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Twelve Game Road Trip Gave Angels New Life

The Angels had a four-corners road trip that turned out to be a fabulous 8-4 success. Will this momentum carry to a 13-game homestand?

Jered Weaver went 2-0 and allowed 2 ER in 24 IP on the 12-game Angels road trip.
Jered Weaver went 2-0 and allowed 2 ER in 24 IP on the 12-game Angels road trip.

The Angels started June off going 2-8, with seven of those losses coming at home. The team had to get out of Southern California to make way for U2 and embarked on what was dubbed the "four corners road trip". Flying out of Orange County they went up to Seattle, over to New York, down to Florida and over to Los Angeles. It would be greedy for a .500 team to ask for better results then the trip produced: They won each series on the road two games to one and were three outs (and one disputed umpiring call at the plate) away from a sweep to cap it off.

Along the way, the Texas Rangers have had a 12-12 June with little to cheer about besides a two-game lead over the Angels after play finished on Sunday. With 13 games against each other left in the schedule, the once listless angels may have life in them by default. The highlight of the road trip for the Angels had to be Jered Weaver allowing 2 runs in 24 road innings.jered

The Halos are now done with pitchers batting but not with interleague as six contests at home against the Washington Nationals and Dodgers open a 13-game homestand that finishes up the pre-All Star schedule. With four games before the break against the Mariners and four two star the second half against Oakland, the Angels may have momentum heading into an important three game homestand against Texas July 19-21.

One thing that seems to be coming together for the team is its youthful core adjusting to the big leagues beyond the 4-A bubble. Mark Trumbo and Tyler Chatwood lead in many rookie categories and Peter Bourjos has not taken offensive woes into the field nor slumped to the depths of Vernon Wells and Jeff Mathis to start the season. While Jordan Walden has blown a few saves including Sunday's heartbreak, he is still an improvement over Fernando Rodney and last season's Brian Fuentes dramas. Poor Hank Conger is feeling the squeeze form the CERA-loving Mike Scioscia, but all in all a young core has contributed at a net positive along this stretch of competence.

Can they carry this success at home? While Josh Hamilton is making excuses for the color of his eyes causing the Texas wilt, the Angels have hit a familiar Scioscia-era rhythm of winning series after series. Their 8,000 mile framing of the USA may have put them on track. Since they won't be getting on a plane until July 14, the hope is these road warriors can stomach winning under the spell of home cooking.