The LA Angels have been hanging around in the AL Wildcard race. Going into the final two weeks of the season the Angels sit 1.5 games back of Minnesota. The Angels are pretty much at full strength going into their final 11 games.
Recently the LA Angels have started to get some very good pitching especially from Parker Bridwell who has gone 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last two starts. Tyler Skaggs also showed signs of finding himself shutting out the Astros for seven innings with seven strikeouts in getting his first victory since April. Garrett Richards has also provided a spark pitching 13.1 innings giving up only three runs over three starts.
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Now all the Angels need to do is hit enough to support the starting pitchers.
The Angels have had a few games where the bats have come alive and runs have been plentiful, but in the past week they have been held to two runs or less which led to a 3-3 record last week. They have now dropped the first two games to the red-hot Cleveland Indians who have won 25 of their last 26 games. What was sad is that the New York Yankees took care of the Minnesota Twins for three straight games and the Angels have only gained 0.5 games during that time.
These last 11 games for the Angels will decide if they will make the playoffs or not. Their schedule does not get any easier after Cleveland leaves town tomorrow afternoon. The Angels have to head out on an important seven game road trip playing three games in Houston over the weekend and then travelling to Chicago to battle the White Sox for four games. The Angels will then come home for a three-game home stand against Seattle and hopefully clinch a wild-card spot.
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The Twins continue on a nine-game road trip playing three games in Detroit over the weekend and then they will head to Cleveland for three games next week. The Twins will then finish up at home as well with a three game series against Detroit. It will be a fight to the finish.
So with all that said, can the Angels get enough offense to finish strong. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols have been in major slumps over the last 10 games. Pujols is hitting .250 with two homers and two RBIs over the past nine games. Trout has been even worse going for 6 for 42 hitting .142 with two homers and four RBIs over his last 13 games. With your number two and clean-up hitter slumping it makes it tough to keep anything going.
So how are the Angels new acquisitions doing? Justin Upton is doing his part hitting .300 with four homers and 10 RBIs since being acquired from Detroit on August 31st. Brandon Phillips is hitting .269 with no home runs and drove in four runs since being acquired. Hopefully Pujols and Trout will pick it up these last 11 games and the Angels can finish strong and clinch a playoff berth.
We will wait and see what happens.