Well who would have guessed it, the Angels actually have a middle of the order, what a surprise. The day off did Kendrys wonders apparently, 3-4 with a HR and 4 RBI’s makes you wonder if he’s finally coming back around. I know one game is too soon to throw around claims that Kendrys is finally back to true Kendrys form again, but if he can keep raking throughout this home stand things might be a little different. Tonight was a different Kendrys from what we saw the past week, he was doing a good job at staying off of pitches outside the zone and managed to get himself into some decent counts at the plate, and even when he did get himself into an 0-2 he managed to knock the pitch past the center field wall.
It was a good night for the heart of the order, but an even better night for the man on the mound. Weaver managed to bump his record to 2-0 on the season with a 6.2 IP 6K game. Not only that, he managed to notch his 1,000th strikeout of his career. Who knows, maybe within the next 5 years we’ll be celebrate number 2,000? If it was most of the other pitchers in the majors we were talking about I’d try to catch those words and put them back into my brain before it hit your eyes, but with Weaver it’s a goal that is perfectly attainable.
Oh, and one more thing before we get to the actual recap…
what in the freaking world is going on with Mark Trumbo
I hate so much that Scioscia is giving Trumbo a lot of days on the bench, but I hate even more that the logic behind that move is too sound to argue with. Giving Trumbo days off every couple of games gives him time to build up confidence, which is much needed in his case seeing as how he is learning how to play one of the toughest positions in baseball on the fly just to give himself chance to play as much as possible. Mark Trumbo has the spirit and the confidence to succeed, and when he has a string of good games giving him that day off allows the confidence to simmer…almost marinating, like the sweetest home run hitting steak imaginable. With this Trumbo doesn’t run the risk of having a bad game, or even a really bad game, come in during a streak of good games which could damage the confidence he’s been building. Scioscia will take it slow with Trumbo and when he proves he can consistently handle it he’ll be given an everyday job.
It really is the best thing for the kid
- These past few games have been exactly what we’ve been needing to see out of Pujols. Believe it or not, but as much as you’ve been stressing about Pujols slow start with the bat you might be surprised to know he’s actually in the middle of a nice 6 game hitting streak after tonight. Two nights ago Pujols had a 2-5 game with a double and an RBI, tonight Pujols came away with two hits in 4 AB’s including 2 runs and a double that was immediately followed by a Morales RBI double. The power is in his bat is starting to come back to life, and with as big of a fuss as everyone has been making about his slow start it’s only been the 10th game and his hitting is already on the turnaround. If he can keep it up his first home run as an Angel will be coming soon, and I’m so sure of it I’m willing to stake my reputation on the claim that he’s going to hit his first home run during this home stand. I know my reputation doesn’t go for much, but you can make fun of me all you want on twitter and I’ll try my best not to get mad.
- Nearly everyone tonight has at least a decent night at the plate, even Wells had a hit with a run scored as well as a walk. Wells of all people had a good game, but Aybar was just terrible tonight. Zero hits in five trips is an ugly step to start the home stand on, not to forget his typical Aybar moment in the 9th which resulted in an error that loaded the bases for Hawkins, which he was thankfully able to pitch out of. This team needs to find a real solution to leadoff because Aybar is not going to be that guy, they need a temporary solution to bridge the team to the Mike Trout era. In the meantime I hope Aybar can at least do pretty much one of the only things he’s good at offensively, which is driving runners from the bottom of the order in.
- Who wudda thunk, the Angels bullpen actually managed to hold it together in a pressure situation tonight. Two consecutive errors with two outs in the 9th put some undue pressure onto Hawkins, which was made evident by the walk that followed the Aybar error. Still, he did manage to strikeout the final batter to record the win on the night. It’s great to see one of the few bright spots of the bullpen excel, seeing Hawkins manage to keep it together through 6 hitters means a lot for this pen seeing as how we’re desperate for a real righty set-up man to Walden. Speaking of Walden’s set up guys, Downs made a good comeback tonight after the terribly ugly ankle sprain suffered by the unjust heel of Denard Span back in Minnesota on a play at 1st. A scoreless inning with only 1 hit allowed, coupled with no signs of any impairment due to the ankle injury mean a lot towards improving this bullpen in the long run. Now the effect just has to trickle down into the middle relievers like Carpenter and Jepsen and the Angels will be good to go, or at least good enough to stomach.
*Other notable offensive performances: M. Izturis 1-3 1BB, P. Bourjos 1-3, T. Hunter 2-4 1K, H. Kendrick 1-4 1R 2K’s, C. Ianetta 0-3 1RBI 1BB 1K
As great it was to watch Weaver’s history making performance nothing beats the utter joy of seeing the Angel’s franchise first baseman of the future from the past in the now, and as hard as it is to wrap your head around that it’s even harder to wrap my head around the fact that Kendrys is back and he’s starting to hit like Kendrys of old. It’s kind of funny to see Kendrys hit his first HR before Albert Pujols, I wouldn’t have guessed things would go that way, but now that he’s finally gotten the HR and RBI goose egg off his back he can get to bringing us even more joy at the sight of his many, many home runs that are sure to come.