Long road trip could be the cure for Angels
For the 33-36 Angels, a long stint away from home could be exactly what the doctor ordered.
At home, the Halos have fallen flat, batting .235 with 14 home runs, 101 RBIs, and a .636 OPS. Away from the Big A, however, the club has played better baseball, with an American League-best .272 batting average, 36 home runs, and a .759 OPS.
It’s a mystery as to why the Angels are so much better on the road. The figures suggest a slightly more aggressive approach in away games. They have a .45 walk-to-strikeout ratio at home, compared to .42 on the road. It could possibly be indicative of a more free-wheeling attitude at the plate, with less pitches taken. That said, Angel Stadium has been brutal to the home club, allowing only the aforementioned 14 Angel home runs.
Knowing all this, Halo fans are hoping a 12-game road stint will be a breath of fresh air for the team. The Angels have delivered on that notion in their first two games of the trip, defeating Seattle 6-3 and 4-0.
They hope to keep that good mojo flowing in a road trip that will also feature visits to the Mets, Marlins, and Dodgers. The Halos often fare pretty well in interleague play, so conditions don’t get much more favorable.
Whatever the case, it’s obvious that this road trip is the Angels’ best opportunity to get back into a winning groove.
The first of three games at Seattle showed strong evidence in favor of that possibility, particularly Vernon Wells’s spectacular 2 HR, 3 RBI performance. Wells’s two blasts may prove to be the beginning of a much-needed midseason renaissance for both the slugger and the entire Halos offense. The game also featured the aggressive baserunning and brash approach at the plate, which we really have not seen so far out of these Angels.
The following day’s game saw Jered Weaver pitch nine shutout innings in a 4-0 win over the Mariners, so it looks like Los Angeles is taking advantage of the situation so far.
While they try to find their groove on this trip, the Angels can take solace in the fact that they are still only four and a half games out of first place in the American League West. They have a great opportunity to really find what works over a long stretch of time. If they can handle the Mariners, the Halos could be poised to begin a run for first place. If they’re lucky enough, they might be able to bring that winning formula home and keep it there for the rest of the season.