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Sunday, September 26, 2004

Suicide Is Painless: Angels 6, A's 3

Jose Guillen's line, last week: .227/.227/.292
Jose Guillen's line, last 30 days: .229/.260/.313
... I really don't care what Jose Guillen does or says, as long as he's hitting. I suppose he's not really hitting all that well right now....
-- Richard
Translation: don't worry, Richard, it's just not that big of a loss.

Today we got to see suicide squeezes in two games, one by the Dodgers and one by the Angels; the Angels executed theirs successfully when Benjie Molina bunted Guerrero home. It struck me as an indicator of the kind of year the Angels have had: at times brilliant, and looking more than ever like they could, if they could focus for a whole season, win the division. But one thing after another prevents them from doing that. It's why I'm not sure, after the Angels' late play, that this game really means all that much; the Angels would have to get a tremendous amount of help from both the A's and the Rangers for them to sneak up on the division and win it, not unlike the Pholding Phillies of 1964. For that reason -- and for the reason that Guillen might have come out of his slump at any moment -- I'd have to say that the Angels are as hard-pressed as I've ever seen them. Clay Davenport's projection software reports they have, as of this morning, an 8% chance of winning the division, but that was before tonight's Angel win, and the Mariners' 9-0 drubbing of Texas.

Mulder's velocity was down -- way down -- and the Angels treated him roughly. I seem to remember that Tyler had been concerned at some point recently that Mulder was pitching injured; a velocity drop would certainly point that way, anyway. One doubts Adam "Angees" Riggs would have done much against a fully functional Agent Mulder. As it was, he got run-scoring double, and Glaus got two off him as well, including a two-run shot. Tyler's not quite in full-on panic mode, but he's getting there:

Am I being delusional at this point? This team is struggling mightily and while the optimistic fan inside tells me to remain calm, my realistic exterior has me reaching for the panic button.
I hear you, Tyler.

Meantime, Lackey was, if not brilliant, darn close, keeping a slumping A's offense cold the whole night. Frankie did his job, too, albeit a little shakily, and Percy came in to do what he's done so many nights before. I'm already starting to miss him, just a little.

Angels E number: 7



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