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Commentary: Starting staff a liability for Halos entering stretch run

One week after the non-waiver trade deadline passed in Major League Baseball, the Angels are finding out just how outgunned they are in the race for the postseason.

Lose of four straight, the Angels entered play Saturday three games behind Oakland in the AL West race, though still with a comfortable cushion over the rest of the pack in the Wild Card standings. The Team has gotten here thanks in large part to an offense that has been the best in the majors and a revamped bullpen that is 180 degrees better than it was at the start of the year.

However, the team is still woefully short in the department where divisions and World Series are won: starting pitching. Yes, the 2002 edition of the Halos won the title by slugging their way past the Yankees, Twins and Giants, but that team was far more lethal on offense and got just enough pitching when they needed it.

The starters this season are in nowhere near as good a position, nor do they have the big game players that made that team so dangerous even when being seven outs away from a loss in Game 6.

Mike Trout is the best player in the game, much less on his own team, yet he produces like a middle of the order player from the second spot, because of Veterans further down. However, not even the wunderkind from Millville, NJ can help if the Halos don't find a way to get another solid starter.

While Jerry DiPoto has done a great job this year of overhauling a team that wasn't very deep offensively and godawful in the bullpen, the state's are still a liability. Hector Santiago has been bad, Tyler Skaggs has been hurt, and both CJ Wilson and Jered Weaver haven't been close to the hurlers they used to be.

The lone bright spot? Garrett Richards. The right hander has been solid all year and despite a hiccup two starts ago has been the ace that both Weaver and Wilson were looked at to be.

Richards can't do it alone, though, so DiPoto has one task between now and the waiver deadline in three weeks: find an arm someplace and fast, or it will be a very short October in Anaheim.

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