LA Angels takeaways after first series: Jose Soriano, Taylor Ward hot as a firecracker

Losing two out of three to the Baltimore Orioles isn't as bad as from a decade previous. There are still 159 games to go.
Los Angeles Angels v Baltimore Orioles
Los Angeles Angels v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

There are just some baseball realities the Los Angeles Angels cannot avoid. One, if the other team is just better than you, you will most likely get beat two out of three games on the road against that team. Two, just like what Ron Washington said in the team meeting after Saturday’s loss, they are two games in, and this is a 162-game marathon.

The Angels finally got their first win of the season against the Baltimore Orioles by the score of 4-1 on Sunday. Taylor Ward remains on fire, mashing another home run, which shows putting him behindMike Trout in the order was the right way to go. Reid Detmers, who, in my opinion, is the clear ace of this staff, held the Orioles to one run over five innings of work. Besides the rough patch in the second inning, Detmers did a great job controlling the lethal Orioles’ offense. Taking just one game out of three in Baltimore may have been terrible a decade ago, but the Orioles are one of the favorites to win the American League now. They have the owner, the young talent, and the right coaching staff, after decades of terrible play, to be the best. You will take a 1-2 start, every time. Jose Soriano really stepped up out of the bullpen and Carlos Estévez looked like a closer.

The Angels head down to South Beach for a series against the Miami Marlins, who just lost a series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Marlins have great pitching, but without Luis Arráez batting particularly well to start off the season, their offense is not the same. Marlins fans are focused more on the Miami Heat in the NBA and Florida Panthers in the NHL right now anyway.

What I really want to see is what Washington can do with this lineup. Anthony Rendon is not the answer at the leadoff spot. Everyone and their grandma know that, so what should the Angels do for the lineup?

Here is what I would do if I was in charge of the batting order:

1. Schanuel 1B

2. O’Hoppe C

3. Trout CF

4. Ward LF

5. Drury 2B

6. Rendon

7. Hicks/Adell/Sano

8. Rengifo

9. Neto SS

I trust Nolan Schanuel (even at his age) way more than Rendon, both to get on base and to drive in Zach Neto (if he gets on base) at the bottom of the order. I love Logan O’Hoppe in the number two position because of his hitting ability. Batting second would also give him the chance to see first-hand, especially if the Angels are the away team, how the home plate umpire is calling the game, thus allowing him to help his pitcher. This lineup can work for righties or lefties. It gives the players consistency every game, and each inning, you'll have a player able to drive runners in if needed. Rendon should not be getting more at bats than Mike Trout or Zach Neto, or -- let’s face it -- anyone else on the offensive side of the ball for this team. Personally, I'd rather eat the salary than keep Rendon on this team. However, that is not my call.

With how bad the team played the first two games, this turned out to be an okay series. The Angels need to find that fire to keep the offensive attack going for all nine innings. If they can, they have enough talent to make some noise.