On May 23, the Angels were 20-25, last in the AL West and seven games behind the Rangers. While the Rangers were able to avoid being swept by the Halos on Sunday, the Angels are in second place and just four and a half games back. A lot can change in baseball in under two weeks. After the Rangers were crowned the AL West Champions in April, the Angels certainly looked every bit as competitive as their division foes playing them for the first time of the season to begin June.
The Angels might have even had a chance for the sweep Sunday afternoon but Dan Haren can’t figure out the Rangers and was chased from the game after throwing 104 pitches in just five innings. He only allowed two earned but was worn out by the Texas hitting. Mike Scioscia waved the white flag in the sixth inning with the Angels trailing by one run by sending in Bobby Cassevah.
Cassevah, equipped with only an outdated Mapquest print out, was unable to find the strike zone but did manage to give up three runs on three hits, two walks and a hit by pitch. He threw 37 pitches and 16 counted for strikes including a Nelson Cruz homer.
The Rangers, of course, are one of the best teams in baseball so taking two of three is a good sign the Angels are turning things around. The Angels won 4-2 on Friday night and 3-2 Saturday but couldn’t get the pitching on Sunday to close out the sweep.
And then there’s Mike Trout. I’m not even sure what to say about the 20-year-old phenom anymore. Trout collected two hits in each of the three games against the Rangers, including a Yu Darvish start on Saturday. His line for the series was 6-13 with a double, a triple, a stolen base, two runs and four RBI. I have Trout third, fourth and sixth on my imaginary MVP ballot. Still can’t figure out why the BBWAA refuses to acknowledge me.
There is plenty of season left. The Rangers won’t be able to run away and hide with this division.