ARLINGTON, Texas — Seldom has a team had such a disheartening day at a ballpark without losing.
The Angels watched the rain for seven hours. On television, they saw the Oakland Athletics pull off a stunning victory. The outcome they most dreaded — a doubleheader Sunday — is exactly the one they got.
If the Angels lose both games Sunday, and if the A’s win their game, the Angels would be eliminated from playoff contention.
The Angels and Texas Rangers were rained out here Saturday, even though Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said he would have waited into the wee hours if possible. The teams are scheduled to play a split doubleheader Sunday, with the first game at 10 a.m. PDT and the second game at 4 p.m. PDT.
The regular season has four days left. The Angels haven’t gained any ground on the A’s in six days.
They lost ground Saturday. The deficit for the final American League playoff spot: 21/2 games, with five to play for the Angels and four for the A’s.
“We’re hanging around,” Scioscia said. “I feel we’re lying in the weeds. If we keep winning, I feel we’ll have an opportunity to get there.
“Every time they win, it puts them closer to where they want to be. The help we’re looking for hopefully will come at some point.”
The Angels will start Zack Grienke in the first game Sunday and Ervin Santana in the second. Scioscia admitted the Angels’ bullpen is tired — one reason they did not want to play a doubleheader — and said he thought Greinke had a better chance than Santana to go deep into the game and spare the relievers.
If the Angels should force a tiebreaker with the A’s, the doubleheader also would deprive them of the option to start Santana on regular rest. They probably would have to choose between Greinke and Santana, each on three days’ rest.
Although Saturday’s game was scheduled to start at 3 p.m. local time, the game was not called off until 7 p.m. As the rain fell earlier Saturday, Scioscia said he would have been fine with starting at 9 p.m., or 11 p.m., or even 1 a.m.
However, as forecasts showed no chance for a window of clearing before midnight, umpires called the game. Forecasts that originally showed a 60% or 70% chance of rain into evening had turned into 100%.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a weather report that said 100% chance of rain,” Scioscia said.
Outfielder Vernon Wells said he left Wednesday’s game in the eighth inning to join his 7-year-old son at an Orange County hospital. He said his son required an emergency appendectomy.
He said his son has since been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
Wells said he is grateful doctors diagnosed the appendicitis early enough that arthroscopic surgery could be performed. Had the appendix ruptured, his son would have required major surgery.
“He’s got three holes in his belly,” Wells said Saturday. “It’s a lot better than having to be opened up.”