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"Demoralizing"


tdawg87

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"Demoralizing"

By Toby Hunt

 

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I've only written a few short articles for Angelswin in my time as a contributor, and as most of you know, my articles are based on satire. When Garrett Richards went down last night I thought about writing a funny article to lighten up the mood a bit. But to be honest, I'm not really in a "humorous" mood right now. How could I be? The Angels just lost their best pitcher in the middle of a pennant race. I'm sure most Angels fans will sympathize with me. Losing G-Rich for what will likely be the remainder of the season is a kick in the gut. It feels like the Angels just blew a 4 run lead in the 9th inning of game 7 of the World Series. An already thin pitching staff just lost their ace, their leader, and their best pitcher. At this point, any hopes of making the postseason, let alone winning the division, have been completely destroyed, right? I mean the pundits are already writing off the team as we speak and the words "derail" and "free-fall" are being thrown around sports sites and message boards.

 

We like to use the word "demoralizing" a lot on Angelswin. And honestly, never has there been a more appropriate time to use it than now. The Angels have to be completely demoralized , like the wind just got knocked out of them. Garrett is not only seen as a leader on the field for the team heading towards the promised land, but as a great friend and teammate to many of the players. I'll bet the team is more concerned about Garrett the person right now than Garrett the baseball player. This injury has taken the wind out of their sails, and there is simply no way for them to recover from this, right?

 

Well, let's talk about "demoralizing" again. We as fans are completely demoralized right now. For many of us, the world just ended. Our hopes and dreams for this season have been dashed and things just aren't looking good for us right now. But you know what is funny about that? While we sat at our computers and used our phones to begin writing the eulogy for the 2014 Angels baseball season, something else was happening: The Angels were winning. The team that was obviously so demoralized came back after being down 3-0, after losing their ace, after having their hearts in their throats, and scored 8 unanswered runs to win the game. So I gotta ask, is it the team that's demoralized, or just the fans? You would think that a team so obviously shaken up would have just put their heads down and accepted their fate, kind of like we did here on Angelswin. I suppose the Halos aren't quite ready to do that just yet.

 

Let us once again talk about that word. "Demoralizing". The Angels' nemesis, the Oakland A's, have made some huge trades this season. They brought in Jeff Samardzija, and more recently Jon Lester. Their rotation is now arguably the best in the bigs. When the Lester trade went down, many fans here were, once again, demoralized. How could the Angels compete with Oakland now?

 

Just 11 days ago, the Angels had lost a lot of ground on the A's. They went from being just 1 game back to 4 games back in just a few days. Things were looking pretty bleak for this team. The fans were demoralized. This looked to be the point where the A's pulled away from the Angels and buried them for good. And obviously, the team felt demoralized as well. Or, as history would like to put it, the Angels fought back and in just 6 days had a share of first place for the first time since 2011. Early 2011. The A's have now lost 8 of their last 10, and are now looking up at the Angels instead of behind. You want to talk about "demoralizing"? How about going from having a 4 game lead to being down by 1.5 games in 11 freakin' days!

 

So now we talk about the future, the final 37 games of the season. How can the Angels maintain and even expand their lead in the division after what happened? The A's are licking their chops as we speak. In their minds, the Angels are "demoralized". They just got kicked in the nuts, and are now ready to "derail" as the pundits are putting it. But you want to know what would be truly demoralizing? The Angels going into Oakland's house and f**king bitch slapping them. The proverbial finger wag would tell the A's that the Angels aren't giving up this division. They aren't going down that easy. The A's would have a lot of doubts in their minds after that.

 

We will continue using the word "demoralizing" often here, but in the end, it may honestly just be the fans who are the ones who are demoralized. Just look at last night as an example. The team on the field didn't look too down to me. In the end, the Halos know exactly what they need to do. So let's just sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Awesome article, TDawg.

 

Hopefully we do feed off of this and get it going. I'm still really worried about our actual head to head games against Oakland though. We've had so many issues beating them in Oakland, hell, even in Anaheim. This next week and a half will tell a lot.

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To me, obviously I feel bad for GR in all the hard work and preparation he's put in this year, and what he has accomplished because of that.  The team is definitely better with him slotted in there every fifth day. However, since he only plays once every five days (we'll talk about the regular season first), I don't think it's that devastating or demoralizing of a blow that the team can't overcome it and still make the playoffs. With that said, the playoff rotation will take a hit though, there's no question about that. But as we all know, anything can happen in the playoffs and I'd take our hot offense (please be firing on all cylinders) against another team's ace any day.

 

I'm not giving up at all.

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Great article.  The only person I feel bad for is Richards.  He was having a great season, a breakout season, a season where he was seen as one of the best pitchers in the game.  But now is an opportunity for the rest of these guys to pick him up. 

 

If the Angels win, it will be team effort and if they fail, I won't let them blame this injury.  But I think they will win and make a run in the playoffs.  This team has taken the best record in baseball while none of the regular players have been playing even close to their best.  Not one of them.  The only group that has been great is the pen (ironic).  Now it is time for Trout, Pujols, Hamilton and the rest to start playing like we know they can.

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7 Starts

 

That is what is required between now and the end of the year. Little to no chance the Angels pick up a difference maker for the playoffs at this stage (unless they've already cleared waivers)...so what they should be focused on is 7 starts...35 to 40 innings...105 to 120 outs. That's all that is needed right now. They aren't going to be able to replace Richards, they aren't going to find a difference maker...they need someone to pick up the ball and keep them in the game for 5 to 6 innings a night for 7 games.

 

Losing Richards sucks...blows...hurts...etc. But the season is far from over.

 

 

Edit...Unintentional Craig...I see Inside Pitch called this out already in a thread

Edited by red321
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I think the Halos will still make the playoffs, but not having it's best pitcher is going to hurt the team when facing the best teams out there, in big games. 

This good season will survive, but the chances of going deep in the playoffs just took a huge hit.

Pitching is everything in the post season.

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Good post tdawg. Something tells me this is gonna be one of those things that brings it all together for whatever reason.

It definetely hurts the team this year. It may hurt them next year too (still dont know the injury). But on top of all that, I feel really bad for richards himself. Snubbed for the all star team, and now this. Seems like all the success ends in a snake bite for him right now. Hopefully the scar tissue from this kind of stuff makes him that much hungrier the rest of his career.

And wishing him a speedy recovery

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Great article Tdawg, I needed a read like this. I am still pretty upset about this and I just want us to come back and kick the shit out of the Red Sox tonight. If they come out tonight and just rail on them, it will speak volumes about this teams focus and resolve.

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