Monday, May 14, 2012

By Jonathan Northrop - Columnist

I know no one likes to look at the big picture after a loss, especially to Texas, but let's not forget that they only lost 2-of-3 to the best team in the AL and are still 9-6 in their last 15 games. Certainly that's nothing to be too excited about, but it is 9-6 without any production from their best hitter and continued slumps from various players (Aybar, Hunter, etc).

The Angels have a soft schedule coming up, with five games against Oakland, two against the White Sox, and four against the Mariners before facing the Yankees and Rangers again at the end of May/beginning of June. That's 11 games in which they should be able to get themselves together and firing on all cylinders; an 8-3 run gets them to .500 (23-23), which is certainly possible. With the last three games of the month against the Yankees, it is going to be hard to get over .500 for the year, which was my prediction for the end of the month, but it is possible.

I'd even go so far as to say that this is a bit of a turning point for the team, or it could be - and one that might determine the rest of the year. If they can squeeze up to .500 by the end of this 11-game soft run AND into 2nd place, then they're going to be fine. But if they struggle then it is going to be more of the same all year, or at least until it is too late (I could see this team starting to play well in August or September when they're out of the race, sort of like an 8th inning Vernon Wells solo shot when the team is up or down by 8 runs).
Love to hear what you think!

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