Mike Trout (leading the AL in WAR, batting average, stolen bases, wOBA, wRC+, adoring fanboys, and glowing adjectives) led off the game with a single to left field and Torii Hunter followed with a walk. Albert Pujols boosted his BABIP with a seeing-eye single through the left side of the infield in to knock in Trout; off the bat, it looked like a weak grounder that third basemen Miguel Cabrera would convert into an easy double play. Nope. As I wrote Monday, Detroit’s lack of infield range has hurt them often this year, and Pujols’ single is a direct example. Mark Trumbo exacerbated the problem, launching a 3-run home run to left field,* giving the Angels a 4-0 lead before Turner recorded an out.
* Baseball mythology states that when a batter participates in the Home Run Derby, they fall into slumps when the second half starts. Trumbo now has 4 home runs in 5 post-All Star Break games, so he’s doing his best to debunk the myth.
In the top of the 2nd inning, superstar catcher Bobby Wilson worked a walk off Turner. Trout followed with a 442-foot bomb…to right center. Two batters later, Pujols added a solo blast to make the score 7-0 Angels. Since Ervin Santana wasn’t pitching, this meant the game was safe and the Angels would cruise the rest of the way.
Of all the amazing things Trout has done since late April, the aspect of his game I’ve been most impressed with is his power. When in the minors, many reports I read suggested Trout would eventually develop 25-HR power as he hung around the big leagues. Well, in only 69 games, Trout already has 13**; you may have also heard he’s 20. Trout already looks like a 25-homer player. When you factor in that above average power with his numerous elite tools, you have a player that has no weaknesses. It’s still way too early in Trout’s development to determine if his early power surge is a fluke or not, but it’s still exciting to see Trout already improving upon his only “weakness.”
** He only trails Pujols by 3 homers this year, which is simultaneously awesome and depressing.
In 6th inning, Alberto Callaspo tacked on a 3-run homer, bumping the score to 11-0 Angels. Morales, batting from the right side, continued the troll-job in the 8th with a solo shot to right field, making it 12-0.
Richards was effective considering the offense gave him 12 runs. He walked 4 batters and hit another, and that will come back to bite him eventually. But last night, he worked 7 scoreless innings, allowing only 3 hits, striking out 2, and recording an impressive 14 groundouts. As long as Richards induces groundballs at a high rate, he will get away with low K/9 numbers and erase many of his walks via the double play.
CJ Wilson takes the mound tomorrow night against Doug Fister.