The Los Angeles Angels feature one of the most potent hearts of the order in all of baseball. When everyone is healthy, Joe Maddon can feature a 2-5 of Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Jared Walsh. The potential of this quartet was shown in full force on Saturday in the team’s win over the Seattle Mariners.
Combined, they went 9-of-17 with three walks, six runs, and nine RBI’s in a 10-5 victory. This is nothing short of dominance specifically led by Rendon and Walsh, who went 7-for-9 on the night. Maddon finally saw exactly what he was hoping to see out of his 4-5 powerhouse duo.
Rendon had been struggling in the early part of the season, but finally appears to be heating up. Maddon said that the Rendon he saw on Saturday is who he knows him to be, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“He just needed at-bats,” Maddon said. “We saw it last year in the abbreviated season. He started slowly and then he caught fire. And when he catches fire, he really catches fire. And that’s what it looks like right now. And he’s got Walshy behind him, which should present better pitches for him. That’s the version of Anthony I know and because of that, they’re not going to be able to walk Michael again.”
Unlike Rendon, Walsh has been on fire all season long. However, Maddon is still seeing improvements in his work ethic and his passion, saying that the talent was always right there.
“I’ve always thought he had exceptional hands but the difference right now is his work ethic,” Maddon said of Walsh. “It’s among the best. And I love the fact he hates striking out and that’s why you’re seeing the ball shoot all over the field. He’s making adjustments during the at-bats. He’s really motivated and is not a flash in the pan. He’s that good.”
For years, one of the Angels biggest issues was that there was no run support before or after Trout in the lineup. The three-time MVP was always up to bat with no one on base, and if he didn’t hit a home run, it was unlikely he would score.
Now, there are All-Star caliber players all around him, and it’s showing in the Angels offensive production. They lead the majors in batting average, rank second in OPS, and fourth in home runs. This is even with Rendon in and out of the lineup with injury.
When Rendon and Walsh are at their best, there is very little to do to stop the Angels from scoring.
David Fletcher resolving timing issues
The heart of the Angels order isn’t the only part of their lineup that’s hitting their stride. The lead-off man, David Fletcher, is also figuring things out after an early slump. He feels his timing is much better now and it’s resulting in a skyrocketing of his batting average.