Five Good Signs From An Otherwise Dismal Series

By Saxon Baird

Despite the 6-0 win yesterday, the four-game series against the Athletics was mostly a dismal, lifeless display from the Angels. They now find themselves 2 1/2 games back from an AL Wild Card spot with only 18 games left in the season.

Despite going 1-3 against the team they are chasing, there are at least a few things from the series that can be kept close to the quickly evaporating dreams of a playoff spot.

September 13, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Torii Hunter (48) is congratulated by third base coach Dino Ebel (12) hits a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

1. Torii Hunter continues to hit well. Despite tough pitching from the A’s, Hunter went 6 for 17 with 5 RBI and 2 home runs . Hunter is now batting .344 with a respectable .843 OPS in the second-half of the season.

2. Despite earning the loss in Wednesday’s game, it’s hard to blame Ervin Santana who continues to pitch well in the late second-half of the season. In six innings of work, “el meneo” only gave up one earned run and struck out six. Over his last three starts, Santana has 21 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings holding batters to a .169 batting average.

3. Weaver was dominate throughout his performance yesterday, striking out nine in seven innings of work while giving up only 2 hits. Tendinitis? What tendinitis? Clearly, if the Angels hope to keep their playoff dreams alive they will need a few more similar performances from Weaver before the season is through.

4. Every pitcher in the Angels bullpen except Frieri made an appearance during the series against the A’s logging 12 2/3 innings and conceding 4 runs (3 earned). That’s not exactly perfect but take Jason Isringhausen out of that equation and the only blemish falls on Jespen’s one earned run. It’s not perfect but it’s something to hang your hat on after  such an otherwise disappointing series. Nick Maronde continued to surprise, Walden was solid and Downs looked to be getting back into his mid-season form. A trend of things to come?

5. Mark Trumbo went 1 for 6 in the series, struck out three times and left four men on base. Yet with Erick Aybar in scoring position of what was a one-run game at the time yesterday, Trumbo looped a single into left-center field driving in a crucial run. It was only his third RBI of September but perhaps it’s enough to get him out of the horrid slump he has been in since August? Angels fans can only hope.