By Pete Zarustica/Garden Grove Journal
One hates to say it. Hope springs eternal. They’ve risen from the ashes before.
But, let’s face it: this party is over.
Fans of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have gotten used to the Angels winning the American League West division, or at least grabbing a wild card spot and advancing to the playoffs that way.
But it’s looking more and more like Angels fans and players will be watching it all on TV this year.
Tuesday’s 10-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, combined with the Texas Rangers’ 4-3 win over the Minnesota Twins put the Halos 10 games back (and in third place) with just 34 games to play.
Certainly the Angels have a mathematical chance of clawing back into the race, but it doesn’t look like the Anaheimers could do it short of a miracle.
The games Monday and Tuesday followed the same pattern: the Rays jumping out to a big lead and hanging on to post wins (4-3 on Monday).
Coming into the Tampa series, the Halos lost two of three to the Red Sox, then two of three to the Twins.
The Angels blew a chance to make up some ground, because the Rangers stumbled for a while.
The series with the Rays concluded Wednesday (results too late for our deadline). Today (Thursday) is a day off, and on Friday the Halos open a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles, who swept three from the Angels in their last encounter.
On Monday, the Angels take to the road by staring a three-game series in Seattle that concludes on Wednesday.
Looking down the road, the Angels play the Oakland Athletics Sept. 1-5 in a series that might, at least, determine who finishes second in the AL West.