Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Taylor Ward just misses hitting for the cycle, stays hot in leadoff spot as Angels move into first place


Angels right fielder Taylor Ward came to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning and flew out to right field, much to the dismay of the Angels fans still in attendance at what was then a 9-2 Angels lead over the Guardians (it would end 9-5 Angels). You see, Ward already had a double, triple and home run in the game, so seeing him miss out on hitting for the cycle was probably the biggest disappointment that the fan base had for the night. 

Still, it’s worth highlighting because of what a Ward breakout season would mean for the Angels, especially if he remains in the leadoff spot. 

Through April 24, Ward was hitting .346/.528/.500 on the young season, so Angels manager Joe Maddon decided to give him a go at the top. In the three games since, Ward has gone 6 for 12 with a double, a triple, three home runs, seven runs and seven RBI. The homer on Wednesday was a grand slam: 

The former first-round pick having a breakout season from leadoff would really round out this Angels lineup. 

That would be the leadoff spot on a team has Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout (who looks as good as ever, by the way), Jared Walsh and Anthony Rendon through the middle. Youngster Brandon Marsh (a top-40 prospect before last season) hit sixth on Wednesday and is slashing .302/.385/.512 this season. Jo Adell has shown flashes and Max Stassi is a quality-hitting catcher. 

Quite simply, there’s not only some serious firepower in the Angels lineup with their well-known superstars, but the supporting cast is showing itself strong as well.  

Meanwhile, the Angels are one of the hottest teams in baseball. They’ve won four in a row and six of their last eight. In fact, since that 1-3 start, the Angels have gone 11-4. And though no team should be paying close attention to the standings in late April, we’re allowed to point out the Angels sit atop the AL West. 

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