All season long, teams and players downplay the thought of 'scoreboard-watching'.
For the Los Angeles Angels, however, that's all they have left. After losing Thursday night's series opener with the Texas Rangers, the Angels enter play Friday a full game behind the Houston Astros for the second AL Wild Card spot. They're tied with the Minnesota Twins, actually, and no longer have a shot at the AL West division title.
Being a game back with just three games remaining means the Angels can only take care of themselves while hoping to see the Arizona Diamondbacks take down the Astros this weekend.
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Mike Trout alluded to as much after Thursday's game, telling Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register that, "We can't lose anymore. It's plain and simple. This is a tough one. We just fell short."
Trout also emphasized that the Angels have to win. They can't lose anymore, especially now that they've dropped their two previous games and given up possession of the second Wild Card spot (which they had on Wednesday until losing to the Oakland Athletics).
Fletcher points out that if the Angels and Astros tie after Sunday, they'll play a one-game playoff on Monday in Houston to determine the second Wild Card winner. If the Angels, Astros AND Twins tie, the winner of a one-game playoff between Minnesota and Houston would then host the Angels in a second one-game playoff.
It's a messy situation, but it's one the Angels have put themselves in after Thursday's defeat.
"The goal is still there, to get to the playoffs," manager Mike Scioscia told Fletcher. "It might be a harder route right now, and we're going to need some help, but the only thing we can control is our game."
They'll have another chance to get back in the win column on Friday night and hope for better results on the scoreboard.