Stephen Strasburg? We Have Joe Saunders, Dodgers Are A Joke (again).  Halolinks.

Let me put my manly hand on your cheek.

Angels foil escape act of A's Dallas Braden - San Jose Mercury News
Joe Saunders (5-6) went the distance for the Angels, scattering seven hits. That followed the four-hit shutout he threw in his last start against the A's on May 14. He narrowly missed becoming the first pitcher to throw back-to-back shutouts against the A's since Jamie Moyer in 1998. The A's have dropped two of three to the Angels going into this afternoon's series finale. Aybar went 4-for-5 to lead the Angels and was just a homer shy of the cycle. The Angels loaded the bases with no outs in the third but got just one run on Torii Hunter's two-out single. Quinlan also tried score, but Fox made a strong throw home, and catcher Kurt Suzuki made a nifty short-hop grab and tag. Braden picked Frandsen off first to end the fourth, Braden's AL-best fifth of the season.

The Angels are 8-2 over their last 10 games, which is also the length of their current road trip.  Here are a couple highlights from last night's game:  Ayabar falls a homer short of the cycle - Erick Aybar goes 4-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.  Rivera belts a long homer to center - Juan Rivera puts the Angels up 6-0 with a shot beyond the reach of Matt Carson in center field (there's an animated gif of this play after the break).

MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...

Angels-Athletics Preview - 6/10/10 - FOX Sports on MSN
Santana allowed one run in six innings of an 11-2 win at Seattle on Saturday to improve 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA since losing to the Mariners on May 9. The right-hander has been even better during his career against the A's, going 11-2 with a 1.54 ERA in 16 starts. Santana gave up three runs in six innings of a 12-3 win over Oakland on May 15. Much like his team as a whole, Santana has pitched well on the road of late, going 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA since the May loss in Seattle. Trevor Cahill (4-2, 3.21) takes the ball for the A's in this contest as he looks to bounce back from his first loss since May 16. After allowing three runs in 19 innings while winning his previous three starts, Cahill gave up three and walked four in six innings of a 4-3 loss to Minnesota on Saturday. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.04 ERA in four starts against Los Angeles. Cahill allowed three runs in seven innings of a 4-0 loss to the Angels on May 16.

Today's game has the odd 12:35 starting time (pacific time), but that shouldn't be too early for Santana to continue his (and the Angels) roll through Oakland.

 

Here's the gif of Oakland's Matt Carson losing his battle with the centerfield wall...

(click on image if it doesn't start automatically)

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COLUMN ONE: Dodgers tapped into 'V energy' - latimes.com
Vladimir Shpunt, 71, lived most of his life in Russia. He has three degrees in physics and a letter of reference from a Nobel Prize winner. He knows next to nothing about baseball.Yet the Dodgers hired him to, well, think blue. Frank and Jamie McCourt paid him to help the team win by sending positive energy over great distances.In the five years he worked for the Dodgers, he attended just one game. Instead, he watched them on television in his home more than 3,000 miles from Dodger Stadium, channeling his thoughts toward the team's success.Shpunt lives in suburban Boston, in a community he insisted not be named. He sits uneasily for an interview, joined by his wife Sofya and Barry Cohen, an executive leadership consultant who worked with the McCourts and who introduced Shpunt to Jamie.Shpunt could not transform a bad team into a good one, Cohen said, but his energy could increase the chance of winning by 10% to 15%.

This crap is just too bizarre to make up.  The Dodgers apparently drafted an unsignable player in the first round of this year's draft in order to save money, but have no problem pissing away cash on this type of stuff?  I'd be embarrassed to be a Dodger fan right about now.

Scioscia guides the Angels with a steady hand - ESPN
"It's his consistent approach to the day,'' said Rays manager Joe Maddon, who was on Scioscia's staff with the Angels for six years.

Let me summerize this ESPN article about Mike Scioscia:  Mike Sciosicia is a good manager.  Blah blah blah blah blah, In 2002, the Angels won the World Series, yada yada yada, AL Manager of the Year in 2002 and 2009, huzzah!

White Sox GM Ken Williams ready to make changes -  FOX Sports on MSN
With more than 100 games left to play, Williams is having a difficult time getting other teams to discuss potential trades. "I guess I'm not so much on my own timeline as I am on other clubs' timelines,'' Williams said. "Still early part of June and a lot of clubs are trying to figure their situations out and determine whether they're in it or not in it, or what kind of money they have to spend. There are a lot of variables that go into the mix, so even if I want to do something it's not always in my control.''

Let's see, Paul Konerko...probably no.  A.J. Pierzynski...uh, not no, but HELL NO.  Juan Pierre...I suppose not.  J.J. Putz...come on down!

