Angels' magic number: 23

Yes, it’s that time of the year when you can calculate how many wins of the first place team combined with the defeats of the second place team equals a division title. The Angels’ magic number stands at 23 after a not-so-simple calculation. Here is the official formula:

Number of games in a season (plus) 1 (minus) wins of first-place team (minus) defeats of second-place team.

In the Angels’ situation as of the end of play Friday, here is the calculation:

162 (plus) 1 (minus) 80 (minus) 60 (equals) 23.

To anybody good at math, I salute you.

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Angels stay with what works

Not much in the way of lineup changes today, one day after the Angels handled the Mariners with ease in the opener of a key three-game series. The only difference from Monday is that Reggie Willits and Garret Anderson will switch responsibilities. Willits will be the left fielder instead of the designated hitter like he was Monday. Anderson will be the DH. Here is the lineup:

Willits LF
Cabrera SS
Guerrero RF
Anderson DH
Izturis 3B
Matthews CF
Morales 1B
Kendrick 2B
Mathis C

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It was a true "Blue Monday" for M's

Yes, the Seattle mayor really did decree that the opening day of a three-game series be referred to as “Blue Monday.” He was, of course, trying to make a connection with the team’s dominate color, but he ended up describing the mood in the Emerald City after the Angels rolled to a 6-0 victory in the opener and built a three-game lead in the AL West. Not everybody participated with the “blue” theme, though.

Here is how the Seattle media reviewed the team’s depressing day:

The Seattle Times claims the Mariners aren’t worried about a 6-0 defeat. Forget that their manager was kicked out, their vaunted offense was handcuffed, and the Angels basically did what they wanted to Monday.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer wonders what it’s going to take to score a run off John Lackey. When you consider that Lackey hates all division opponents as if they stole his bike, rises to the occasion in big games and can pitch a shutout with strep throat, finding answers could take come time.

The Tacoma News Tribune compared the series to a boxing match. It hasn’t been much of a fight so far.

The Everett Herald credits the fans with having more energy than the Mariners players. No argument here.

How to sum it all up? Considering that after this series, the Mariners head on a road trip to Cleveland, Toronto, New York and Detroit, things aren’t looking so good for those gutty little Mariners, who had truly been putting a scare into the Angels.

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Angels to go national on Sept. 9

The Angels were notified today that their home game on Sunday, Sept. 9 against the Cleveland Indians will now be the ESPN Sunday night game. The game had been scheduled for 12:35 p.m. but will be changed to 5:05 p.m. to accommodate a national television audience. It is the second ESPN Sunday night game for the Angels this season. Their game on Sunday, July 29 against the Detroit Tigers was also shown to a national audience.

UPDATE: Sept. 9 will actually be the third ESPN game for the Angels. They already have learned that their Sunday, Sept. 2 home game against the Rangers also has been changed to an ESPN night game.

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