Chemistry in sports is a tricky thing. Players and managers swear that it exist. But how much does it play a role in a team’s success on the field? It’s hard to say. There just isn’t any reliable way to quantify the idea of a team playing well together and simultaneously enjoying each others company.
So what’s to account for the recent run of success by a Los Angeles Angels team that has greatly underperformed all season? Maybe it’s just a small sample size and perhaps it won’t last. After all, the Rays have been struggling and teams like the Mariners and Brewers have not been very good this year either. Or maybe its something like chemistry. Take a look the starting lineup that consist of players like Andrew Romine and Luis Jimenez. Fringe major leaguers that are only currently starting because of a string of injuries. Sure, the Angels have been playing struggling teams. But when your lineup and bullpen consist of guys who started the season in the minors, you don’t expect this kind of success. And yet the Angels keep on winning.
And tonight, it was much of the same story: another Angels victory. Despite the lop-sided score, it didn’t look easy. Garrett Richards struggled mightily in just five innings where he walked seven batters despite only allowing one run on two hits for one of the stranger pitching lines you will see this year. While Joe Maddon sent in five pitchers for the Rays by the end of the sixth (there would be six in all including outfielder Sam Fuld pitching to J.B. Shuck).
Offensively, the Angels piled on the runs in a team effort led by Erick Aybar who had four RBI with a home run and a triple later in the sixth inning which saw the Angels score five runs. Every player in the lineup contributed with eight Angels knocking in at least one run. The Angels piled up 16 hits in all with every hitter reaching base at least once.
In the last 10 games the Angels are 9-1. And now just seven games under .500. Let the good times roll while they last.