It’s still hard not to get stuck in the magic of what happened this past Friday when the LA Angels combined for a no-hitter on the game of Tyler Skaggs memorial celebration.
From that point on everything seemed to be a little extra magical, and while the LA Angels have been winning games in big ways the truest test is just around the corner. The Houston Astros are waiting to test just how real that magic is for the next four games. This is either going to be a brutal 4-game grinder or a confirmation that the Angels are playing with more than just luck on their side.
The Angels are going to head into the series with Griffin Canning taking the mound once more in the first game of the four game set. Canning shoulders the terribly heavy responsibility of filling Tyler Skaggs scheduled start day and had a tough time getting through his start against Texas. It was tough to watch not because of a bad start, but because Canning was obviously beaten down by the pain of his missing friend.
Things may be getting a little bit easier in the clubhouse, especially with the team feeling the power of Skaggs’ presence. Instead of being stuck in grief for their friend they seem to be moving into a place where they feel that they now have a guardian Angel watching above them and it’s starting to show in their demeanor.
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Grief is a tough thing to manage and it’s amazing to see the team rally around each other so intensely throughout the last couple of weeks, especially in the no-hitter thrown for Tyler Skaggs. It seems as if they’re not just rallying together off the field, but on the field as well. They’ve had some great wins in the last few games since returning from the All-Star break, including yesterday’s game which saw the Angels prospect former 1B and now 3B prospect Matt Thaiss club his first homer to break a 3-3 tie and put the Angels up 6-3 in their eventual victory, to complete sweep, over the Seattle Mariners.
Even if the Angels can come out of this series with a split and not lose any ground in the wild-card race it would be considered a win. If they can come out of the Houston series breaking even that will be as big a win as an actual series win.
However, if they could pull off a four-game sweep against one of the best teams in baseball?
Now that would be magic.
Angels @ Astros
(7/16) 7:07 PM PT @ FS-W: TBD vs Andrew Heaney (1-3, 5.18 ERA)
(7/18) 6:07 PM PT @ FS-W: Wade Miley (7-4, 3.32 ERA) vs TBD