Wednesday Halolinks: Angels Dealing With Shutouts, Angel Relievers Not Dealing

"Who's pitching for the Twins? And he shut us out??"

"Not again!" A shutout, not that there's another edition of Halolinks:

  • The worst part about last night's game might not be the outcome, but rather the possible injury Dan Haren is dealing with: Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins - May 8, 2012 - MLB.com. "I just could never get it right today," Haren said. "And I think it was obvious." The 31-year-old right-hander -- now 1-3 with a 4.19 ERA -- chalked it up to a lower back that stayed tight throughout the night and didn't really allow him to get much on his pitches. "A lot of times you start loosening up throughout the game, and today it was kind of the opposite," said Haren, who doesn't expect the back ailment to affect him moving forward. "It just progressively got a little bit worse.
  • Shutouts. It's kind of freaky how often this Halos team, with its potentially potent offense, has gotten shutout this season...and by whom: Diamond sparkles for Twins, topping Angels 5-0 - Yahoo! Sports. "The Angels were shut out for the seventh time this season, four more than the Twins." If it weren't bad enough that the club got shutout last night by a former Rule 5 draft pick just called up from the minors, the Angels got shutout by a team with the worst record in baseball (8-21). Here's what the OC Register has to say about the Angels lack of scoring: Angels can't shake blank look on offense - The Orange County Register. "The shutout was the third time in the past six games the Angels' offense has been blanked, the fourth time in their past 10 games and the seventh time in 31 games this season. That is the most in the majors.Over the past few years, Angels hitters have had a tendency to provide learners' permits for pitchers fresh up from the minors – "at times it seems like a trend," Angels manager Mike Scioscia acknowledged."
  • It's kind of odd when a pitcher doesn't like shutouts, but that may be the case with tonight's starter Ervin Santana: Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins - May 9, 2012 - MLB.com. "With a 4-0 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday, the 29-year-old right-hander became the first pitcher since at least 1974 to have his team shut out in five straight starts. The next run the Angels score for him will be the first since April 8 -- his first start of the year."
  • This MLB link has a couple of interesting posts: Morales out again vs. left-handed starter - angels.com. The first one regards Morales' lack of playing time against lefties. "My timing's good, it's there," Morales said of how he feels from the right side of the plate. "I just have to wait for them to give me the opportunity. That's it." I think the club is using the left-handed excuse to give Morales time off to rest his surgically-repaired ankle/leg. The second post is about how lucky the Angels and Scott Downs are after Downs faced another injury, "On Tuesday, Downs threw a 12-pitch bullpen session and took part in some agility drills at a soggy Target Field. And now, manager Mike Scioscia anticipates Downs being available as his closer no later than Wednesday."
  • Orioles, Rangers have best bullpen ERAs so far - HardballTalk. Here’s the list of ERAs for every major league bullpen to date (Angels' pen ranks 29th out of 30). It's also worth noting, the Angels relievers have thrown the least amount of innings in the majors. Makes sense. The starters have been doing fantastic, while the relievers have been ineffective.
  • Another Albert Pujols analysis: Albert Pujols slumping badly in first season with Los Angles Angels - Tom Verducci - SI.com. "The truth is that Pujols has looked as unsteady as the numbers suggest. He is taking strikes early in counts (he has one first-pitch hit; last year he had 19) and swinging at balls later in counts, occasionally losing his balance at the plate (which almost never happened before), swinging at a greater percent of pitches than at any time in his career (47 percent) and taking fewer walks and rolling over outside pitches (31 groundouts to the left side of the field). His next opposite field hit will be his first." Scary part about this post: A Graphic Look at Pujols and His Bad Contact - Beyond the Box Score, is the downward trend of Pujols' OBP.
  • Weaver delivers Top 10 list on Letterman - The Orange County Register. "I'm sweating bullets," Angels right-hander Jered Weaver said as a crew set up to tape him reading the Top 10 list for the "Late Show with David Letterman" on Tuesday. "I wasn't this nervous in the ninth inning of a no-hitter."
  • Uh-oh: Josh Hamilton of Texas Rangers hits four 2-run HRs against Baltimore Orioles - ESPN Dallas. "Hamilton also hit a two-run home run in his final at-bat on Monday's win over Baltimore, giving him five such homers in his last six at-bats. "This is just a couple of games. This could get even better. We don't know," Holland said. "There's more to come. It's unbelievable to see what's going on with this guy." Hamilton, who is in the final year of his contract and could become a free agent after this season, leads the AL with 14 homers and 36 RBIs, and his 5-for-5 effort raised his batting average to .406." Josh Hamilton Bombs His Way Into History - FanGraphs Baseball "Hamilton now has 14 home runs on the season, two more than the San Diego Padres and just three behind the Minnesota Twins."
  • Nationals GM Mike Rizzo Fined For Hamels Comments - Baseball Nation. "I've never seen a more classless, gutless, chicken (expletive) act in my 30 years in baseball,"
  • Very interesting story as to how SB Nation's Ohio State blog did a good thing: How An Ohio State Blog's Reporting Led To The Arrest Of A Fan Who's A Convicted Sex Offender. "The arrest was the culmination of some terrific investigative work in the last week by the OSU blog Land-Grant Holy Land, which was the first to discover Waugh had pled guilty in Kentucky four years ago to five counts of possessing kiddie porn." Here's the original post: The Cautionary Tale Of @Bdubstriviaguru - Land-Grant Holy Land. "The Ohio State athletic community was turned upside Thursday afternoon when it was discovered that a registered sex offender was communicating with student athletes through the social media platform Twitter. Players have since been warned with law enforcement brought in to pursue further action. Read how it all went down."
  • Usually, when someone mentions balls, a guys crotch, and a woman's face, there's some cheesy music playing in the background and the kids have to stay out of the room. Not with this video:
  • If you're into that sort of stuff: "Here's Our Resident Nerd, Picking His Nose"
  • Two days in a row for former Angels: Former major league outfielder Rusty Torres faces sex abuse charges - HardballTalk. "Prosecutors say Torres worked for the Town of Oyster Bay as a baseball coach... His best season came in 1976, when he hit .205/.299/.356 with six homers and 27 RBI in 264 at-bats for the Angels."
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