The stage was set. Two crosstown rivals, fighting for their playoff lives with under a month to go in the season, perhaps in a preview of an All-Hollywood World Series. At least that's how MLB scheduling gods must have envisioned things when they slated the Dodgers to visit Angels Stadium this week. While the Billion Dollar Team up the 5 has held up their end of the bargain, the Angels once again underwhelmed as they looked overmatched and unfocused on a night when Zach Greinke looked hittable. Life will not get any easier with Clayton Kershaw on the mound tonight. Andrew Heaney looks for some redemption after the Angels' young lefty had a respectable start against the Dodgers' ace the last time they matched up. Can David topple Goliath and breathe just a tiny little breath of life into the Angels' expiring season?
I can't bear to watch. Let's click some links.
TAYLOR FEATHERSTON: The Rule V mainstay has been a favorite whipping boy of the Halo faithful, but with Johnny Giavotella's season seemingly over and Grant Green still being Grant Green, Featherston is finding himself in the line-up on a regular basis. It would be nice if our glove-first guy could actually use that leather to catch a ball every now and again...
JETT BANDY: While we lament this inevitable buttercup of a season coming to an end, we can at least take some solace that our favorite prospect might get into a game or two before this thing is wrapped up. Here is what Bees manager Dave Anderson has to say about his development this year in AAA: "He can catch and throw, and that automatically makes him a backup catcher in the big leagues,' Anderson said. 'But it depends on how he hits. If he hits and does everything he needs to do, then he's going to be an everyday catcher." Who knew Mike Scioscia gave media lessons during spring training? But he obviously wasn't paying close enough attention. Catchers are supposed to hit? Psh...
GM SEARCH: Fangraphs' Kiley McDaniel attempts to handicap how teams will fill their vacant GM positions, throwing predictably lazy barbs the Angels' way: "While the Red Sox job has a formal president of baseball operations above the GM, the Angels have an owner and manager higher in the pecking order, even if the exact hierarchy on any given decision is unclear. This obviously will limit the sorts of names that will take an interview, but I don't think Moreno/Scioscia want the well educated, analytically inclined assistant GM type, anyway."
TYLER SKAGGS: In light of the recent shaming of Matt Harvey, fellow Tommy John rehabber Tyler Skaggs is naturally forced to answer similar questions about his first season following the procedure. "I know for a fact that myself, the doctor, the team and my agent will sit down and talk it through this off-season,' Skaggs said. 'I promise you next year it will not go down for me like it is for Matt Harvey." Is Skaggs suggesting there will be no limits imposed on his innings total next season? I have a sneaking suspicion that depends heavily on who "the team" refers to.
Elsewhere in Baseball
SPEAKING OF HARVEY: The Mets ace has apparently come to a compromise with the team about his usage down the stretch. "A person familiar with the Mets' plans told USA TODAY Sports that after Harvey pitches Tuesday, he would be skipped in his next scheduled start, start one more time and wouldn't make another regular-season start unless needed on the final weekend of the season against the Nationals...And if the Mets make the playoffs, he won't start more than once during any potential playoff series and perhaps could be limited to no more than 60 pitches in a start." I'm all for monitoring the workload of young pitchers, especially those coming off major surgery, but doesn't it seem odd that these innings cap controversies always seem to revolve around Boras clients?
GLAD HE WAS OUT OF TOWN: Matt Garza has been removed from the Brewers rotation and went all Garza. "It's (expletive)," he said. "It's not my decision. I didn't get much say. It's completely taken out of my hands. That's it. I didn't have any say at all." That's right, Matt. You don't get to choose when teams make you a free agent offer and you don't get to choose when the manager puts you on the mound. Sometimes Arte's "take-it-or-leave-it" approach works in our favor.