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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mike Trout Does It All, Again: Angels 3, Dodgers 2

If the desperate straits the Angels offense really is in could be more starkly illustrated, I would be hard pressed to come up with a better example than last night. Minus Mike Trout, that would have been a loss, plain and simple. Trout not only drove in two thirds of the team's runs, he walked in the top of the ninth, stole second, and scored the winning run on Albert Pujols' RBI single for the margin of victory. What's pathetic about this is that home plate umpire Sam Holbrook was apparently intent on squeezing both pitchers, and so the Angels managed to load the bases twice with two outs and got exactly nothing out of it. Trout was literally involved in every offensive play in the game.

Both Chris Capuano and Garret Richards were out of the game after five with no decisions, though Richards would have been in line for the win had the bullpen held up. As it was, he gave up a leadoff double to Erick Aybar that Trout knocked in after Josh Lindblom entered the game.

Angels recapESPN Box

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The view that the Angels' offense is in "desperate straits" seems retrospective at best, and seems to ignore the contributions Trumbo, Hunter and Pujols have all brought to the table of late. The team is 15-5 over its past 20 games. They are averaging seven runs a game over the past week. They are averaging 5.6 runs per game in June, well above league average.

For a guy that is supposed to be data-driven, you run on pure (counterfactual) pessimism at times.
Meanwhile, the Angels' offense is still tenth in runs scored. Trout has been helpful but he can't do it all himself. The team scored 178 runs since May 1, which roughly corresponds to the time Trout got his callup (and since he played in only three games to no effect as far as scoring or driving any in, we may ignore them). In those two months, Trout has scored approximately 18.5% of the team's runs, and has driven in 26 of 178, or 15% -- more than only Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo.
I should say, Trout only played three games in April to no effect so far as scoring or driving in runs was concerned.
Not sure what you think you're disproving by pointing out that Mike Trout is having a phenomenal season, or pointing to aggregate counting stats that factor in an abysmal April to try to prove the Angels offense stinks in June. They don't do that, of course, and you're smart enough to know it -- but you're too stubborn to just be an honest mensch and admit you haven't looked at recent progress in awhile.

The Angels are 5th in runs scored in the AL since May 1, and are 1st in runs scored since June 1st. The fact that Trout, who leads off and has more plate appearances than anyone on the club, is outperforming most guys on the club does not indict the Angels offense.

Pujols put up a 119 wRC+ in May, and is putting up a 184 wRC+ in June. Trumbo put up a breathtaking 196 wRC+ in May, and a very good 133 wRC+ in June. Morales put up a 112 wRC+ in May and 155 wRC+ in June. Hunter, since returning from the restricted list, has a crazy, unsustainable 214 wRC+. You even have a catcher now who can hit (albeit can barely catch) in John Hester, who has a 112 wRC+ since being called up.

Pay attention, man. Over the past three weeks, the Angels have the hottest offense in baseball (even the SBN Dodgers blog recognized that pre-series), and somehow you missed it.

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