With four baseball games kicking off the famous Freeway Series, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will face off against the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the biggest and best-known rivalries in Los Angeles. This series of games are played on May 16-19 and is a Major League Baseball (MLB) interleague rivalry from the American League West division (Angels) and National League West division (Dodgers). The naming of this series was from the large freeway system that sprung in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, housing both teams simultaneously.
Freeway Series and the Angels
Albert Pujols and Mike Trout led the first game, which was held on May 16 at Dodger Stadium. The Angels beat the Dodgers 7-6 for their fourth straight win in the opener of the Freeway Series. The first actual exhibition game between the two clubs was played in 1962 in Palm Springs. The first pre-season series was played at Dodger Stadium when the Dodger Stadium was both teams’ home ballpark. At one point in time, both teams were owned by major media conglomerates, the Angels being owned by the Walt Disney Company but were sold in recent years. During the 2002 World Series, a period of peace throughout the rivalry as a result of the nightmares fans and players were facing because of the Angels playing the San Francisco Giants, an in-state rival of the Dodgers.
Matt Shoemaker (2-5) allowed for three runs and six hits in five innings, striking out five and walking in two. Since April 13, this athlete has made it past four innings in the ninth for his second age. Fernando Salas retired the side on 11 pitches in the ninth for his second save, which officially ended the game lasting four hours. Pujols singled in two runs into the seventh, which extended the Angels’ lead to 603 total. Reliever Pedro Baez allowed three runs and four hits, which includes a sacrifice by Johnny Giavotelala. Pujols went 3 for 4 with three RBIs. With four home runs, 15 RBls, seven strikeouts and four home runs, Trout is on a tear away from home. With a least-promising start, Shoemaker still seems as if he is going downhill in terms of performance. He has pitched only 9.1 innings in his last 3 starts, giving up 18 runs. Although his performance has not been up to par, he may be able to pull off a smoother start against the Dodgers.
At the second game on May 17, Jered Weaver vs. Clayton Kershaw may pose a sordid problem. It is said that Weaver is getting older and was less likely to perform at his prime at the game, although he does boast a 1.53 career ERA. On the other hand, Kershaw has been scoring high figures, which may be an intimidation to Angel hitters. At the end of the day, though, the game was less eventful than hoped for. Trout striked out 3 times and hit a .250 over the past two seasons. Although it was expected that the Dodgers win this easily, the score ended up at a 7-6, with the Angels in the lead.
With the next two games coming up, it is impossible to say who will win for sure. It is a known fact that the Angels have been struggling for a while and the Freeway Series isn’t a new novelty anymore. One of the main rumors surfacing is the possibility of trading superstar center fielder Mike Trout. Many are saying to trade Trout if it ensures success in winning in the future and to rebuild the Angels as a whole. It is said that trading him would fill holes in the major-league roster by fielding a competitive team in the short run but also working on the minors for years to come. Still, many are questioning whether trading him is worth it. Many believe he is one of the Angels’ greatest players. However, they believe and say that the franchise will need to surround him with free agents while simultaneously building back up their prospect base. Fans are torn—is trading Trout worth it for the Angels?
Although the outlook of the Angels might not seem promising, there is still hope for the Angels themselves in the future, even if it means trading Mike Trout to benefit the team as a whole.
-By Bonnie Wong