Two weeks left in the season – 15 games, to be exact.
Most fans of the Los Angeles Angels expected their team to have clinched a playoff spot, if not the American League West Division championship, by now.
Acquiring someone like Albert Pujols last winter and having a kid like Mike Trout emerge the way he did this season, it was perfectly understandable.
But alas, thanks to a 6-14 start and an August swoon, it has not turned out that way for Mike Scioscia’s club as they currently stand two and a half games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the last wild card spot.
Being that these Angels are 7 1/2 games behind the Texas Rangers in the A.L. West, a division crown is more or less out of reach at the moment, but as far as a wild card spot this club is hanging in.
However, except for perhaps their crosstown rival Dodgers, it’s hard to imagine a tougher road for the Halos going forward as they have to face the Rangers, who at 87-59 happen to have the best record in the American League, and the A.L. Central Division leading Chicago White Sox this week during their upcoming homestand at Angel Stadium.
Trout, who’s currently batting .329, has the Rookie of the Year award locked up, but as he’s no longer the league batting leader with Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera passing him, it’s fair to say that the center fielder is an underdog for the MVP trophy.
No matter what happens, though, Trout should feel extremely proud of what he has done for the Angels this season, especially since he started the year in Triple-A Salt Lake and wasn’t called up until the end of April.
Torii Hunter has been on a tear as well, virtually carrying the club, but one recent loss was particularly devastating; the one in Kansas City where Zack Grienke was pitching a 2-0 shutout in the ninth inning and gave way to closer Ernesto Frieri, who promptly gave up the tying and winning runs in just four pitches.
If the Angels miss the post season, that loss will undoubtedly loom huge.
In the meantime, while it’s good that they are still in the hunt for a post season spot, the only thing that matters now to these Halos is beating the Rangers and White Sox this week, which will be no easy task.