After a long and particularly rough season against the Astros the Angels have finally managed to take a series from the Astros in a rather painless fashion. The team was led by the exceptional pitching of Jerome Williams in addition to strong situation hitting by Josh Hamilton. The Angels haven't just won a game today however, they've made history.
Well, Mike Trout has made history I should say. I don't really like it when staticians and writers clump together some arbitrary numbers together to show how special a player is, but Mike Trout has managed to become the first A.L player to record 70 XBH, 30 SB's, and 100 BB's in a single season. These numbers don't really mean much when clumped together, but they still show just how special a player Mike Trout is. If there's anything we've learned from this series it's now just how important Mike Trout is to the Angels, but how important he is to the game of baseball and the MLB in general.
Even if the Angels don't go anywhere this season they still have plenty of time to get to the top in the near future.
– The only run to come by for the Astros was off of a solo shot from the bat off .200 hitter Marc Krauss. Luckily for the Angels it was the only home run the prone Jerome Williams gave up in the game which goes to show how strong he was in his start today. 7 innings of one run ball isn't something that comes often for Jerome, the fact that he was able to put up such a strong start with the Angels offense struggling speak highly of both his ability as a pitcher and his terrible inconsistencies. Outside of the last three starts Williams has not been all that good most of the year with his ERA hovering around the 5 mark. Even when he isn't giving up bombs he's still struggling to keep the ball off the bats, which surprisingly was not the case this afternoon as he surrendered a mere 5 hits in his 7 innings of work. Williams didn't even allow a walk, 5 total base runners is amazing for Williams. It's interesting to see if he can hold this kind of production up going into his next start (spoiler: he won't).
– The only RBI's to come out of this game for the Angels were off of Josh Hamilton's triple and, you would have never guessed it, Andrew Romine's sac fly RBI to put the Angels ahead. It's great to see Hamilton coming through in the clutch, at the very least seeing him end his season on a strong note would inspire more confidence going into next season. On the other hand Angels farmhand Andrew Romine hasn't been expected to do much for the Angels in terms of offense, but twice this weeks has he delivered clutch RBI's to put the Angels ahead. His run was of upmost importance due to the fact that it came soon after Krauss' solo home run. It's starting to look like this is the Angels team we're going to be seeing a lot of next year.
– Howie Kendrick didn't show much in terms of offense today since coming off the DL, though his defense was still strong. His lack of offensive production cane be chalked up to Paul Clemens' strong start for the Astros, much like the Clemens of another name. I don't expect to see him playing his heart out in these final weeks, but he should still show signs of rebounding from his injury nicely. It was also nice to see Frieri pull off a crucial 2 inning save after Dane Le La Rosa uncharacteristically allowed 2 runners to get on base before Frieri shut the door with 4 K's. While Frieri is showing his huge closer potential it's still hard to see him maintaining the same form for all of next season as a closer. I wouldn't be surprised to see him lifted for a more talented, controlled pitcher. Still doesn't mean Frieri won't be trusted to get important outs in the 8th.
This is for shutting the door like a boss on the Astros, especially in such a high-pressure situation. Even though it's a shame he couldn't come through in the clutch like this in earlier season situations it's still a treat to see him continue to solidify his status as a strong relief option.