Never having written one of these before, holy crap, this team really isn't good. Hooray defense and all that (fun fact: we're second-worst in errors and by far the best in range), but defense is the least important of the three big skills, and we've been lousy at the other two. Also, hey, the gap between these two teams has widened by 15.8 runs since we played thelast week, and by 87.4 runs since we played them at the end of May. Though the Angels have overachieved, we have, too, and for the ten thousandth year in a row, the fact of the matter is that they're quite a bit better than us.
These aren't your grandpappy's Angels, either. Games featuring the Angels have averaged the highest number of total runs scored in baseball (10.50), narrowly edging out the(10.47). There are still elements of classic Angels baseball in there, of course - stolen bases, infield hits, balls in play, and so on - but where losses to them used to be met with frustration, now they're met with profound understanding. "Oh right they bludgeon now." It seems the are the new team that when you lose to them you don't get how it happened. I'm glad we've become a worse version of my least favorite team ever.
How the hell are we winning this season series?
Game 1: Felix Hernandez vs. Scott Kazmir *
Game 2: Ian Snell vs. Jered Weaver
Game 3: Ryan Rowland-Smith vs. John Lackey
Well this is an intimidating trio to face. Kazmir wouldn't be much but for the fact that he, like so many other pitchers, recently whupped our ass. There are ways to recommend that a normal baseball team beat a pitcher, and there are ways to recommend that the Mariners beat a pitcher. For normal teams, you beat Kazmir by forcing him to come into the zone. For the Mariners, you beat Kazmir by hoping Felix throws a shutout. I imagine we'll run out a lineup with a ton of righties tonight, but the last time we did that against Kazmir we got three hits.
We used to call Jered Weaver overrated. He was. He's not an ace. But he's been pretty much exactly the same pitcher he was a year ago, and a year ago he was a good pitcher who threw strikes and missed bats while surviving an extraordinary fly ball rate. He can be exposed against lefties, but his changeup is good enough that it's not a huge concern. Snell's going to have to be on the top of his game, or more realistically he'll have to be on the top of someone better's game.
John Lackey is going to be really rich soon. Remember when he was struggling? I think he got mad.
The Angels are five games better than Texas and have something like an 85-90% chance of taking the division. If we are to do anything about that, we have to start now.