Category Archives: Anaheim Angels

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Never Doubt Mike Trout

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Mike Trout wrecked the Texas Rangers this weekend in Anaheim. He ended the weekend with a four-hit performance, two home runs, and five RBI. His grand slam was merely the exclamation point.

There are so many guys around baseball absolutely wrecking things this year. It seems like; to a degree, offense is back in the game. Big time offense. Of all those guys, and all the youngsters who are making a big impression as the future of the game, Mike Trout stands above them all as the one immortal. The Mickey Mantle of the present.

At the conclusion of today’s game, Trout has 31 home runs to lead baseball, 64 RBI, 10 stolen bases, a .315 batting average, a .405 on-base percentage, a 1.038 OPS and a WAR fast approaching seven. The Angels are a game in first place, and Trout is going to win the second of what should have been his fourth MVP award. He’s 23 years of age.

Every single time you, I, or anyone decides to say ‘(fill in the blank with player name) is overtaking Mike Trout as the best player in baseball’ he gives you a startling reminder that the statement isn’t even close to being true.

And what the Hell were these Rangers pitchers thinking to continue throwing fastballs low in the zone? Must have had a death wish.

What Albert Pujols is putting together in 2015 is impressive

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Albert Pujols in his age 35 season is leading all of baseball in home runs with 29. Read that sentence again.

In a double-header today in Anaheim against the Red Sox, Pujols homered three times to take the lead from his teammate Mike Trout (who hit his own 28th home run of the season), only to take the lead back from Trout late in the night with his third home run of the day. Pujols ends the day with 549 home runs on his career. The final one of the day allowed him to pass legendary Mike Schmidt on the all-time list.

Right now Pujols is only a 2.5 bWAR, which is a far cry from the days when he posted 8.5 to 9.7 regularly. But I’m a guy who loves power. Since May 28th, Pujols has now homered 21 times and owns an OPS over 1.000, showing that in flashes he can absolutely be the great Pujols of old. He just seems to be a habitual slow starter, overcoming an April in which he hit .208 with only three home runs and nine RBI.

I wish there was more out there on the web to what is making Pujols go – but details seem nary at the moment. It’s hard for one not to have the thought enter their mind; to ask themselves if the great slugger is doing this completely clean. Power is usually the last redeeming quality to go, and this especially holds true with the legends.

It’s impressive to me that in his age 35 season, Pujols is going to pull some MVP votes. He was an aging horse a while ago who had been put out to pasture and readied for the glue factory by scouts and fans alike. It appears at the moment that the guy has a lot more in the tank and his career is going to wind down as it should.

Mike Trout with some Friday Night Magic, is still the best player on the planet.

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We did a podcast Friday afternoon with our buddy M.J. Lloyd, filling in for Mike Hllywa on the Monkeys With a Halo Podcast. During the gratuitous Mike Trout segment – a segment that has become tradition when M.J. and I do a podcast together – we pointed out that with all the amazing talents in baseball today who do a great job taking the spotlight off Mike Trout; he’s still at the top of the mountain.

And about a half hour after your likely midnight….

I like a lot of scoring in my baseball; but it’s always kind of special when there’s a 1-0 game played and the home team wins it with a home run from their star in the bottom of the ninth. Wade Miley allowed just a double to Kole Calhoun in seven innings, and the second hit of the game for those magical Halos won them the game.

The blast was (quietly?) Trout’s 27th of the season, tops among all American Leaguers.

This all follows up of course him giving the American League homefield in the World Series with his second consecutive All Star Game MVP. Mike Trout is king of the baseballers.

Mike Trout’s Onslaught of Coors Field this past week

This should have been up on the blog a lot earlier in the week, but hey we’ve been busy. Mike Trout played a short two game slate at Coors Field this past week. What follows is the carnage he left in his wake.

Mike Trout is already superhuman. When you drop him in a run-scoring environment like Coors Field, he morphs into a mutant and shit like this happens.

I watched the entire Yankees game last night

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It happens once a year, and whenever Mike Trout is on display at Yankee Stadium for the entire baseball world to see; I feel like something epic is bound to occur.

I was happy to get home last night right around first pitch between Nathan Eovaldi and Jeff Weaver, and to see that the MLB Network Friday night game was the Angels and Yankees.

Trout went 0 for 3 with a walk, and he snapped by Beat the Streak hitting streak at 12. The game was pretty uneventful until I started to doze off with the Yankees holding an 8-1 lead they built on the strength of two Stephen Drew homers and a Mark Teixeira home run.

