Monday, April 18, 2016

By Glen McKee, Staff Writer - 

The Good: Last week started on a sour note for the Angels.   They were coming off a 2-4 start at home and heading up to Oakland to play three against the (then) first-place A’s.  It was the first road trip of the year and so far nothing was clicking.  Every aspect of the team was struggling.

And then, Oakland.  In the first game the Angels faced Oakland’s ace, Sonny Gray.  They got to him for three runs (all of them earned!) and won the game 4-1.  I know!  I was just as surprised as you. That set the tone for the series and the Angels busted out the brooms.  All was well again!  The hiccups of the first week were forgotten.  The team was in first place!  Now the Angels had a day off and then a series against a Minnesota team that was winless in the season.  Perfect opportunity, right?

The Bad: Anyone who has followed this team for more than a few weeks knows they are unpredictable, unless you predict them to defy expectations, most often negatively.  The Twins were pitching well (uh oh) but couldn’t hit a piƱata even if they weren’t wearing a blindfold (zoiks!).  The Angels were the cure for those hitting woes.  Did you expect anything less?  The Twins averaged 1.6 runs per game in their first nine games (all losses) and then the Los Angeles Slumpbusters of Anaheim rolled into town.   They averaged 4.7 runs in the three games to the Angels 3.3, winning three games by a combined 4 runs.  

The Stats  

- Of the 14 runs the Twins scored in the series, the Angels bullpen gave up seven of them.

- In his two other starts, Sonny Gray has given up one earned run each.  Against the Angels, he gave up three.

- Yunel (not Kelvim) Escobar, brought in to be the Angels leadoff hitter, has a ridiculous stat line of .327/.411/.510/.921.  

- Kole Calhoun is also off to a blazing start.  .349/.404/.488/.893.

- Mike Trout, however, isn’t.  .233/.333/.372/.705.  

- Neither is Johnny Giavotella (.107/.138/.107/.245) or CJ Cron (you don’t want to know).  

- I wanted to share some more bullpen stats, but never mind.  Chuck's tweet says it all.

The Record:  5-7, third place, 1.5 games behind the Rangers and 0.5 games behind the A’s.  Tied with the Mariners and 0.5 games ahead of the Astros.  In other words, nobody in the AL West is doing anything right now.

Predictions versus reality:  Last week I predicted a 4-2 week (2-1 versus each team) and the Angels went 3-3 (3-0, 0-3).

The Week Ahead:  The road trips finishes with four games in Chicago against the first place (8-4) White Sox and then back home for three against the Mariners.

My predictions: 3-4 for the week.  The Angels will once again surprise at the start of the week and split the series with the White Sox, and then choke at home and lose two against the Mariners.  I have a dental appointment today and I’m looking forward more to the dentist giving me my semi-annual “You need to floss better!” pep-talk than I am to the week of baseball ahead.  Prove me wrong, Halos.

Love to hear what you think!

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