498 down, 2 to go
…is the the all-time record for home runs hit by a team (1997 Seattle Mariners) in a single season, a total the Angels are currently on pace to eclipse by 12. With two more dingers on Saturday, the Halos now boast a league-leading 29 home runs through just 17 games. It is extremely unlikely that the club will maintain its torrid long-ball rate, especially with Josh Hamilton and Kole Calhoun sidelined for the next month, but it’s still fun to keep track of while it lasts. The franchise record for homers in a season is 236, set in Mike Scioscia’s first year (2000) at the helm in Anaheim. Naturally, that’s also the only year the team has had four players—Anderson, Glaus, Salmon, and Vaughn—hit 30 home runs. In no other season have the Angels hit more than 200 homers.
…is the number of times Mike Trout was fanned on Saturday, the first time he’s ever done so in an MLB game. It’s also just the second time he’s succumbed to four Ks in a game as a professional, the first coming way back in 2010 during his brief stint in High-A ball. While it’s a bit jarring to see Trout appear overmatched at the plate, a four-strikeout game was coming sooner or later given his slightly below-average K rate (~21%). Now, if there ever comes a time when Albert Pujols dons a Golden Sombrero, then we should be worried. The Machine has never struck out four times in a game, and he has just 13 three-K games in his 14+ seasons. Trout, on the other hand, already has 15 three-K games to his credit/debit in just two-plus seasons.
…is the Angels’ current stolen base mark on the year if you ignore Howie Kendrick’s getting picked off as he started towards second Friday night, which I do. Even if you do count the pick-off as a caught-stealing, the club was 10-for-10 to that point, which is still a franchise record for successful steals to start the season. Kendrick (3), Calhoun (2), and Trout (2) lead the way in the SB department thus far, but it’s mostly the guys with one bag who’ve piqued my interest. Chris Iannetta, Brennan Boesch, and Ian Stewart are all on the board already this year despite having just 42 steals between them (at a 60% success rate) in 1,542 games prior to this season. The furthest into the season any Angels team has gone without a CS is 20 games, achieved back in 1983, which this year’s team will (sort of) equal if it can get through Sunday’s contest unscathed.
…is the place in the 500-home run club that Albert Pujols will inhabit with just two more dingers. When he eclipses the mark in the coming week(s), he’ll be the first player to do so since Gary Sheffield accomplished the feat way back in April 2009. At just 34 years and change, Pujols will be the third-youngest player to ever reach the 500-HR milestone, behind Alex Rodriguez (32) and Jimmie Foxx (also 32). It would be great if Albert could join the exclusive club while playing at home, but the Angels still have seven games left on their current road trip, so it will probably happen away from the Big A. If we go by Albert’s career norms—he’s averaged a homer every 15 at-bats or so—then no. 500 will probably come in Yankee Stadium over the weekend. :/