ANAHEIM – They look remarkably alive, the Angels do, particularly for a team that’s dead.
At least their season was supposed to be over by now, right, the only thing worth reading being their sad obituary as opposed to be their latest box score?
As recently as 10 days ago, the Angels were five games below .500, fourth in the five-team American League West and buried even moreso in the wild-card standings.
They were done, to be sure, as expired as a jar of mayonnaise opened by Millard Fillmore.
Even worse, the Angels had disappeared so completely in the ever-expanding, ever-darkening shadow of the omnipotent Dodgers that their caps needed headlamps instead of halos.
And, yet, here I am, sitting at Angel Stadium about to watch a game that has genuine meaning in baseball’s postseason race.
This might not be an actual miracle. But it’s not every day that the residents of a graveyard go this far past curfew.
“I don’t know if I’m going to say ‘surprised,’ ” Manager Mike Scioscia explained Saturday, before his suddenly streaking team faced Oakland. “Our guys are playing hard. It’s fun to watch them.”
It’s also impossible to ignore them, as much as there’s an urge to move on to the Rams or the Chargers or Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen or any one of the 98 or so other things happening in sports around here.
The Angels simply won’t go away, refusing even to be drown out by the clouts of Cody Bellinger, the clamor of Yu Darvish or the commotion of the Dodgers’ latest ridiculous winning rally.
The Angels won’t be silenced by the Angels, either, overcoming losses both on and off the field to scramble back to .500 and within two games – honest, that’s how close they were before the first pitch against the A’s – of a playoff berth.
Coming out of the All-Star break, they dropped three of four. Their most recent trip began by being swept in Cleveland. They just lost twice in the span of six days when their closer surrendered two game-ending grand slams.
And, yet, here they are, the Angels taking advantage of a weak schedule to enter Saturday having won four in a row and six of their past seven, becoming the wildest card in either of baseball’s two wild-card races.
“It’s not a fluke,” Scioscia insisted. “I think we’re going to play better baseball, too. We’re where we expected to be.”
The Angels have survived losing their best player for six weeks, their best starting pitcher for all but one appearance and all…