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Miller: Angels treading water despite a boatload of holes

By in Press Enterprise on June 14, 2017

By Jeff Miller

ANAHEIM — For four weeks now, the Angels haven’t been more than two games above .500. Or below, either.

In other words, they’re going nowhere, which is precisely the point.

Going nowhere, for this team, isn’t the same as doing nothing. It’s the opposite, actually, the Angels moving forward by standing still.

“We’ve got a bunch of grinders,” reliever Blake Parker said. “I know it’s a cliche, but we go out there and compete. Steal a game here, steal a game there. That’s what we’ve done.”

Given all the injuries, the lacking performances and the loss of the best player in the game, the Angels sitting at 33-34 entering Tuesday was the most unlikely of sights around here.

This remains true even while the main entrance to the team’s home ballpark is decorated with a giant Christmas tree.

The tree is part of an upcoming promotion, a phony winter holiday celebration on the eve of summer.

The present that belongs under that tree, however, is real, the Angels giving their fans the gift of lingering relevance.

And, just like all gifts, this one is sweeter since it comes as a surprise.

Understand, I’m not predicting the Angels are playoff-bound or claiming they’ll even be worthy of eventual playoff consideration.

If what we’ve witnessed so far is surprising, the Angels playing beyond the first day of October would be shocking – shocking like winning the lottery, twice in one week.

Of their first 67 games, a lopsided 45 came against teams that began Tuesday with losing records.

The Angels were 24-21 in those, compared to 9-13 in games against teams that were above .500.

So, sure, an argument could be made that, if the Angels’ performance was really all that surprising, they’d have an overall winning record right now and by a margin of maybe five or more games.

Yet, when considering that Garrett Richards […]    

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