Thursday, September 30, 2004

Two games.

That's all it takes at this point. All the furor, desperation, and exhiliration of the previous 159 games are gone, a thing of the past, a relic of baseball memory.

To get to the playoffs, two evenly matched teams will play each other in a race to see who can win two games. Evenly matched? Yes, evenly matched.

Coming into play today:

Team  OBP  SLG  EqA   ERA

ANA 341 429 263 4.32
OAK 345 436 264 4.15
Now, NetAss has been a better hitters' park than The Big A has been this year; Davenport takes that into account with his Equivalent Average, but he uses multi-year park factors that take away some of that difference.

What's interesting is, despite almost identical OBP and SLG, is this (updated through today):

Team  RS

ANA 822
OAK 789
Why the difference (through Wednesday)?
                       With Runners in Scoring Position

ANA 140 45 117 1706 277 343 436
OAK 45 22 141 1719 261 353 411
Well, we're a little bit better with runners in scoring position, and we also gain in stolen bases (the caught stealing and the double plays basically cancel each other out).

So, a little bit of luck, a little bit of skill, and maybe even some of those silly "productive outs," though I doubt that's a big factor.

And even though they lead us in ERA, check this:

Team  RA

ANA 733
OAK 727
Not too shabby; yes, with the park involved, we're a bit worse than that, but still very close.

Add it all up:

Team   W   L   PCT   RS   RA   PythW   PythL   PythPCT

ANA 90 69 .566 822 733 89 70 .557
OAK 90 69 .566 789 727 86 73 .541
So, it looks like we're a little bit better so far ... but none of that really matters anymore. To a large degree, analysis can be thrown out the window. It will come down to a simple battle on the field.

Well, does it get more exciting than this? Two good teams, two smart organizations with different ways of going about business, both facing off for a do-or-die trip to the playoffs ... you've got to be kidding. I'm so excited, I'm making even less sense than usual!

This is what it's all about.

Two games.

Yes We Can!

Yes We Can...ah, those halcyon days of 1979, when as innocents, we were unaware of that the horrors of 1982, 1986 and 1995 that awaited us Angels fans.

As such, I'm cautiously optimistic. Colon *must* pitch well tonight. Kelvim will lose 1-0, of course. So that leaves Washburn. *Sigh* The feeling of dread is unescapable.
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