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Could Angels and Dodgers give us a red and blue October? – Press Telegram

It’s early days – only one-fifth of MLB’s 162 games have been played – and yet the imagination is dancing, setting aside day-to-day results. The Dodgers and Los Angeles are near the top of their leagues, and is it too much to imagine them sharing the field in late October?

We’ve been waking up with the standard liability waiver – a lot of things can happen from now on, and the launch issues that suddenly develop with a Dodgers team that until Friday led baseball in the staff ERA are a vivid illustration. Two headlines go down following the passage of Clayton Kershaw to the injured list on Friday, and Andrew Friedman could be looking for a bullpen piece by the end of the game to make up for Blake Treinen’s prolonged absence. Meanwhile, four regulars – Gavin Lux, Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger – came in on Saturday with OPS + figures below 100, the league average.

However, you can’t look the other way, even if they are left behind. They lost to the Phillies 7-1 on Thursday night and were just one shot away from winning the game in the ninth inning. They lost 2-0 on Friday night, but ended up in another party. tying the score 9-9 in the two-run home run of Justin Turner but losing in 10 innings, 12-10, his third straight loss and fourth in five games.

And they’re still 20-11 for Saturday’s game. They are still in first place in percentage points, after leading their division for a few days … and with all their star power they may not even be the most convincing team in their own neighborhood.

Really, this may be the funniest baseball capital to watch. The Angels led 22-12 after winning the first game of a three-game series on Friday night in Oakland. Just last week he had a goalless draw after falling 4-2 in the ninth, a no-hitter and an Anthony Rendon homer, just because.

(Is this a breach of the unwritten rules, a right hitter hitting a home run with his left hand in a 10-0 game? If so, who cares?)

Los Angeles can beat: tied for first place in baseball in scoring runs (166 with the Dodgers), second in home runs (46), third in OPS (.744) and slugging percentage (.423). They can throw, for a change: fifth in ERA of the staff (3.27), third in WHIP (1.07) and tied for first place in the batting average of opponents (0.208 with the Dodgers). And they’ve popularized cowboy hats, as Orange County fans seem to pick up the home run celebration with that particular talisman and take their own to the stadium.

(I’m sure the Autry gene would approve it).

Los Angeles is also doing something else, while trying to throw away the common wisdom, at least in the rest of the country, that Mike Trout needs to go somewhere else because his team can’t take him to the postseason. They may be flexing their muscles in the middle of the Deader Ball Era, but they are also playing a lot of small balls (e.g., fifths in the majors on stolen bases and second in attempts), and maybe director Joe Maddon is showing a model. so it should be the game once the makers break the rules.

“If (the ball) doesn’t come out, you have to play baseball,” he said. “And I think … if you want more people to be interested in our game, play baseball, do it all, play all the components, all the facets of the game. And I think that’s what we’re doing right now. “I know that’s what we’re doing. That’s all we talk about in spring training.”

That is, remember, the kind of baseball that Mike Scioscia brought to Anaheim, the kind that led to the 2002 World Series championship pennant that still flies at Angel Stadium.

Fun to watch? Trout leads baseball in OPS (1,143) for Saturday’s games. Ohtani is still unique. Brandon Marsh and Taylor Ward are making an impact, Rendon is healthy again … and the office’s emphasis on launching releases is finally paying off.

CEO Perry Minasian spent $ 120.5 million on Arte Moreno’s cash last winter to consolidate the rotation (Noah Syndergaard, Michael Lorenzen) and the bullpen (Raisel Iglesias, Aaron Loup, Ryan Tepera, Archie Bradley).

A year ago, the Angels used all of their selections in the 20-round draft in pitchers. (Chase Silseth, an 11th-round pick in that draft, allowed a hit in six innings in his Major League debut on Friday night in Oakland). Before that, then-GM Billy Eppler used the tenth draft pick of the 2020 draft over Reid Detmers, and that suggests that the no-hits Detmers pitched Tuesday night against Tampa Bay was not a coincidence, but a vision of his potential once who unlocked it. .

The most impressive thing in Los Angeles right now? They have the rest of the country paying attention.

Meanwhile, the Monstars, as Freddie Freeman jokingly called his new team shortly after joining the Dodgers, have several players operating below their capabilities … but, as we said, it’s too early.

They remain favorites unless someone touches them. They entered Saturday in baseball second in the team’s ERA (2.75 to 2.68 in Houston), first in WHIP (1.05) and, as mentioned, tied in the lead with the Angels in scoring runs and a batting average of opponents.

And unlike a year ago, when the Dodgers scored a lot of runs once or twice a week and struggled to score the rest of the time, this formation can grind a pitcher or pitching staff and impose its will on the final innings. . (See: Thursday and Friday night, albeit against a leaking Phillies bullpen.) And they don’t seem to depend on the home run, which is also a good sign.

Again, dare we dream so soon? Note that we were only close once in the mutual existence of the 62-season teams to even think about the Dodgers vs. Angels in late October.

Both reached the postseason in the same year only four times: 2004, ’08, ’09 and ’14. Only once did the two reach the LCS in 2009, when the Angels lost to the Yankees in six games, the Dodgers lost to the Phillies in five, and those who said “Wait for next year” could have been ruled out as desperate. dreamers.

Yes, maybe we probably still are. And at times when either team is fighting, which is guaranteed during the 162-match ordeal, it seems crazy.

But it could happen. And wouldn’t that be an explosion?

jalexander@scng.com

Could Angels and Dodgers give us a red and blue October? – Press Telegram Source link Could Angels and Dodgers give us a red and blue October? – Press Telegram

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