With the speedy Mike Trout on first base, Peter Bourjos on third and slow-footed Albert Pujols up with one out in the third inning of Wednesday night's game against the Seattle Mariners, it seemed a perfect time for the Angels to send Trout to avoid a double play.
Even if a stolen base led to an intentional walk of Pujols, the Angels would still have cleanup batter Mark Trumbo, who leads the team with 16 home runs, up with the bases loaded and one out.
But Trout did not attempt to steal, and Pujols grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, something the Angels, who entered Thursday with a major league-leading 77 double-play grounders, have done far too often.
“We’re going to be as aggresssive as we can be,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “There are times when Mike feels good getting a jump and times when his reads maybe aren’t quite there. There’s a lot of pressure on Mike because teams are paying a lot of attention to our running game. Sometimes you can force the issue. You have to pick your spots.”
Asked if some players have a green light to run, Scioscia said he didn’t want to "give away too much information.” But he hinted that he’d like to see more aggressiveness when he said, “There are a lot of running opportunities for guys who get on base.”