Dodgers, Angels Stand Pat At Trade Deadlin

Will not making a move haunt them in October?

Here’s the good news — the Dodgers and Angels are both in first place. The Dodgers, with their seven game division lead and eight game cushion from falling out of the playoffs entirely, are likely going to make it to the postseason. The Angels have just a three-game lead, but they have been steadily pulling up to and past Texas for a while now — they could well be in also.

But once those postseason games start, will the Dodgers and Angels regret July 31?

Today’s baseball trading deadline came and went and neither team made a big move — specifically for Toronto ace Roy Halladay, whom both were rumored to have been in talks about.

The Angels made a big late push to get Halladay right before the trading deadline, but Toronto’s ownership had been asking for everything but a first born son from everyone they negotiated with and the two sides came up just short of a deal.

The Angels could have used the pitching — only three teams have a worse team ERA than the Angels 4.65. Of course, that is more due to a struggling bullpen (save closer Brian Fuentes) than it is the starters, but a new starter moves someone else into that struggling pen.

So the Angels, with their best team batting average in all of baseball, will try to hit their way into the playoffs and the World Series. Teams do hit their way into the playoffs, but rarely beyond that.

The Dodgers did make a move to strengthen their bullpen, bringing in reliever George Sherrill from Baltimore to be the setup man for Jonathon Broxton. And maybe that will be enough; the Dodgers have the second best team ERA in baseball. Pitching has been strength for most of the season.

But there are questions. Will the Dodgers see the Chad Billingsley that out-pitched Carlos Zambrano in last year’s playoffs or the one that struggled against the Phillies? Can the suddenly hot Clayton Kershaw carry it over to the postseason?

Halladay may not have been the answer for either SoCal team — in the past 13 years only two pitchers who got traded on deadline day won any game in the playoffs.

But Halladay would have brought a level of comfort heading into the playoffs. Now, on pins and needles may be a better way to describe the feelings about October in Southern California.

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