By Glen McKee, Something or Other
When I came back from camping last Sunday the Angels still had a chance at the second wild card spot in the AL. Technically speaking, they still do, but yeah, I know. It’s over. Last week was the equivalent of driving down the road at 55 mph and then suddenly and simultaneously getting four flat tires. We shouldn’t be surprised, though. The Angels jalopy has been driving all year behind a truck with a bed full of nails and for some strange reason, a fan blowing those nails onto the road. It’s no surprise that this happened, it’s a surprise that the team made it this far.
The bad. Obviously, you start with the 1-5 record and work your way down from there. Everything about the team was inconsistent but most of the time, the Angels were playing from a deficit even when the starters did well. The Angels scored 18 runs in six games, making for some easy math to figure out they averaged a sad three runs per game. They gave up 30 runs in those six games, making for more easy math: five runs per game. The Angels had a -12 run differential last week during a crucial stretch. Welp.
Mike Trout – Trout continued his September to disremember, hitting .217 last week but showing some faint signs of a pulse yesterday. He’s hitting .233 for September with two home runs. Trout’s slump has been discussed enough on the board, so let’s move on.
Yusmeiro Petit – Yusmeiro has been nails for us most of the year so it’s hard to get down on him. He just ran out of gas last week, pitching in three games and losing two of them while posting a 20.25 ERA. Yikes. He still has a 2.64 ERA on the season, almost two runs below his career average.
Eduardo Parades – This week he turned back into Eduardo Parades, giving up five runs in 2.1 innings over two appearances. His ERA for the season is now 4.71.
CJ Cron – Cron disappeared last week, hitting .158 but managing to hit a home run that nobody other than AO will remember.
Andrelton Simmons – He was slightly better than Cron, hitting .182 last week.
This list could go on and on, but it’s already giving me a sadgasm so let’s move on.
The good. What, there was good last week? Of course there was! Let’s look at the few things that pierced the funk that was last week.
Justin Upton – He only hit .241 last week but he had four home runs and five RBI. Those five RBI were more than 25% of the Angels runs scored last week. He’s making a pitch to be the Angels LF again next year, even if he opts out. Seven HR and an OPS of 1.021 in September. I know, it’s a walk year of sorts and beware of stats put up in said years. Just think about how many players have come to the Angels and tanked (not Tanked, which is going vegetarian). He’s worth a shot for next year.
Garrett Richards – You have no idea how happy it makes me see him make this list. Six IP, zero ER against Houston. An ERA of 1.76 and a WHIP of 0.72 for September. My only regret about this season ending is that we won’t get to see more of him, but he’s giving us hope that next year we’ll have Ace Richards.
Ricky Nolasco – Five IP, two ER is good for Nolasco. He starts again today, which means he’ll get another start later this week just so we can see him one more time. After that, it’s Godspeed, Ricky. I’m sure you’ll sign with another team next year and have an ERA in the threes.
Keynan Middleton – This cat is interesting. He has the stuff to be a closer and I think he’s worth sticking with. 3.1 IP last week, zero ER.
Blake Parker – 2.1 IP, zero ER last week. He has to be looked at a closer candidate for next year.
Ben Revere – He seems to be thriving as a pinch-hitter, and who knows, perhaps he’d thrive with regular AB. 3-3 last week pinch-hitting.
The rest. Since being called back up on September 1, Carlos Perez has had three AB. Huston Street is about ready to pitch off of a mound, or something, who cares. Kaleb Cowart has gotten two more AB than Perez this month. Somehow, Luis Valbuena has hit 21 HR this season while posting a .194 BA.
The week ahead. Do you really care? I care, dammit! This is the last Angels baseball we’ll see until spring training next year. Four in Chicago against the White Sox and the season ends with three at home versus the Dipotos.
Predictions. Who gives a flying fart? I do! The Angels will give us some false hope, winning three in Chicago and moving us a bit closer to that second wild card spot, but then they’ll lose the first two against the Dipotos before ultimately winning the last game of the season.
Next Monday. The last LWIAB for the season. I’ll try to go out in style, with all the stuff that was missing from this week’s edition. I’ll try to make it worth your while to read it. Until then, enjoy the last week of Angels baseball this year.