Culver City Observer -

Improved Angels Make Bid For Playoffs


By Mitch Chortkoff

Sports Editor

The last time I wrote about the Angels I realized they weren’t playing well but said it was too early to count them out.

Since then they’ve made a dramatic bid for a successful season. They cruised through July and are in a position to win their division or finish second and qualify for a wild card playoff berth.

But Tuesday night I watched on television as they lost to the Houston Astros, 10-5.

On the post game show Mike Scioscia was interviewed and he didn’t make excuses.

“We didn’t play very well, the manager said.

The Angels’ one-game division lead disappeared as the Astros caught them.

It’s hard to figure the Angels this season.

Some of their greatest assets are missing. Josh Hamilton was traded to Texas after suffering a drug relapse. Jered Weaver is on the disabled list. None of Hamilton’s replacements were hitting over .200, which forced the Angels to trade for a couple of left fielders this week. C.J. Wilson has been erratic.

It’s too bad these complications are removing some pleasure from the accomplishments of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, who are both around the 30 mark in home runs.

And Trout makes sensational catches.

In Scioscia’s long tenure as the Angels’ manager he has often produced high caliber teams. He’s one of the best at what he does.

He’s only had one World Series champion but a lot of managers go through their careers without winning any.

Can he piece together a team that is going to be successful in this season’s playoffs?

I’m always intrigued to see how trades work out. One in particular has me watching closely this season.

The Angels traded Howie Kendrick, a very fine major league player, to the Dodgers. I wondered why they’d give him up.

In the deal the Dodgers sent Andrew Heaney, a 23-year-old lefthanded starting pitcher, to the Angels. I wondered why they’d give him up.

Well, both players have done well with their new teams. Kendrick is a consistently good hitter and Heaney, who started the season in the minor leagues. Has won his first three decisions with the Angels. In one other start he didn’t get a decision but the Angels also won.

A lot of teams are in contention in this baseball season so there are a lot of possibilities regarding the playoffs.

Trout is playing well enough to repeat as the American League’s Most valuable Player.

But the Angels need to finish ahead of the Astros to avoid having to play one wild card game which could quickly end their season.


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