I hope everyone had a fun Memorial Day weekend and are now ready for the Angels season to get serious. Memorial Day is the first milestone of the season as the regulars are right around 200 at-bats and the term "small sample size" no longer applies to them. Although the Halos streak ended last night with their loss to the Dodgers, winning eight of their last ten has crept the club back into a little better position in the standings. And if you're still watching, this team has looked like an entirely different ballclub. Here are some Halolinks to creep into your post 3-day weekend recovery:
- That's the worst part about ending their streak, this game was completely winnable had C.J. Wilson been able to get thought the 5th inning: Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers - May 28, 2013 - MLB.com. "Everything seemed to be going right for the Angels during their eight-game win streak. However, that all came to a screeching halt on Monday night against the Dodgers. That streak was snapped when the Halos couldn't hold onto a 6-1 lead, eventually taking an 8-7 loss. Now, the Angels will try to turn the page and regroup for Tuesday's Freeway Series matchup against the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine." It looked like the Dodgers wanted to do whatever they could to help the Angels make it nine in a row: Dodgers 8, Angels 7 - Yahoo! Sports. "The defensive absurdity included two runs scoring on a strikeout when Zack Greinke got Mark Trumbo to fan on a fastball, only to have the ball flick off catcher Ramon Hernandez's glove. Hernandez chased down the ball, but his throw to first bounced off the glove of Gonzalez and rolled into left field. That allowed Mike Trout to score from third and Albert Pujols to score from second. "That's definitely a first for me," Trout said."
- From just a non-statistical perspective, Blanton's last couple starts looked much better than his earlier outings. If he can continue to have good innings the Halo pitching staff just got a little deeper: Angels-Dodgers Preview - FOX Sports. "Joe has pitched some strong games and maybe hasn't benefited from run support," said Scioscia, whose lineup has provided Blanton with just 10 runs of support over his last six starts. "There's no doubt that getting him pitching to his capabilities is important to us. It's good for him to get the first win." Blanton is 2-0 with a 3.26 ERA in six career starts against Dodgers, who will counter with Hyun-Jin Ryu."
- Big news, or the biggest news? Angels, Anaheim working toward new deal - MLB.com. ""The City of Anaheim and Angels Baseball have entered into discussions relating to the current lease agreement," Carpino said in a statement. "These discussions, which are in the early stages, are focused on maintaining a high-quality fan experience for many years to come."
- Jonah Keri ranks the MLB teams - Grantland. "Despite the current winning streak, the Angels dug such a deep hole that they're still four games under .500, with some distance to cover to approach the wild-card leaders, much less cut into the Rangers' nine-game lead. For that, they'll need Jered Weaver to pitch like he did at his best. Thing is, we haven't seen his best in a while. Weaver yielded 15 homers in his final 15 starts of 2012, tossing high-80s fastballs but getting away with it thanks to a stingy Angels defense and some luck."
- There are a whole lotta "what ifs" in this...Angels lineup could have paired Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera - latimes.com. "When the Florida Marlins decided to trade Cabrera in 2007, the Angels offered second baseman Howie Kendrick, catcher Jeff Mathis and one of two pitchers, Ervin Santana or the late Nick Adenhart. The Marlins wanted both pitchers; the Angels had second thoughts about including Kendrick; the talks deteriorated to the point where the two teams publicly clashed about whether they ever had agreed on a deal." With the advantage of hindsight, I would have done that deal if I were the Angels.
- So are you telling me that this Trout kid is sorta important to the Angels success? Scout.com Player of the Week: Mike Trout. "But, at the end of the day, production and results are the hallmarks of this particular weekly feature, and no one was more productive than Trout, who, by driving in or scoring 15 of Los Angeles’s 41 total runs, accounted for 36.6% of the Halos’ offensive production en route to earning his second POW nod of the season."
- Hanson's return leaves Scioscia with choice - angels.com. "If Blanton struggles on Tuesday, Scioscia -- who didn't provide a specific return date for Hanson -- could have a decision to make between those two. Hanson, 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in five starts, has been on the restricted list since May 10 to deal with the aftermath of his step-brother's death."