The first week for the Los Angeles Angels may not have gone according to plan, but it has not been all bad. The Halos notched their first series victory with a solid win against the Astros on Monday. In addition, the American League Player of the Week award was given to Josh Hamilton, who is in desperate need of a big bounce back season after a very disappointing 2013.
The Angels took three out of four from Houston over the weekend in a series that was dominated by starting pitching. In the three victories LA earned, the starting pitchers combined for 21 innings and only three runs. The only loss was an uncharacteristic outing by Jered Weaver. He did not allow many hits, but four of them were dingers, tying a career high for homeruns allowed. The offense came out big too, scoring 29 runs during the series.
The offensive charge was led by Hamilton, who is sharing the American League Player of the Week award with Chris Colabello of the Minnesota Twins. He continued his success against the Astros in Minute Maid Park, a place where he became comfortable playing in during his time with Texas. Hamilton is currently batting .500 on the young season, including a pair of homeruns and a six-pack of RBI. He is tied with Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun for the team lead in round-trippers, and is second behind Raul Ibanez who is sitting with seven runs-batted-in.
Angel fans are excited to see Hamilton start out so strong, and are hoping he has finally turned the page from his dismal 2013 season. He begun last year in probably the biggest slump of his MLB career, and although he started to right the ship toward the end of the year, it was too little too late to help the Halos salvage their season. If he can get hot and stay hot this year, he is capable of carrying the team on his shoulders for several weeks at a time. It is a good thing too, because Trout cannot do it alone and Pujols has come out of the gate very slow. The Angels cannot afford another slow start this year. Their bad showing in April the last two seasons has ultimately cost them a shot at the playoffs.
The Halos next travel to Seattle to take on the Mariners in a mini two-game series. They have a chance for a little payback against the boys from the northwest, who swept them at home to start the season and ruined their home opener. They are looking to return the favor, as the Mariners make their 2014 home debut tonight. Hector Santiago will have a second crack at a Mariners’ lineup that knocked him around pretty good last week. It will also be interesting to see if Trout can continue his streak of homeruns. He has hit one during his first at-bat of every series so far this season. Kole Calhoun must also step up if LA wants to rebound against Seattle. He had a rough first week, but had a very good game in the series finale against the Astros on Monday.
Commentary by Chris Chisam
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the Los Angeles Angels