Welcome die-hards! Now I realize that it's the 5th of July, and most of you are holiday'ing it. Eyeballs shall be few this particular Friday. But for those of you who are far too addicted to stay away, it's only right that I still serve up the regular feast:
- Well, there, whaddaya know? A come-from-behind 9th inning walk-off victory, to take a three games series 2-1 over the 50-win NL Central St. Louis Cardinals! Could this be the Annual Red Hot Run to the All Star Break that we have become used to as in seasons past? Could it be real?
- It certainly feels like some Disney fantasy tale, what with Josh Hamilton being asked to play the role of late game hero with a game tying, 2-run homer off of Cards unbeaten close Edward Mujica. And consider that Adam Wainwright was the NL Pitcher of the Month for June, so the Halos hung tough against a true ace with Mike Trout driving in 2 against him and Mark Trumbo belting his 19th home run. This is the kind of win that is not just credible, but formidable.
- By the way, let's not neglect that the game ends with a walk-off game winning base hit by Erick Aybar. The back story there is that Mujica waved off Yadier Molina's pitch selection call and chose to go with a changeup. Watch Molina's reaction in the clip: stomping off the field and cursing the ground in disgust. That's probably a clubhouse conversation that did not go well.
- The Red Sox Come To Town: With 8 wins against only 2 losses over their last 10 games, the Red Sux are as hot as any team in baseball They are as hot as the Miami Marlins. They are as hot as the LA Dodgers. They are as hot as the Pirates. And they are as hot as the Angels. Don't be too fearful, however. The most credible part of their recent run was going 3-1 against Toronto, but that happened in the midst of a Toronto plummet wherein the Blue Jays are a mere 3-8. the Halos' run includes going 5-1 against the Tigers and Cards. The most interesting story line of the weekend will be John Lackey versus Jered Weaver on Sunday.
On To Angels Baseball!
- Represent!: In case you have been missing it, here is your opportunity to have one particularly cool day. And if you did this in a Halos Heaven shirt peaking out from under the LAA Jersey they will hand you for the photo opp, well, so much the better. State Farm has been offering up a chance to throw out a first pitch, and the entry window closes July 22.
- Trade Tears: With the July trade Deadline on the horizon, MLB Trade Rumors looks back a the 2012 trade season and reviews the list of prospects sent away by teams in search of the missing piece to put them into the playoffs. In their whole list, Jean Segura stands out. "Perhaps the biggest success story on this list, Segura is currently in the hunt for a batting title in the National League. He also has surprising pop and an outside chance at eventually becoming a 20-20 (HR-SB) hitter."
- Tough Crowd: Albert Pujols, facing the one pitching and scouting staff that most probably knows his hitting strengths and weaknesses better than anyone, and possibly being a little jacked up facing his original team and many ex-mates for the first time, had a less than stellar series. The St. Louis media sees that outcome as the silver lining in their failed series.
- Outfield Range: Our outfielders certainly have range! Fangraphs posted their update to the outfield tiers and we have Halos all over the place. Trout is #1 overall, in Tier 1 just above Chris Davis. Trumbo is in Tier 3. Hamilton is in Tier 4. J.B. Shuck? Uh...Tier 8. Above only Jason Bay, J.D. Martinez and Josh Willingham.
- Scott Downs: Downs has not allowed an earned run now in 31 of his last 32 outings. And in each of his last 23 appearances he has held the opposition scoreless.
Buy Stuff - Crazy-ass Baseball Find On the Internet:
Anybody out there wish to own their very own in-game used baseball from the AL Pennant winning game between the Angels and Twins? Totally authenticated. You could buy this, or you could purchase for yourself a decent used car.
Friday, July 5 @ 7:05 PM, (FS-W / MLB.TV) Boston Red Sox vs. LA Angels - Angels Stadium, Anaheim
[BIG BANG FRIDAY, TROUT FARM IN SECTION 101]
(LHP) 4-3 4.22 ERA versus (LHP) 8-5 3.63 ERA
Saturday, July 6 @ 7:05 PM, (FS-W / MLBN / MLB.TV) Boston Red Sox vs. LA Angels - Angels Stadium, Anaheim
[TROUT FARM IN SECTION 101]
(RHP) 5-8 4.11 ERA versus (RHP) 5-4 3.89 ERA
Sunday, July 7 @ 5:05 PM, (ESPN / MLB.TV) Boston Red Sox vs. LA Angels - Angels Stadium, Anaheim
[FAMILY SUNDAY, TROUT FARM IN SECTION 101]
(RHP) 6-5 2.81 ERA versus (RHP) 2-4 3.79 ERA
**UPDATE** Jerome Williams has been named as tomorrow's starter. It must have taken a few days for the shock of Wednesday to wear off to the extent that anybody could muster the balls to pencil in Williams' name once again.
