Referred to as a baseball Swiss Army knife in the fantasy baseball world, Los Angeles Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick is a player of many skills.
On Tuesday, he took the role of the team’s power slugger against the Texas Rangers, shouldering the Halos on his bat and representing most of the offense en route to the team’s series-splitting 5-4 victory over their divisional rival.
This one came with plenty of style points too. Going 3-for-5 on the evening, each of Kendricks’ three knocks were meaningful. The No. 6 hitter got his night started with a RBI single in the first inning to give the Angels an early 2-0 lead, then went ahead and extended it by twice that with a two-run home run in the fourth, much to the chagrin of Alexi Ogando.
By the time the game got to extras, was there any real doubt who the hero would be on this night?
It wasn’t going to be Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, or Josh Hamilton. Mark Trumbo would have been a good guess, but there were no heroic Trumbombs to be found. Instead, it was little ol’ Kendrick, who didn’t have a multi-homer game through all of 2012, that took a 1-1 sinker from Joe Ortiz to center field and ended things in dramatic fashion.
Just how important was his contributions today? Well, the .516 win probability added should tell you a little something about it. Or, in more simple sense, the 29-year old had as many hits as the four guys ahead of him combined.
The two-homer game was only the fifth time that the seven-year veteran has accomplished the feat, and Kendrick has actually found himself on quite a roll these days. The three hits marked his second-straight game with multiple hits, and continued a hitting streak from the weekend that is now going on five-strong.
It’s not too often that a team wins solely on the performance of one player, but … let’s just say the Angels would most likely have lost of Kendrick wasn’t there on Tuesday, yes?