Angels fall at precipice of pinnacle
LA persevered through injuries, loss of Adenhart
NEW YORK -- The road that took the Angels through personal tragedy, professional adversity, division triumph and Fenway magic reached its bitter end in the Bronx on Sunday night.
But when the Angels are done licking their wounds after a disappointing American League Championship Series loss to the Yankees, they'll reflect on what a strong unit they became while navigating that road. Some of that reflection began in the aftermath of their 5-2 loss to the Yanks in Game 6, though turning the page wasn't easy. Red eyes told the story of an Angels team that fought hard to push this series back to New York, only to come up short. "Man, we had to overcome a lot of obstacles this season," center fielder Torii Hunter said. "The death of a teammate, a lot of injuries to key players. We battled. We had a lot of young guys pitching, coming up from Triple-A and things like that. We had a big hill to climb. We overcame Boston [in the AL Division Series], came here and played a great Yankees team. We played some of the best games I've ever played in my career in this series. It's frustrating, but we've got nothing to hang our heads low about." This was a season that began with a punch to the gut and a hurt in the heart. Losing Nick Adenhart in a car accident following the third game of the season could have unraveled the Angels. Likewise for a series of injuries and ineffectiveness that ravaged the starting rotation. But the uphill climb that Hunter alluded to only made the Angels tougher as the year progressed. They found themselves in a dogfight with the Rangers and emerged on top of the AL West for the third straight season and the fifth time in six years. Their resilience demonstrated by their franchise-record 47 comeback wins this year. "It was a roller-coaster season," right-hander Jered Weaver said. "We had a lot of ups and downs and things we had to battle through. I think it just shows how strong a club we've got."
|"Everybody wants to keep this team together."|
|-- Torii Hunter|
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.