Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images
Although the Angels won their game in Seattle, they were eliminated from the 2012 post-season by Oakland's win against the Texas Rangers.
- Almost every post I've read this morning mentions the Angels MLB-best 27-11 record since August 21st. Too bad the season doesn't start on August 21st. I suppose what everyone is trying to say is how underachieving the club was over the course of the entire season: Season of great expectations falls short for Angels - The Orange County Register. "The Angels have the best record in the majors since August 21 (27-11). But that finish – and even the addition of a second wild-card spot this year – won't get them into the post-season. They will be on the outside for the third consecutive year, the longest playoff drought of Mike Scioscia's tenure as manager." The disappointment of the last three seasons is especially bitter this year after the huge expectations most had at the beginning of 2012. Those expectations made the Halos' ppor start even more disappointing: Angels beat Mariners, 8-4, but are out of playoffs - latimes.com. ""It's not how you start," the Angels kept saying, "it's how you finish." Well, sometimes it is how you start. The Angels beat the Seattle Mariners, 8-4, in Safeco Field on Monday night to improve to 27-11 since Aug. 21, the best record in baseball in that span. But they were 18-25 in the first seven weeks of the season, and because of that awful start, they're now finished." Angels 8, Mariners 4 - FOX Sports. "The Angels put on a final rush by going 27-11 since Aug. 21, the best record in baseball. But they had too many games and teams to overcome. ''That's why you play 162 games,'' Pujols said. ''We played pretty well in the second half. Other teams played a little better than us. They deserve to make it, too.'' And: Angels, offseason winners, became regular-season also-rans - Yahoo! Sports. "The Angels were done in by an 8-15 start in April and a six-week stretch around the All-Star break when their rotation went into a slump. They finished strong, winning 27 of 38 games since Aug. 21, the best record in baseball during that time."
- As you can see, that span of games in August was impressive, but the 25 games leading up to that was just as impressive...impressively bad. The club went 9-16 before righting their season, but in hindsight, the season was already over: Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners - October 1, 2012 - MLB.com. "Their 6-14 start to the season put them in an early hole. A 14-22 start to the second half spoiled all the work they had done making the early uphill climb. And losing six of 10 starting Sept. 10 -- a week that began with them only one game back of a playoff spot -- left them scrambling once more."
- Hey, there are still games to be played: Angels-Mariners Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "Dan Haren (12-12, 4.32 ERA) will try to do his part by earning his third win in as many starts at Safeco this year. He recorded his only shutout of the season there - a four-hitter with a career-high 14 strikeouts May 24 - and gave up one unearned run over seven innings Aug. 31." Has Haren been doing his part during the stretch-run? Looks like it. It's just unfortunate he was part of the suck in August: Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners - October 2, 2012 - MLB.com. "In his last seven starts he's looked much improve with a 4-2 record and 2.57 ERA, which comes after accumulating a 4.90 ERA until Aug. 16."
- Angels fall short of lofty expectations in 2012 - angels.com. "The Athletics' 4-3 victory over the Rangers at the Coliseum guaranteed that they'd get at least the second American League Wild Card spot and mathematically ensured that the Angels would fall short of the postseason for a third straight year. It happened in Game No. 160 -- the same game that knocked the Angels out last year. But this year was supposed to be different."
- First it was Haren and his balky back, now we have Wilson and his chippy elbow. I admire their desire to help the team, but are they really helping the team by pitching while injured? C.J. Wilson to have surgery for bone spurs in elbow - angels.com. "Angels starter C.J. Wilson revealed that he had been pitching with bone spurs in his left pitching elbow for "the last couple of months" and was set to undergo offseason arthroscopic surgery. Wilson believes the elbow problems began in the second half, which would make sense given his numbers. The 31-year-old left-hander went 9-5 with a 2.43 ERA in 18 first-half starts en route to making his second straight All-Star team. In the second half, though, he finished 4-5 with a 5.54 ERA."
- Mike Napoli - the gift that keeps on giving. Mike Napoli "plays with a vengeance" against the Angels - HardballTalk. "He’s now played 33 total games against the Angels during the past two seasons, hitting .396 with 12 homers, 10 doubles, and an .829 slugging percentage while getting on base exactly 50 percent of the time.When asked about Napoli’s performance, Torii Hunter said it best: "He plays with a vengeance. I hate that he’s doing it, but that’s how you really make a statement." The statement he's making is more of a "screw you guys" than a "look what I can do" Here's FanGraphs take on Napoli and his "so getting laid" in Anaheim: Mike Napoli, and What Ownership Could Look Like - FanGraphs Baseball
- Color me surprised. Had someone asked me what Trout's home run total would be after his first almost complete first season I would have guessed around 10-12. So much for my talent evaluation skills: Scioscia not surprised by Trout's power - angels.com. "What makes Trout special is that he combines the home-run production with a .321 batting average, which he sported entering Monday's series opener against the Mariners, and a high walk rate (a team-leading 67, though he's also second on the team with 136 strikeouts). The concern, perhaps, is that a 21-year-old who reaches 30 homers falls in love with the long ball, to the point where it diminishes his approach and, eventually, his on-base percentage." Also within this notes post is this bit about Torii Hunter's first .300 season: "Hunter's batting average is way up from the .274 he averaged from 1999 to 2011, but his home run total (16) will be his lowest since 2005, when he hit 14 while playing in only 98 games. In his previous 13 seasons, Hunter averaged 22 per year." I'd be interested in finding out if the change in Hunter's numbers is a result of his adjustment to hitting in the two-hole or if it's a change in his skill-set.
- MVP discussion: Mike Trout and the Stretch Run - FanGraphs Baseball. "And in the month of September, Miguel Cabrera posted a lower WAR than Mike Trout. In the month that was supposed to make Cabrera the favorite in some people’s minds, by at least one measure he still couldn’t out-perform the other contender."
- I like Zack Greinke (and Grienke) and hope he returns after this season: Zack Greinke pitched in a misspelled "Grienke" jersey - HardballTalk. "Apparently there were two jerseys in his locker before the game and Greinke randomly grabbed one without realizing it had an error. And then, Greinke being Greinke, when he did realize it during the game he "didn’t care" and only switched because "they wanted me to." "They" always ruin the fun.
- Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics - October 1, 2012 - MLB.com. "While the Halos were busy writing checks to the likes of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson during the winter, the A's kept plenty busy on the phone rather than at the bank, reeling in a crop of baby-faced talent in exchange for a trio of All-Star pitchers."
- Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals - October 1, 2012 - MLB.com. "The team went back to the field to celebrate with the fans, who were addressed by Rizzo, Zimmerman, Gonzalez and Harper. Missing from the celebration was manager Davey Johnson, who spent the entire celebration in his office. Jayson Werth didn't hesitate to credit Johnson for turning the Nationals into a winning squad. When Werth joined the team after the 2010 season, he wasn't sure if the Nats would turn things around. "When I got here, this place was upside down," said Werth. "[Things didn't change] until Davey took over [last year]." Managers don't make a difference...do they?
- For all of you dog lovers: This Might Be Our Favorite Headline Typo Of All Time. "Craig Calcaterra's unfortunate error has already been changed, but let's all enjoy the best headline mistake we've seen in a while. A couple of other cool Deadspin posts: Rob Ryan Is Kind Of Pissed And this: Photoshop Contest: Brandon Lloyd's Touchdown Grin