Week ahead for Angels: Four at Fenway before huge series vs. A's
Aug 18, 2014 at 12:00p ET
The week ahead
When the Red Sox came to town earlier this month, it was not pretty for the Angels, at all. Boston took took of three and the lone game the Angels won in the series was on the strength of a 19th inning walk-off home run. The Angels will head to Boston for four beginning Monday and hope to fare better at Fenway than they did at Angel Stadium. Following the visit to Boston, the club will travel across country for three very important games in Oakland.
The week behind
A little rest did the Angels well. After losing four of five the end the previous week, the Angels had two off days last week and had the look of a team playing with more energy. They swept a two-game series with the Phillies before taking two of three in Texas against the Rangers.
Record and standings
After entering the week four games behind the A's, the Angels closed out the week as owners of the best record in baseball, 72-50, and are percentage points in front of Oakland, 73-51, in the American League West.
Kole Calhoun had himself quite a week. Over his last six games, the Angels leadoff hitter is batting .423 with two home runs, three doubles, and eight RBI. During that span, Calhoun has a slugging percentage of .769.
Josh Hamilton just isn't the same guy he was when he was with the Rangers, Angels skipper Mike Scioscia said. Confidence is the main thing he's lacking, currently, prompting Scioscia to sit the Angels slugger in the series finale with the Rangers on Sunday. Hamilton is hitting .266 for the season which is 26 points below his career average. For the month of August, he is hitting just .189. If there is a silver lining, before Sunday's personal off day, Hamilton hit safely in his previous four games.
Player to watch
Instead of a single player, the players to watch this week will be the Angels bullpen as they continue through one of the club's toughest remaining stretches this season. The Angels are currently in the midst of a stretch of 17 games in 17 days. Scioscia says the way he monitors the bullpen during this stretch will be key. It could be a prequel. Next month, the team will have a stretch of 23 games in 23 days.
Stat to watch
When it comes to pitching, the Angels staff owns a 1.95 ERA against Boston this season. Despite taking two of three earlier this month, as a team, the Red Sox hit just .141 in the series. Angels pitching against Oakland, however, is a different story. In nine games this season, the Angels have posted a 5.11 ERA against the A's.
"When you think about it, going forward, it's a lot of games in a lot of days ....There's a lot of team's going through the same thing. They call it the dog days of summer for a reason. It's beautiful, though." -- Angels closer Huston Street on the Angels closing out the month of August with 17 games in 17 days.