WEDNESDAY ANGELS ROUNDUP: Trevor Bell Gets His First Win, and There's Mud On Your Balls

Up next for Angels: Wednesday at Cleveland -- latimes.com
Jered Weaver vs. Jeremy Sowers

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 Los Angeles Angels - Cleveland Indians Box Scores, Game Results & Summary - USATODAY.com
Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero played together for the first time since July 7 and combined for five of the Angels' 13 hits, leading Los Angeles to a 5-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians in the start of a three-game series.

Angels 5, Indians 4 -  nbcsports.msnbc.com
Trevor Bell's locker was filled with mementos from his first major league win.  "I've got a couple baseballs, the lineup card and some other stuff I haven't had a chance to look at yet," Bell (1-0) said after working 5 1-3 innings in his second career start.

NBC SPORTS & COVERS.COM: Matchups, Odds, and Injuries

Team Reports - CBSSports.com
GM Tony Reagins said he hasn't seen anyone on the waiver wire who he felt could help bolster the Angels down the stretch, even though their pitching has been stretched thin. Players have to clear waivers to be traded now, and Aug. 31 is the deadline to be eligible for the postseason roster of any team. "There are moves out there for us. But it has to make sense and make us better as a club," Reagins said. "It's something we evaluate daily. Is there a chance we make a roster addition before then? Yes there is. Is there a chance we don't make a roster addition? Yes. "We have a good ballclub. I believe in the guys we have."

Team Reports II - CBSSports.com
LHP Joe Saunders could be throwing off a mound within the next couple of days for the first time since going on the disabled list Aug. 8. He is eligible to return Sunday (when his spot in the rotation, currently filled by rookie Trevor Bell, would come up). But manager Mike Scioscia said Saunders has "a little more work before he's there."

Angels' win is a real hit -- latimes.com
By the end of the Angels' 5-4 victory, which featured Trevor Bell's first big league win and closer Brian Fuentes' 35th save, the Angels were still rolling a .300 game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, you'd have to go back to the 1930 New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals to find lineups in which each player hit .300 or better and had at least 200 at-bats.

Wednesday Wangdoodles - SweetSpot by Rob Neyer - ESPN
Did you see this? At the conclusion of Tuesday night's game, every Angel in the lineup was batting .300 or better. All nine of them. And not a scrub among 'em. With 241 plate appearances, Vladimir Guerrero was the least-worked in the lineup. Meanwhile, the Angels lead the American League in batting average (by a lot) and (more importantly) scoring. It's been mentioned in this space before, but what the Angels are doing this season is truly and stupendously shocking.

No, what's truly and stupendously shocking is Neyer thinks it's stupendously shocking.  Okay, maybe not.

Angels Break Character, Break Out Bats -- MLB FanHouse
"We're a great hitting team," Angels center fielder Torii Hunter told FanHouse. "We're a better hitting team than a lot [of the others] in the American League." The best, to be exact. Los Angeles has scored 679 runs. No team in baseball has crossed the plate more times this year. They rank first in the AL in batting average, second in on-base percentage and third in slugging.

Chone Figgins: Free Agent at Season's End | Bleacher Report
So far in 2009, Figgins leads the AL in runs scored and triples, and ranks fourth in stolen bases. Figgins made his first All-Star team in 2009 and seems to have set himself up nicely for a free agent contract this offseason.

Weaver achieving durability goal - angelsbaseball.com
"I've been kind of up and down in the second half, but I have a chance to get [to 200 innings]. I want to concentrate on getting that goal."

AZL Angels trio records no-hitter - angelsbaseball.com
On Aug. 14, three AZL Angels pitchers combined on a no-hitter in a 12-0 shellacking of the AZL Athletics. It was the 10th no-hitter in the league's 21-season history.

Baseball Rubbing Mud: Road to the Hall Is Paved with Good Inventions - Bleacher Report
To this day, Major League Baseball rule 3.01c states that before a ball is put in play, an umpire must rub down the required number of balls to minimize the gloss of newness. This ensures that it's not too slippery and won't glare in the bright summer sun. Though the rule doesn't specifically state what is used to rub down the balls, every team uses Lena Blackburne's rubbing mud.

There was a recent discussion during a game thread about how the baseballs are prepped before each game.  Here's something about that.

August 19 - BR Bullpen
Events, births and deaths that occurred on August 19.

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