Imagine that on opening day you were posed with this question:
Where will the Angels be in the standings if at the season's quarter point, Kelvim Escobar will have only appeared in four games, and will already be back on the disabled list?
Would you have said that we would be 2.5 games in first?
What if you were told that at the middle of May, Vlad would have been batting .200 for the month and .250 for the period through May 19?
What if you were told that the pitchers filling in for Escobar would have respective ERA of 7.06 and 13.50?
We are ahead of a Texas team that has had a light schedule and Astacio/Park waiting for their carriages to turn into a pumpkin. Oakland and Seattle are spinning their wheels toward rebuilding years. Their IF is turning into their WHEN.
At the season's 1/4 point, we have the same record as the Red Sox and are two games better than the Twins.
We are here because of superb relief pitching, excellent starting pitching and mysterious timely hitting.
Donnelly shook off a little early season trauma.
Shields is lights out.
Frankie is sore but is the only man you need standing.
Washburn has Boras whispering into his arm;
Lackey listened to Bud Blackie about checking the emotions;
Bartolo is the only overweight person in Angel Stadium who has a life or chicks interested in him (and their are thousands of tub-o-lards at the games booing him, along with hundreds of hefty stinky twinkies online raging about Bart's weight and barely grudgingly conceding his Ace status);
Paul Byrd might be one of the great gambles of the offseason and is in great form when tossing to his personal catcher Dead Pope Josh Paul.
If an OPS of .750 is the Offensive Replacement threshold, we have three players above it: Vlad (.912), Bengie (.847) and Garret (.759). Yep, that is one player .009 better than ordinary, one player who has started 1/4 of the season's games and one MVP running hot/cold.
So, good job guys - barring any pitching emergencies (if it ain't broke, don't fix it), the sticks are what needs work.