Game 1: Angels 4, A’s 3 (F/10) | Game 2: Angels 2, A’s 0
Game 3: Angels 4, A’s 0 | Game 4: Angels 8, A’s 1
Runs Scored: 18
Runs Allowed: 4
YTD Record: 83-53 | 1st in AL West (+5)
Up Next: Tues @ HOU
So this is what total catharsis feels like…
Everyone, soak in all the endorphins you can. So far as regular season match-ups go, it’s not gonna get much better. This series had it all: fantastic pitching, clutch hitting, strange plays, near-misses, majestic home runs, base-running blunders, a walk-off, an #umpshow. Everything. And it wasn’t just a battle for first in the AL West, it was a late-season battle for first in the AL West among bitter rivals with a recent history of close contests vying for the best record in baseball. And the Angels freakin’ dominated.
The A’s offense was held off the scoreboard for 34 of the 37 innings in the series, including an incredible 29 frames straight between Thursday night and Sunday afternoon. This about this for a moment: Oakland hadn’t been shutout two nights in a row since 2006. The Angels just held them off the board for three games and change without the benefit of their best pitcher, and the only reason the streak didn’t extend to 31 innings was because of defensive indifference late Sunday. That’s bonkers.
My initial thought process upon feeling the post-sweep euphoria:
1) “Hell yes! Five games up, one month to go!”
2) “Why can’t this happen more often?”
3) “If this happened more often, would we still appreciate it?”
4) “Dang it, Nathan. Stop over-thinking this. Enjoy the awesome.”
5) “Hell yes! Five games up, one month to go!”
The Halos now sit at 83-53 on the year, a lovely 30 games above .500. If the team can simply break even over their final 26 contests, they’ll finish the season with 96 wins, which would be the third-best record in franchise history. If they continue to play .600 baseball on the other hand, they’ll have a very good chance of entering October with 100+ wins to their name. I really don’t want to count chickens here—I see you, 1995—but it’s extremely difficult at this point not to be irrationally excited about the next two months.