Siri, Get Me Out Of Traffic, Please?: 5/21

We’re back at the .500 mark, and all in all, it was a mostly wonderful week for the Angels.

Three straight wins against the rather hapless White Sox got the Halos off to an amazing start.

On Monday, Mike Trout went back to back with Kole Calhoun when he homered in his fourth consecutive game–the first Angel to do so since Mark Trumbo did as part of the Angels duo known as TNT back in 2012. Bud Norris, picked up the save in relief of a solid 7-inning performance by Jesse Chavez. It was his eighth save of the season and comes as a welcome surprise after injuries to Huston Street, Andrew Bailey, and Cam Bedrosian created havoc for Mike Scioscia and his best bullpen options.

On Tuesday, the Angels won an extra inning contest that might have been avoided had the bullpen been able to avoid a three run ninth inning rally by the Sox. Still, it was an exciting game that saw the Angels come from behind in the bottom of the eleventh after the White Sox pushed across 2 runs in the visitor half of the inning. Inserted in the leadoff slot was .180 hitting Cameron Maybin (hitless in his last 16 at-bats) who raised his average to .214 by going 5 for 6, the first 5 hit game of his career. It was Maybin’s fifth hit that tied the game in the bottom of the eleventh and led to an intentional walk to Mike Trout to load the bases for Albert Pujols’ walk off game winning hit. The “Machine,” who had earlier in the game passed Carl Yaztrzemski on the all-time RBI list, hit a line drive single to seal the Angels come from behind victory. On Wednesday, Trout, hit his fifth homerun in six games, a three run shot that helped gain a victory for starter, Matt Shoemaker. The Sox, losers of 14 of their last 15 in Anaheim have struggled mightily and appear headed for a last place finish in the AL Central this season.

The series sweep was followed by a day off preceding an east coast trip to New York and Florida. With the Mets in the midst of a seven game losing streak, thing were looking up for the Halo’s. Unfortunately, things did not exactly work out so well for the Angels in the Big Apple. Even worse, I witnessed the two consecutive losses to the Mets at Citifield.

Perhaps, it was my fortune to be stranded on the Long Island Expressway with my Dad as we attempted to drive to the game on the highway sadly referred to as “the World’s largest parking lot.” I would not have been too pleased to watch Jacob DeGrom throw a shutout against the road team that I call my “home team.” Entering the stadium in the bottom of the sixth, I made it just in time to see the Angels strand the bases loaded. Ugh!

Saturday’s game was not all that much better and though I made it on time–barely, I needed to leave my home about three hours prior to game time to get there in time for the first pitch. The Angels bats were silent most of the night, especially without the presence of Albert Pujols who was nursing a pulled muscle. To my delight though, the never give up Halos, never gave up! Scoring three in the top of the ninth to come within 2 of knotting up the score, the Angels once more left the bases loaded as Danny Espinosa struck out. Espinosa has been a huge disappointment so far and strikes out far too frequently. We miss Howie, badly! Even Grant Green, Johnny G and Taylor Featherwhatever! The highlights of the Saturday night game for Met fans was the 2,000th base hit of Jose Reyes’ career…and the record set by ex-Halo skipper, Terry Collins for most games managed by a Met. Not bad for a team that boasts Hall of Famer ex-mangers such as Casey Stengel and Yogi Berra, as well as all-time great Gil Hodges who many believe belongs in the Hall as well.

The highlight for me? The first major league base hit by Alex Meyer who hadn’t had a plate appearance since he was an Indiana high schooler back in ’08. At the time of his hit, Meyer led MLB in hitting with a 1.000 average; it later dropped to .500.  Oh well.

Unfortunately, I had to miss Sunday’s 12-5 rout of the Mets that saw homeruns by Trout, Simmons, Marte, and a big-time grand slam by Cron. I may live on Pacific time but my finals and papers take place without regard to time zone. Double Ugh!