The LA Angels continue to defy the experts get back to .500 with Walk-Off

Angels celebrate victory. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Angels celebrate victory. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Every time the LA Angels seem to be starting to drop-off into the abyss of the AL West, they pull themselves up by their boot straps and fight back. On May 1st the Angels stood at 15-13, then they lost 7 of 9. Now they have gotten hot again.

The LA Angels went into last Friday night’s game reeling after another lackluster performance losing 7-1 to Detroit on Thursday which saw the Angels fall behind 5-0 after two innings and never recovering. Part of the reason behind the Angels most recent slump was the missing reigning MVP Mike Trout. Trout missed six games in a row where the Angels went 2-4.  It was the most consecutive games Trout has missed in his career.

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Trout came back in that 7-1 loss to Detroit and went 0 for 4.  However, the next night the Angels turned the tables on the Tigers shutting them out 7-0 behind Matt Shoemaker‘s best outing of the season as he pitched six shutout innings with seven strikeouts. Trout went hitless in his first four at-bats came up in the bottom of the eighth and drilled a no-doubter to left-center for a two-run homer to ice the Angels victory.

Trout continued on Saturday night with another home run unfortunately the Angels lost on a homer in the top of the ninth by J.D. Martinez.  On Sunday they earned a split with the Tigers with a 4-1 victory behind Alex Meyer‘s best major league performance who went 6.1 innings with three hits and one run given up while striking out seven. Trout hit a homer in his third consecutive game.

The Angels followed it up with another strong performance rallying from 3-0 down behind back-to-back homers by Kole Calhoun and Trout.  Calhoun hit a 3-run shot to right to tie the game at three and Trout followed with a home run in his fourth consecutive game to take a 4-3 lead and they held on for a 5-3 victory.  Jesse Chavez had another strong outing going seven innings allowing only three runs and Bud Norris picked up his eighth save and the Angels had their first two-game winning streak in nearly three weeks.

So that brings us to Tuesday night where the Angels had a chance to again get back to .500. Everything was looking good early taking an early 3-0 lead thanks to a two-run single by Albert Pujols.  The Angels carried that three-run advantage into the top of the ninth thanks to a strong bounce back performance by J.C. Ramirez who went seven innings giving up two runs with two strikeouts.

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Unfortunately, David Hernandez could not hold the advantage as the White Sox rallied for three runs to tie the game and could have lost the lead if not for a great defensive play by Yusmeiro Petit who fielded a bunt by Tyler Saladino to get Willy Garcia at home to preserve the tie. Petit worked his way out of a no out runner on second situation that allowed the Angels to reach extra innings.

In the top of the 11th with Petit still on the mound got the first two outs easily, but then Tim Anderson hit a solo homer to deep center to give the White Sox a 6-5 advantage. However, just as they have done so many times already this season the Angels fought back As Cameron Maybin recorded his fifth hit in the game an RBI-Double that scored Danny Espinosa to tie the score at 6.

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Albert Pujols capped the comeback with a walk-off single to drive in Ben Revere giving the Angels a 7-6 victory evening their season record at 21-21.  The Angels will now try to jump back over the .500 mark Wednesday as they go for the sweep against the White Sox before embarking on a three-city 10-day road trip to New York, Tampa Bay, and Miami starting their interleague schedule against the Mets and Marlins as well as playing the Rays in between.

Can the Angels keep this recent hot stretch going? A lot of that will depend on getting consistent starting pitching to go along with timely hitting.  But most of all they need to keep their resilience.  If the Angels could ever get to full strength they could be really dangerous.

Next: Nolan Ryan's history making performance

Right now they are a mild threat to make the make the playoffs, they could get some of their closers back and also their starting pitchers and things will really get fun.

Let’s see what happens!!!