In case you haven’t noticed the Angels are hot, RED HOT! After the first home rain out in 20 years postponed Sunday night’s Angels-Red Sox game, you might have thought it might disrupt the streaking Angels. You would have thought wrong dead wrong as the Angels scored early and often using a 7-run second inning culminated by Albert Pujols’ 27th home run of the season to take a 7-0 lead. Kole Calhoun hit his 13th home run, and David Freese hit his 11th home run, a 451 foot blast to dead centerfield, to support all-star pitcher Hector Santiago who struck out 10 batters in 5+ innings for an 11-1 victory over Boston. Santiago is now 7-4 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.30 3rd lowest in the American League. In the second game of the doubleheader Angels rising star rookie pitcher Andrew Heaney tried to cap off the four-game sweep as he took the mound, and the lefty pitched another gem allowing only a two-run homer to David Ortiz in seven innings of work to earn his fourth win without a loss. The Angels backed Heaney with three more home runs two by Pujols his 28th and 29th of the season, and one by Mike Trout his 28th homer in 2015, in what is becoming quite a battle between the two all-stars as they both homered in the same game for the 7th time this season. With his second home run the 549th of his career, Pujols passed hall of famer Mike Schmidt who hit 548 home runs while playing for the Philadelphia Phillies. Next up for Pujols on the all-time home run list is Manny Ramirez with 555 and then Reggie Jackson with 563. According to Angels manager Mike Scioscia the sky is the limit for Pujols. “It seems like every time Albert hits a home run there’s someone he is passing,” Scioscia said. “He’s reaching the immortals now. He’s going to be one himself one day.” As for the home run battle that is brewing Scioscia is talking MVP. “When Mike and Albert homer, they can carry you. If they keep going like they’re going they’ll get most valuable player consideration,” Scioscia said in an interview following the doubleheader sweep with Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times. http://www.latimes.com/sports/angels/la-sp-angels-red-sox-20150721-story.html.
“It seems like every time Albert hits a home run there’s someone he is passing,” Scioscia said. “He’s reaching the immortals now. He’s going to be one himself one day.”
Jul 20, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols (5) is doused in liquid by Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Mike Trout (back) after the game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The Los Angeles Angels won 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
With the doubleheader sweep the Angels completed their first ever home 4-game series sweep on the Boston Red Sox in club history. The club has won 15 of their last 18 games to go 12 games over .500 and take a 2 game lead over second place Houston. In total the Angels outscored Boston 22-4 in the series. Never have I heard the thousands of Red Sox fans who attended the doubleheader in Anaheim so quiet and despondent. A special thanks was posted on the scoreboard for the Anaheim Police Department multiple times during the double-header as they flew one of their helicopters over the outfield grass Monday morning to help dry the rain-soaked field. Yep, this series is one for the record books and hopefully will set the tone for the second half of the season.
The recent offensive surge and strong starting pitching the Angels have been getting as of late makes you wonder if they really need to trade for anything with the trading deadline fast approaching. I still believe the Angels should make a deal to fill a void in left field. Daniel Robertson has done an admirable job, but he is not a long-term solution, but only if the price is right. If they do make a move it needs to be for someone they can have in place for a couple of years instead of a 3-month rental. Bill Stoneman and his staff will have these decisions to make over the next 10 days. Let’s hope they make the right one for not only this season, but for the future as well. One thing is for sure the Angels season is looking much brighter than it did a month ago after they had lost a three game series to Oakland losing veteran leader Jered Weaver in the process. Hopefully when the righty returns to the team within the next week he will be able to right his ship and further bolster the pitching staff and provide the veteran leadership he has shown over the past few seasons. When Weaver comes back most likely Angels righty Matt Shoemaker will head to the bullpen due to the emergence of rookie Andrew Heaney. This move could bolster the bullpen with a long relief man with experience in big games. The only question that may remain is the health of Huston Street who has not pitched in 12 days due to a strained right groin. Street has been solid in his career with the Angels saving 41 of 46 games in just over one season with the club while posting a 2.20 ERA. If Street bounces back from the injury the pitching staff should be one that will be ready to make a deep post-season run.
Do you want the Angels GM job that has to make these tough decisions? One move can totally mess up the chemistry of a streaking team
or it could be the difference in winning the World Series. Good luck Mr. Stoneman and staff we are all counting on you.