What a miserable season it has been for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this year but since shutting down Albert Pujols for the season and pretty much waving the white flag, the Angels have surged and have won 21 of their last 28 games. Somehow, LA had not been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention until yesterday, although it would have take a miracle to get there.
The Angels have been on the rise of late thanks in due part to the performances of center fielder Mike Trout and left-handed pitcher C.J. Wilson, who both have been on a tear.
People were wondering if Mike Trout would go through a sophomore slump and not live up to his incredible rookie season this year, well he has put that to rest and has secured himself as the best player in baseball with his offensive greatness and defensive mastery.
After finishing last year with a statline of .326 AVG./.399 OBP/.564 SLG. with 30 HRs, 83 RBIs and 49 SBs, Trout has done an even better job this year as he has gotten on base more due to more patience at the plate, with the exception of fewer steals he has improved his statline to .330 AVG/.435 OBP/.570 SLG. with 26 HRs and 90 RBIs. He clearly looks like the best player of this generation by leaps and bounds. If he’s doing this at the age of 20-22, just imagine the career potential for the rest of his baseball life.
Apart for the greatness of Trout, Wilson has been on a roll this season. After finishing a disappointing season last year after the Angels opened up their wallet and gave him a huge salary, Wilson is now giving the Angels what they envisioned when they signed him to the big contract.
Last year, Wilson finished with a 13-10 record and an ERA of 3.83; this season Wilson is having a career year and has surpassed his career-best wins total with a 17-6 record and has lowered his ERA to 3.36. Wilson is is 13-1 with a 2.91 ERA since June 14 as he takes the mound today with the Angels looking for a sweep of the Seattle Mariners.
With the help of both Trout and Wilson, the Angels have now gone 8-0-1 in their past nine series and have gone 21-7 since Aug. 23 and in that span they lead MLB with a 2.96 ERA. They have gotten great outing from ace Jered Weaver, the always reliable Jerome Williams and the youngster Garret Richards while beating the likes of the Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros and the A.L. West-leading Oakland A’s.
This late run has given fans hope for next year, although that’s what they did last season too and fell flat on their face this season, but the problem the whole year had been pitching and the lack of it well now they seem to have put something together that they can add on to this offseason and continue their run into the 2014 schedule. With just two games under .500 now, the Angels have a chance to finish the season with a winning record and go into next season with a healthy Pujols, a healthy pitching staff, and a turnaround from Josh Hamilton.
Fpr now, the Angels main focus is to sweep the series versus the Mariners as they will face the “King” Felix Hernandez before taking on the A’s in their last home series of the season before heading to Texas to finish the season with a four-game series versus the Rangers who are fighting for one of the two wild-card spots and the Angels can play spoiler.