Even though the Los Angeles Angels, one of the American League’s most puzzling teams, aren’t exactly a powerhouse squad by conventional means, they were still able to dismantle the Blue Jays in efficient fashion, taking three of the four games, narrowly losing the fourth this week at Rogers Centre.
Led by starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs and valiantly commanded by ultra-uber-mega-superstar Mike Trout, the Angels managed to improve their record to 38-38 and cruised out of town with a trio of victories. Though the Blue Jays clawed their way to a single win, the Angels were in command for the majority of the series.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from a Kawhi-et four-game series in Toronto:
In yet another surprising stretch, Eric Sogard (7-for-17, 3 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB) remained effective, finishing the finale 3-for-3 with two walks. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (4-for-13, 2 RBI, 4 R) and Cavan Biggio (2-for-11, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 3 R, 2 HR) were excellent, as was Billy McKinney, who launched a walk-off homer Thursday.
On the mound, Clayton Richard (5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 2 SO) had a decent, albeit unflashy start, while Daniel Hudson (2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 SO, 0 R) was quietly effective in a sticky situation in Thursday’s finale. Ken Giles (1.0 IP, 2 SO, 0 H), returning from a short IL stint, was also electric in his lone outing.
Starter Aaron Sanchez (3.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB) was clubbed once again, while fellow hurlers Edwin Jackson (0.2 IP, 7 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 HR), Derek Law (1.1 IP, 3 H, ER, BB), and Tim Mayza (3.2 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 2 SO) all looked shaky in their respective outings, with Jackson looking especially abysmal in his shortened appearance.
Luke Maile (0-for-8, 3 SO) and Brandon Drury (0-for-11, 3 SO, 0 TB) were hapless once again, while Rowdy Tellez (3-for-13) also had a rough go, striking out five times despite going yard twice in Wednesday’s game.
While not necessarily “weird”, Toronto Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard appeared at Thursday’s ballgame, taking in four innings from beside the Blue Jays dugout. The weird part came when Leonard, known for his quiet demeanour and non-existent online presence, began snapping pictures of Mike Trout, leading many fans to wonder: where does Kawhi post these photos?
Thursday’s game also featured yet another baseball rarity: a strikeout on a bunt. During the eighth inning, Maile struck out while trying to bunt with two strikes, a move that was heavily criticized both on Twitter and on the Sportsnet broadcast.
The dumbfounded Blue Jays will head to Fenway Park to battle the Boston Red Sox (41-35) on Friday, when Trent Thornton (2-5, 4.36 ERA, 80 SO) will face off against Chris Sale (3-7, 3.49 ERA, 130 SO). In Saturday’s game, Brian Johnson (1-1, 10.00, 9 SO) will toe the rubber for Boston, while the Blue Jays have yet to announce a starter.
Sunday’s finale will feature Marcus Stroman (4-9, 3.23 ERA, 71 SO) going up against righty Rick Porcello (5-6, 4.31 ERA, 74 SO) at 1:05 PM EDT.