There weren't a lot of happy campers in the Angel clubhouse after Sunday's 9-8 extra-inning loss to Minnesota, but the Angels, whose magic number is stalled at 14, still want to believe that the demons of a 1-8 road trip have been exorcised after winning two of three from the Twins.
How can Manager Marcel Lachemann lift his team's spirits?
"Just remind them that we're still in first place," he said, "and that they played well to get there and are capable of playing that well again. We scored quite a few runs this weekend and did a lot of the things we need to do the rest of the way."
Spike Owen, whose 10th-inning throwing error enabled the Twins to score the winning run Sunday, said the loss hurts, but it wasn't the end of the world.
"This one's over and we've just got to come back and keep playing," he said.
The expected outbreak of pennant fever in Anaheim appears to be completely under control.
Maybe the NFL triple-header on TV was the antidote. Maybe it was the desire to follow the bouncing tennis ball during the men's final at the U.S. Open. Or maybe the first weekend of homework had the kids home on the computer.
Whatever, Angel fans weren't exactly fighting their way into Anaheim Stadium Sunday in a frenzy to cheer the home team on its drive toward a division title.
And the ones who did venture in, an announced 19,319 of them, were cool, calm and content to quietly watch.