Sure, it’s too little, too late. And yeah, a matchup against the Seattle Mariners is never exactly a clash of the Titans. Even so, the Los Angeles Angels saw much that should encourage them as the franchise looks ahead to 2014.
First of all, Jered Weaver is still amazing. He stunk up the ballpark in each of his last two outings against the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians, respectively. He was undeniably bad in the New York start, but he also ran into the Alfonso Soriano buzzsaw that’s been decimating the AL over the past two weeks. The streaking Indians (71-59) are never an easy win, either, so perhaps we can let these two starts slide. In any case, Weaver was back to his old self on Sunday night, giving up just one run through eight innings.
Second, Josh Hamilton is hitting, seriously! At this point, it’s safe to say that a .329 average over 17 games constitutes an honest-to-God trend; the only question is whether that trend can carry over into next season.
Finally, it would appear that the kids are alright: the Halos’ minor league callups, Kole Calhoun, Chris Nelson and Grant Green, were a combined 4-14 with a double, triple and five RBIs on the night. Not too shabby for a group of men who, just a few short months ago, couldn’t get into a big league game unless they bought a ticket like any other fan. Do any of these three have what it takes to be a full-time starter come next year? Nelson may have to be ready, simply because the Angels are short on third basemen, but all of these men clearly have something to prove to the organization.
Though the playoffs are a distant dream, the Angels will have a chance to take a long, hard look at what the bottom of their roster can produce in the final month of the season. Let’s see what happens.