The Los Angeles Angels just wrapped up a three-game series at home against the Kansas City Royals. The Halos took two of three in this weekend's series against a team they absolutely should have swept.
Shohei Ohtani pitched a masterpiece in the first game of the series which has me questioning whether he's become the best pitcher, not just player in baseball, and led the Halos to a victory. Game three of the series was also an exciting one, as the Halos hit three home runs in a row to outlast Kansas City in the finale.
The middle game is what leaves Angels fans with somewhat of a discouraging taste in their mouths even with a series victory. They lost a game they should've won against the now 5-17 Royals at The Big A. Throwing games away that they should have won is becoming way too common of a theme. Regardless, there're some signs to look at from this series, both encouraging and discouraging.
Encouraging sign #1: LA Angels outfielder Taylor Ward appears to be breaking out of his prolonged slump
After a sizzling start to his season, Taylor Ward had just three hits in his last 31 at-bats heading into the series vs. the Royals. He had drawn just one walk in that span and struck out 10 times. Two of his three hits came in one game, and he looked pretty invisible for the rest of that eight-game span.
The Angels struggled to score most of those games mainly because their leadoff hitter wasn't getting on base at all. Prior to that slump, Ward was hitting .311 with a .404 OBP. Those figures plummeted to .224 and .310 at the end of the Yankees series. Nearly a 100 point dropoff in both categories.
Ward singled and walked in the first game of this series against the Royals, and he homered and walked yesterday. Ward got on base in four of his nine plate appearances, which is more in line with what the Angels expect from him.
The Angels have players like Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Hunter Renfroe to bring him in. Ward just has to do his job and get on base. Hopefully this slight turnaround continues into this upcoming series against Oakland.