Baseball’s Superman, also known as Mike Trout, high-fiving some Angels teammates during a recent game. Photo courtesy of hattiesburgamerican.com
DO I THINK THE ANGELS WILL WIN A WILD CARD SPOT?
I have to give these Angels much credit.
Despite their season-long lack of the most important ingredient to a successful baseball team – pitching – Mike Scioscia’s red-clad team is right in the thick of it in the American League playoff race, sitting two games behind the Minnesota Twins for the second Wild Card spot with 17 games to go as of this writing.
They picked up two proven veterans, second baseman Brandon Phillips from the Atlanta Braves and outfielder Justin Upton from the Detroit Tigers, to help them in their bid to play in October.
And they have certainly shown much guts in their play, essentially becoming the Rocky Balboa of baseball.
There’s one factor that’s preventing me from seeing them as a playoff team, however…
The fact that while they upgraded their lineup in adding Phillips and Upton, they failed to upgrade in the area that they sorely needed to upgrade the most;
Highlights from the Angels’ most recent game, a 9-1 blowout of the Astros at Angel Stadium. Courtesy of YouTube.
Yes, I know his salary was too much for owner Arte Moreno to take on, but when I saw the just traded to the Houston Astros from the Tigers Justin Verlander hurl a two-hit shutout at the Angels the other night, my thought was,
“That’s who the Angels should have picked up!”
In short, it was pitching the Angels needed, more than hitting.
Sure, young guys like Parker Birdwell have shown good potential of late, but that’s not what the Angels can depend on in the long run.
A look that the Angels seriously need to consider going back to, particularly the caps as what they have now doesn’t work for me. BY THE WAY: the all-time strikeout king Nolan Ryan is pictured on the left…
That’s why even though I completely respect those Halos from Anaheim for what they’ve accomplished to this point, my response to whether they will earn that second wild card spot and face the New York Yankees in that one-game playoff is…
That’s not to take away their A-plus effort, as I see them finishing above .500, winning between 82-85 games.
Which considering the Angels’ flaws and MANY injuries on the mound – their only pitcher with a double-digit win total, J.C. Ramirez, has just announced that he has a torn ligament in his elbow – is a tremendous accomplishment.
Of course, I hope I’m wrong.
I hope the Angels get that wild card ticket punched, as these next 17 games will determine that – and their season.
But as long as their pitching is was it has been all season, though they’ve given it a heck of an effort, I’m just not feeling it.
I do admire their guts, though.
There’s one other thing those Angels need to do…
Get rid of those ugly uniforms and caps and go back to their 80s look!
Or their original look from the 60s!
Anything but what they look like now (or that winged periwinkle ensemble from around 2000; that didn’t look good, either)!