Game 1: Athletics 6, Angels 3 | Game 2: Angels 14, Athletics 1
Game 3: Athletics 9, Angels 2 | Game 4: Angels 2, Athletics 0
It wasn’t too long ago that the AL West had just reason to be considered the best division in baseball. Now, roughly three weeks into the 2015 season, the AL West remains the only division without a 9-win team. The division leader? The Houston Astros; a franchise nearly a decade removed from its last postseason appearance, and winners of a combined 234 games (versus 416 losses) over the last four seasons.
Of course, it’s way too early in the season to rush to brash conclusions, but it seems clear that the AL West isn’t what it used to be. Seattle has sputtered out of the gate. The Rangers are likely in the midst of an abysmal campaign. Houston is clearly on the upswing, but still gives off little impression of a shoo-in playoff contender. The Angels and A’s have both had their woes early this season.
This week’s four game set in Anaheim seemed to perfectly exemplify the fungibility that should consume the AL West this season, as the Angels and A’s split the series, with the box scores enacting the form of a roller coaster (not too often you see a 14-1 and 2-0 game in the same series), possibly foreshadowing the tumultuous season ahead for these two teams
Now, before we move onto the recapping, can we just note how extraordinarily awesome Oakland’s roster is. I mean, this team’s starting infield consists of Stephen Vogt, Ike Davis, Eric Sogard, Marcus Semien, and Brett Lawrie, with Mark Canha in left field and a super-uber-utility man in Ben Zobrist. To put this club’s incredible roster-turnover in perspective, here are the number of players on Oakland’s active roster who received at least 300 plate appearances with the club last season: 2*
*That would be Josh Reddick and Eric Sogard. I repeat, Eric Sogard.
Also, is there anyone even remotely as excited as myself about a Sonny Gray-Scott Kazmir-Jesse Hahn-Drew Pomeranz rotation? No? Alright, well let’s get back on topic…