Thursday Halolinks: Joey Votto Buttercups Halos, Duo Still Hitless

Andy Lyons

The Reds pulled out a win over the Angels in the ninth inning, while Pujols and Hamilton do nothing.

Was last night's game the definition of "Buttercup" or what? The club built me up with their comeback after being down 4-0, only to let me down with a play that most times ends up being an out: Los Angeles Angels at Cincinnati Reds - Apr 03, 2013 - CBSSports.com. "Votto's hard grounder deflected off the glove of first baseman Albert Pujols and drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday night, sending the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels." Although Scott Downs got saddled with the lose, he didn't pitch that bad. And once again Garrett Richards looked fantastic: Los Angeles Angels at Cincinnati Reds - April 3, 2013 - MLB.com. "The Angels had come back from a 4-0 deficit against a devastating Mat Latos, thanks to a solo homer by Howie Kendrick, a two-run shot by Alberto Callaspo and an eighth-inning RBI groundout by Mark Trumbo. And one game after pitching seven innings of one-hit ball in a 13-inning victory, the bullpen stepped up in relief of C.J. Wilson, holding the Reds scoreless through the next couple of frames and keeping the Angels in the game."

So after two games, the thing I was worried about, the bullpen, is doing well, while the thing I had complete faith in, the hitting, has sputtered: Angels-Reds Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "Pujols is 0 for 7 in the first two games this season and Hamilton, signed to a five-year, $125 million contract in December, is 0 for 8 with three strikeouts. Fifth hitter Mark Trumbo has four strikeouts in nine at-bats, but manager Mike Scioscia expressed confidence in all three after a 5-4 loss to Cincinnati (1-1) on Wednesday." I'm looking forward to seeing if Joe Blanton's good spring was just a mirage or a precursor of a good season: Los Angeles Angels at Cincinnati Reds - April 4, 2013 - MLB.com "Blanton will take the hill at Great American Ball Park on Thursday against the Reds, a team against which he is 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA in five career outings."

This is just sad: Madson back in familiar, yet unfamiliar, territory - angels.com. "By the time the Angels' Opening Series concludes here on Thursday, Ryan Madson will have spent about as much time at Great American Ball Park as he did while under contract with the Reds all of last season." Just a reminder, he hasn't pitched for the Halos yet either.

Would you be surprised if I mentioned Gordon was trying to pull back a home run given up by Ervin Santana? Alex Gordon scales fence trying to steal home run, but ball cruelly hits off glove - Yahoo! Sports. "Gordon scaled the left-field fence at U.S. Cellular Field, stood on a narrow ledge, leaned over into Chicago's bullpen — while hanging on with his right hand — and almost stole a home run from "Jackin' " Dayan Viciedo."

Over-sensitive people alert! Alan Ashby apologizes (kind of) for Yu Darvish remark on Astros broadcast - Yahoo! Sports. "Ashby issued a conditional apology Wednesday, a day after he jokingly suggested that Yu Darvish losing a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning should "force a guy to learn some of the language here in America."

Mariano Rivera is the save king, but Dodgers' Bill Singer got first - ESPN. "When Bill Singer walked off the mound at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field, he didn’t know he’d just made history. It was April 7, 1969, and the Dodger had just pitched three scoreless innings to protect a 3-2 Los Angeles victory over the Reds on Opening Day."

I don't get it. Will Johnson - Yard Dog. "Will Johnson is an Austin painter and musician (Centro-matic, Monsters Of Folk, South San Gabriel). As a painter, most of his work centers on the subject of baseball."

Not baseball related, but interesting: Cellphones' 40th birthday: Skeptics made fun of first mobile phone. - Slate. "Forty years ago today, a Motorola engineer named Marty Cooper made what has gone down in history as the world's first cellphone call, dialing a rival at AT&T from a hand-held mobile phone while standing on a sidewalk in New York City, just to show that he could."

Did You Know? Deer Fight Like Idiots. "The technique: slap the shit out of each other and slowly back your opponent into a set of bleacher seats. You'll never lose another deer fight again."

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