Reviewing the Series: #10 Los Angeles Angels
The Rays have spent the better part of the season trading wins and losses to settle in right around a .500 winning percentage. This has mostly been earned thanks to an offense that looks great some days before running out for cigarettes and going on a weekend bender. Needless to say a sweep is exactly what the doctor ordered as the team finally stuck their neck above that .500 waterline. Will it last? Time will tell, but for a team that always feels like the struggle on the West Coast this was a great start to the roadie.
Tampa Bay outhit the Angels in each game of the series with the first and third games showing wide gaps between the two offenses. Overall, the Rays hit like a team that scored roughly four runs more than expected and allowed nearly five fewer. That’s a recipe for a good series, but sometimes the luck of the game works against probabilities. That wasn’t the case. The Rays had around an 84% chance of sweeping the series the way they hit and pitched, and that is exactly what they did. Let’s look at the bats:
Coming into the series the names Mike Trout and Albert Pujols should have been highlighted, underlined and otherwise embiggened. The team did a marvelous job against the latter, and had enough of a net on Trout that he couldn’t get off the line. The Angels didn’t really have a single batter go off other than a big fly from Carlos Perez and a couple of soft hits from Yunel Escobar.
Switching over to the Rays we see some outstanding games from Brad Miller, Steven Souza and Curt Casali. Each provided the power and good at bats that this team needs in order to get the offense going. All of these guys are getting a ton of playing time so if they can help carry the offense then it allows a guy like Longo or Kiermaier to be able to have a bad series without it sinking the entire ship. For Longo this is now two bad ones in a row, and while I have been a big proponent of his selling out for power he will certainly need to tighten it up if he wants to get good, hittable pitches going forward. Here’s the arms:
That we only needed four relievers over three games is usually a good thing, but it becomes tiring to see Erasmo Ramirez and Alex Colome have to pitch day after day because of the lack of confidence in every one else. X-man Cedeno is now officially a LOOGY despite whatever the team is saying, which is fine, but it would be far better if a guy like Geltz could pitch well in low leverage so that the big guns could get a day off. In that vein, it was nice to get Enny Romero a weekend off so that he can get back to what he was doing at the start of the season when he was unhittable AND throwing strikes.
As for the starters, what else could you ask for? Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi were very good and both seem to settling in as very good pitchers that can give volume in addition to being very good. The question mark on this series revolved around who would start the final game? Once Matt Andriese was tabbed for that start the question then became how long Manager Kevin Cash would let him go. I thought it made sense to let him see the lineup twice and then yank him. Andriese embarrassed that suggestion. He was very good mixing his pitches and getting out of the early trouble. I wouldn’t expect him to be this good going forward, but the Rays seventh best starter just tossed an absolute gem. The arms in the sky keep on churning. I don’t know where these bats will be tomorrow, but it sure is nice getting production from throughout the lineup so that we don’t have to rely on the same two guys every single series.