Chicago newspapers referred to the Angels as “playoff bound.” Cable highlight shows called them a “playoff lock.”
Phyllis Merhige, American League vice president of media operations, visited Anaheim Stadium Monday to check on press conference facilities for postseason play. The Angels also have been given the go-ahead to print playoff tickets.
Despite all the attention focused on the Angels recently, Manager Marcel Lachemann refuses to look ahead.
“It’s nice to have a lead,” he said, “but you definitely can’t take anything for granted. I’m not being pessimistic, because we have a good club and we should win. But you have to understand, we have to take one day at a time.
“If we play well and play the way we’re supposed to play, that’s all you can ask. The [disappointing] thing is if you don’t play well. Nobody’s capable of winning every day. If you win 60% of your games, you’re pretty good.”
Lachemann’s attitude is common throughout the clubhouse.
Rex Hudler asked which teams would have the home-field advantage in the first-round of the playoffs. But before an explanation could be given, Hudler said, “No, no, on second thought I don’t want to know. I don’t want to get that far ahead.”
Reliever Troy Percival, a rookie, knows the Angels’ storied history of failure well. He believes this year will be different.
“I haven’t seen too much playoff fever in here,” Percival said. “I don’t think Chili [Davis] or Lee [Smith] or Tony [Phillips] will let that happen. There’s been too much complacency in this organization in the past.”
Percival traced a change in attitude to the Angels’ first extended winning streak, a seven-game stretch against Minnesota, Chicago and the New York Yankees in mid-May.
“That was the turning point when we stopped playing .500 ball,” Percival said. “We knew we could beat anybody out there. [Now] we do expect to win everything out there.”
Shawn Boskie pitched 2 1/3 innings, giving up two runs and four hits with three strikeouts and two walks, in his second rehab start at Class A Lake Elsinore Tuesday night.
Boskie has been on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right elbow since July 16. He is scheduled to make one more start for Lake Elsinore on Sunday.
Rookie Garret Anderson’s 14-game hitting streak ended when he went 0 for 4.