Purgatory Online

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Angels dropped the finale of their four-game set with Texas, which is disappointing. But if you'd told me going in that they'd take three of four and be guaranteed at least a tie for the division lead heading into Oakland, I'd have been doing the happy dance, so I'm not too upset - and I suspect the Angels aren't, either.

I didn't get a chance to see the game, but listened to most of it on the radio. It sounds as if Lackey was off, possibly because he was on short rest, and possibly because he's John Lackey, and this game was in Texas. Either way, the good news is that the bullpen horses got rested - Kevin Gregg and Ramon Ortiz were used in relief, with Gregg soaking up the vast majority of the pitches after Lackey left. Shields, Donnelly, Rodriguez, and Percival should all be available tomorrow.

One final note: if I were a Texas Rangers fan, I'd be damn proud of my team right now. Nobody gave them a snowball's chance in hell of doing anything more than finishing fourth at the start of the year. Most folks - including me - thought they lacked the starting pitching depth to contend this far, even after they were still in the mix through the summer. Given their incredible offense and a bullpen that's seemingly come out of nowhere, they're about two decent starters away from being a championship-caliber ballclub. Depending on what they do over the winter, this may be the team to beat in 2005.

But that's then, and this is now. It's time to go get Oakland.