The Los Angeles Angels embarked on their first road trip of the year after starting the season 4-2 in six home games. Facing the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals, manager Joe Maddon knew it was going to be difficult to sustain that level of play even before the team was battered by injuries.
In just a six-game road trip, the Angels lost Dexter Fowler for the season, and had to place Anthony Rendon, Max Stassi, and Juan Lagares on the 10-day Injured List. By the end, the Angels used all of the players on their taxi squad, an extremely rare thing for such a short road trip.
Despite all of that, the Angels went 3-3 in those six games, and had the opportunity to go 4-2 before dropping their final game to the Royals. All in all, Maddon was pleased with what he saw from the team, calling a .500 record a success, according to Daniel Guerrero of MLB.com:
“You know it’s just kind of an awkward road trip,” Maddon said. “I’m happy to get home at 3-3 off of it. I mean, actually that’s a good thing. We had the opportunity to have a really good road trip, but it was adverse. I mean, things that happened made it much more difficult.”
Maddon is definitely right to be positive about a 3-3 record. Going .500 on the first road trip of the year is good before considering the team had multiple starters get injured. Beyond just the 3-3 record, the Angels were within one run in the seventh inning or later in two of the three losses.
Leaving runners stranded on base hurt the Halos significantly in their series against the Royals. In their last two games of the series — a 3-2 loss and a 6-1 loss — the Angels left a combined 20 runners on base. They had the bases loaded multiple times throughout the two games and got zero runs to show for it.
The Angels now will get six straight home games, three against the Minnesota Twins and three against the Texas Rangers. At 7-5, the Angels just need to do what they can to stay atop at the AL West while getting healthy.
Shohei Ohtani impressing at the plate
One of the biggest takeaways from the Angels road trip is that even when Ohtani is not pitching, he still provides immense value as a hitter. He is slashing .340/.380/.745 through 12 games and has been the MLB’s leader in exit velocity.