Dean Chance/Photo courtesy of BaseballReference.com
Pitchers Dean Chance and Mike Witt and outfielder Tim Salmon were inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame before Saturday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Chance won the Cy Young Award in 1964 when only one award was given for both leagues, Witt threw a perfect game against the Texas Rangers in 1984 and Salmon helped the Angels to their only World Series title in 2002.
In 1964, the Angels were still playing at Dodger Stadium. Chance noted Saturday that his Cy Young Award was part of a string of five pitchers winning the award whose home park was Dodger Stadium. The others were Don Drysdale (1962) and Sandy Koufax (’63, ’65, ’66).
Chance went 20-9 with an ERA of 1.65 in ’64. He talked about win No. 20.
“It was at Dodger Stadium, which is a pitcher’s park,” he said. “And the 20th win – (second baseman) Bobby Knopp – they (Minnesota Twins) had runners on first and third with one out and he (Knopp) made the greatest defensive play I’ve ever seen an infielder make.
“Jimmie Hall hit a shot back through the middle and he went clear to his right, turned his glove and slapped the ball back to (Jim) Fregosi and we got a double play. That play there, I mean, it’s a game of inches. And that was a big play because in those days your goal as a pitcher was you win 20 games. And you’ve gotta really be lucky to get the breaks to do it.”
Chance is 74.
Albert Pujols/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels
– David DeJesus got off to a rough start in his first game, striking out three times while going 0-for-4. Normally, DeJesus will platoon with Shane Victorino in left field, but DeJesus was in center for this one because Mike Trout missed his second consecutive game with a sore wrist. David Murphy, one of the other new Angels, went 1-for-4 while playing left field. At least he didn’t strike out.
– The Astros re-took sole possession of first place in the AL West with this victory. The Angels, who recently led by two games, have gone 1-5 after a 20-game span in which they went 17-3.
– Albert Pujols hit his 30th home run, becoming the sixth player to hit at least 30 home runs in 13 seasons, the first to do it in his first 15 campaigns.
– Trout missed his second consecutive game with a sore left wrist. Manager Mike Scioscia told the Associated Press before the game that Trout is getting better, but that he wanted to “err on the side of caution.”
– Not a terrific performance by starting pitcher Garrett Richards. Not horrible, though. He allowed four runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. What’s interesting is that he struck out just three even though he is throwing hard. It’s been a season-long curiosity. Richards struck out 164 in 168 2/3 innings before his season ended with a serious knee injury in August. He averaged 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings. He has just 91 strikeouts in 122 2/3 innings this season, a 6.7 average.
Albert Pujols/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels
Albert Pujols gave a good account of himself in Monday’s Home Run Derby at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Pujols defeated the Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant 10-9 in the first round, with Pujols’ longest home run traveling 446 feet.
Pujols advanced to the second round, but was defeated 12-11 by the Dodgers’ Joc Pederson, who lost 15-14 in the final to the Reds’ Todd Frazier. Pujols’ longest home run in that round was 452 feet.
The All-Star game will be played Tuesday evening with the Angels represented by Pujols, Mike Trout and pitcher Hector Santiago.
The Angels, in first place in the AL West by a half-game over the Houston Astros, resume play when they begin a 10-game homestand Friday against the Boston Red Sox.
Hector Santiago/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels
– First and foremost, Hector Santiago had another fine outing. He pitched seven innings and for the most part matched “King” Felix Hernandez pitch-for-pitch. Santiago allowed just one run on three hits and struck out six while walking two. Hernandez allowed no runs and just one hit and struck out eight while walking three in six innings; he came out with cramps caused by the heat in the daytime game. Santiago’s ERA dropped to 2.58, lowest among Angels starting pitchers, fourth in the American League. He’s only 4-4, but Santiago is nevertheless making a case for being selected to the AL All-Star team.
– Rookie Trevor Gott, just 22, earned his first big-league victory with a perfect 10th inning. Gott has now pitched seven innings and has allowed just three hits and no runs; he has an ERA of 0.00 and has not walked a batter. He is regularly clocked at 98 miles-per-hour.
– It figured Albert Pujols would cool off, if for no other reason than he had been so hot for a long spell. Pujols went 0-for-5 in this one and has gone just 1-for-15 in his past four games with no home runs and no RBIs. Pujols’ most recent home run came June 22 in a 4-3 victory over Houston. He hit two that night. That was also the last time he drove in a run; he had three RBIs in that one.
– The Angels, who continue to struggle to score runs, hit into three double plays. The most notable came in the bottom of the 10th inning when Pujols hit the first pitch from Tom Wilhelmsen and grounded into a shortstop-to-home-to-first double play with the bases loaded. Fortunately for the Angels, Wilhelmsen then uncorked a wild pitch that scored Kole Calhoun with the winning run.
– Speaking of Calhoun, he has had two clutch at-bats the past two games. And since he’s been struggling at the plate, that’s huge for the Angels. He smacked a two-run home run in the first inning of Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Seattle. Then he had an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning in this one that gave the Angels a 2-1 lead. It could have been the winning run, but Huston Street gave up a game-tying home run in the top of the ninth. However, the Angels were glad to take the victory on Wilhelmsen’s wild pitch. Calhoun was hitting .314 on May 13. He’s now at .262 and is hitting just .232 this month.