From time-to-time I'll watch the other team's television feed just to hear what some other broadcasting crews have to say about the Angels. Last night, I made a mistake and clicked on the wrong feed, but decided I'm too lazy to go back and re-select the Angels' broadcast. Buck Martinez has the play-by-play gig for the Jays, while Pat Tabler does the color stuff. They do a pretty good job, and after listening to Martinez for a few innings it dawned on me he also does some postseason stuff for TBS, and I remembered thinking he's one of the better "national" guys we get stuck with during the playoffs. (By the way, the Sportsnet broadcast features a constant on-screen graphic of each pitch during the at-bat, something I really like. Unlike Fox's using it only during some replays, Sportsnet allows the viewer to see the pitch location - - as well as pitch count -- in real-time. Anyway, the Toronto guys mentioned during one of Mike Trout's at-bats that he's closing in on Darin Erstad's Angel single-season on-base record. During his terrific 2000 season, the one where he had 240 base hits and hit an amazing .355, Erstad got on base 305 times (240 hits, 64 BB, and 1 HBP). After last night's game, Trout has been on base 279 times (180 hits, 91 BB, and 8 HBP). The Angels have 18 games remaining this season, and at his current pace, Trout should be able to establish a new Angels' record. (Here's the math: 279/154 games = 1.8 times on base/game * 18 games remaining = 32 times on base + 279 = 311 times on base). More Trout stuff further down. In the meantime, some brief Halolinks:
- Who woke up the sleeping giants? Trumbo's been napping since the All-Star break, while Hamilton's been in a season long slumber. As I've written earlier, this is fun to watch, but damn...it sure would've been nice to see a few months ago: Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays - September 10, 2013 - MLB.com. "Trumbo and Hamilton combined to go 8-for-10 with back-to-back homers in the Angels' 12-6 thumping of the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, one that saw the team notch 10 extra-base hits and win for the 13th time in 18 games. Trumbo, batting cleanup, became the first player in franchise history to record five hits and score five runs. Hamilton, batting fifth, drove in four and ended a homerless drought at 18 games by finally hitting No. 20." Also adding to the Halo barrage were Erick Aybar and Chris Iannetta: Trumbo's five runs lead Angels past Jays - Yahoo Sports. "Aybar and Chris Iannetta, who went 3-for-4 with two RBI, also went deep as part of an 18-hit outburst -- 10 for extra bases -- for the Angels. It was the second time this season -- and 10th time in franchise history -- that the Angels have recorded at least 10 extra-base hits in a game."
- At one point early in the season, I speculated the Angels' plan was to have league-average pitching, while beating the crap out of their opponents with their bats -- much like last night's game. If the Angel hitters had managed to live up to their part of the deal, Jerome Williams is an adequate part of the rotation, again -- much like last night's game: Mark Trumbo's record night powers Angels past Blue Jays - latimes.com. "Williams pitched five-plus innings to win consecutive starts for the first time since May 21 and 26. Williams (7-10) allowed six runs and nine hits, walked one and struck out one. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Williams was "erratic." Even Joe Blanton would have done a bit better, at least record-wise, this season. Okay, nevermind, I went too far, but I stick to my thinking regarding the potent offense, average pitching thing. However, Mike Scioscia disagrees with me: Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays - September 11, 2013 - MLB.com. "I can only speak from our angle," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I don't want to dissect their team. But I can tell you that no matter what a perceived strength is of a club -- and you can talk about payrolls all you want -- you're only going to be as good as your pitching staff is going to allow you."
- With Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, an average pitching staff gets a pretty big boost: Angels-Blue Jays Preview - Yahoo Sports. "C.J. Wilson is on the verge of recording the longest win streak of his career and matching the most victories he's had in any season." To the intense, statistically savvy baseball follower, pitcher's Wins are an over-rated stat, but it's still interesting to see Wilson is living up to the average fan's expectations.
- Here's the Trout stuff I mentioned above: Trout's torrid pace could lead to exclusive club - angels.com. "Trout entered Tuesday with a .338/.437/.572 slash line, giving him a 1.009 OPS that ranks third in the Majors behind only Miguel Cabrera (1.113) and Chris Davis (1.023). His 9.8 wins above replacement, as calculated by FanGraphs.com, easily leads the Majors -- Andrew McCutchen is second at 7.4 -- and would be the highest ever for a player in his age-21 at season's end. Trout's .437 on-base percentage entering Tuesday would be the highest in Angels history -- Tim Salmon and Chili Davis each had a .429 mark in 1995 -- and is a byproduct of his American League-leading 90 walks, which he raised to 91 in the first inning of the series opener against the Blue Jays." In my best Captain Obvious voice I say, "Trout is having another great year."
- What do you think; best player in the league regardless of his team's record, or the player who helped his team win the most games? A Question About Value in a Losing Effort - FanGraphs Baseball. "It’s not the best player award, it’s the most VALUABLE player award. And the (insert bad team here) would have finished out of the playoffs without him too. Those numbers he put up didn’t actually lead to a winning season, so he can’t be as valuable as (insert other good player on a playoff team), who helped carry his team to the postseason."
- Sammy Sosa Is A Terrifying Vampire. Yes, yes he is.