Game Countdown – 9/22/09: Helping Their Own Cause – Yankees @ Angels

So caught up was I with the Boston fiasco and subsequent important series with Texas that I almost failed to notice that the Angels have a chance to vastly improve their own circumstances in the post-season.  All they have to do is keep on whooping up on the Yankees, like always.

Angels push Yankees around

It’s just the Angels pushing the Yankees around like usual.

Though there isn’t much time left in the season, the Angels have a chance to do something that seemed improbably just a few weeks ago.  As things currently stand, the Angels are 4.5 games behind the Yankees for the best record in the league, and if they are able to sweep the Yankees, they’ll be a very manageable 2.5 games out from securing the best record in the American League and thus possessing homefield advantage through out the playoffs.  Even though the Halos are the best road team in the AL, they’ll take any edge they can get, especially if it means avoiding anymore games in Fenway Park than is necessary.

In fact, the Angels could even help themselves avoid playing Boston altogether if things fall just right.  The Angels trail the Yanks by 4.5 games, but the Red Sox are just 5 games back of the Bronx Bombers and have three games remaining against their hated rival.  For those of you not mathematically inclined, that means the Angels can actually help drop the Yankees into the Wild Card spot with the Red Sox winning the AL East and mercifully setting up the Angels to play the Yankees in the ALDS instead.  Ummm, yes, please!  So even though the Angels have their own division practically wrapped up, they need to keep the pedal to the medal and set their road to a World Series exactly to their liking.

New York Yankees (95-56) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (90-60)

Starters: NYY – Chad Gaudin (5-10 4.81 ERA)  LAA – Ervin Santana (7-8, 5.43 ERA)

Game Info: 7:05 PM PT TV-Fox Sports West, Radio-KLAA 830 AM, KFWB, KWKW 1330 AM

THREE Questions:

  • Chad Gaudin?  Is this a gift from the baseball gods?  How can a team with a $200+ million payroll be forced to start a guy like Chad Gaudin in late September?
  • Will Ervin Santana step up his game to try and match what Joe Saunders did last night in their battle for the fourth post-seasons starter?
  • Is Kendry Morales back on track or was his homer last night a fluke?

TWO Predictions:

  • The Angels offense continues to show signs of life, scoring at least seven runs.
  • Mike Napoli continues to break out of his slump and cranks another home run.

ONE Wish:

  • I wish for some animosity to develop between these two teams.  I know that sounds weird, but I think it would do the Angels some good to get their blood boiling before the season ends and really ignite their killer instinct.  The Yankees are the perfect team to get some bad blood going with since they are so hate-able already and it would give the Angels an extra incentive to take them out in the post-season should the meet.

ZERO Tolerance for… the Yankees clinching a playoff berth in Anaheim.  A Yankee win or Ranger loss can secure a place in the post-season for the Yankees which is an inevitability, but I still don’t want it happening in Anaheim.  The Halos are ready to hold up their end of the bargain, hopefully the Rangers are too, although I can’t believe I am actually kind of rooting for a Texas win right now.

Leave your own questions, answers, predictions or wishes as a comment or just hang out with us during the game or even chat with us on twitter (@MonkeyWithAHalo).

Garrett Wilson

About Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is the founder and Supreme Overlord of and editor at The Outside Corner. He's an Ivy League graduate, but not from one of the impressive ones. You shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he is angry.