Five lessons learned from ALDS Game 2

Five lessons learned from ALDS Game 2

ANAHEIM -- So far it has been pitching and defense in this American League Division Series, a trend that definitely favors the Royals. That is their game, along with speed.

The Angels have the big bombers, but they have been silent for two games in Anaheim. The Angels led the Majors in scoring this season but have just three runs in 22 innings so far this series. The Angels have to start hitting. Close, well-pitched games favor the Royals.

Five other things gleaned on Friday night:

  Date Time Matchup/Result Network
Gm 1 Oct. 2   KC 3, LAA 2 video
Gm 2 Oct. 3   KC 4, LAA 1 video
Gm 3 Oct. 5   KC 8, LAA 3 video

Pitch like it was 1985
The Royals won a World Series in 1985 with great young pitching; Bret Saberhagen, Mark Gubicza and Danny Jackson among them. Yordano Ventura, 23, would have fit right into that group. It helps when you can throw 100 miles per hour, but Ventura was outstanding for seven innings Friday.

Matt Shoemaker is healthy
The Angels starter made his first start since Sept. 15 and allowed just one unearned run in six innings. He allowed five hits, did not walk a batter and struck out six. Shoemaker had been sidelined with a strained oblique muscle in his left rib cage but right now his performance is critical because he is lined up to pitch Game 5 if the series goes that far.

Royals aggressive baserunning causes problems
Eric Hosmer led off the second inning with a single to right and went hard around first base. Right fielder Kole Calhoun hustled over toward the right-field line to cut the ball off but bobbled it. Hosmer hustled into second base on the error and the Royals ended up with an unearned run when Alex Gordon delivered a one-out single.

Angels fans upset with Josh Hamilton
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols are struggling at the plate but the fans are really after Josh Hamilton. Angels fans aren't sympathetic he missed the final two weeks of the season with pain in his chest and rib cage. They just know that he is 0-for-9 through the first two games.

Calhoun thrives where others don't
While other Angels hitters are struggling, Kole Calhoun has not melted in the postseason spotlight. He was 2-for-5 Friday and is 4-for-10 in two games. He has four of the Angels' 12 hits over two days.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.