Monday, September 8, 2008

Magic Number 3

First of all, thanks to the Rev for the recognition. The downside to the added publicity is the gradual increase in the number of people reading this blog, and thus the gradual increase in effort it will require. That said, it'll be nice to be writing to an actual audience.

Here's what's going on with the Angels.

The Halos have their magic number down to three, meaning they'll likely be celebrating on the field at some point during this series with the Yankees. Once the Angels clinch, Mike Scioscia's going to have to start making some tough decisions. First, he's going to have to decide how much he values home field advantage and if he deems it important, how to achieve it while still resting the older, banged up players.

The bigger question, though, is the playoff roster, particularly which pitchers have earned the right to play in October. A lot of Jon Garland's future depends on his start tonight vs. Carl "Glass Man" Pavano and the Yankees. Although Jon pitched very well during the 2005 playoffs and would undoubtedly bring "veteran presence," whatever the hell that means, he's been horrendous his last couple starts, and frankly, John Lackey is a veteran at this point. I'm beginning to think the playoff rotation is going to be Lackey, Santana, and Saunders, although Joe still has to prove that his excellent start over the White Sox yesterday wasn't just a fluke but rather the beginning of a trend. Saunders is massively overrated this year, but then again, lots of players make names for themselves through otherworldly pitching in the playoffs.

I've said it about a hundred times, but I really am concerned about Scioscia's views on home field advantage. The Red Sox, currently playing like they did last season, are only 1.5 games behind the Rays for first place in the East and 2 games behind the Angels for the best record in the AL. The Angels' 8-1 record against the Sox this year won't mean anything if the Halos get swept out of the playoffs by Boston yet again. Injuries are never preventable, regardless of how little playing time a player gets (see Weaver, Jered), but home field advantage ensures that injured players play as little a role as possible. Get that home field, Sosh.

The Angels open their three game series at home against the Yankees at 7:05 Pacific tonight. The Rangers are off tonight before playing Seattle on Tuesday. Go Mariners?


  • Passan brings up an interesting point when he wonders ifJermaine Dye should've dropped the foul sac fly that drove in the go-ahead run for the Angels yesterday. As a general baseball rule, I'd say dropping it would've been dumb, but with GA at the plate, it's a much tougher call, considering GA's penchant for softly grounding it to second. Particularly after inetnionally loading the bases to set up a double play, taking one out in exchange for a run seems like a foolish move on Dye's part.
  • The Rays are struggling, but have a chance at redemption as they play Boston in Boston for a three game set. The Rays are 0-6 at Boston so far this season and really need to figure it out. There's no way for both teams to lose each game, is there?
  • I'm about to try and finish packing before heading back to Boston tonight. I'll be around Tuesday morning.


red floyd said...

I think the best we can hope for is a 2-1 split between TB and the BoSox. Who gets the 2 is a tough call.

Marcus said...

Agreed, and I'm having a hard time deciding if I even want to see the Angels play Chicago or Minnesota in the playoffs...