Angels Get Revenge Against Houston Despite Another Disappointing C.J. Wilson Start

The Angels last night won their 15th game of their last 17, exacting revenge against the Astros, the only team they have lost to in a streak that now covers 2-1/2 weeks. And, it’s not like they are scraping through – over their last nine consecutive victories, they’ve averaged just under eight runs per game. Unfortunately, when C.J. Wilson starts, they need those runs, which continue to come from a total team effort, with production from the top to the bottom of the lineup, and despite the absence of Josh Hamilton, whose return from a shoulder injury is still up in the air.

Wilson has now won four of his last five decisions, but he has still not shown a consistent

effectiveness that they have to have for the post season. He is the team's number three starter, and on baseball's best team, that says a lot. Unfortunately, words don't hold water on the diamond, and on the diamond, Wilson continues to struggle. The Angels have won three of his last four starts, with Wilson getting credit for the win in the last two, but over those games, he has given up 26 hits, 11 walks, and 13 earned runs in only 20-1/3 innings pitched. That's a 5.66 ERA and a
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1.79 WHIP – NOT the numbers you need from that number three guy.

On a vastly different pitching note, Matt Shoemaker, who was 6-1 with a 1.31 ERA in August, was named the American League’s pitcher of the month. Despite Jose Abreu’s big power numbers (33 HRs, 99 RBI, .317), Shoemaker should still get a lot of consideration as Rookie of the Year.

At lot was made a couple of days ago of the fact that the Dodgers now have four starters with 13 or more wins for the first time since 1985, when the names of the four 13-game

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winners were Orel Hershiser, Fernando Valenzuela, Jerry Reuss and Bob Welch. Well, with Wilson winning his 12th of the season last night, the Angels themselves now have three pitchers with 13 or more, and are a single Wilson win short of matching the Dodgers' four. It would be a surprise for any other major league team to accomplish that this season, without having to count the wins a starter brought along after a trade, such as the 11 David Price
brought with him to Detroit.

Looking at the standings, the Angels’ lead over Oakland has now reached 11 games, and the A’s are now just a half-game ahead of Seattle, which is now tied with Kansas City for the second wild card sport in the AL. A key to the Mariners’ success is the fact that they have the AL’s second best road record (after the Angels), which certainly helps considering the fact that with all their late-season success, they are playing just .500 at home. So, it would seem, amazingly, to be to their advantage that they have only five remaining home games this season, with the other 11 on the road. But, out of their 16 remaining, they play the Angels seven times, while the A’s and Angels have only three games remaining.

Could the A’s fall so far, so fast, that they cannot even hang on to a wild card spot?

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