Wednesday Halolinks: Joe Blanton Wants To Stay In Rotation, Dodgers Beat Angels again

USA TODAY Sports

Joe Blanton is making a case for his spot in the Angels' rotation with his second straight quality start. However, it wasn't good enough against Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Dodgers.

Okay, which is it going to be; the kick-ass team who recently went on an 8-game winning streak, or the weak-ass team who got mini-swept by the Dodgers? I just want to know so I can adjust my attitude...you know, should I be disappointed when the club gets shutout or should I just chalk it up as another failing of a lackluster team? While I try to figure this all out, here are some Halolinks:

  • I don't think anyone can blame Tuesday's loss on Joe Blanton, but come on...Luis Cruz? Ryu tosses 2-hitter as Dodgers beat Angels 3-0 - Yahoo! Sports. "Cruz, batting a paltry .105 with two RBIs, gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the fifth with a two-run shot into the left field pavilion. ''I felt like I made one mistake,'' Blanton said. ''It was almost where I wanted it, but the pitch didn't do what it was supposed to do. It just kind of flattened out and didn't sink, but I had command of all of my pitches.'' It's not like it would've made any difference in the outcome, except I suppose it would've been a bigger gut-wrench had the Halos lost by the score of 1-0. Blanton did us fans a favor!
  • That's two straight games Blanton has done well, making the club's next move a little more difficult. That next move is who going to stay in the rotation and who's going to the pen: Dodgers beat Angels for second straight night - Yahoo! Sports. "Joe's hopefully turned the corner off his rough start," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's pitched strong baseball for us the last couple outings. He's made some adjustments and we're going to need him moving forward." Weaver back for Halos on Wednesday; Hanson likely back Friday - CBSSports.com. "The returns of the ace, Weaver, and Hanson should be a shot in the arm for the talented team that's won eight of its past nine games. It could also potentially lead to a switch in jobs for Joe Blanton, who is 1-7 with a 6.19 ERA. Jerome Williams (3-1, 2.53) has pitched extremely well lately and could possibly absorb Blanton's spot, depending on what manager Mike Scioscia decides."
  • I had a weird image in my head when I read this: Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels - May 29, 2013 - MLB.com. "The Halos right-hander gets the ball Wednesday night against the Dodgers as the setting shifts to Anaheim. Weaver has been out of action since April 7 because of a fractured left elbow, but he threw 75 pitches last Wednesday in an extended spring training game. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Weaver is by no means stretched out to midseason form, but he's looked sharp in all his sessions with pitching coach Mike Butcher." For some reason I pictured Butcher sleeping in a cot set up in the Angels bullpen while Weaver did his thing. Weaver throwing...Butcher sleeping like a baby...beauty.
  • Dodgers-Angels Preview - FOX Sports. "'I don't think we'll see him go out there and throw 100-110 pitches tomorrow,'' Scioscia said, ''but he'll have enough to get to a certain point in the game, hopefully, and our bullpen can help out.'' By 'bullpen' I hope he doesn't mean the Angels' bullpen. Specifically the Great Dane...De La Rosa.
  • This is turning out to be a great signing for the Dodgers: Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers - May 28, 2013 - MLB.com. "He threw the ball well," Angels first baseman Albert Pujols said of Ryu, now 6-2 with a 2.89 ERA since being obtained from the Far East on a six-year, $36 million contract. "He didn't make too many mistakes, he kept the ball down. He kept us off balance, pretty much. We couldn't make him uncomfortable out there. He was cruising all night long."
  • However, if you subscribe to the OC Register, you'll be able to read Bill Plunkett's take on the Dodgers Korean pitcher:
  • The Angels' expensive lineup has been shut down and humbled in a variety of ways this season. Tuesday night, it was done "Gangnam Style." Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu held the Angels to just two hits

    "Gangnam Style"? How's that? Oh wait, is that a reference to Ryu being from Korea, just like the guy who does that goofy song? I bet it is! Those guys over at the Register are funny! You've left the yard, Bill!

  • I wonder what Hamilton's going to blame this on: Angels scratch Hamilton with back spasms - Yahoo! Sports. "Los Angeles Angels slugger Josh Hamilton has been scratched from the second game of the Freeway Series against the Dodgers because of back spasms." Hamilton sits with back spasms - angels.com. "Hamilton started having the issue during batting practice. Although Angels manager Mike Scioscia had hoped Hamilton would be available to use off the bench later in the game, that was not the case." Within this post are some tidbits about Sean Burnett's return to the DL, and Billy Buckner clearing waivers and returning to triple-A Salt Lake.
  • I like Matt Kemp: Matt Kemp flies terminally ill fan Joshua Jones to L.A., introduces him to his famous pals - Yahoo! Sports. "Jones got star treatment at Dodger Stadium on Monday, meeting with Kemp on the field, as well as Dodgers president Stan Kasten, Angels star Mike Trout and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw."
  • Umm, okay: Why the Los Angeles Angels Will Definitely Make the Playoffs - Yahoo! Sports. "With the talent this team has in the lineup and the pitching staff, the Angels have everything they need to not only overcome their slow start, but also to push themselves to the front of the line for a playoff spot. So, here's how this is all going to play out:" And the writer goes on to not list any reasons for his prediction. Yet, I hope he's right.
  • That's funny, that's what I've been calling this entire Angels' season: Angels pitcher Robert Coello's mystery pitch leaves hitters muttering under their breath - Yahoo! Sports. "The WTF," Coello said. "Catchers call it that. Hitters say it."
  • Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers - May 28, 2013 - CBSSports.com. "Segura went 6 for 7 -- all singles -- to raise his batting average to an NL-leading .365"
  • Is Dusty Baker the dumbest manager? Dusty Baker wants players to start fighting and stop cursing - HardballTalk. "Reds manager dove head-first into the Johnny Cueto-Matt Garza feud by saying that he thinks players should settle disputes by locking themselves in a room and fighting until “somebody hits the ground.”
  • Nope, the Mariners' skipper wants that distinction: Eric Wedge blames sabermetrics for Dustin Ackley’s struggles - HardballTalk. “It’s the new generation. It’s all this sabermetrics stuff, for lack of a better term, you know what I mean?” Wedge said. “People who haven’t played since they were 9 years old think they have it figured out. It gets in these kids’ heads.” And Rob Neyer is going o help him win those votes: What happened to Dustin Ackley? Sabermetrics, of course! - Baseball Nation. "Seriously, if Eric Wedge were a good manager -- and hell, maybe he's a great manager -- he wouldn't be the first good manager to blame someone else for his problems. Leo Durocher's in the Hall of Fame, and he never made a mistake he couldn't blame on someone else. But this is sort of pathetic, isn't it? If Dustin Ackley's not developing like everybody expected, here are the first two places I would look for someone to blame: 1. Dustin Ackley 2. Eric Wedge"
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