Angels Travel to Wrigley for the First Time to Face the Cubs.  Halolinks

Angels-Cubs Preview -  Sporting News
Carlos Silva has done better than that in 12 career starts versus Los Angeles, going 7-2 with a 3.81 ERA. He hasn't beaten any other opponent more than five times.Chicago, however, is facing a Los Angeles team that's won 10 of 12 on the road, 16 of 22 overall and 20 of 28 in interleague play. The Angels' 61 wins in June over the last three-plus seasons are most in the majors, although they barely avoided a three-game home sweep by Milwaukee earlier this week. Given the way he's pitched this month and in his recent road starts, the Angels (37-32) have to be encouraged by having Scott Kazmir (6-5, 5.27) on the mound Friday. The left-hander has won all three of his starts in June with a 2.12 ERA. He has won four straight starts, all on the road, to establish a career best for consecutive road starts won. Kazmir has posted a 2.63 ERA in those outings. While the Angels have never played at Wrigley, Bobby Abreu has had plenty of success there. The right fielder has batted .352 with 12 homers and 37 RBIs in 29 games at the Cubs' home park. The Angels' trip to Wrigley leaves two-year-old Citi Field as the only current venue at which they have never played.

Yay, afternoon games!

Frandsen finding happiness with Halos - angelsbaseball.com
At the forefront of everything, Frandsen has found, is a man he'd heard a lot about during his time in San Francisco from 2006-09, before a ripped Achilles tendon tore apart his professional life. "You always hear from other players about what a great guy Torii Hunter is, about all the things he does for people," Frandsen said. "Then you come and play with him and see that he's beyond anything you could have imagined. "As a leader, as a clubhouse figure, he's truly amazing. He's open to all the young guys. He always has something constructive to offer. It's the same with Bobby and Hideki. They'll try to help you, but they'll never ride guys. They're trying to bring out the best in their teammates."

I was skeptical about Frandsen, and thought he was just another no-hit middle infielder.  But after looking at his minor league stats, and noting he hit .308 in 5 AAA seasons (just over 1000 ABs), I guess I'm happy he's here too.


MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...

Angels activate Jeff Mathis -  The Orange County Register
To clear the roster space, the Angels designated Michael Ryan for assignment after Wednesday’s win. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the team decided to keep Robb Quinlan up because of his infield versatility with Maicer Izturis hitting the 15-day DL.

It makes sense to keep Quinlan instead of Ryan.  A quick look at Ryan's B-Ref page shows he's played all but 5 games in the outfield (four at 1B, one at 3B).

Umpires in Kansas City make ruling that baffles Royals, Astros - MLB News - FOX Sports on MSN
With Mike Aviles on second and one out, Yuniesky Betancourt hit a soft liner that shortstop Geoff Blum appeared to trap. Second-base umpire Mike Everitt missed the call, ruling the ball had been caught in the air, and Blum stepped on second to double off Aviles for what appeared to be the final out. Not so fast.

Today's umpire goofiness.  Here's video (from mlb.com): Blum's double play becomes groundout to short - Geoff Blum appears to catch a ball and step on second for an unassisted double play, the umpires rule batter out but no double play

Matt Cain has been lucky, James Shields has been unlucky - Joe Sheehan - SI.com
Good pitchers get strikeouts, pop-ups and ground balls more often than they allow walks, line drives and fly balls. All of the advanced statistics you see bandied about on Web sites like Baseball Prospectus start from that idea. What those numbers do is measure how well a pitcher is doing the things he can do, while taking out the confounding factors he cannot control, but which pollute baseball-cards stats such as W-L and ERA.

Sorry, I'm still not convinced "luck" is a quantifiable stat, but this is an interest article none-the-less.

Steve Phillips' mistress describes the culture at ESPN - USATODAY.com
Hundley said that when their relationship crossed the line into inappropriate questioning and touching, physical contact, solicitations for inappropriate actions, she immediately reported it to a supervisor, "who then dismissed my claims, told me to get used to it (and) basically explained that this was just what the women dealt with around this company...They thought the best teaching tool was to suck it up."

I'm sure that last quote was just a poor choice of words.

June 18 - BR Bullpen
1961 - Eddie Gaedel dies from a heart attack in Chicago, IL, at the age of 36. In one of Bill Veeck's most outlandish promotions, the three-foot, seven-inch Gaedel had appeared in one game for the St. Louis Browns in 1951.
1972 - Colorful Oakland Athletics owner Charlie Finley holds baseball's first ever "Mustache Day." Finley agreed to pay $300 to each of his players for growing mustaches by Father's Day. Reggie Jackson had started the trend by reporting to spring training with a mustache, to became the first major leaguer to do so since Frenchy Bordagaray in 1936.  Wait.  Are they telling me there were no mustaches in the major leagues from 1936 to 1972?  Seriously?  That is so strange.
1986 - Don Sutton of the California Angels pitches a three-hitter for his 300th career victory as the Angels beat the Texas Rangers 5 - 1. The 41-year-old right-hander becomes the 19th pitcher to win 300 games.
Happy b-day:
1949 - Bill James, author

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