ANAHEIM -- Regarding the Angels' game in Toronto on Thursday -- a night contest 3,000 miles away from their home game Friday -- Mike Scioscia has taken a you've-got-to-win-no-matter-what approach.That doesn't mean the Angels manager would be opposed if Major League Baseball were in favor of changing September schedules to include more division games or games closer to home. "We know there needs to be schedule reform ... where you play a more balanced and equitable schedule of not having to go back East during the last 10 games of your season," he said. Scioscia said he hopes that if the league looks into realignment and shifting of divisions that taking the schedule into account will be one of the primary concerns. Though Scioscia's players would have chosen a different schedule, they didn't seem to mind the travel. Outfielder Bobby Abreu noted it's just a part of the season that the players have gotten used to. "That's what you want," Abreu said of shorter travel as the season is winding down. "But that's the schedule. You have to go about the schedule and whatever it says." Said first baseman Mark Trumbo: "In a perfect world, that's probably not what you're looking for, but you kind of have to play the cards you're dealt." The card the Angels were dealt on Thursday turned out to be a dud when the game went 12 innings and resulted in a loss on a walk-off home run.
Scioscia not deterred by late flight
ANAHEIM -- The last time Angels manager Mike Scioscia checked his clock Friday morning, it read 4:04 a.m.The Angels players -- minus Friday's starter Jered Weaver, who was sent back to Anaheim early -- didn't get to sleep any earlier following their 12-inning loss in Toronto and the ensuing cross-country flight. And yet there was Scioscia on Friday, fielding questions before the first game of a home series against Oakland with a smile on his face, noting that the team had "turned the page on it." "Last night's game, it's a tough loss when you lose in extra innings," Scioscia said. "Especially where we are in the season right now. Our guys understand the importance of controlling what we can control." The Angels can't dwell on a tough loss or a long flight if they hope to establish themselves in the playoff picture. With just six games to play heading into Friday's action, they trail the stumbling Red Sox by three and the Rays by one in the Wild Card race, and a division title seems a long shot, with Texas out in front by five games. First baseman Mark Trumbo echoed Scioscia's sentiment that the team isn't feeling any lingering effects from the combination of a tough loss and a long flight. "Everybody here feels good enough to go out there and get it done," Trumbo said. "As long as we have something to play for we're in good shape." Both Scott Downs and Jordan Walden were available for Friday night's game after each pitched parts of two innings Thursday. Scioscia didn't express any inhibitions to using them.
Angels aren't scoreboard watching just yet
ANAHEIM -- Realistically, Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo knows what his team is up against if it hopes to rally for a postseason berth in the season's final week.Wins alone won't get the job done, as the Angels must hope for some combination of losses from Boston, Tampa Bay and Texas. But for Trumbo, the part of the equation that the Angels can control is the part he's worrying about. It presents a tough enough task in itself for him to also be glancing over his shoulder at the right-field scoreboard. "The reality of it is we're probably gonna have to win pretty much every game from here on out," Trumbo said. "But the fact that there's still a chance, and that gives us hope." Manager Mike Scioscia said it's hard not to worry how the other teams are faring, saying it's a situation the Angels put themselves in. "At this point, it's not that they're looking between innings, but obviously, there's gonna be an interest in what other teams are doing because it's relevant to our reaching of our goal," Scioscia said. "Until you get control of your own destiny, there's always gonna be a certain amount of that." Scioscia said his goal is to always be in control of his own destiny, noting it's when he feels most comfortable. He added he'd like to be in that situation heading into Monday's series against Texas. But for that to happen, even if the Angels swept Oakland, Texas would have to drop two of three against Seattle. "We haven't quite played at a level that we could keep control of things with how we play the game," Scioscia said. "It's still possible there's a scenario coming up on Monday where we'll be more in control of our destiny and how we're gonna fare, right now we're not."
AJ Cassavell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.