Great moments in optimism, Angels edition

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Sam Miller writes about the Angels for the OC Register. So he certainly got to see the Halos woof three of four to the Rangers this week and has watched their playoff hopes fall off a cliff since there were only a game and a half back last week.

But he is not one to despair!

Today he has a list of the six reasons why the Angels will win the division.  Reasons like this:

The Angels have about a 6 percent chance of making the playoffs, which is just terrible. But you know what 6 percent is? It’s flipping heads four times in a row. That sounds easy enough. Even Vernon Wells could do that! Even Jeff Mathis could do that, but then he’d probably throw the coin into center field.

Well, maybe not all of the reasons are to be taken totally seriously. And it’s probably worth noting that there are only four reasons, not six.  But still, given how often you hear people complaining about their team’s chances this time of year, it’s refreshing to see some friggin’ optimism, even if it’s unhinged, borderline anti-optimism, for a change.

Mike Trout has been really good at baseball lately

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“Water wet,” “Sky blue,” “Dog bites man” and “Mike Trout good” are not exactly newsworthy sentiments, but once in a while you have to state the obvious just so you can look back later and make sure you were, in the moment, aware of the obvious.

And to be fair, “Mike Trout good” is underselling the Angels outfielder lately. He’s on the greatest tear of his great career lately, and dang it, that’s worthy of a few words on this blog.

Last night Trout went a mere 1-for-1, but that’s because the Diamondbacks were smart enough not to pitch to him too much, walking him twice. There was no one on base the first time he came up and he got a free pass. There was a guy on first but two outs the second time, so he was once again not given much to hit and took his base again. Arizona was not so lucky the third time. The bases were loaded and there was nowhere to put Trout. He smacked the first pitch he saw for a two-run single. They probably shoulda just walked him anyway, limiting the damage to one. The last time up he reached on catcher’s interference. Maybe Arizona figured that literally grabbing the bat from him with a catcher’s mitt was the best bet?

If so you can’t blame them, really. Not with the month he’s had. In June, Trout is hitting .448/.554/.776 with five homers. He currently leads the league in the following categories: home runs (23), runs (60), walks (64), on-base percentage (.469), OPS (1.158) OPS+ (219), total bases (179) and intentional walks (9). He currently has a bWAR of 6.5. WAR, in case you did not know, is a cumulative stat. When he won the 2014 MVP Award, he “only” had 7.6 for the entire year.

Sadly, one man does not a team make, so the Angels are only 9-8 in the month of June and have fallen far back of the red-hot Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners in the division race. For this reason I suspect a lot of people are going to do what they’ve long done and overlook Mike Trout’s sheer dominance or, even more ridiculously, claim he is overrated or something (believe me, I’ve seen it even this month).

Feel free to ignore those people and concentrate instead on the greatest baseball player in the game today, who has somehow managed to up his game in recent weeks.