Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Showdown

Well, if the last series against the A's wasn't make or break, this one is sure a hell of a lot closer to being so. Not only are we entering the last month of the season, but the Angels enter this series without any breathing room, as their four game losing streak has wiped out their lead in the A.L. West. Some of us are pretty convinced that this thing is more or less over regardless of the outcome of this series, although we tend to be outnumbered by the Pol-ly-annas, while a minority remain on the fence.

I'll be honest. No matter what happens in this series, including an Angels sweep, I just don't see the type of team on the field that can sustain any momentum. They have exactly two winning streaks longer than four games. On the flip side, the A's seem to be the type of team that doesn't let adversity affect them. Just when you think they've got one foot in the grave (two losses to the Royals?), the spring back to life, and the Angels are there to provide the elixir. The Angels have one guy who gets on base consistently (maybe two if you count Kennedy), and one guy who has any sort of reliable power. Unfortunately, they're the same guy. The one thing keeping this team in the hunt is their starting pitching, a group whose work is often completely undone by the bullpen.

So while a sweep would be fantastic, and I'm hoping for the best, I still don't think it will change a thing. I still can't see any way in which this team will make the playoffs, short of a plane crash.


Sean chimes in:

I have nothing to say about this that I haven't said before. You can keep the faith or try hedging your bets, so that if your team doesn't win you at least get the satisfaction of saying "I told you so."

Look, none of us want to wag our fingers and say "I told you so". I can't think of anything *less* satisfying. I've said many times that I don't want Matt's money. I would imagine that I speak for Rob when I say that I want the Angels to win as much, if not more, than anybody else. Nothing would be better than walking into the Cell in my jersey and hat to see the Angels play the White Sox in the ALDS or CS or what the hell ever round they might meet up in. But realistically, I don't think they're very good.

Anyway, it has nothing to do with spite or one upsmanship. It has everything to do with preparing myself for the worst so that, when they inevitably fail, it won't hurt so much.


matt said...

The A's offense relies on Scott Hatteberg. Jay Payton bats cleanup. Their starting staff is filled with guys who've never gone beyond 150 innings a year. They play in the worst park in baseball in front of some of the smallest crowds.

On the flip side, the Angels are about to upgrade their defense at CF and LF, replace Steve Finley with the very productive platoon of Kotchman/Quinlan, get Garret's creaky bones at DH where they belong, and let Figgins sit at the same position (where he's been fielding great) for more than a few games in a row. Vladi can't be kept down, and the good part of the bullpen is finally rested somewhat. With offensive consistency -- made much easier when Finley & Izturis are nowhere near the lineup -- this team is not just playoff-bound, but it's arguably the best in baseball.

Nathan said...

"The A's offense relies on Scott Hatteberg."

Yeah, it really doesn't.

"Jay Payton bats cleanup."

Actually, when Crosby's in the lineup, Eric Chavez bats cleanup. Tonight, Dan Johnson bat cleanup.

"Their starting staff is filled with guys who've never gone beyond 150 innings a year."

Yeah they've looked pretty tired as of late.

"They play in the worst park in baseball in front of some of the smallest crowds."

You've got the better park. We've got the better team. Fair trade.

Seitz said...

On the bright side, Matt, we'll all get to watch the A's choke their way out of the playoffs in the first round again this year.