If this is the Angels way of apologizing to us Angel fan for letting the BoSox smack them around I whole-heartedly accept the apology.
The Angels showed absolutely no signs of fatigue after last night's, or rather this morning's late ending game. The offense simplified their approach against John Lackey and played some NL small ball, and it worked great. They didn't rely on the big hit like they've been relying on the past few games, instead they relied on aggressive baserunning and stringing together base hits to bring the runners home. Could this be the first signs of a shift back to the old Angels style of baseball?
- Erick Aybar, putting on his best Izturis, went 4-6 with 2 RS and an RBI out of the leadoff hole. Aybar has been surprisingly effective leading off games, showing no resemblance to the Aybar we had last year. Not to be shown up by Aybar, Kendrick (from the 2-hole) went 3-6 with 2 RBI's, and Abreu followed with a 2-6 3 RBI game. The top of the order, thought to be one of the weaker points of the offense coming into the season is coming alive at the plate.
- Mark Trumbo went 1-3 with a 2 run homer and 2 walks. I'm not sure if I should be more impressed by him hitting his 6th homer of the year (leading A.L rookies) or the fact that he is showing great signs of maturity at the plate. He's fighting pitches off at the plate, working the pitchers for deep counts, and holding off on balls out of the zone. He's finally starting to put on power displays like I had predicted he would (booyah) earlier this season, giving the Angels a reliable middle of the order bat. Maybe Kendrys loss won't kill this team after all.
- The Angels now have a third starter posting an ERA under 2. Yes I am aware that Pineiro has only had two starts, but his effectiveness is unquestionable. I'm aware he showed loose command of his pitches today, walking 4 batters, but I am also aware that he only gave up 3 hits and produced 9 groundouts. The only thing the Angels can ask from Pineiro is to go deeper into games, if he can do that and continue to be as effective the Angels will undeniably carry one of the best starting staffs in baseball.
- The Angels were all over the basepaths today, stealing 4 bags as a team (2 by Aybar in one inning). These players weren't afraid to chance the extra base, most notably Bourjos taking 2nd on the single (which was scored a a double) and then moving to third on the error. He didn't just light up the basepaths either, he was on fire at the plate. Bourjos went 3-4 with 4 RS, showcasing his possesion of multiple tools. He's not just the best defender on the team, he's one of the better hitters too.
Ditch the kiddy jersey, you're here to stay. Trumbo continues to prove day in and day out that he isn't the tradebait minor leaguer we all thought of him last season. He's not just getting a hang of the majors, he's grabbing it by the short hairs and showing it who's daddy. Trumbo is the multi-dimensional player the Angels needed to cover for Morales, and they should be thanking their lucky stars to have him every night. I know I do