Game 97: Royals-Angels …

Royals (40-54)

Alex Gordon, LF
Alcides Escobar, SS
Lorenzo Cain, CF
Billy Butler, DH
Mike Moustakas, 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt, 2B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Brayan Pena, C

Pitching: LH Bruce Chen (7-8, 5.57 ERA)

Angels (52-44)

Mike Trout, LF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Mark Trumbo, DH
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Maicer Izturis, SS
Peter Bourjos, CF
Bobby Wilson, C

Pitching: LH C.J. Wilson (9-6, 2.82 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • Erick Aybar (right toe) was in a walking boot today. An MRI revealed a small hairline fracture, but he’s still day-to-day and will be re-evaluated tomorrow. The Angels had a long closed-door meeting earlier this afternoon, perhaps partly to talk about who to bring up in case Aybar needs to go on the DL.
  • Jerome Williams will basically be working as a long man out of the bullpen in the meantime, but manager Mike Scioscia continues to say that he has a chance to “earn a spot and get a spot back in the rotation.”
  • Pujols is batting .338 with 15 homers and 42 RBIs over his last 53 games, and has five homers in his last 10.
  • From our stats department: Trout is averaging .95 runs per game. Only two qualifying players in their age-20 season or younger have ever finished a season with a run-scoring rate that high — Alex Rodriguez (1996) and John McGraw (1893).
  • Ron Washington on Trout last night: “He’s not Willie Mays. He’s a pretty good player, but I think the comparisons have to stop. Let the kid play. When he’s been here five years, six years, then you can start doing that.” … Scioscia, essentially, agrees. Here’s what he said pregame … Wash is saying the same thing we’re saying. We’re saying, for a guy to reach some of the things that those guys in baseball immortals have done, it has to stand the test of time. When you talk about what is the kind of player Mike reminds you of, or the tool set, I think that’s where he’s getting compared to guys, not anything that’s being ordained as to where he’s going to end up. You’re getting a range of players, all Hall of Famers, that Mike’s getting compared to as far as his SKILL SET, not as far as what his production is. Where he’s going to be 10 years from now, 15 years, 20 year from now, that’s the test of time. And you’re only going to be in the same sentence with those guys when you finish your career and you put up the type of career that’s worthy to be with those guys.

Some Angels.com links from Sunday …

Some AL West links …

And the Heat and Thunder are likely to meet on Christmas Day.

Alden

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