Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Angels Clinch AL West

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim beat the New York Yankees 4-2 to clinch a tie for the AL West Division Title. Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez earned his 56th save of the season. K-Rod needs one more save to match the MLB record of 57 saves set in 1990 by Chicago White Sox closer Bobby Thigpen.

Shortly after the Angels dispatched of the Yankees, the second place Texas Rangers were defeated by the lowly Seattle Mariners 8-7 thus officially giving the Angels the AL West Title. The Angels ran away with the division and currently have a 17 and a half game lead on the Rangers. It is their third AL West Division Championship in four seasons. However, don't expect manager Mike Scioscia to rest his regulars. The Angels 88-57 is currently the best in the AL (albeit only by a half game over the Tampa Bay Rays. If they finish the season with the best record they have home field advantage throughout the postseason. Although the Angels have made the postseason three of the past four years they were knocked out in the ALDS by the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007 and were eliminated in the ALCS by the Chicago White Sox in 2005. The teams that eliminated the Angels all went on to win the World Series. So there is a strong impetus for them to have the best over all record in the AL.

The Angels did win the 2002 World Series when they earned a berth by winning the AL Wild Card. They were the first wild card team to win the Fall Classic.

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