Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Post-Clinch Day

With a record of 88-57, the Angels are the first team to clinch a berth in There's Only One October. With the division now put away, it's time for Mike Scioscia and Co. to remember that home field advantage is just that, an advantage, and isn't something to be foolishly squandered as the Angels so cutely did last year. Good teams never coast.

Obviously, expect to see some of the minor leaguers get more playing time, but I frankly won't tolerate seeing Vlad out of the lineup on consecutive days. We have a DH slot which we don't properly use anyways, so just rotate the outfielders through it as always, maybe occasionally putting Tex in there and letting Morales take some pickoff throws at first. There is absolutely no reason to rest the regulars more than normal, and with any luck, Aybar and Kendrick should be back soon. Aybar claimed he'd be back in "3 or 4 days" while being sprayed with Bud Light yesterday.

The Angels are opening a four game series with Seattle, with the Mariners using exactly one pitcher from their season-opening rotation. As much as I used to admire Lookout Landing, it's turned into a home for relentless statistics and insults, so I've grown tired of it. It's a good Mariners resource, and tRA really could be the new pitching benchmark statistic, but they don't tolerate humor at their expense. It is what it is.

Jered Weaver's back on the hill tonight after recovering from cuts in his fingertips from the bench at Comerica Park. Jered's been a disappointment this year and needs to put together a couple good starts for a shot at the postseason roster. His excellent spring training seems to have been a fluke, but you know what they say about spring training.

Rays 4, Red Sox 2 (14 innings)

Former Husky Carlos Pena provided all the drama the Rays needed with a three run tiebreaking homer in the top of the 14th, but Troy Percival wanted more. He loaded the bases with no out before leaving the mound and being replaced by Jason Hammel, who somehow escaped with the save after giving up only one run on a sac fly. I don't know who to root for anymore.

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