Mike Scioscia pulled all of his starting players and the Angels scored six in the ninth with a bunch of scabs. Dellin Betances had to be involved in the game and locked down his second save of the year.

It was the perfect relaxing ballgame in the middle of a season where nothing too exciting occurs but it occupied my time for three hours. That’s why baseball is so great.

Mike Trout might be the best ballplayer these eyes have ever seen

Here's Trout hitting home run #100. Spoiler: he hit #101 a few innings later.
Here’s Trout hitting home run #100. Spoiler: he hit #101 a few innings later.

Texting with my buddy M.J. Lloyd before tonight’s ballgame, he brought up a good point. In today’s sport world, everyone is always searching for the ‘next Trout’ or ‘next Kershaw’. It leads to diminished returns and not really appreciating what is in front of us. As M.J. (wise man in the ways of the Trout) pointed out, he’s essentially ruined being a prospect for the next 20 years. There won’t be another Trout in our lifetime. Just like there’s only been one Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams and the Darryl Strawberry’s who came along after them did not reach the lofty expectations set by the legend.

Tonight, the legend of Mike Trout grows.

So Mike Trout’s 100th career home run will go into the record books, a textbook Trout blast into the Crawford Boxes in Houston off Roberto Hernandez (he’ll always be Fausto Carmona to us). It of course comes in an Angels win, because that’s what big games from Mike Trout usually result in for his franchise. Mike Trout is now the youngest member of the 100 home run/100 stolen base club in baseball history.

Feather in his cap of all the other insane things he’s done. I am sitting here currently debating whether or not he’s the best talent that I’ve ever seen. Some would want to bring Bonds into the conversation; for me in terms of the eye test and pound for pound clean talent; it’s between him and Junior Griffey. That’s the only thing I can relate what I’m seeing from Trout to.

Finally, M.J. added: “The worst thing a prospect could be called now is the next Mike Trout”. Yes. Yes Mr. Lloyd you are correct.

Because he’s the perfect boy, 2014 playoff exit still eats away at Mike Trout

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Ready to assume Derek Jeter’s place as the face of the sport (guy can hit like Jeter never could), Mike Trout outlined his 2015 season goals today. Headlining the talk was not only making the playoffs again but avoiding a quick exit that bothered him all off-season.

“It was a terrible feeling,” Trout said Wednesday at Tempe Diablo Stadium. “A lot of the guys who were here last year know they don’t want to have that same feeling. To have that be my first [postseason] experience, it was definitely tough. You see your friends over the winter, and they sometimes bring it up. The first thing that comes to your mind is ‘We lost.'”

That really did suck beyond all belief, and we could see the Angels going into that opening round and getting rolled from a mile away. Predictably they went in after winning the most games in the American League last season and got swept by the Royals who went to the World Series.

It seemed hard to believe for some but so often in the sport – in a short best of five series especially – you can just get your legs taken out from you pretty quickly. It felt like the Angels were never really in it and it certainly didn’t feel like much more than an experience of them getting their feet wet.

We would absolutely love to see Mike Trout get another shot at the postseason in 2015. We’re betting he gets more than one hit the next time around.

Addiction Sucks

Josh Hamilton had a relapse recently, bringing the ugly truth to life that sometimes our superhuman superstars are actually very human.

Plenty of people will write about this – which has to play out as a nightmarish scene for both Hamilton and his family members who have been battling these demon as a group for many years. We just want to say that our prayers are with Hamilton and we hope he gets past it and rises to a final triumph at some point.

We read his entire book on vacation a few years back in a couple days on the beach. It was a pretty good account of the mind of a junkie. Once you’re a junkie, you’re one every day for the rest of your life. It’s like when someone you love passes away. The pain never really goes away, you battle it every day and put it in the back of your mind. Anyone who tells you anything different is lying.

Betting on Baseball

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In tonight’s version of Betting on Baseball, we attempt to dig ourselves out of a little hole using an elite team against a middling left-handed starting pitcher.

Baseball can be a game of emotion and adrenaline runs on a limited supply. If you watched that Royals victory the other day that put them in this game tonight, you know that they’ve used up about eight of their nine lives; and they could be feeling a bit of a hangover tonight after a highly emotional win in Kansas City in 12 innings.

