The Angels are in a hold-on-for dear-life part of the schedule and, so far, they've struggled to keep their grip. After a bullpen meltdown Friday night, the Angels got off to a good start, but couldn't keep the ball in the park in a 5-3 loss at Yankee Stadium.
The Usual Suspect. All three times Mike Trout got to second base, Derek Jeter walked over, said something and started laughing. Perhaps one of the phrases was something like, "Come on, kid. It's not this easy." The Angels' phenom is batting .348 and continues to produce, day after day. Saturday was a pretty good sampler of his skill set. He had a dribbler for an infield hit, yanked a double into the corner and stole both second and third base. It's hard to bring yourself to say it about a 20-year old, but he very well may be the best player in baseball.
Big assist. The Angels got the first two men of the game on base, but were about to waste the opportunity after Albert Pujols popped up a fastball down the middle and Kendrys Morales had an awful at-bat, striking out on a pitch in the dirt and six inches outside. But Alberto Callaspo helped the Angels get a quick shot of momentum after Friday night's tough loss by lining a two-run single into right field. That took some heat off the sluggers who hit in front of him.
Yankee power. There weren't a lot of highlights for the Angels in this one, so we're going to have to give credit to the opponent. The Yankees have hit 138 home runs this season. That's more than twice as many as three of the four teams in the NL West have produced, including the Dodgers. OK, the ballpark differential is a factor, but not that big a factor. Power is expensive, but it's also fun to watch.
Jerome's trajectory. Considering he was coming off the disabled list, where he had been placed for a condition that included anxiety, Jerome Williams pitched a solid game in an unforgiving stadium against a tough lineup. But the fact is he allowed two costly home runs and hasn't had a quality start since June 1. With Dan Haren probably coming off the disabled list within the next week or so, Williams might only have one more start to prove he belongs in the rotation.
Lining up. Morales isn't driving the ball once again. He hasn't homered since June 20. Considering Mark Trumbo has hit seven home runs since then, shouldn't he be hitting fourth? Seems like a fairly logical conclusion. Mike Scioscia clearly doesn't want to line up with four straight right-handed hitters to start the game, but shouldn't it be about results? Trumbo not only drives the ball better, but also gets on base more frequently.
Home cookin'. In addition to being a great player for 17 years, Jeter has undoubtedly gotten some help from the official scorers at Yankee Stadium to have amassed more than 3,200 hits. He hit a fairly routine chopper to Erick Aybar in the first inning and it was ruled a hit. There were no definitive replays, but Angels announcers Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza seemed to think it was an awful call. These things have repercussions. Williams, fighting to hold onto his rotation spot, was probably unfairly tagged with two earned runs.