Mar 11, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols (5) hits an RBI double against the Seattle Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)
Call it meaningless. Call it a warmup. Call it “just Spring Training.” Call it what you will but the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim bats were blazing violently on Wednesday in Arizona. Over a pair of split squad Cactus League games the team combined to post 24 runs on the board. One squad highlighted by Ian Stewart and Chris Iannetta blasted the Texas Rangers 12-1 on the road at Surprise Stadium. At the Angels’ Spring Training home in Tempe a squad featuring Albert Pujols and Mike Trout throttled the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 12-2.
If you’re keeping score at home, the Angels collectively outscored the opposition 24-3 Wednesday. The entire offensive onslaught was aided by just one home run, a three-run jack courtesy of Collin Cowgill in the matchup with the Rangers.
The group totaled 31 hits between the two squads. Pujols mashed his second double of the Spring and Trout scored two runs and collected as many RBI in the game against the Brewers. Newcomer and former Cardinal David Freese was a cool 3-for-3 with 2 RBI of his own in the same game in which the Angels dropped an 8-spot in the 2nd inning on Matt Garza.
Remember when the Angels missed out on the Garza sweepstakes during the Winter Meetings? If his Spring performance so far is any indication, it’s safe to say the team isn’t exactly missing his services. He allowed 10 runs (6 earned) in 1.2 innings of work on Wednesday. His Spring ERA now stands at a modest 19.06.
The icing on the cake was Joe Blanton‘s outstanding performance. He tossed five shutout innings, striking out five Rangers.
Spring Training performances are often misleading and usually don’t mean much. But it has to be encouraging for Angels fans to watch a large crop of their MLB talent putting up big numbers against (mostly) MLB-quality opposition. It’s not often your team puts up a dozen runs in a baseball game. The Angels did it twice on Wednesday. How many teams can make that claim?
Hopefully they didn’t use up all their ammunition before the season even starts.