At the end of August, when the Los Angeles Angels came to town for a key weekend series against the Texas Rangers, Angels manager Mike Scioscia made a big decision about his starting rotation to try to close the Rangers' narrow AL West lead of two games at the time.
Scioscia decided to move up Ervin Santana on three days' rest and do the same with his ace, and at that time, AL Cy Young candidate Jered Weaver so the Rangers would have to face those two and the Angels other formidable starter Dan Haren.
Those three might be the best 1-2-3 pitching combo in the American League when they're right, but since Scioscia's premature freakout decision, they're not right.
In fact, Rangers information czar Jamey Newberg took a deep look at the stats and what he found was pretty stunning.
Since that series, Santana has a 4.68 ERA with 17 walks and five home runs in 32 2/3 innings with 22 strikeouts. Weaver has a 4.78 ERA with 12 walks and six home runs allowed in 32 innings with 24 strikeouts. Haren, who wasn't bumped up, has a 4.78 ERA with four walks and four home runs allowed in 32 innings with 24 strikeouts.
Since that fateful weekend, those three have a combined record of 7-7.
Of course, the Rangers ace has fared much better over the past month. C.J. Wilson has gone 3-1 with a 0.92 ERA, 33 strikeouts, seven walks and two home runs in 29 1/3 innings.
While Scioscia thought he was pulling some kind of fast one on the Rangers, it looks like he jumped the gun, and it might have cost him a postseason berth.