Monday, September 27, 2004

 

Another Twist in the Race

Jose Guillen was suspended for the rest of the season and the playoffs (if applicable to Anaheim) for his actions yesterday after being lifted for a pinch runner. I'm sure you have heard about this already, and if you have not, here's the link:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1889533

The important thing about Anaheim losing Guillen's services is quite simple; if they make the playoffs they are short another man. This after already losing Adam Kennedy for the season, as well as a dangerous crutch in relying on Erstad's ability to hit for average and average only to drive the team to wins.

Guillen: .294/.352/.497 27 HR 104 RBI

Something tells me they would miss his bat in the playoffs, where the Angels' gameplan is as follows:

1) Score early
2) Don't let the starters get too beat up
3) Lead by atleast 1 by 6th inning so bullpen can shutdown other team

In the playoffs runs are scarce for high-powered offenses, so they will miss him a lot, not to mention Kennedy was ALCS MVP in 2002 and for those who believe in clutch hitting it is a big deal. So what does this all mean?

I think the Angels might pass the Athletics for the division lead soon, especially since Mark Mulder still has a start left this year. This is good news and also bad news. The good news would be they could continue their mini-surge at the end of the season and maybe overtake the Twins, allowing the Sox to play them in the division series. Or they could go up against NY, where their lineup may take advantage of the NY pitching. What I see if they do make it though is a defeat in the ALCS unless they go up against NY. They probably wouldn't have a lead by the 6th or 7th inning with Santana and Radke pitching, or even Pedro and Schilling. This takes their bullpen out of the game, and that is who won the World Series for them the first time around. Nothing has changed since then, except Vladimir Guerrero is on the team now (to balance that seemingly idiotic statement, the pitching is weaker now as well.) Basically the fact that the Angels may pass the Athletics thanks to the A's struggles and go into the playoffs bitten by the injury bug could without a doubt add some new twists to these already overinteresting playoffs.

Quick note on Jake Peavy, since I wrote about him last time. Apparently the Padres are trying to get him enough IP to qualify for the ERA title; he currently has a 2.27 ERA.


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