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Tuesday Halolinks: Despite Loss Angels Still In Playoff Hunt, Jered Weaver Set To Return

"Ah crap, not Isringhausen!"
"Ah crap, not Isringhausen!"

Below is a quick screenshot of ESPN's Wild Card standings. I'll try to include this in the remaining Halolinks posts:


  • We all knew it was bound to happen, the Angels couldn't possibly win all of their remaining games, could they? With 22 game left, a 19-3 run would do wonders for their playoff hopes, but first they need to play one game at a time and turn the page on last night's loss: Jarrod Parker and Oakland As end Los Angeles Angels winning streak - FOX Sports. "With its first home loss in seven games, Los Angeles blew a chance to pull within a half-game of Baltimore (78-62) for the second AL wild-card spot. Tampa Bay (77-63) is between the Orioles and the Angels. Oakland (80-60), which is in the first wild-card slot, is 20 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2006 season — also the year of the team's last postseason appearance. The A's pulled within three games of idle Texas (83-57) atop the AL West." I find it sort of amazing that Oakland is closer to the division lead than they are to being passed by the Angels.
  • It's also completely conceivable that both wild cards will come from the same division: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - September 10, 2012 - ""We're getting to the point where they're not going away," said Dan Haren, the tough-luck loser after giving up just three runs in 6 1/3 innings. "It's going to be a fight to the finish, and the better team is going to win." With a little more than three weeks left in the regular season, the A's -- by 3 1/2 games -- have been the better of the two, pacing the AL Wild Card race despite sporting the second-lowest payroll in the Majors and dealing with a host of misfortune."
  • Oakland has resorted to using the Angels brand of winning: Series-opening win gives A's breathing room over Angels - Yahoo! Sports. "The A's have won 10 in a row on the road, their longest streak since also reeling off 10 in a row in 2006. Pitching has been a major key in all of the A's success. Oakland pitchers have a 2.68 ERA over the past 24 games, and the starters have issued no more than three walks in any of the past 39 games."
  • Tonight's game is the battle of the fill-in starter: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - September 11, 2012 - "The A's had to plug the hole left by Brandon McCarthy, who was struck in the skull by a batted ball in his last outing -- Wednesday against the Angels -- and underwent emergency brain surgery. Rookie Dan Straily gets that assignment after being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Friday, and he will make his fourth big league start and first since Aug. 16. The Angels' situation is less severe, but the club had to juggle its rotation after right biceps tendinitis forced ace Jered Weaver to miss his scheduled start on Friday. That led manager Mike Scioscia to return veteran Jerome Williams to a starting role after the right-hander spent nearly all of the past two months in long relief." And typical for the A's, they have another very good pitcher coming up from the minors: Athletics-Angels Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "A lack of experience in the rotation hasn't hurt the Oakland Athletics' playoff push. With Brandon McCarthy out for the foreseeable future, they'll turn to Dan Straily for help down the stretch.Straily (1-0, 3.18 ERA) was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento after McCarthy's injury. He started three games in August - all wins for the Athletics."
  • I don't know if it's just my perception of winning, but it always seems there's a "magic" to the winning season. A season of climatic come-from-behind wins featuring a dog-pile in the middle of the infield after a dramatic walk-off hit. However, although the Halos are doing very well, they're missing that "magic": 3 up, 3 down: Athletics 3, Angels 1 - Los Angeles Angels Blog - ESPN Los Angeles. "The Angel Stadium video board engineer hasn't stopped playing the popular Rally Monkey snippets, promising those in attendance that if they make enough noise a rally will magically appear. Well, the Angels continued to struggle in late-game situations Monday. They are now 3-52 when trailing after seven innings."
  • Time to turn up the concern on Jonny Gomes' give-a-fuck-o-meter: Billy Beane's Oakland Athletics is another winning band of misfits - FOX Sports. "The Angels had won 15 of their previous 18 games — including a three-game sweep last week in Oakland — but the Athletics’ looseness and aggressiveness did not exactly come as a surprise. "Let me tell you the level of concern about this series," designated hitter Jonny Gomes said before the game. "Zero." Zero? That's funny, that's how much anyone cares about what Jonny Gomes thinks.
  • You gotta love the passion, however misguided it may be: Hunter: Angels aim to take division - ESPN Los Angeles. ""I definitely think we’re going to make the playoffs," said Hunter, whose Angels are one game out of a wild-card spot. "Our first goal is to win the division and take it away from Texas." I'm not too concerned with the division title, making the it to the dance is whats important.
  • This is significant. Weaver's starts have been lined up so that he pitches the last game of the season, but if the club has already clinched one of the wild card spots, Weaver will be available to pitch the one-game play-in game: Weaver cleared to rejoin Angels' rotation Thursday - Yahoo! Sports. "Weaver admits he was pitching at 80-85 percent for nearly a month, going 1-3 with a 6.14 ERA in five starts before being skipped in the rotation last week. "I just wasn't myself," Weaver said. "I couldn't get on certain pitches when I wanted to. I couldn't throw my slider as hard as I wanted to. I couldn't bump up my fastball as much as I wanted to. It felt tight in there. By slotting him back in the rotation Thursday, the Angels have Weaver lined up to start five more times this season, each on his normal rest, including the final day of the regular season."
  • Good news: Oakland Athletics' Brandon McCarthy walks, could return home soon - ESPN. "A's trainer Nick Paparesta said Monday that McCarthy seems likely to leave the hospital soon. Paparesta had said two days earlier that McCarthy was still in a "life-threatening" situation. McCarthy McCarthy "I think that we're a little bit more comfortable with where he is and how he's doing, absolutely," Paparesta said Monday before the A's opened a four-game series with the Los Angeles Angels. Paparesta said McCarthy took a few steps Monday, even climbing and descending four stairs with the help of a handrail, just five days after undergoing two hours of surgery. He has been moved to a transitional care unit in his Bay Area hospital."
  • There are 1,092 people in Houston who don't know how to work their remotes: No one watched the Astros on television Sunday - HardballTalk. "David Barron of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros’ win over the Reds was watched by an average of 1,092 households, which is the lowest in recorded history." Welcome to the A.L. West.