By Glen McKee, AngelsWin.com Senior Corpse Finder -
If you are friends with me on Facebook (that’s how old I am, it isn’t even “If you followed me on Twitter” because while I have a Twitter account, I update it about as often as I update my Google + page) you’d already know that on my Saturday morning dog walk, I “discovered” a half-naked corpse.
It was a dude, and the half that was naked was the half that you don’t want to be naked. I didn’t think this was connected to the Angels’ season until my exceptional editor said I needed to work it in somehow, and then it became obvious to me. This year’s Angels team is like a half-naked corpse that you find on an isolated dirt road: surprising but not in a good way, a bit stinky, and a mystery. You wonder how it happened and then realize there are several possible explanations, but it’s probably the most mundane thing that is the truth (for the Angels, it was injuries) (for the corpse I found, who knows, but it’s probably less fantastical than the half-dozen scenarios I’ve cooked up in my head).
On to last week…
This week was a mixed bag. If we win too many games we’ll lose our protected draft pick. If we win too few games then it’s a slog through the week. We straddled that line but still somehow finished ahead of Oakland.
- The Record. 4-3 doesn’t sound bad, right? Well, it does when you’re thinking about that protected draft pick. Anything over .500 is cause for concern. There’s also some good in the record, more about that shortly.
- Mike Trout. He hit .261 last week with only one HR, but seven RBI. Despite being on a half-naked corpse of a team he’s still in the MVP discussion and he’d greatly improve his chances by being a 30-30 guy: 30 HR and 30 SB. Trout had one SB and one HR last week, and for the season he’s at 27 SB and 28 HR. There are six games remaining in the season. It’s possible, as our last two opponents are Oakland (already done for the season) and Houston (currently hanging on to their last straw of a Wild Card hope, thanks in part to what we did to them this weekend).
- Jett Bandy. His star is fading. Jett only got one start last week and two other brief appearances, going 1-4 with a double. Jett was born in West Hills, CA, which is a part of Los Angeles. You know who else was born in Los Angeles? Angelina Jolie, who is currently available. Brush up your resumes, gentlemen.
- Nick Buss. 1-10 last week, .205 for the season. Another dirty peanut. Not the solution for either LF or the bench. Next.
- Daniel Wright. Thus far, he’s been Daniel Wrong, amirite, AO? Sometimes you gotta pick the low-hanging fruit. Two starts last week, 10.2 IP, eight ER. There’s no indication that he’ll be a part of the rotation next year, but he could be another dirty peanut stashed away in SLC.
- Carlos Perez. Got six of the seven starts last week at catcher, despite being worse than Bandy. Thanks, affirmative action! 2-18 for a lovely .111 average. He’s the new brown Mathis. He’s from Venezuela, and you know who else is from Venezuela? Alyz Henrich, Miss Earth 2013.
Our record was good if you disregard the protected pick BS, but there was also an extra layer of good in our record. There were also some players that did sorta OK last week.
- Spoilers. Houston had been kicking our ass all season long, until last weekend. We went into their bandbox of a stadium and took three out of four games, two of them with late-innings heroics, to put a serious dent in their wild card hopes. I hope that after this week we can look back on it and say it was worth it.
- Ricky Nolasco. He’s looking more like a clean peanut with every start. 7 IP last week, 0 ER. He should be in the rotation next year and given our lack of working arms, that seems like a lock.
- Jhoulys Chacin. Welcome back to the good list, Jewels! Two starts last week, 11 IP, 1 ER. Another solid possibility for the rotation next year despite being a McDLT. I hope he’s back next year, because he’s Jewel.
- Yunel Escobar. He found his bat again. .360 average last week with a HR and 3 RBI.
- Albert Pujols. He tore it up last week. .357 average, 1 HR, 2 2B, and a bunch of singles.
Juan Graterol, despite having the best BA of our catchers, was invisible last week. WTF, Scioscia?
In the all-important protected draft pick standings, there are three teams worse than us in the AL and four teams worse in the NL, which means we’re in eighth place and we can’t go higher than tenth. Philadelphia and Milwaukee are both at 70-86, one game better than us. The next team after them is the Chicago White Sox at 74-81. So, even if we surpass Philly and Milwaukee, Chicago is 5.5 games better than us. They’d have to lose almost all of their remaining games and we’d have to win almost all of ours, to surpass them. Break out the champagne! It’s almost a lock. No whammy.
The Week Ahead.
Three at home versus the Aths – we could solidify that protected pick status by being swept by them, but we don’t really want that, do we? – and we finish the season with three at home versus the Astros. Only three things matter for this week: one, no more injuries. Two, Trout getting to 30-30. Three, the protected draft pick. Those are all attainable goals, and I predict all three of them will happen.
2-1 versus the Aths and 2-1 versus the Astros, just to kick a bit more sand in their faces. Last week I predicted 0-3 versus Texas (1-2 actual) and 2-2 versus the Astros (3-1 actual). This is my last week for predictions! One more prediction: I predict there will be one more gratuitous picture of a hot babe to close out this penultimate edition of LWIAB 2016. See you next week.