Vol 3: AL West Weekly Wrap-Up

by Collin Budd | Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2015
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A weekly installment here at Baseball Hot Corner, here is some of the happenings from around the AL West from the third week of the season.

Houston Astros

An early season surprise, the Houston Astros, are the only team in the AL West above .500 entering play on Monday night. Houston had a great road trip and week as they went 5-1 against divisional foes, Seattle Mariners and Oakland A’s. Third baseman Luis Valbuena played the hero on Monday as his two home runs helped Houston come back from an early deficient in Seattle. Starting pitcher Collin McHugh was the beneficiary of a late rally and was able to push his win streak to 10 games (dating back to last season). After an off day on Thursday the ‘Stros were able to win a thrilling extra innings game in the series opener at Oakland. Dallas Keuchel took a hard luck no decision after going tossing nine innings of shutout baseball and surrendered just two hits. On Sunday, Evan Gattis appeared to break out of his season long slump by driving in four RBIs including a key 9th inning two run double to help secure an Houston sweep.

Record: 11-7

Los Angeles Angels

While many expect the Angels to compete for a division title this season, they have gotten off to a rather slow start to the 2015 season and went 4-3 this week. The offense, which currently ranks in bottom half in the American League in runs scored, was able to explode for 14 runs in Tuesday’s game against Oakland. Kole Calhoun was able to lead the offense going 4-5 with a home run and 3 RBIs and Johnny Giavotella also drove in four runs. The Halos won an interesting game on Thursday as despite being limited to just one hit, were able to pick up the win due to a  3rd inning two run home run by Calhoun. The story of the week had to be the team’s pitching that held opponents to under four runs a game.

Late in the weekend, reports started circling that the club was in talks with the Texas Rangers to trade Josh Hamilton. That deal was finalized on Monday as the team will be splitting ties with the oft-injured outfielder for either cash considerations or a player to be named later.

Record: 9-10

Oakland A’s

It was a disappointing week for the defending AL West Champs as they went 2-5, splitting a four game series with the Angels before being swept by the first place Houston Astros at home. Sonny Gray was dominant on Wednesday and scattered just two hits and one run over seven innings while the offense exploded for nine runs on 18 hits. Unable to hold Houston in the late innings, the bullpen could be blamed for the sweep. Tyler Clippard blew a save on Sunday before taking the loss after allowing a two run double to Gattis in the ninth inning. Earlier in the week, Scott Kazmir tossed seven scoreless and struck out seven and lowered his ERA on the season to 0.99. The A’s have Monday off and will have a chance to make up some ground in the standings this week as they take on the Angels before heading to Texas for a three game series.

Record: 8-12

Seattle Mariners

Before the 2015 season began, last week may have looked like an great chance for the Mariners to go on an extended winning streak. Things did not go as planned as they dropped 2 of three against both the Astros and the Minnesota Twins. Starter J.A. Happ helped save a sweep at the hands of the Astros on Wednesday by allowing just two Astros to score over 7 1/3 innings allowed just 2 runs while striking out five. The lone win against the Twins could be placed on the shoulders of Felix Hernandez who improved to 3-0 after a complete game five hit shutout.

Record: 7-11

Texas Rangers

It was an interesting week for the Texas Rangers who after much speculation, was able to swing a trade to bring back Josh Hamilton to the franchise. On the field, the club went 2-3 by trading wins against the Arizona Diamondbacks before dropping two of three against the Angels. One of the bright spots this week was Nick Martinez who continues to impress. After allowing one run in six innings against the Diamondbacks, he followed up his performance with six scoreless innings against the Angels. For the season his era is now at 0.35 which currently leads all of Major League Baseball. Mitch Moreland continues to swing the bat well and after a productive was able to eclipse .300 batting average and an on-base percentage over .400.

Record: 7-11

Position Player of the Week: Kole Calhoun- .409 AVG, 12 H, 2 HR, 5 RBIs
Pitcher of the Week: Nick Martinez- 12 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO

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Collin Budd
About the Author

Freelance writer covering the MLB since 2011. Senior Writer for Baseball Hot Corner. Lover of all things except spiders and those who believe a hot dog is not a sandwich.

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