Quantity outweighs quality — Some would say.
Tell that to what’s left of the Los Angeles Angels, and their season metrics.
While their blue rivals across town, the Dodgers, seemingly can win at a snap of their fingers and get paid handsomely for doing it, even when the Angels nearly do everything right, they do everything wrong.
It’s truly a cursed season.
The Angels hosted the Seattle Mariners from Friday to Monday and outscored the visitors 23 runs to 9 over the four-game series.
But yet … the Angels won only two games and lost two of them, and one of those losses came via the farcical MLB COVID-19-BS-mandated extra-innings rule, which puts an automatic runner on second base after the ninth inning, to cause more havoc in this wreck of a 2020 season.
Gamefully, the Angels came out firing last Friday like they could salvage something.
Not only did the Angels outscore the Mariners, they out-hit and out-pitched them, too.
It didn’t matter: the Mariners made their hits count. The Angels had 30 hits and the Mariners had 29, but cashing in runs is what matters and all the money hits went to Seattle.
Cash is King. Cash counts.
And in a season in which the Angels need to win 2 out of every 5 games to each sniff the playoffs, 2-2 wasn’t good enough.
The separation in all of this means that the Angels, had they swept Seattle — which was eminently manageable — fell to a 1.1% chance of reaching the playoffs in this nightmare of a 2020 season.
They’re gone. But who’s to blame?
Not the starting pitching for once.
For the first time this season, the Angels looked like they had the backbone of a starting rotation, the team’s core, that could go 1-2-3-4.
They did. In that order, Angels starting pitchers Andrew Heaney, Dylan Bundy, Griffin Canning (who was spectacular), and fill-in Jaime Barria each limited the Mariners to just one run each before turning the games over to the bullpen.
You can’t ask for much more. Except for …
Hitting? Well, the Halos scored 16 runs on Saturday and wish they would have saved some of those for the other three games — all of which they lost by a single run.
A lowlight was when folk hero David Fletcher limped off with a sprained ankle on a bang-bang play that eerily resembled the ones that have sidelined shortstop Andrelton Simmons much of the last two years.
The rest of the action was off the field, where the Angels, up against yesterday’s trading deadline, traded off three popular full-time position players, all starters, for a hodgepodge of MLB-ready or not-ready prospects.
The fire bells would have rung if the Angels had enough energy.
Jason Castro, the veteran catcher who the Angels signed as a free agent in the offseason and who the fans never saw in a game in person, was next to be dealt, to the rampaging San Diego Padres, on Sunday.
Dreadlocked outfielder Brian Goodwin took his positive attitude and sweet left-handed swing to the Cincinnati Reds in an under-the-wire move on Monday as the trade deadline ticked off down to seconds.
So … to recap. In four days, the Angels scored 23 runs, gave up 9, lost almost all hopes of a postseason, and traded three players for a pocketful of hope.
No Joe Maddon platitudes could make any of it feel better.
Quantity beats quality, indeed.