3 Up, 3 Down: Angels 11, Rockies 5
June, 9, 2012
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com
The Angels are showing signs of doing what they normally do -- heating up in June.
They pounded 15 hits in an 11-5 win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field Saturday to improve their record in interleague play to 65-30 since 2007. The win pulled them to within three games of the slumping Texas Rangers, the closest they've been since the sixth day of the baseball season.
Speedy sprat. Grizzled veteran Jason Giambi said something funny to Mike Trout when he got on base in the fourth inning apparently, because they were both cracking up. Maybe it was something like, 'Hey, don't make the rest of us look bad. It's not that easy." Undeterred, Trout stole second, then stole third. The second-youngest player in the major leagues is, frankly, making it look easy.
Mile-high Albert. Any time Albert Pujols heats up, it seems like the Angels are poised to go on a run. He's heating up. He drove in four runs. When he hits balls hard to the opposite field -- as he did with a two-run home run -- it seems like he's back to his old self.
Howie heats up. Until Saturday, the Angels' resurgence back into contention was mostly the product of pitching -- solid starting pitching and brilliant relief. For this lineup to get consistent, it needs to find greater depth. If Howie Kendrick can heat up, it will have adequate depth. To bat a player of his abilities in the No. 6 or 7 spot gives you a deep look, but only if he produces. He did Saturday, with three hits.
Deep Dan. Pitching at Coors Field on a hot afternoon has got to feel like some kind of cruel punishment to pitchers. The Angels gave Dan Haren a ton of run support and he needed it, as he allowed four home runs. Lucky for him, they were all solo shots. It was the first four-homer game for Haren since another start at Coors Field, back in 2010.
Over-reaching. Mark Trumbo had a monster game last Tuesday against Seattle, but otherwise he's been in a slump that appears to be the product of expanding his swing zone. Trumbo is 1-for-12 since with four strikeouts since Tuesday.
Frieri. The Angels closer has allowed hits in back-to-back outings. Unacceptable! Oh wait, he's got a 1.00 ERA and has been perfect in save chances. OK, maybe he doesn't belong in "the bad."