Wednesday Halolinks: Angels loss a certainty, bullpen loss inevitable

Harry How

Once again the Angels lose to the Rangers, and once again the bullpen is horrible. Texas takes advantage of "hapless" Halos.

Another night, another game against the Texas Rangers, another loss. The old saying used to go, 'Nothing is certain except death and taxes." Well, in 2013 you can add "and the Angels losing to the Rangers". Today's quote hits hard because for many years the Angels' bullpen was a strength and a source of pride to the team and its fans. Now?

"Texas batted around in the ninth against Los Angeles' hapless bullpen"

When I read the words "hapless bullpen" I picture this:
Keystone-cops-granger_medium

  • What makes matters worse, the Rangers are using the brand of baseball we've been accustom to throughout the successful years. Remember the first-to-third Angels? Forcing the other guys to make mistakes by playing aggressive baseball? Yeah, not so much anymore: Rangers 8, Angels 3 - FOX Sports. "When they scored eight runs without an extra-base hit Tuesday night, manager Ron Washington was thrilled - but not at all surprised. ''What's the difference between small-ball and winning baseball?'' he asked. ''Aggression is always going to be our game.'' I suppose fans should be careful what they wish for -- we wanted that big bat in the middle of the order, and the front office got, not one, but two. It's too bad they're not a big as they thought.
  • The running game. That was part of winning Angel baseball. However, it's now part of how they're losing games: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels - August 6, 2013 - MLB.com. "The Angels had just allowed their most stolen bases in a nine-inning game since May 3, 1992 -- putting their season total at a Major League-leading 94 -- to give up their most runs without an extra-base hit since May 5, 1988. Those steals, Scioscia emphasized, were "not on Chris [Iannetta] at all." "Chris," Scioscia added about his catcher, "is throwing the ball well." The only runner Iannetta threw out on Tuesday was on a pickoff play. For the year, he's thrown out only 11 of 82, putting his caught-stealing percentage at a Major League-low 13.4 percent. But Scioscia believes the problem has more to do with his pitchers' times to the plate." Geez, I wonder how bad it would be if he weren't the problem. According to Scioscia it's the pitchers' fault: Singles, steals spur Rangers to win - Yahoo! Sports. "After the game, Angels manager Mike Scioscia held a closed-door meeting with his team, then blamed the stolen bases on the pitchers' inability to keep the baserunners close."
  • Here's something that doesn't make much sense to me...I realize batting orders don't have that much affect on scoring runs, but if one guy in your lineup has great speed, hits really well, and is now getting walked more, wouldn't you want him leading off? Angels lose to Rangers, 8-3, but Mike Trout's name pops up in MVP talk - latimes.com. "In 11 games since Pujols went down, Trout has walked 18 times, four of them intentional, bringing his free-pass total to 67, most in the league. Has Trout, who turns 22 on Wednesday, noticed a big difference in how he is being pitched? "Uh, yeah, I've been walking two or three times a game," Trout said. "They're nibbling more. I'm looking for one pitch. If I don't get it, I'm not not swinging."
  • So, what does this all mean? The asskickings are not over: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels - August 7, 2013 - MLB.com. "The Rangers must be pleased that they still have eight more meetings with the Angels. The Rangers, who have won eight of nine overall, have claimed nine of their 11 encounters with their American League West foe this season. Their 8-3 triumph over the Angels on Tuesday brought them to within one game of the Athletics in the division standings." And...Rangers-Angels Preview - FOX Sports. "Continued dominance of the Los Angeles Angels has helped the second-place Texas Rangers move closer to the AL West lead. With a chance to potentially move into a first-place tie in the division, the visiting Rangers can complete a three-game sweep with a seventh straight victory over the reeling Angels on Wednesday night."
  • I thought was interesting. One Los Angeles team spoke to their manager after a slow start to their season and said changes might have to be made if things didn't improve, while the other team remained solidly behind their manager in spite of repeated poor performance and questionable decisions. Which team is going to make the play-offs? Don Mattingly says Los Angeles Dodgers' poor start almost cost him job - ESPN Los Angeles. "The Los Angeles Dodgers are the hottest team in baseball right now but manager Don Mattingly said he came very close to being fired after his team's 30-42 start. The 52-year-old Mattingly said Tuesday night that Dodgers president Stan Kasten met with him in late May and told him that he would be forced to make a change if the team didn't turn their season around. "Stan was really honest. He didn't want to do anything but he said, 'Donnie, at some point I got to do something,' " Do you know what the Angels record was after 72 games? 32-40. In other words, two games better than the Dodgers.
  • How about an outfield of Trout-Bourjos-Calhoun? Yeah, right. Bourjos will try to play through pain - angels.com. "The Angels' center fielder, out since getting plunked on the wrist on June 29, has felt fine during batting practice the last few days. He'll play in his first rehab game for Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday -- the same day Jason Vargas is slated to throw five innings and about 75 pitches -- and is expected to be there for 4-7 days."
  • I'm starting to really like this guy: VIDEOS: Braves, Nats benches clear after Bryce Harper hit with pitch - CBSSports.com. "Bryce Harper homered in his second at-bat Tuesday. In his third at-bat, he was drilled with the first pitch he saw. Both benches cleared, though things didn't escalate beyond that." Sure, he could've charged the mound, but instead he vehemently voiced his disapproval and took his base. Around the Bases: In which A-Rod is only mentioned once - SBNation.com. "Braves 2, Nationals 1: Bryce Harper hit a home run, and then drama ensued."
    Harperplunked_medium_medium
  • Did he call Teheren an "asshole"?
  • I find this interesting also: Bay Area Sports Guy – Mike Krukow tells Gary Radnich he took amphetamines at the end of his career with the Giants. "When I came into the game, you could get amphetamines from the trainer. It was in the clubhouse. "I need a little help today." You take a greenie, it was like five cups of coffee. You had a hot spot on your elbow, it would pass, you’re good to go."
  • Ladies and gentlemen, Raul Ibanez:
    K-medium_medium
  • Ibanez-takes-pride_medium
  • Update on drunk lady in Kansas City: Royals Fountain Lady Had A Hell Of A Night. "Gather 'round children, and let me tell you the story of Royals Fountain Lady. It starts with pregame drinking in the Kauffman Stadium parking lot, and ends with a teary mug shot and a night in jail."
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