This Date In Baseball History: 1898 - Elizabeth Stroud, playing under the pseudo-name of Lizzie Arlington, becomes the first woman to play organized baseball. She pitches a single scoreless inning, surrendering two hits and a walk..........1929 - The New York Giants, playing the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Polo Grounds, are the first team to try and use a P.A. system. But it's not for what you think! They were actually trying to wire up the umpiring crew so that the crowd could hear the calls..........1947 - Larry Doby, at the very young age of only 22, takes his bat and makes the very first appearance in the American league by a black man. He strikes out in his only PA, but goes on to have a very productive career, landing tihe HoF. Take a closer look at the year he came in 2nd place in the AL MVP Vote of 1954, where Yogi Berra somehow exploits the MFY factor in a way that Mickey Mantle cannot, and steals the win..........1953 - When men were men, Robin Roberts (who will finish his career with 305 complete games) shuts out the Pirates 2-0 and finishes his 28th consecutive complete game. Check out the number of "CG" entries starting on August 28th in the "Inngs" column here in 1952, .........through July 5th here in 1953. That June 16th, 1953 game on 1 day rest was as a reliever...........1987 - Rookie Mark McGwire hits his 30th home run, become the first rookie with 30 before the ASG Break (he'll actually hit 33)..........1989 - Veteran Mark McGwire hits his 100th career home run............2002 - Ted Williams dies of cardiac arrest a the age of 83. The world won't be told for almost three weeks.
Rounding Up The Major League News...
- Miguel Crybaby: Here is a developing story. Miguel Cabrera is developing an attitude. One of privilege. This past week this attitude led to a war of words with the Rays, which ended up in a bean-ball fight, resulting in Rick Porcello getting suspended. But let's not lose sight of the origin for this particular sequence: Cabrera has decided to start whining at pitchers for throwing inside. Cabrera, it should be noted, does stand close enough to the plate that his arms frequently extend into the strike zone with his swing. Technically, not a HBP.
- Kick 'em While Their Down: You know you have been waiting for this moment for...well...ever. If you are old enough to have endured the 70's, it's been decades.So today is your lucky day! The MFY are struggling to hold on to the affections and attentions of their silver-spooned fan base. And attendance and TV ratings are down. A lot. Yeah, "fair weather" applies even to the followers of the sainted ones.
- Fun With Numbers: We just went pas the half way point in the 2013 season, so Fangraphs takes down some projections and looks at some potential records to be broken. My favorite is the team strikeout record that the Houston Astros are pursuing: "Houston Astros, what is going on out there? 1,509 strikeouts? That's what you're on pace for right now. Come on, boys. You've gotta have heart. You've gotta swing over the breaking balls, ahead of the change-ups, and behind the fastballs. We're trying to break a record here (1,529). Or, at least, I am. Why does it feel like you're not fully committed?"
- Player vs. Announcer?: Here is something you don't see. Ever. J.P Arenciba publicly dissed his team's own television announcing team of Gregg Zaun and Dirk Hayhurst. "It's unfortunate that fans have to hear those guys talks as much as they do. There's not one person in the clubhouse that respects those guys." Wow. If only the Chicago White Sox were that ballsy.
Video(s) Of The Week
(SoCal does pretty good at paper airplanes!)
(But not as good as Milwaukee!)
I think that Jeffrey Loria should bet everything, on this Jeff Mathis prospect guy!............This I just don't get. it's taboo for a pitcher to celebrate closing down frame to seal a win, but it's OK for everybody to party like they just won the WS if they win in their last at-bat, even if that last at-bat win comes due to an error on the defense..........Contact the State Department: .Pine Tar Diplomacy..........This is why thoughts of Sosh returning to the Dodgers are off the mark. In Mike's world, there is no such thing as youth over veteran grit. That's just crazy Mike Piazza talk..........MLB decides to get tough on drugs....on an umpire. But this smells like the kind of story that does not end well...........Surprise! Derek Holland is a
Ranger jerk..........A Major lesson on the skill and impact of framing pitches. It's all about the umpire. Read it. Learn..........So now we are claiming that players who make an All Star roster must be there because they have "earned" it? Really??
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday...for beer...
(This weekend does not hold for dedicated beer events. But fear not! There are plenty of events going down where beer shall be served. How the hell do I find these things???)
Friday: Hanford (west of Visalia, between the 99 and 5 on highway 198..I know this because I was just there last week!) is home to The King's Fair. It's Friday, Saturday AND Sunday, by the way...........The Westwood Area Chamber of Commerce, on Friday AND Saturday, is staging The Westwood Centennial and 25th Annual Paul Bunyan Mountain & Blues Fest.
Saturday: Get lost. Find Highway 4 and stumble into the small resort town of Arnold, CA. You have will have discovered the Sierra Nevada Arts & Crafts Festival. Saturday AND Sunday...........OR, trip on out to San Juan Capistrano for the first of a Tribute Band series that lasts until Labor Day. It all happens at the Mission and is labeled Music Under The Stars.
BEER BONUS #1: Baseball Brews.
BEER BONUS #2: Deadspin ranks 36 cheap American beers. Probably a few in your fridge right now.