on with the two guys we missed out on this past offseason, Carl Crawford and Adrian Beltre? Well they're both hitting .133 and .100, respectively. Vernon Wells is just off to a slow (albeit extremely) start, he's gotta get used to playing with a new team and a new enviornment. He should start getting his game back together during the opening home series against Toronto. If he doesn't have it going by the end of the series then we can start getting frustrated.
- Jeff Mathis knows his job is in trouble, he went 2-4 with an RBI and two doubles. Seeing Conger smash a home run yesterday must have brought Mathis back down to reality. Probably the fact that Sosh replaced Rodney with Walden and said that there could be changed with the lineup. If reality hit him hard enough to get him game back into shape, then thats very good. This could just be a game fluke though, that's the most likely confusion. If it isn't however, and he's getting his game together, lets just hope IF he can secure peace of mind he keeps hitting.
Well wasn't today a great start for Dan Haren? He went 7.2 IP 4H 1ER 0BB 6K, great way to send the Angels home on a strong note. Notice the 7.2 IP, Dan Haren wanted this win so bad that he didn't want to risk putting in the hands of the Bullpen of Despair. Instead, he figured he'd just straight hand the ball to Walden and let him close it out himself. If we can get more and more back to back starts from Weaver and Haren like what we've seen the past few days the Angels will have a very strong chance at making the postseason. This one's for you Danny Boy.