Game Preview — A Matter of Choice — Angels @ Orioles

Angels Logo@
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  (82-68) @ Baltimore Orioles (61-88)

Pitching Probables: LAA – Ervin Santana (11-11, 3.30 ERA)  BAL — Zach Britton (9-10, 4.43 ERA)

Game Info: 4:05 PM PT; TV – KCOP; Radio – KLAA 830 AM

A little math for you on this fine weekend. As it stands, the Angels find themselves 3 1/2 games back with 13 games left to play. If the Angels win all their remaining series and the Rangers do the same, the Angels would be three games back heading into the final weekend. That of course means the Halos would have to sweep that series to force a one game playoff. This means to get into the playoffs the Angels need to go 11-2 (including the playoff) to end the season. The Rangers conversely would go 6-6. A swing of one loss to the Angels makes the math virtually impossible. However, if the Angels can pick up 1 1/2 games prior to the last series, then a sweep is not required. The Halos can control the half game on their own, but some help is needed on the other front. Just don’t ask Mike Scioscia about all this… 

Mike Scioscia has risen to be arguably the best manager in the game today by preaching a one day at a time mantra. He refuses to look ahead and chides anyone who talks about scoreboard watching. It is this sense of calm that has the Angels even in the discussion for a playoff berth. However, we may have reached a critical juncture that tests the mettle of a dear skipper. The kids are all in some form of a slump right now (Bourjos, Trout, Trumbo all seeing their average plateau over the past couple of weeks). The vets are still not firing on all cylinders. So what is a manager to do? Ride the kids and hope for the best or trust that the vets will turn it on and rise to the occassion? The answer may be the key to the Angels playoff hopes. Well that and the pitching living up to it’s potential (I’m staring at you Ervin, you better not mail it in tonight!!!)