Los Angeles Angels continue to use the long ball to win games
There was a time when the Los Angeles Angels and manager Mike Scioscia played small ball trying to manufacture runs any way they could. It helped them to a World Series title in 2002. However, times they are a changing.
This season while it has been a disaster in many ways for the Los Angeles Angels, one thing has been keeping them afloat and out of the AL West cellar and that is their recent power surge. The Angels have 28 home runs in their past 18 games and have gone 12-6 during that stretch. They have hit back-to-back homers six times during that period which has lead them to score an average of 4.7 runs per game compared to their previous 11 games (all losses) where they averaged 2.9 runs per game and hit 11 homers.
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So where has this recent power surge come from, the answer is everywhere. Albert Pujols has lead the way with nine homers in the past 18 games which has moved him up the all-time home run board into ninth place all by himself at 589 dingers. Mike Trout has hit five homers and C.J. Cron has hit four. The Red Baron AKA Kole Calhoun has broken out of 35 game homerless streak with four homers during this stretch as well. Jefry Marte has also continued to hit the long ball hitting four as well during this 18 game stretch. Catcher Jett Bandy has also hit two homers during the stretch.
Albert Pujols has had three multi-homer games, C.J. Cron has had two and Calhoun has one multi-homer game. What makes this even more impressive is the Angels have been doing this against mostly playoff contenders (Seattle, Toronto, Detroit). Pujols and Trout are a cinch to hit 30 home runs and both will drive in over 100 runs as well.
Cron is one homer away from tying his career high of 16 and will probably end up with 20 which is pretty good considering he missed nearly six weeks with a broken hand. While Calhoun has seen his power numbers go done severely this season he still has a shot to reach 20 as well. The Angels have had three games where they have hit five homers and on Friday night they hit back-to-back-to-back home runs with Calhoun, Trout , and Pujols going deep in a six-run first inning.
So even if the Angels are in the middle of one of their worst seasons in the Mike Scioscia era at least they have been fun to watch lately and it should continue to be exciting the rest of the way as 16 of their remaining 26 games are against teams that will not make the post-season. There is even a very slim chance that we may see #600 for Pujols (he is 11 away). So sit back and enjoy as the balls keep flying out of the yard.