Lucky for the Los Angles Angels, it’s a long season.
The Angels stumbled out of the gate, deflating their fan base that went nuts after the team signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson over the offseason. At the end of April, the Halos were 8-15 and their new star first baseman was hitting .217 with a .570 OPS and no home runs.
Things have turned around since and the team is looking more like the juggernaut every one expected. The Angles are 37-20 since the start of May, and even though they’ve only gained four games on the Texas Rangers over that span and still sit five games back in the AL West, they’re in the driver’s seat for the Wild Card.
Not that any of that matters quite yet. It’s a long season, after all.
What matters is Pujols is looking more like his old self. The 32-year-old has settled in nicely after struggling to adjust to his first season in the AL. Since the end of April, Albert has 12 home runs, a .286 average and .870 OPS.
While the turnaround from Pujols has helped, All-Stars Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo have been the catalysts of the team’s comeback. Trout leads the AL in both batting average and stolen bases and Trumbo ranks in the top-10 in home runs (20), BRI (55) and OPS (.973).
On the mound, Wilson (2.33 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) has combined with Jered Weaver (2.13 ERA, 0.94 WHIP) to form possibly the best 1-2 punch in baseball while the backend of the bullpen has been unfathomably good. Relievers Ernesto Frieri and Scott Downs have combined to give up just one earned run over a total of 54 1/3 innings for the Angels.
The Rangers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but neither are the Angels. Some people were conceding the West to Texas after the season’s first month, but now it’s clear this battle will extend through the summer.
There are still 13 games left on the schedule between the Angels and Rangers, with the next series coming July 20-22 in Anaheim.