Are these the
The Angels have been in first place in the
On the other hand, they just swept a four-game series from the mighty
So, after the Angels won 4-2 on Sunday and outscored the Tigers 26-10 in the series, would the Angels say this was just a good weekend, or a sneak preview of an exciting summer?
"I don't want to say, 'This is the definitive moment. Here we go,'" closer
The Angels scored 12 runs on Thursday. They hit five home runs in two innings on Saturday. They gave up two runs or fewer on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
And ace Garrett Richards did not pitch in the series, setup man
Street said the Tigers series put on display the capabilities the Angels already know they have — a team that can not only win the division and go beyond simply getting into the playoffs.
"We have a team that can contend with any other team in baseball," Street said.
Manager Mike Scioscia went with the "it is what it is" meaning of the sweep.
"We don't have a crystal ball," Scioscia said. "There's no doubt we played a really good club this weekend and played good baseball. That's the important thing.
"We don't have to overthink this."
Scioscia managed Sunday as if the game were more than just another regular-season game. He juggled five pitchers, used his backup catcher as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and would have had one man — outfielder
The Angels' luck had to turn. In the sixth inning, with two on and two out in a 2-2 tie,
"It's the most frustrating thing in the sport," Giavotella said. "You do everything right, but you still fail."
In the seventh,
In the eighth, with the score still tied 2-2, the Angels loaded the bases with two out. Price left after 121 pitches — his highest total in two years — and Giavotella grounded a two-run single behind second base. No line drive, but the game-winning runs nonetheless.
Trout and Pujols might have the marquee names, but Giavotella has driven in the winning run in seven of the Angels' 27 victories.
"Late in the game, we want Johnny up," pitcher
In his 29 at-bats in so-called "late and close" situations — seventh inning or later, with a one-run lead at best and the potential tying run on deck at worst — Giavotella is batting .517.
"It seems like he gets big hit after big hit for us," Scioscia said.
The Angels could get on a roll now. They play their next 19 games against teams no better than one game over .500.
The recipe for success, catcher
That would translate to a 91-71 record. The Astros are on pace to win 98.
"It's a race to 90 wins," Iannetta said. "That is what is going to win the division."