Angels Lack Of Aggression On The Base paths Has Been Shocking
The Angels lost 7-1 to the Rangers last night , and perhaps one situation in the top of the 3rd inning summed up why. Peter Bourjos and Maicer Izturis both singled to lead off the frame giving the Angels runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out , Howie Kendrick at bat and Mike Napoli behind the dish. The situation screamed double steal. Yet the formally super aggressive Mike Scioscia elected not to send the runners, Kendrick and Abreu struck out before Torii Hunter hit yet another one of his weak ground balls to the left side to end the inning. Yes Kendrick has been the Angels best hitter this season but this is a situation where the old Angels probably put on the double steal 9 out of 10 times. Its actually the smart baseball play. As the Angels know all too well, Mike Napoli struggles to throw out runners. With the ultra swift Bourjos as the lead runner stealing third, Napoli was sure to throw to third base. If for some unforeseen reason Naps manages to throw Bourjos out , then the Angels are still left with Maicer Izturis at second base with one out and Kendrick and Abreu up with a chance to drive him in.
Instead the Halos stood pat and didn’t move an inch while squandering a golden opportunity to score some runs and take the early lead. The Rangers went on to cruise to a 7-1 victory. Its been a trademark of this early 2011 season. Mike Scioscia and the Angels aren’t running nearly as much as in season pasts. To date the team has 8 steals on just 11 attempts good for just 9th in the AL. As we’ve outlined before this is a team that has routinely been among the top 3 teams in both steals and attempts. The lack of aggression on Scioscia’s part is shocking. The Angels have been winning without their most productive power hitter ( Kendrys Morales) and with a middle of the order ( Abreu, Hunter, Wells) that has provided little thump. The trio has managed a meager 4 home runs and 17 RBI’s as a collective. Even with Erick Aybar out of the lineup most of the season Scioscia still has speed options in Izturis, Kendrick, Bourjos, and Abreu he has the option to set free. With the obvious lack of team power, Halo fans have to hope the real Mike Scioscia returns and the club gets back to their “small ball” and “manufacturing runs” MO. We miss you Mike, please get home soon.