The Angels and Dodgers have been playing in the Freeway Series throughout their entire history during Spring Training. But the games started to count when the Freeway Series became part of the regular season in 1997.
In its inaugural season, the Dodgers swept the season series, 4-0. However, since then the Freeway Series has pretty much been dominated by the Angels. Here is a list of Angels sweeps:
- The Angels swept a two-game series in 1998 (at home)
- A three-game series in 2003 (at home)
- A three-game series in 2005 (at home)
- A three-game series in 2006 (at home)
- A three-game series in 2007 (at home)
- A three-game series in 2010 (first sweep at Dodger Stadium)
- A two game series in 2013 (at home)
- A three-game series in 2015 (at Dodger Stadium)
- A two-game series in 2016 (at home)
- A two game series in 2019 (at home)
- A two-game series in 2019 (at Dodger Stadium)
Here is a list of the Dodgers sweeps:
- The Dodgers swept a two-game series in 1997 (at home)
- A two-game series in 1997 (at Angel Stadium)
- A two-game series in 2013 (at home)
- A two-game series in 2014 (at home)
- A three game series in 2015 (at home)
Overall the Angels have swept the Dodgers in 10 of the series while the Dodgers have swept the Angels in five of them (only one being in a three-game series). Also, the Angels swept three series’ from the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium while the Dodgers only swept one two-game series in Anaheim. Their last sweep over the Angels was four years ago.
This past series was no different. The Angels finished off the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium by winning the final game, 3-2, and sweeping the Freeway Season Series from the Dodgers for the first time. The Angels now lead the series, 70-54. The Angels may have seen the Dodgers play in the World Series the last two seasons, but the Halos didn’t let that stop them from beating up their rivals 35 miles away up the freeway once again.
The MVP of the Freeway Series easily goes to Kole Calhoun. In the first game at Dodger Stadium, Calhoun doubled twice, homered, had two RBIs and threw out Cody Bellinger on a laser to end the ball game. If that wasn’t enough, he doubled twice, homered, and had two RBIs AGAIN in the second game at Dodger Stadium.
Kole Calhoun seems to own the Dodgers, especially at Dodger Stadium. Calhoun has batted .302 (29-for-96) with nine homers, nine doubles, and 14 RBIs in 28 games against the Dodgers since his debut with the Angels in 2012. And in 14 career games at Dodger Stadium, Calhoun has hit .375 (18-for-48) with six homers, six doubles and eight RBIs.
With six homers and five doubles over his last seven games against the Dodgers, he became the first player since Hall of Famer Willie Mays in 1958 to rack up 11 extra-base hits against the Dodgers in a seven-game span, according to Stats Inc. Additionally, Calhoun became the first player with three extra-base hits in back-to-back games against the Dodgers since Ernie Banks in 1963, according to Baseball-Reference’s play index. He’s also the only opponent to ever have three extra-base hits in consecutive games at Dodger Stadium, which opened in 1962.
Rumors were swirling around Kole Calhoun that he would be trade bait for pitching, but with the Angels back in playoff contention, the Halos might not make any major moves especially with their schedule getting easier as the trading deadline approaches. They’re five games over .500 for the first time this season (54-49) and only four games out of the second wild card position. They play two weak teams at home, so they can easily make up some ground in the Wild Card race if they take care of business. The Halos play the Baltimore Orioles for four games and then the Detroit Tigers come to Anaheim for three games. They passed the Texas Rangers in the standings, but still need to get past the Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, and the Oakland Athletics (who are in the second wild card spot at the moment at 58-45).
The Angels have the offense and defense to make the playoffs but their pitching is a bit thin with the passing of Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney on the IL. The Halos are hoping they can rely on a patchwork rotation of rookie Griffin Canning, Félix Peña, Jaime Barria, rookie Jose Suarez and possibly rookie Dillon Peters to get their wild card spot. The Halos might make a trade to get some pitching, but they also don’t want to give up some important pieces in their farm system. They will also have money coming off the books at the end of the season. With Cody Allen and Matt Harvey already gone, and Trevor Cahill likely gone by the end of the season, that will free up $28.5 million. Kole Calhoun will also become a free agent if the Angels decide to not pick up his $14 million option for next season. If they don’t, there will be more money to spend on starting pitching for 2020.
The Angels are still in the thick of the playoff race and they seem to have come together since the passing of Tyler Skaggs. At the All-Star Break, they were at 45-46 but are 9-3 in their last 12 games. We shall see what August has in store for this team that has experienced an emotional roller coaster in 2019.
Featured Image: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times