It was the worst of both worlds this weekend as the Angels found a way to make sure that they not only didn’t clinch the AL West, but failed to do so in a fashion that made Angel fans everywhere incredibly nervous.
Wait a minute, it was the Angels that were supposed to be celebrating this weekend, not Oakland.
The Oakland series started off as far too many Angel series have recently, with the Halo bats being unable to produce. A solid performance from Jered Weaver went to waste as the Angel line-up allowed itself to get shutout by the Gio Gonzalez and the Oakland bullpen. Not exactly the awe-inspiring kind of offensive performance one would like to see from a team that is about to have to face some of the best pitchers in baseball in the post-season.
However, the bats came to life on Saturday, racking up 10 runs against Oakland. But the euphoria over that offensive outburst was short-lived because the once staunch Angel pitching went into full on meltdown mode and gagged up a 9-3 lead, resulting in a crushing 15-10 loss to the Athletics. The recently trustworthy Darren Oliver, Matt Palmer and Kevin Jepsen all got lit up in their combined efforts to blow the save. Perhaps of more concern was that John Lackey turned in his second straight subpar start. So much for the Angels having their ace firing on all cylinders heading into the post-season.
What made the losses even worse was the Texas won both of their games to start the weekend which put the Angels potentially one game away from hosting Texas for four games with just a four game lead in the division. That would certainly explain why I awoke on Sunday with a massive headache and stomach-churning nausea… either that or I just have the flu. While I still feel like crap, the Angels cured their own ills by picking up the win on Sunday (with Texas losing) behind Kendry Morales’ bat and Joe Saunders’ arm. The Angels still aren’t out of the woods yet, but with their magic number at two, the Angels are awfully close.
It wasn’t a total loss for the Angels, but they still have some work to do this weekend.
- Someone flicked the power switch back to on this weekend with Bobby Abreu, Juan Rivera, Kendry Morales and Mike Napoli all homering this weekend.
- Nice to see that Mike Scioscia is still awake, FINALLY deciding to tinker with the line-up to find a a way to get things kick started again. I still think Morales should hit in front of Guerrero, but it is an improvement nonetheless.
- Maybe it is time to put Nap behind the plate more. The Angels lost both of his starts behind the plate, allowed two stolen bases and he made two errors this weekend, but at least he still can’t hit.
- Darren Oliver has given up runs two games in a row, so much for the linchpin of the bullpen.