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Pujols Gets No. 500

April 22nd, 2014
CM Capture 1

Albert makes history.

Welcome to the 500-home run club, Albert Pujols.

“The Machine” became just the 26th MLB player to reach the 500-HR milestone Tuesday afternoon1, and the first ever to do so with a multi-homer game2. Pujols walloped No. 499 in the top of the first to put the Halos up 3-0, then followed it with a mammoth shot in the fifth to tally No. 500 and extend the lead to 6-2. Both homers were hit well out of the park.

GIFs:

499

499

500

500

The entire team greeted Pujols at home plate after No. 500, and Albert gave a curtain call shortly after to salute the nice standing ovation from the D.C. crowd, but other than that there was no real pause in the action. Anyone who was hoping for a 20-minute ceremony a la Cal Ripken’s “Iron Man” lap around the ballpark was probably a bit disappointed.

Pujols is just the second player to hit his 500th as a member of the Angels, joining Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson. Pujols now has eight homers on the season, which not only leads all of baseball but is also more than a quarter of the Angels’ season total (31). I think his feet are feeling better…

The next major career milestone on Albert’s list is 3,000 hits, but that’s still several seasons away. He currently sits at 2,370 hits, a full 630 shy of the 3K benchmark.

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1 Cool random tidbit: Both dingers were caught by visiting Angels fans.

2 This marks Pujols’ 47th multi-homer game of his career, which is 17th all-time.

Week 4: A Battle in the Captial

April 21st, 2014
Bros

Bros

The Angels head east this week to take on two expected playoff contenders. First up, the Washington Nationals, in the first head-to-head battle between two young baseball prodigies. That’s right, J.B. Shuck and Danny Espinosa will match up for the first time in the regular season. Oh, and so will Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, I guess.

Harper and Trout will, for the rest of their careers, be compared to each other. Both were considered two of the greatest minor league prospects ever, both were called up for good on the same day in April 2012, and both have played excellent baseball at ridiculously young ages. Harper posted the greatest age-19 season in history, and Trout posted the greatest age-20 and age-21 seasons in history.

Motown Mowdown: Angels Lose Two of Three in Detroit

April 21st, 2014

Game 1: Angels 11, Tigers 6 | Game 2: Tigers 5, Angels 2 | Game 3: Tigers 2, Angels 1

Runs Scored: 14
Runs Against: 13

YTD Record: 8-10 | 3rd in AL West

Up Next: Monday @ Washington

Since their initial offseason splurge on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson in December of 2011, the Angels have seen two consecutive seasons derailed by atrocious April performances. In 2012, the Angels started off 8-15, a terrible start that ultimately cost them a playoff berth as the 89-win club fell four games short of a Wild Card spot that season. Last year, the Angels were 9-17 at the end of April, and while they never really pulled off a comeback that would’ve condemned their April performance, a better first month may have put the season in a different direction.

Entering this weekend’s three game series in the Motor City, the Angels were 7-8. Not inspiring, but not terrible either. The Angels got off to an enticing start, walloping Detroit 11-6, but things didn’t go too well on Saturday and Sunday, leaving the team at 8-10 heading into this week’s matchup in Washington DC.

So, what exactly happened in Detroit?

This Week In Notable Numbers

April 20th, 2014
497 down, 3 to go

498 down, 2 to go

 

264

…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.

 

4

…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.

 

11-for-11

…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.

 

26th

…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.  :/

Whither Mike Trout’s Stolen Bases?

April 19th, 2014
TroutSB

Oh look. There’s one.

This post would’ve been much timelier on Friday morning, when Mike Trout had just one stolen base through 15 games. However, though Trout’s “doubled” his season total in the game since then, the question posed in the headline is still worth asking and answering:

It’s April 191. Mike Trout has only two stolen bases. Should we be concerned?

 

Short Answer: No. No we shouldn’t. ~fin~

 

Long Answer: Worrying over Trout’s stolen bases is a bit like ordering a double chocolate fudge cake and fretting about whether or not it’s going to have chocolate sprinkles. Sure, the sprinkles would be nice to have—who doesn’t love sprinkles?—but their absence isn’t going to make or break the whole cake experience. You still get a shitload of chocolate either way.

Halos Daily

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