Don't double take too hard now, but the Angels have finally gotten a real quality start off of a starter other than Weaver and Wilson. Yes technically Santana's game yesterday was logged in as a quality start, but with the way he constantly kept his team in hot water even with the offense trying their hardest to give him a comfortable lead. Garrett Richards has a lot to thank the offense for with the way they played the game tonight, the massive lead they gave him right off the bat allowed him to work more comfortably on himself and his pitching rather than struggle to keep the offense in the game like he has his past few starts.
No doubt this is the kind of game Scioscia wanted to see out of the team, the offense gave Richards plenty of breathing room to feel comfortable working on his approach at the major league level. The confidence and poise gained tonight is sure to carry over to his next few starts.
Hopefully this can be the start of a new beginning with the rotation.
Angels 13 Tigers 0
- Trumbo was finally handed the full time job as cleanup hitter, and it's no surprise to see him respond with yet another huge offensive game. Trumbo collected 2 hits in 5 trips with a double and a 3 run home run with the previous owner of the full time spot, Kendrys Morales, had a big game to compliment Trumbo in the cleanup spot. Kendrys managed another walk after taking a BB yesterday, though those were the only two walks he's taken this whole month, power-wise he was great with an opposite field solo shot to break his homerun drought dating back to June 20th.
- Albert Pujols has another great game that is overshadowed by the top notch performances of his fellow teammates in the lineup, or maybe just the fact that he's Albert Pujols makes big offensive production seem so common and standard. It's probably the fact that he has the production of Mike Trout to compete with, which one could argue no one in the majors could compete with, even if your name is Albert Pujols. Trout collected his 100th hit of the season with his 4 hit performances, though he has a lot to thank his teammates for as they were able to keep the ball rolling long enough for him to get 6 AB's. It doesn't seem too far-fetched to think that with the talent Trout has in addition to how often he comes up to the plate more than 4 times a game that he'll be able to put up a 5 or even 6 hit game. Trout is the first Angel rookie to have four 4-hit games in a season; have a day why don't you?
- Garrett Richards finally gave the Angels something they've been pining desperately for the past month, a very strong start from a bottom of the order pitcher. He still has a lot to work on when it comes to managing pitch control and attacking the strike zone, but he was able to keep his high BB rate today from killing his team as they usually do by keeping the opposing hitters disoriented and minimizing hits. He only allowed 3 hits tonight, which is the lowest he's allowed in a start all season, in 7 IP. Richards proved he can be a completely dominant pitcher; it's just going to take him getting a handle on consistency to make the dream of him fronting the top of the rotation with Weaver and Wilson a reality. Maybe not this season, but soon.
- It seems like Torii Hunter is pushing the issue of the Angels resigning him every start he makes, another strong game out of the 2 hole with a hit and a walk with 2 runs scored give the Angels something they haven't had out of the 2-hole in a while, consistent hitting. Howie Kendrick has been incredibly streaky as a hitter and didn't offer as much stability as Hunter has given the top of the lineup in front of Pujols. Not only is he killing it with the bat, he's still showing off his incredibly potent outfield defense. One has to think that with Hunter's performance the Angels brass has to be thinking that Bourjos could be possibly traded as a package to Philly for Hamels. It just makes too much sense.
Mike Trout is still finding records to break this early into the season, and with the pace he's on he's looking to break quite a few more as the season passes. Can't wait to see what else the guy has to offer the team the rest of the season.
My guess? A lot more rookie magic.