Angels trio's hot bats lead to dominance
July, 11, 2013
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastJosh Hamilton homered twice in the same game for the first time as an Angel.This is what Los Angeles Angels fans have been waiting for all season from their superstar trio.
The Angels’ 2-3-4 hitters -- Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton –- combined to go 6-for-10 with nine RBIs on Wednesday in a 13-2 win over the Chicago Cubs. They reached base safely in 10 of their 14 plate appearances. The nine combined RBIs ties for the most the trio has had as teammates.
It was perhaps the first time we’ve seen Pujols and Hamilton –- the Angels’ highly paid 3-4 power hitters –- dominate a game together.
Hamilton had two home runs and five RBIs, his first multihomer game with the Angels.
Pujols homered in consecutive games for the first time this season. Ninety team games into the season, it's the deepest into a season Pujols has gone before homering in consecutive games for the first time, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Previously, his longest was 87 games, in 2007.
Not only was it the first time Pujols and Hamilton hit back-to-back home runs, but it was the first time the Angels as a team hit back-to-back homers all season. It was only the second game in which Pujols and Hamilton both homered in the same game as teammates.
Comparing Trout this season through 89 games played at the same point during his incredible rookie campaign last season, he has a lower batting average with fewer home runs and RBIs. But he does have more doubles, triples and walks, and fewer strikeouts this season.
Pujols and Hamilton, meanwhile, have struggled for the most part this season. However, they could be turning things around.
Pujols now has a hit in six straight games, matching a season high. He’s hitting .381 during those six games with seven RBIs and only one strikeout.
During that same time frame, Hamilton is hitting .280 with four home runs and 10 RBIs.
Pujols and Hamilton both have an OPS better than 1.100 since July 4, both ranking in the top 20 in the majors during that span. Mike Trout is batting .409 over the past week with a 1.382 OPS, which ranks fourth in the majors.
What we do know is the Trout-Pujols-Hamilton trio is certainly hitting better as of late. What we don't know is whether the trio’s Wednesday performance and their hot bats over the past week will parlay into a second-half surge for the Angels.