The Angels are a head-scratcher of a team when it comes to spring training. They started the 2017 cactus league games with a confusingly impressive feat in the works, and then tonight, they added to that confounding lore with yet another weird triumph. The best part? Nobody knows what any of these accomplishments mean, but they have to mean something, right?!
The “confusingly impressive” feat that I referenced was their spring training winning streak, which started at the end of camp last year, and continued on in the beginning of this year’s spring training. The Angels would eventually win 18 games in a row, both years combined, and no matter how much we know in our heart of hearts that spring training games mean nothing, it was still pretty crazy!
Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs went a long way to say it means nothing but is still a noteworthy accomplishment, while our very own Stirrups used some of his daily Halolinks posts to make his rebuttal. It’s as strange of a baseball footnote as it gets; what do you make of a team who does the near-impossible, but at a time when it doesn’t really matter...but then again, it’s not like other teams are putting together runs like that.
Tonight, the cactus league lore grew some more for our beloved Halos, as they put together an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners. Sure, it was not even the first no-no of spring (the Yankees had one out in Florida), but it was the first spring training no-hitter from the Angels since 1996.
It amounts to a hill of beans, yes, but I don’t care! I got so hyped watching this game, seeing Bud Norris, Jose Alvarez, Andrew Bailey, Drew Gagnon, Cam Bedrosian, Abel De Los Santos and Justin Anderson putting together such an unlikely cactus league outcome.
And the Halos came to play in this thing, too. Sure, the Mariners only had two regular position players in their lineup, but there were many plays where you’d expect the level of intensity to be low and for a ball to drop here and there, but dudes like C.J. Cron, Sherman Johnson and Shane Robinson were diving around Tempe Diablo, laying out for baseballs like it was the Wild Card play-in game.
So what should we take away from this game? Well, not that much! Just like we take very little away from their improbably winning streak, but at the same time, the die-hard in me knows it’s a sign; a cactus league harbinger, but for what, nobody knows. It makes me want to jump for joy, with the most perplexed look on my face possible.
I don’t know what any of this means...probably nothing...but it’s awesome and it means the Angels are going to have a great season! Just kidding. Not really. Right?