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THURSDAY HALOLINKS: Yankees Too Hot For Scott Kazmir

Angels, out of gas, fall to Yankees --
A team that has been running on fumes for a few days simply ran out of gas Wednesday, the rigors of a schedule that had them playing their 40th game in 41 days and the oppressive heat of a 95-degree afternoon conspiring to sap the Angels. "I don't know if there has ever been an off-day more needed by our team than the one we'll get" today, Manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's been a grind."

Burnett, Yankees win duel with Kazmir, Angels - FOX Sports on MSN
Ian Kennedy's 20 friends and family members could scarcely stand to watch while the New York reliever's first appearance in over a year went from an inspiration to a budding nightmare."Just to be pitching is an accomplishment," said Kennedy, a Long Beach, Calif., native and former USC star. "And then to be pitching here, and in a big situation, there are no words to describe it. It got a little crazy, but I was glad it worked out barely. These are big, important wins for us."

Angels embrace long-awaited break in schedule -
By Wednesday afternoon, when they struck out 15 times in a 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees, they looked like they were on the verge of a mental collapse. Thursday's open date was looking like a two-week Hawaiian vacation to some of the guys. "Guys are going to kick back, man, try to get some rest," Torii Hunter said. "We'll do a bunch of nothing, probably won't watch SportsCenter. … OK, maybe SportsCenter, but no baseball."

Team Reports -
RHP Kevin Jepsen, after pitching four times in six games through Sunday, admitted "the ball has felt a little heavier," and he has been given a few days off. After an early season demotion to Triple-A, Jepsen has made 31 appearances since July 1 with a 1.67 ERA, pitching his way into a prominent role as the Angels' primary setup man.

Team Reports II -
And on the 21st day, they rested. The Angels are off Thursday after having played games on each of the last 20 days. It was their second stretch of 20 consecutive games in the last 41 days, part of a finish to the regular season that will have them play 50 games in the final 52 days.

Video highlights from yesterday's game:

Yankees outlast the Angels -
Daily Recap: A.J. Burnett struck out 11 batters as the Yankees pounced on left-hander Scott Kazmir for three runs in the fourth inning

Rivera fires home to cut down the runner -
Juan Rivera fields a liner off Chone Figgins' glove and fires a strike to the plate, where Mike Napoli applies the tag

Angels Extra: Homegrown Talent - takes an in-depth look at the stable of talented players who've come up through the Angels system

Angels’ Pitchers Are Rounding Into Form as the Playoffs Approach -
A first-round series with their old nemesis Boston is likely, but the Angels now appear to have Lackey and Jered Weaver for the first two games in Anaheim, and Kazmir and Saunders available for Game 3 and a possible Game 4 in Boston. Saunders would seem to be the choice over Santana based on current performance — he is 5-0 with a 2.11 E.R.A. since returning from the disabled list — and his Fenway Park history (3-0, 2.84 E.R.A. in four starts). Santana is 0-2 with a 6.37 E.R.A. in four starts in Boston.

Angels have no chance? You’re nuts -
Mock the Angels and their total cluelessness about beating the Red Sox in October all you want - that is fun, actually - but if you came away from this series thinking the Division Series against the Angels will be a cakewalk, you are probably wrong and, to misquote Torii Hunter, nuts.

How far has Napoli fallen? - Angels Unplugged - Los Angeles Times
With two men on in the bottom of the eighth and Napoli due up, the manager called him back and had Maicer Izturis pinch hit for him. That one move told you all you need to know about Napoli's immediate future. As it was, Jeff Mathis, who is barely hitting above .200, has done the bulk of the catching this season, simply because Scioscia values defense much more than offense at the position.

Morales proving value day after day -
After winning the American League Player of the Month honors after setting the Angels' club record with 33 RBIs in August, first baseman Kendry Morales suddenly fell into a rut in early September. The switch-hitter went into a 3-for-28 skid and all of the talk about being a legitimate American League Most Valuable Player candidate began to lose a bit of its steam.

UC Riverside Pitchers are Grounded - FanGraphs Baseball
Perhaps it’s a coincidence that many UC Riverside pitchers have shown the ability to induce an above-average number of ground balls. Then again, maybe it’s not by chance and the school’s coaching staff is on to something. Either way, UC Riverside alums should be followed over the next few seasons – especially if ground-ball rates continue to gain in popularity.

Oliver's work highly valued by Angels -
"He's arguably been our best pitcher over the course of the year, start to finish," closer Brian Fuentes said. "He's done everything, from start a game to pitch in the fourth inning to the eighth inning. There's not a thing he hasn't done and done well."

September 24 - BR Bullpen
Events, births and deaths that occurred on September 24.
1998 - Shortstop Gary DiSarcina leads Anaheim to a 10 - 6 win over Oakland with five hits, including two doubles, and a pair of RBIs.