The LA Angels just had an ugly series against the Tampa Bay Rays which saw them being viciously trampled under foot, barely surviving the 4 game series with a win on Sunday featuring Shohei Ohtani on the mound. It was a very winnable series that the Angels let slip through their fingers, and now they’ll have to double down with nothing more than a sweep of the Blue Jays before facing the dominate Yankees once more.
The Angels are going to need to take some serious momentum into the series following the Blue Jays series when the Yankees come up on the schedule, and to do that the Angels are going to need to pull off a huge sweep of the Blue Jays. It’s really disheartening to see the Angels drop such an easily winnable series when the team has so much actual difficult work ahead of them without letting the sub-.500 Rays run all over them like they’re taking a tour through chump-city. Now the Angels have to answer for their critical failures against the Rays with a series sweep against the Blue Jays.
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Not a win, but a sweep. It’s really the only way to win back the favor and momentum lost over the last week.
It was a rough start for Garrett Richards against Houston in his previous outing. What’s truly terrible about it is how phenomenally he pitched, allowing 2 unearned runs over a 7 inning start. It’s very disheartening to see Richards put up one of the best starts of his season while getting no love from the Angels offense against Justin Verlander. Hopefully things look to square up in a better way with J.A Happ taking the mound against the Angels offense.
The Angels starting staff is a lot better than people expected or are willing to admit. Tyler Skaggs is a legitimate ace, and we don’t need more from him than we’ve been getting all season. Even with Garrett Richards flashing moments of ace-dom only Skaggs has really keep it on a consistent basis all season. That consistency is going to be key, because with the struggling Aaron Sanchez on the mound the burden of responsibility will be lesser on Skaggs than it will be on the Angels offense. Aaron Sanchez is walking people at a wild rate with 29 walks in his 50.1 IP; unless the Angels show up with their pants on the ground there is no real reason they shouldn’t work this game for all the marbles.
Finally we have the most concerning pitcher on the Angels roster, Nick Tropeano, who just had his shortest outing of the season against the Rays with 4 runs allowed across 2.2 IP. Nick Tropeano has had the unruly quality of inconsistency; he’s had performances where he’s looked to be putting on the sheen of a big-time pitcher before unceremoniously falling apart. Other times he’s looked like a guy whose pressed the reset button on his troubled career. There’s no knowing exactly which Tropeano will show up against the Jays, but with a likely sweep resting in his hands he’ll need to pitch like never before.
Even with the home run friendly Marco Estrada on the mound there is no telling which way this game will slide; likely it’s going to be an offensive explosion on one side of the box. One can only hope the Angels care to join the party.
What to look for
- The Angels winning, hopefully. They’ve secured only 3 of last ten, narrowly avoiding a sweep at the hands of the Rays and a six game losing streak. The Angels will be going into a series against the Bronx Bombers, who have aptly lived up to that title this year, and to find success in that series will be carrying success into it on the back of a Blue Jays sweep.
- Mike Trout has been improving every aspect of his game at a wild pace, and those improvements are coming under the noses of many. Mike Trout is seeing a significant drop in his strikeouts and equally dangerous rise in walks. He has 41 BB’s to 40 Ks on the season, a phenomenal sight to see given his previous difficulties with the strikeouts. Prior to last season, a shorted season for Trout which saw him collect 90 walks to his 96 strikeouts, Trout struck out 479 times while taking 291 walks through 2014-2016. That may look like a lot of walks, but not with that meteoric K rate hand in hand. Last season was the only season in which Trout walked more than struck out, and he looks to do the same this year. Yes, it’s true, Mike Trout still won’t stop getting better.