The past week for the Los Angeles Angels was definitely a mixed bag. Facing tough opponents in the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers, Mike Scioscia is probably happy to come out of those two series in the black. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad.
The Good: Josh Hamilton wakes up
Hamilton is riding a mini four-game hitting streak. Baby steps indeed, but he’s been a streaky player in his career. Hamilton’s plate discipline in the last four games still leaves a lot to desire as he swung at eight of the 23 pitches he saw that were out of the strike zone (35 percent). But it is still far better than how he started the season. In the first 17 games Hamilton swung at 43 percent of pitches out of the zone.
The difference for Hamilton is that when he does get pitches to hit in the zone he’s not wasting them, hitting 6-13 (.462) on those pitches. Before this recent stretch, Hamilton was hitting only .231 on pitches in the zone.
The Bad: Hitting with runners on
In the last two games the Angels have had a total of 25 at-bats with runners on. In those opportunities they have just four hits. Most of those outs haven’t been productive either with nine of them coming via strikeout. The games both ended up as convincing losses, but it’s tough to put pressure on opponents when you’re not stringing hits together.
C.J. Wilson has been consistent this season … consistently average. He’s finished six innings in each start this year and allowed nine hitters to reach base in each start as well. Control has been an issue for Wilson so far as his 5.6 walks per nine innings are on pace to be a career high.
Angels hitters will look to punish Seattle Mariners starter Aaron Harang, who has gotten pummeled for four home runs in 9 2/3 innings pitched this season. His .711 opponents slugging percentage is the worst in baseball among pitchers who have thrown at least nine innings.