Hitting for average won’t be enough for Angels

Bobby Abreu celebrates the go ahead and eventually winning run in Wednesday's win over the Florida Marlins. (AP/Wilfredo Lee)

Wednesday night’s win over the Marlins featured a rare treat for Angel fans, as the Halos finally cashed in their baserunners for six much-needed runs.

The third inning of the affair saw the Angels score four runs. It seemed like the first time in ages the Angels could effectively bring their men home.

In the club’s first two games against Florida, the Angels could only muster two runs per outing. The first game saw the Angels score off of two Torii Hunter RBIs, one on a groundout and another on a single. In Tuesday’s matchup, the Angels scored both of their meaningless runs in the ninth inning, by which time they had already gone eight frustrating innings without scoring.

The latter game summed up the frustrating Los Angeles offense perfectly, as the Halos nearly broke the Yankees’ 1928 record for most hits in a shutout loss. The Yanks hit 14 times without scoring a run against the Red Sox. The Angels amassed 13 hits before Torii Hunter broke up the shutout with an RBI single.

One of the most frustrating things an offense can do is get plenty of men on base and leave them stranded. The Angels have amassed 660 hits this season, the ninth-best in baseball; however, the club has only 259 RBIs to show for it – the fifth-lowest amount in baseball. Along the way, the Angels have grounded into 75 double plays, which is the worst in the American League and second only to the St. Louis Cardinals’ 80 overall. The team defines “wasted opportunity.”

So naturally, it was refreshing to get a glimpse – if only for one game – of a squad that is capable of getting that clutch hit.

Leading the offensive resuscitation was first baseman Mark Trumbo. Trumbo got things going by going 3-for-5 and batting in the game-winning run in the 10th inning in yesterday’s win. Maicer Izturis and Bobby Abreu both homered in the third, combining to bat in three of the inning’s four Angel runs.

With Torii Hunter expected to miss a few games due to bruised ribs, the Angels need to sustain that complete offensive production.

Hunter’s bat will be missed, but so will his defense in right field. He hasn’t been perfect, but he is still a fantastic defender who will save runs with both his glove and his arm. Hunter’s absence means that more opposing runs are likely to score, especially considering the Angels’ poor depth in the outfield. As such, going back to their old, anemic offense will have the Halos spiraling toward the cellar again. It’s time to cash in. The season depends on it.

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