Mike Trout is a Hall of Fame player, and I think he’ll do something to swing the pendulum in Anaheim’s favor at the Big A in his first career postseason game. It might be a phenomenal catch, or a clutch hit, or stealing a bag at a crucial point in the game.

The Angels know with a weak three man rotation of Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, and Matt Shoemaker, they need this game out of their ace tonight because what follows is uncertainty.

I am going to side with SportsBookupdate.com and pick the Anaheim Angels -175 to win the game straight up. And as my boy Dave Cokin adds – this is not a bad spot to try manufacturing a -1 line, playing half the wager on the Angels money line and the other half gambling on the -1.5.

Gamble with confidence, and good luck!

On the night after the Angels clinch, some comprehensive reads on Mike Trout

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The Angels became the first team in baseball to clinch last night. The player most responsible for that was Mike Trout. Our buddy Corey sent us this old but classic read from Baseball America from 2011 that someone retweeted the other night in the wake of the Angels firing Greg Morhardt. Morhardt was the scout who gave the recommendation to draft Mike Trout.

And then there’s Dave Cameron over on FOX Sports, who shows us that Mike Trout is the best ever up until his age 22 season.

One thing was for sure all season long, when we got the alert texts from the @TroutAtBat twitter account this season, we stopped what we were doing and tuned into the at-bat on our iPhone. He’s the only guy in baseball who can command that or who ever has commanded that. We feel like we’ve paused to take notice of what we’re seeing. And even we can’t do him justice, as good as he is.

Mike Trout sets a career high in home runs

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In an odd turn of events, the Anaheim Angels have won six games in a row; including a four-game sweep of the team that was supposed to win the American League West after acquiring the two biggest arms on the trade market. In yesterday’s 8-1 win in Anaheim, Mike Trout drove in three runs and set a new career high for home runs in a season with his 31st of the year off Jesse Chavez on a pitch that was in a zone that should never be sniffed to Mike Trout:

The Angels now sit five full games up on the Athletics who are scrambling to find some offense. Many awoke to the news yesterday that Adam Dunn had been traded to the Athletics at the waiver wire deadline.

Mike Trout continues his MVP showing at the Oakland Coliseum

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ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. A’s and Angels on center stage, gridlocked in a 76-52 tie for first place in the AL West. The Angels are down a Garrett Richards and to be honest the first two games of the series went exactly as we planned with the A’s getting a couple wins to pull even in the division standings. This was even though Mike Trout hit his 28th home run of the season on Friday night off Sonny Gray. This was despite Gray having lights out command and going eight strong for the win.

But last night, the Angels took the game they had to take. You can’t go into the Oakland Coliseum and get swept by your foes; those rotten A’s. And Mike Trout hit a towering home run into the camera well to put the exclamation point on a 9-4 Angels win.

This was obviously one of the more impressive Trout home runs of the season – though it’s hard to pick a favorite. And you guessed it: it was a low pitch. He was also the Sunday conversation on SportsCenter with Buster Olney. He’s all the rage right now for good reason.

It is important to document as much as we can in what might Mike Trout’s first MVP season.

Angels Survive 19 inning Marathon with Red Sox

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This was a WILD one. I had the game on for much of it, and once again the Angels’ magical season rolls on through an improbable event. It was Albert Pujols’ 19th inning home run – the 514th of his illustrious career – that kept this game from running into some Sunday morning church services.

By the end of the game, Pujols had played five innings at his old position third base. Matt Shoemaker had thrown three scoreless innings as the final arm out of the Angels pen.

Mike Trout hit a solo home run in the 8th inning, his 25th of the season and first as a 23-year old player off Clay Buchholz; who was actually throwing a pretty good game. They were just getting started at that point.

Of course I dozed off somewhere in the 16th or 17th inning, at 2:30 AM ET, a time when no normal human should still be up to see how a ballgame concludes.

This was one of the better games of the season and an incredible effort by the Angels.

The Angels turned around today and lost 3-1 in the series finale. Their only run coming on Mike Trout’s 26th home run of the season. These teams were dog tired, and today would have been a great under bet with your local book. Of course, we were out baby crib shopping all day; so we didn’t capitalize.

Albert Pujols Mocks Yasiel Puig

The Freeway Series between the Angels and the Dodgers kicked off last night in Chavez Ravine. A solid pitching matchup between Zack Greinke and Garrett Richards was on the docket, burgeoning superstars in Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig were in each team’s respective lineup and two teams with a couple of the better records in baseball settling in for regional supremacy.
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