Wednesday Halolinks: Angels are now historically bad, Mike Trout is historically great

It was all down hill from there. - Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With last night's loss, the Angels fell 15 games below .500. Someplace they haven't been in over 14 years.

Okay, I'll admit it...I didn't see the entire game last night.  Being two hours ahead of you leftcoasters means the game didn't end for me until around 2:30am this morning.  I'm dedicated to covering the Halos, but there was nothing interesting keeping me awake unless stranding runners on base is your idea of excitement.  If that's the case, then last night's game was just the thing for you as the Angels managed to leave 17 guys on base.  If I were an Angels apologist and in the same frame of mind as some of our more optimistic readers, I'd point out that 17 times the Angels hitters did what they were supposed to do, ignoring the fact they only did half of their job by not getting them to cross the plate.  By the way, as noted below, those 17 LOBsters is the highest total in over 12 years.  History baby!  Now for some Halolinks:

  • Speaking of history, this is the worst record for any Scoiscia coached team in Angels' history: Stubbs' 14th-inning blast boosts Indians - Yahoo! Sports.  "On the other side of the diamond, the Angels (55-70) fell 15 games under .500 for the first time since Mike Scioscia took over as manager in 2000. The last time the Angels were as many as 15 games under .500 was after the final game of the 1999 season, when they were 70-92. "  The Halos are currently 55-70, and most year's I'd say they have a good chance to do better than 15-22 over the remaining part of the season, but...
  • Their recent play hasn't instilled much confidence:  Cleveland Indians at Los Angeles Angels - August 21, 2013 -  "The Angels, meanwhile, have lost three straight games and eight of their past 10. They are 1-4 on their brief six-game homestand."
  • It seems Jerome Williams has gone over to the darkside by succumbing to the "turn the page" mentality" Indians-Angels Preview - Yahoo! Sports.  "I don't really feel frustrated at all," Williams said. "Things haven't been going my way, so what can I do? I just have to keep going out there and trying to get people out."  Yes, what can you do, Jerome?  When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  But remember, unless life also gives you sugar, your lemonade is going to SUCK.  Here's that left-on-base stuff I mentioned earlier: "The Angels' difficulties with runners in scoring position reached a new low on Tuesday, as they couldn't score with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the 10th inning and went 1 for 13 overall. They are 28 for their last 137 (.204) with runners in scoring position and left 17 runners on base Tuesday, their highest total since May 19, 2001 - also against Cleveland."
  • MLB Recap - Cleveland Indians at Los Angeles Angels - Aug 20, 2013 -  "J.B. Shuck hit a leadoff homer more than five hours before the final out, but the Angels couldn't score again despite 12 hits, striking out a season-high 18 times and going 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position. The Angels repeatedly were one hit away from a sure victory - and every time, the Indians snatched it away."  Or, the Angels snatched defeat from the claws of victory!  Way to go fellas!
  • Some one please tell me why Joe Blanton still shows up in non blow-out games?  Cleveland Indians at Los Angeles Angels - August 20, 2013 -  "Blanton is now 2-14 with a 6.12 ERA. The two-run homer Drew Stubbs hit to left-center field was the 29th he's given up this season, which leads the Majors -- even though he hasn't been a starting pitcher since July 22. And over his last three relief appearances, Blanton has given up 16 runs (15 earned) in a span of 7 1/3 innings."  The only thing Blanton should be throwing is batting practice (like he does during the game).
  • Rob Neyer looks at the Angels: On the future of Angels management - Baseball Nation.  "I will quibble for a moment with one of Olney's points ... DiPoto hasn't been there long enough to make his imprint on the pitching staff? He took over as general manager at the opening of the 2011-2012 off-season. This season, six pitchers have started at least a dozen games for the Angels, and four of them -- C.J. Wilson, Joe Blanton, Jason Vargas, and Tommy Hanson -- have been acquired by DiPoto. The Angels' two busiest relief pitchers -- Ernesto Frieri and Dane De La Rosa -- both were acquired by DiPoto."  Honestly, I liked each of Dipoto's moves when they happened...even DDLR was an okay pickup if he had been used in the right situations.  Sometimes you gamble and win, sometimes you have the 2013 Angels.
  • Angels give De La Rosa opportunity to close -  ""When he first started pitching, I think he was feeling for it a little bit and he was consistently 91-92 [mph] then, the more he got comfortable, his velocity jumped up to where he's throwing 95-97 now," Chris Iannetta said. "He's becoming more of a complete pitcher as time goes on. He's still working and he still has a lot of work to do to get to where I think he eventually can be, but he's definitely on the right track."  You know what?  I thought Iannetta was full of BS with the above quote, but it's true, De La Rosa's velocity has improved:  FANGRAPH PITCHfx DATA
  • Mike Trout is still good: Currently historic: Cabrera hyperbole.  "Mike Trout, who may be a better baseball player than Cabrera, is also quite the hitter. He's leading the league in walks and only four off the pace in hits. Oh, and there's this. Mike Trout is about to become the greatest 21-year-old ever. He has accumulated 19.1 WAR this year. He is just behind Mel Ott (19.3). Every player in the top ten (21 and younger division) is either in the Hall of Fame or not eligible yet (Ken Griffey and Alex Rodriguez). Now, that is deserving of hyperbole. It typically takes about 60 WAR to get into the Hall, and Trout is already a third of the way there. That is simply insane."
  • Too bad the cupboard is bare for ol' Mother Dipoto.  Headley would look good in Angel-red: Padres place Chase Headley on revocable trade waivers - MLB Daily Dish.  "Headley, 29, has hit only .237 with 8 HR and 35 RBI in 110 games with San Diego on the season. His numbers this season are disappointing in comparison to his 2012 campaign, when a .286 average, 31 HR and 115 RBI helped Headley finish fifth in the voting for NL MVP. Due to his age and potential, many teams will likely show interest in Headley now that he is available on the waiver wire."
  • VERY interesting post by Gabe Kapler: Baseball ProGUESTus: Giving Up the PED Guessing Game.  "Had I been unable to resist the temptation, I believe I would have maintained the strength that I had at my peak, or perhaps increased it. As I became better mechanically and through experience, that power would play up. The ripple effect of that would lead to confidence, which would in turn lead to improved performance. There is a school of thought that PEDs don’t help your eye-hand coordination; that they won’t make you a better player because you still have to hit the ball. That’s a debatable topic, but I reckon that bigger, stronger, faster, more powerful men will hit the ball harder and throw the ball faster. That’s nearly indisputable. In baseball, there isn’t a factor more responsible for success than confidence. I’ve never in my life had a player tell me different. If a man is stronger on the field and can recover more quickly, he’s inherently going to believe in his ability more. I submit that if anything, the value of PEDs to a player has been drastically underpublicized as opposed to overblown."
  • From Dan Epstein, his list of: Best Baseball Books - The 20 Best Baseball Books Ever
  • I think I might've included this before, but I doubt any of you guys will complain: A Visual History Of Bizarre Korean First Pitches


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