Time for some Monkeying Around (formerly Free For All Friday, I'm done with alliteration for now), a time to talk about all the Angels-related topics that slipped through the cracks this week, as well as any other totally unrelated topic you feel like bringing up.
Here are a few topics for you to discuss amongst yourselves:
- The Rangers are killing me. I've gone over and over and over the remaining games for each team and who the probable pitchers will be and, even with my obvious bias, I have a hard time concocting a scenario where the Angels don't need a sweep to win or even just tie the Rangers for the AL West. And these are scenarios where the Halos finish the season on a 11-2 or 10-3 tear. It isn't just that the Rangers are so good, which they are, but there schedule is SO easy.
- You know whose schedule isn't super easy? The Red Sox. Honestly, I think I am leaning towards worrying about the Angels chasing them down more than Texas at this point. Of course, that brings the Rays into the equation as well. Gosh, it is just so damned complicated. I long for the days when the Halos would cruise to the AL West title.
- I alluded to this in the Halo Headlines earlier this week (I think), but the weakest link in the Angels playoff run is that Joel Pineiro is slated to start at least two more times, the same goes for Jerome Williams, but to a lesser extent since he has only been bad once. Anyway, the Angels need to figure out how to minimize the damage those two can do, but it will require a little thinking outside the box. Some have suggested just going with a four-man rotation the rest of the way, which is a good start, but I don't like the idea since it is so high risk and could leave the Angels rnning on fumes should they make the post-season. Instead of that, I say name Pineiro the starter, but only nominally. The instant he starts getting in trouble, be it the first inning or sixth, Scioscia needs to get someone up in the bullpen. And when that guy comes in and gets in trouble, go to the pen again. Basically, just use the bullpen as much as possible until you find someone who has it going. That seems like an odd strategy since the Angel bullpen generally sucks, but I have to think that if Scioscia calls upon Chatwood, Richards, Bell, Takahashi or Thompson, one of them has to be having a good day. It would tax the relief corps, but mostly just guys Scioscia doesn't want to use anyway.
- I am probably jinxing it, but the blowpen actually isn't so bad after all, at least right now. In case you haven't noticed, the primary relievers Scioscia relies upon (Walden, Downs, Cassevah and Takahashi) have combined to pitch 25 innings this month while allowing ZERO runs, 6 hits, 7 walks and 22 strikeouts. DAMN! That's some good relieving! See what happens when you drop Fraudney from the mix? Now, when the pen inevitably blows a save in each game this weekend, I ask that you direct all your angry comments to my Twitter feed (@Monkeywithahalo), just because I don't like the swearing in the comment section. Thanks for your cooperation.
Or just feel free to bring up a topic of your own. I don't really care (as long as you keep it clean) because it's Friday.