It's Aug. 18 and Vernon Wells is batting .201.
It's Aug. 18 and Vernon Wells has 15 walks and a .232 on-base percentage.
It's Aug. 18 and Vernon Wells is not in the lineup.
Unrelated phenomena, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. Wells is getting the day off because he felt sore after colliding with the wall chasing Michael Young's double Wednesday night. He might not play Friday either. Where the Angels go from there with Wells is anybody's guess. Where can they go? He's signed for three more seasons (at $63 million).
The entire situation is, as Scioscia said Thursday, head-scratching.
"With Vernon, obviously, there are a number of areas where you're just scratching your head because it's so out of character for even what he's done on some of his lesser years," Scioscia said.
The Angels have ruled out a major physical malady, Scioscia said.
There are those who wonder whether his most recent slump (hitting .176 since June 29) might have something to do with where he came from. Wells' first 11 seasons were played in Toronto, where he was usually playing for his numbers by this time of the season. It's his first pennant race, so when would he have learned the adjustments it takes to play well under pressure?
With that mystery still unsolved, here are lineups for Thursday night's game vs. the Texas Rangers, which is -- for all intents and purposes -- do or die:
1. Ian Kinsler 2B
2. Elvis Andrus SS
3. Josh Hamilton CF
4. Michael Young 3B
5. Nelson Cruz RF
6. Mike Napoli DH
7. Mitch Moreland 1B
8. Yorvit Torrealba C
9. David Murphy LF
1. Maicer Izturis 3B
2. Howie Kendrick 2B
3. Bobby Abreu LF
4. Torii Hunter RF
5. Mark Trumbo 1B
6. Russell Branyan DH
7. Peter Bourjos CF
8. Erick Aybar SS
9. Jeff Mathis C