Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Posted 12:24 PM by Sean
Last night, the Angels won yet another game against the Royals that could easily have gone against them. Down 3-1 in the top of the 9th, they were the beneficiaries of a series of defensive implosions, including wild pitches, throwing errors, and mental mistakes, and ended up with a 5-3 victory. It was hardly a shining moment for the offense; although there was some timely hitting, and it's a little unfair to say they wouldn't have won without the Kansas City errors (we'll never know), the fact is that the Angels put a total of 16 earned runs on the board in four games against a team that is:
So it's a mite disconcerting to think that, in some bizarro world in which the Royals were as good as, say, the Detroit Tigers or the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Angels might have dropped a couple of those games, and not sit atop the wild-card standings today. At the same time, however, let me offer the following riposte: screw bizarro world. Because we're about to find out exactly what the Angels are made of, courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles.
The Orioles come in to Anaheim riding a seven game win streak, compiled against Texas and Seattle (thanks, guys!). Let's consider their key offensive and defensive statistics so far in 2004:
But wait! Look at those same numbers after the All-Star Break:
Now, the good news: I've seen some discussion of how the Angels are in a bad way, schedule-wise, particularly vis-a-vis Oakland and Boston. Such analysis is based on the premise that the "good" teams in the AL are Oakland, Texas, Anaheim, New York, Boston, Minnesota, and Chicago. In reality, however, the teams that are currently hot are Baltimore and Cleveland - a fact that works to mitigate some of the schedule for the Angels. Through the rest of the season, we see the following: