NEW YORK -- There's no easing into the second half for the Angels.
They're being tested immediately.
Consider: 19 of their next 22 games are against teams with winning records, five of their next eight series are on the road, and their current weekend set is against a team with baseball's best winning percentage.
Rotation issues aside, the Angels start the second half on the road against the Yankees and Tigers, at home against the Rangers, Royals and Rays, then on the road against the Rangers, White Sox and Athletics. Heading into Saturday, those seven teams were a combined 45 games over .500.
Big test, right?
"That's only for media," Angels outfielder Torii Hunter said. "My whole career, when I hear, 'This week is a nice little test for you guys,' [I say] 'No.' Just go play. That's all you can do. The way you play during the season is totally different from the way you play during the postseason. You can beat a team 10 times in a row. When you get to the postseason, it's a totally different adrenaline.
"I can't look like that. But I can tell you we're going to take it as every other team. We can't just say, 'Oh, we're going to step up for these guys.' We step up every day. We play Colorado, we play Oakland, it doesn't matter. We step up to play every day and play them hard, and that's why we've been winning."