2008 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
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2008 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim / Franchise: Los Angeles Angels / BR Team Page
Clinched Division: September 10, 2008, vs. 2008 New York Yankees
Managed by Mike Scioscia
The team moved into first place to stay in the middle of May.
The Angels managed to win 100 games without much of an offense. Their 765 runs scored was only tenth in the 2008 American League, in spite of the team playing in a neutral ballpark which neither favored nor disfavored the hitters. The team was 12th in the league in walks, 13th in doubles, ninth in triples and ninth in home runs. Their strongest statistic was stolen bases, where they finished second in the league.
Part of the reason was injuries. Only three starters managed to get 500+ at-bats, with the oldest regular, 36-year-old Garret Anderson, leading the team with 557 at-bats. Even Anderson, though, had gone through a long period earlier in his career where he got over 600 at-bats each year.
Mark Teixeira, in his partial year with the team, had the highest slugging percentage with a .632. Mike Napoli, in 226 at-bats, slugged .586. Among the regulars, Vladimir Guerrero was the only regular slugging over .500, with a .521. Torii Hunter led the team in doubles while Erick Aybar was the top triples hitter. Chone Figgins topped the team with 34 steals in 116 games.
Nobody scored or drove in 100+ runs. The top run scorers were Hunter and Guerrero, tied at 85, while Guerrero's 91 RBI led the team. Guerrero, however, had a definite off-year with the lowest Adjusted OPS+ in 2008 since his rookie year in 1997. He was 14th in the MVP voting, his lowest finish since his injury-riddled 2003 season when he was 17th for the fourth-place Montreal Expos.
The pitchers as a group were much stronger, finishing third in the league in ERA. Rodriguez, of course, was a big part of the team's success with his 62 saves. He finished 69 games for the team. Jose Arredondo had an ERA of 1.62 in 52 games in relief, Scot Shields had a 2.70 in 64 games in relief, and Darren Oliver had an ERA of 2.88 in 54 games in relief.
Among the starters, Joe Saunders was 17-7, Ervin Santana was 16-7, Jon Garland was 14-8, John Lackey was 12-5, and Jered Weaver was 11-10. All the starters were Angels veterans except for Garland who was in his first year with the team after years with the Chicago White Sox.
Manager Mike Scioscia spent his ninth year as manager of the team, getting his fourth division championship in the last five seasons (he had previously won the 2002 World Series as a wild-card champ). Scioscia spent his entire major league playing career with the Los Angeles Dodgers and has spent his entire major league managerial career with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
On June 28th, the team lost an interleague game to the Dodgers despite not allowing a single base hit. Jered Weaver held the Dodgers hitless over the first six innings, but allowed Matt Kemp to score a run on two errors, a stolen base and a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Jose Arredondo then followed him with two more hitless innings, but the Angels failed to score and lost the game 1-0. It was the fifth time since 1900 that a major league team lost despite allowing no hits.
Awards and Honors
- All-Stars: Francisco Rodriguez, Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders
- AL Rolaids Relief Award: Francisco Rodriguez
- AL Gold Glove: Torii Hunter (OF)
ALDS vs. Boston Red Sox
|1||Boston Red Sox 4 Los Angeles Angels 1||October 1||Jon Lester (1-0) John Lackey (0-1)||10:00 p.m.|
|2||Boston Red Sox 7 at Los Angeles Angels 5||October 3||Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-0) Ervin Santana (0-0)||9:30 p.m.|
|3||Los Angeles Angels 5 Boston Red Sox 4||October 5||Joe Saunders (0-0) vs. Josh Beckett (0-0)||7:25 p.m.|
|4||Los Angeles Angels 2 Boston Red Sox 3||October 6||John Lackey (0-1) vs. Jon Lester (1-0)||8:35 p.m.|
- Associated Press: "AMERICAN LEAGUE: Angels clinch division title as Rodriguez saves his 56th", Arkansas Democrat Gazette, September 11, 2008