Monday, September 28, 2009

By Adam Dodge - Senior Writer

With their magic number down to two and a match-up versus the second place Rangers set to begin this evening, the Angels can clinch their third consecutive American League West title by beating Texas just once in the next four days. For manager Mike Scioscia and the players sooner would definitely be better.

It has been an emotional season following the tragic death of top prospect Nick Adenhart in April, whose jersey has been hung in the Angel dugout for each of the team’s games since his passing.

The season has been physically exhausting as well. Days off have been few and far between for the Halos in the second half, which is a likely cause of the struggles faced by several of the Angel hitters. Vladimir Guerrero, Torii Hunter, Juan Rivera and Bobby Abreu all continue to struggle in September. Kendry Morales and Mike Napoli appear to have broken out of their month long slumps this past week.

If the Angels do win tonight and clinch their birth in the post-season it would secure just more than a week before they have to play another meaningful baseball game. That would mean plenty of rest for a tired group of Halo veterans. Recent results suggest that the wear and tear of the season have hit this group particularly hard.

Expect Mike Scioscia to manage tonight’s game like a playoff game.
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