Vlad Guerrero, Troy Glaus lead group of winter bargains - Jon Heyman - SI.com
Meantime, many of the medium- and small-priced free agents have produced well beyond any expectation or hope. Here are the best signings so far this year:
1. Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers, $6.5 million.
2. Troy Glaus, Braves, $2 million.
17. Darren Oliver, Rangers, $3.5 million.

Hideki Matsui wasn't on the list.

Jake Peavy rips San Diego Padres over firing GM Kevin Towers - FOX Sports on MSN
Jake Peavy, the team’s former ace, believes the man who deserves credit for that success was fired at the end of last season: Kevin Towers."Kevin Towers getting let go out there is an absolute joke," Peavy told FOXSports.com on Wednesday. "You can quote me on that. Kevin Towers is a heck of a general manager."

Mariners baseball: Believe big, achieve little - Sports Tzu
That's the thing about statistics, they're depressing. I'm depressed now. Because of baseball. And for the rest of you bastards still holding out hope that the team's just been unlucky, is just about to turn the corner, is still going to make the playoffs this year (yadda-yadda-yadda), well guess what, Bill James thinks you're an idiot. So does math. So do I. Bill James, math, and I think you're an idiot. Go Mariners.

When Bill James and math think you're an idiot, you're day has already been ruined.

June 10 - BR Bullpen
1944 - Joe Nuxhall, at 15 years, 10 months and 11 days, became the youngest player in major league history when he pitched 2-3 of an inning for the Cincinnati Reds in an 18 - 0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
2000 - Darin Erstad hit a double in the Anaheim Angels' 10 - 3 win over Arizona. With a major league-leading 100 hits in 61 games, Erstad became the fastest to reach the 100-hit mark since Heinie Manush did it in 60 games for the 1934 Washington Senators.

Joe Saunders?  How about Joe Superman!

Los Angeles Angels
Erick Aybar, SS 5 1 4 2 0 1 0 .264
Howard Kendrick, 2B 5 0 1 0 0 0 5 .260
Bobby Abreu, RF 5 0 0 0 0 2 6 .258
Torii Hunter, CF 5 1 3 1 0 2 2 .284
Hideki Matsui, DH 5 1 2 1 0 2 1 .261
Mike Napoli, C 5 0 2 0 0 2 4 .266
Juan Rivera, LF 4 1 2 2 0 0 2 .235
Kevin Frandsen, 3B 4 2 1 0 0 0 1 .370
Robb Quinlan, 1B 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 .182
Totals 41 7 16 7 1 10    
Batting
2B - Erick Aybar (14, Braden)
3B - Erick Aybar (2, Ziegler)
HR - Juan Rivera (9, Bowers)
RBI - Erick Aybar 2 (13), Torii Hunter (40), Hideki Matsui (34), Juan Rivera 2 (27), Robb Quinlan (2)
2-OUT RBI - Erick Aybar 2 (4), Torii Hunter (12), Hideki Matsui (14), Robb Quinlan (2)
PK - Kevin Frandsen (1, Braden)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Aybar-Kendrick-Quinlan, Aybar-Kendrick-Quinlan
Oakland Athletics
Mark Ellis, DH 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 .289
Daric Barton, 1B 4 1 3 0 0 0 0 .284
Kurt Suzuki, C 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .268
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B 4 0 2 1 0 0 2 .268
Adam Rosales, 2B 3 0 1 0 1 0 3 .280
Ryan Sweeney, RF 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .318
Jake Fox, LF 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .213
Matt Carson, CF 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Cliff Pennington, SS 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .200
Totals 32 1 7 1 1 2    
Batting
2B - Daric Barton (17, Saunders)
RBI - Kevin Kouzmanoff (31)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jake Fox 1
DP - Pennington-Rosales-Barton
E - Cliff Pennington (6, Throwing)
 
Los Angeles Angels
Joe Saunders (W,5-6) 9 7 1 1 1 2 0 4.35
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 101-59
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 9-14
Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 33
Oakland Athletics
Dallas Braden (L,4-6) 5.2 11 5 4 1 4 0 3.95
Brad Ziegler 1.1 1 0 0 0 2 0 2.76
Cedrick Bowers 2 4 2 2 0 4 1 4.76
Pitches-Strikes - Dallas Braden 92-63, Brad Ziegler 24-15, Cedrick Bowers 37-26
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dallas Braden 6-5, Cedrick Bowers 1-1
Batters Faced - Dallas Braden 27, Brad Ziegler 5, Cedrick Bowers 10
 
Game Information
Attendance - 18285
Game Time - 2:26
Temperature - 57
Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Chad Fairchild, Second Base - Eric Cooper, Third Base - Bill Miller
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