As the Angels enter Sunday’s elimination game against the Kansas City Royals, they have two regulars with no hits in the American League division series.
One is Mike Trout, the consensus for best player in baseball. The other is Josh Hamilton, the Angels’ $125-million enigma.
Trout is 0 for 8, with two walks. Hamilton is 0 for 9 and has yet to reach base.
“I think there’s far too much attention on Josh and Mike right now,” Manager Mike Scioscia said.
The Angels have scored three runs in two games. They are batting .141 as a team, .185 excluding Trout and Hamilton. The only player with more than one hit in the series is Kole Calhoun.
“There are a lot of games where you look and you’re going to see guys have 0-for-4’s in front of them and you win the game,” Scioscia said. “We’ve just had too many of those guys in our lineup the first two games.”
Scioscia said he did not believe Trout was pressing but suggested he could be more aggressive.
“There’s certainly some pitches that he’s put good swings on and missed,” Scioscia said. “And there’s some pitches that he’s taken that maybe he gets a little bit passive. ... This guy is the best player in our league, but even the best baseball players at times aren’t squaring balls up the way we can.”
The Angels continued to keep Hamilton in the lineup, despite the rust from playing one game between Sept. 4 and the start of the ALDS, hoping he suddenly rediscovers his power stroke.
“It’s worth getting him some at-bats to see if he’s going to square some balls up,” Scioscia said.