Angels 6, Astros 5 (11)
In some ways, the 2020 Angels season has seemed exactly like every other Angels season from the past five years. As the calendar flips to September, the Angels are once again on the outside looking in as far as the playoff picture goes. Despite the expanded postseason field, Fangraphs gives the Angels less than a 1% chance of joining the dance.
Yet in so many other ways, this season is different from the others. The pandemic is the most obvious cause, and it has been discussed ad nauseam. The slow ongoing march on time is one of the others. The general gist remains the same—Mike Trout flanked by an aging Albert Pujols and a merry band of brothers who simply cannot get the job done—but one looks up and sees that Trout is almost thirty.
He’s racked up the accolades, and although he probably won’t get a 4th AL MVP award in 2020, the counting stats are racking up. Regardless of era, one stat has always remained eye-popping: the home run.
2️⃣9️⃣9️⃣ pic.twitter.com/at4ZiqOCeB— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) September 5, 2020
Here’s Trout’s 299th home run of his career, tied for the most in Angels history. He’s 29. It’s not the right place or time to go into the travesty that is his lack of a playoff resume, but just know that I constantly think about it, and I’m saddened by it. It doesn’t matter. Trout comes to the ballpark every day and competes. Friday night, he was mic’d up, which was an interesting choice by the networks. The team is 13-25. From what they displayed to the viewers, Trout was his normal self, cracking jokes, pumping up teammates, and wondering what type of pitch he freaking blasted out to dead center field, like any normal player. He’s so much more than your normal player.
As for the game today, Lance McCullers Jr. left early, as after the Trout home run, he walked the bases loaded and appeared to be nursing an injury. Here’s hoping he feels better.
Jared Walsh is back in the lineup, and he hit the ball hard Friday, including this home run:
Walsh dead center! 💪 pic.twitter.com/fUHHD48vO5— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) September 5, 2020
On the pitching side, Dylan Bundy once again twirled a masterpiece. Struggling early on, he ended up going seven strong innings, allowing six hits, two runs, walking one, and striking out eight. He added a memorable GIF to Angels lore when Joe Maddon got up the bullpen in the fifth inning:
The 2020 season is all but over, but time marches on. Something magical needs to happen in 2021.
Arte would tell Eppler to trade the #1 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft if we got it to the Yankees for their 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Rd picks plus cash considerations. 😣 😣 😣
This win and 299 deserves an Angle Angelfish!
From the #2 to #6 pick with one win
At least we can get excited about Jaden Hill out of LSU, I guess. Some draft rankings have him going around there.
I woke up really early this morning and was ready for a nap, which I took as the 9th started. I woke up, checked my phone to see that we were, in fact, a major league club that could take a lead and hold it. And then, yikes! it was the top of the 11th!! Holy Crikey, are we sad. But good for Shohei to get that key hit.
We can only afford about 4 more wins, though.
Tonight we got lucky as the Red Sox split a doubleheader and by .001% point we are still in the 3rd position for the draft behind Pirates and Red Sox. Tomorrow is going to be over 100 degrees as the Asstros and the Halos tackle a doubleheader as the Astros are fighting for a better seeding in the upcoming playoffs and the Angels are fighting for pride. Look for some strange line ups tomorrow as the heat will take a toll on those playing in game one and game two will still be very warm. The younger guys will be in game one and the older guys in game two. The whole pitching staff will be used more than likely. See you tomorrow at 4pm
Hey this season s as strange as any l’ve seen ever. l root for the win but know darn full well that the draft is going to be important also. But how can l root for Trouty not to hit home runs and root against Bundy to have a great outing and l love Simba and Fletcher and believe that Walsh has a chance and hope for Ward and Thaiss to have great careers. You folks know that we need to rebuild and that means we have to draft some good players and develope what we now have the best we can. When we have expensive players it is difficult to mix in less expensive guys that you don’t develop. If you look at what Tampa and the Dodgers do it is keeping the talent flowing and that takes talent that demand to be paid good money. It also requires money to put into the minors, talent, coaches, scouting and management that has a plan. The cable tv money needs to go into the team and not a Stadium and property. The stadium is a bonus. Time to make this team great is running out.
Angels indecisive today.
Ha ha. She’s smelling the win to see if it’s good.
I feel the same way as you. I’m pissed when they lose because I’m tired of Trout playing on shit teams. I’m pissed when they blow leads like this because it just shows a repeat of the same failures. I’m also pissed when they win because it’s another fraudulent reason for first DiPoto and now Eppler to point and say “see one of these days our bad luck will stop ruining my amazing roster I built” and keep on the same stupid path. I’m only going to be happy when any team besides LAD wins the series this year and baseball will be over.
Totally agree with the Dodgers sentiment. My main rooting interest at this point is whoever plays LAD in the playoffs.
I’ll be relatively happy if anybody other than the Dodgers, A’s or Indians wins it.
As for us, I would like us to win just often enough to avoid total embarrassment (no eight game losing streaks etc and hopefully don’t blow 4 or 5 run leads in the 7th or later) but I still want us to get a Top 2 pick. It is a fine balancing act,really.
The best thing is that the Red Sox and Pirates start playing better so we can afford to win a few. I guess we all should be rooting hard for Boston andPittsburgh from here on out.
I don’t care for the “tank for a draft positioning” sentiment as it’s sacrificing integrity for insignificant gains. As we know a top pick typically takes 2 years (at best) before they have an impact and, as Trout has shown, we need more than a singular savior.
You look at the orgs often mentioned as examples of what to do (TB/CLE/LAD/OAK/NYY/STL) and they are consistently drafting middle to late while still consistently churning out talented players. We need to draft better not higher. I’ll admit that the larger draft pool is quite helpful but the idea that purposely losing will solve all of our problems is both embarrassing and unlikely IMO
Well, number one, I never said to “purposely lose.” I agree this would not be good for team morale going forward.
Tanking is a fine art, as I suggested in my prior comment. You still need to “try” out on the field. But if you play guys like Ward, Thaiss, etc you naturally decrease your chances of winning. You probably don’t want to hear it, but we should also not rush Fletcher back from his injury.
Second, I disagree that a top draft pick would be an “insignificant gain.” A player like Kumar Rocker can transform a franchise. It is true that one player does not make a winner, but because we have so many other pieces in place (mostly position players/.offense) a key ace can be a difference maker. Even if a Rocker is a year or two away just acquiring him would inspire the team, I believe.
In addition you’ll also be getting higher picks in subsequent rounds. This is to address your other comment about drafting better overall. Yes, we’ll need to make good picks in those slots, so needless to say I am not in favor of Eppler making them. I feel that Maddon (ex-scout) should make them with the new GM (whoever that is we bring in).
If Arte is not going to rebuild, then what option remains? Clearly the “strategy” used for the last 5 years has not worked. Play all the kids: Adell, Walsh, Ward, Thaiss, Marsh, Rengifo, the weak link from Oakland, and Detmers. Let’s see what they’ve got for the remaining 21 games. The 2020 wins are meaningless. Focus on the 2021 season.
Why are the failures of tanking always conveniently overlooked? There are many teams who’ve been bad for decade long stretches or more and high draft picks didn’t dig them out of the cellar. In the last 20 years teams like Pittsburgh, Seattle, Miami, SD, KC, CHW
have been perennial bottom feeders, some took multiple tries at rebuilding before they got the intended results, some the results are still pending. The Cubs and Astros stick the landing and everyone forgets that there’s actually potential for it to go wrong.
My hunch is this headline was written before the Buttreycup…
It was probably just Mike Trout and Dylan Bundy though. Shohei got added later.