Is this a case of too little, too late? The Angels are finally playing the way we had hoped for all season, only the A's and the O's seem to have already been fited for glass cleats and appear to be on their way to the October Ball. If it is the case that the Halos will fall short of the postseason, then the blame will be shared by several people on the team. But if, by some small miracle, they do get in to the dance, then look out, because this team is starting to wamr up it's own pair of tapshoes.
-- This is one of those games that you enter feeling like it will be a loss. Felix Hernandez has been dominant for about three months now and there was no reason to think he wouldn't continue that trend. When the Mariners got two runs to take the lead, I imagine a fair amount of fans chalked this one up to a defeat and started scoreboard watching. But the Angels hung in there and finally got to him with 4 runs in the eighth.
-- Hey look at the bullpen. Given the many incarnations of the pen it is both suprising and mildly absurd that the shut down pair is now Kevin Jepsen and Ernesto Frieri. Frieri seems to have regained his footing and Kevin Jepsen seems to realized the potential we all saw a couple of years ago.
-- A broadcast note. Those of you that read my stuff know that I have little love for FOX when the take control of the games from the locals. Today however may have been a new low. I don't know much about Dave Sims and I am sure he is fine broadcaster for the Mariners on a day in day out basis. But his work today was abmissal. Sims was such an unmitigated homer they might as well have thrown a Moose head on that ridiculous hat he was wearing. You almost felt bad for our own Mark Gubicza, and that's saying something. Gubi at least appeared impartial sitting next to Sims, but you could tell by the end of the game Mark was more than a little pleased the Angels came out on top. Is it too much to ask to have someone call a game on a national level with a better sense of impartiality?
Ervin Santana has been a favorite whipping boy of ours all season. It has even gone as far as my wife mocking his Abraham Lincoln beard. But today, Ervin outdueld the presumtive Cy Young Winner and kept the Angels in the playoff hunt. He looked like the dominant pitcher we all know he can be. I say, douse him with a shaving cream pie, then get a razor, stat.
It may well be the "too little, too late" scenario but it would be heartening to have the team finish strongly. The problem is not that the Angels *seem* to be playing better (tough to tell given the teams they have won against), it's that troublesome "we need help from other teams since we can't beat the A's" part. If the Angels go 8-2 in their last ten, the darn A's go 9-1. This is the time of year when hacking up all those games early on, and especially since the ASB, really comes back to haunt all of us. Turns out that whole Resting In Third Place strategy wasn't really the way to go. "No problem, no problem, no problem." Yeah, it's a problem.