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The Downside of Five, John Lackey? Whatever. Halolinks

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Red Sox 5, Angels 1 - FOX Sports on MSN
The Angels have started a 10-game road trip with five straight losses. One night after they gave up 17 runs in the series opener, Ervin Santana quieted the Red Sox bats, allowing just one run in seven innings but earning his third straight no-decision. After he left, Boston scored four runs off Kevin Jepsen (0-1) to turn a tie game into a 5-1 blowout. ``(Santana) had to match Lester pitch for pitch, and he did,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``We had some opportunities and Lester minimized the damage on their end. Obviously, getting out of the eighth was big for those guys.'' Jepsen gave up four runs on two hits and three walks while getting just two outs in the eighth. Mike Napoli had three of the Angels' five hits.

Should Juan Rivera have caught this ball? You be the judge: Hermida's double gives the Red Sox the lead. Although Jepsen's poor performance had the most impact on last night's game, this play was the game-breaker. At least Rivera could've made an attempt at catching it, and just maybe he would've looked like this: Hunter turns both ways then makes the catch - Video - MLB.com

Angels-Red Sox Preview - FOX Sports on MSN
Lackey has been solid but not dominant thus far in Boston. The right-hander has yielded three runs or fewer in four of his five starts, but opponents are hitting .307 off him. He limited the Orioles to three runs - two earned - in seven innings Friday, but failed to earn a decision as the Red Sox lost 5-4 in 10 innings. Boston will also take its hacks against a former teammate, albeit not one who made a major impact during his Red Sox tenure. Joel Pineiro (2-3, 5.76) posted a 5.03 ERA in 31 relief appearances for Boston in 2007, eventually getting traded to St. Louis for a minor leaguer. After a promising beginning for the Angels, Pineiro has given up 16 runs and 21 hits over 9 1-3 innings in his last two starts. He surrendered a career-high 10 runs in 3 1-3 innings of Friday's 10-6 loss at Detroit. Pineiro is 3-5 with a 6.24 ERA in 10 starts against the Red Sox. David Ortiz is 9 for 23 with two homers and three doubles off Pineiro, but the former All-Star slugger increasingly appears close to the end of the line in Boston.

I'm pumped up for this game for two reason; 1) Obviously because of the Lackey connection, but 2) I like Pineiro and a good outing against the Sox and Lackey will go a long way in righting this sinking Angels ship. I know it's one of those clubhouse chemistry things that most saber-heads scoff at, but I believe in some of that stuff.

MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...

Lackey to take center stage vs. Halos - angelsbaseball.com
The Angels played behind Lackey enough to know what type of competitor they will face on Wednesday. "He's a bulldog -- you know he'll be up for it," said Angels center fielder Torii Hunter. "That's his nature. He loves to compete, and so do I. I've faced him a lot. So have Bobby [Abreu], [Hideki] Matsui. For other guys, like Mike Napoli, it's going to be different. He used to catch the guy, and now he'll be trying to hit him." Napoli doesn't plan on feeling any sentimentality when he stands in against the guy he used to call pitches for. "We're not friends now," Napoli said. "He's on the other side. I'm going to try to get him." Has Lackey noticed the difference in public circles from pitching for the Red Sox as opposed to the Angels? "People are more apt to come up to you in Boston," said Lackey. "In L.A., they see actors and stuff -- they don't care about baseball players."

"they don't care about baseball players"? What a douche nozzle. Could it be that the fans in SoCal show a bit more respect for other people's privacy? How often did someone in OC puke on your wife's coat? Yeah, I thought so.

Fan films Andrew McCutchen homer from the bat into his glove - Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports
But upon closer inspection, holy smokes! That same guy from that '08 video was out at Dodger Stadium over the weekend and he not only caught a batting practice home run from Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen(notes) but also his first-inning blast during the actual game. All while holding a video camera and filming the catches from his perspective. Oh, and if you doubt the authenticity of this clip for any reason, check out the highlight on MLB.com, which shows McCutchen's homer and the catch from the opposite angle.

This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. And done by a Dodgers fan none-the-less.

Falling Angels - FanGraphs Baseball
To date, all of that has manifest itself on the field. The corner outfield rotation of Bobby Abreu, Juan Rivera, and Hideki Matsui have failed to make plays, costing their flyball pitching staff outs and allowing opponents to put runs on the board.

I considered doing a FJM-type rebuttal to this Dave Cameron article based on the above clip. I mean, there are a lot of things going wrong for the Angels right now, but corner outfield defense isn't one of them...until Rivera's dandy play last night.

Milton Bradley unhappy in Seattle Mariners' cleanup spot - ESPN
Multiple Mariners said Bradley's mindset late Tuesday night was "not good," though Wakamatsu deflected thoughts of an incident with a fiery former All-Star who is on his eighth team in 10 seasons. "We just felt at that time, what went on with the two strikeouts, it was time to get him out of the ballgame," Wakamatsu said following the 5-2 loss. "It was just time to get him out." How bad have Seattle's fans soured on the Mariners' offense? The crowd of 14,589 -- the second-lowest in Safeco Field's 10-year history -- booed after Griffey, their 40-year-old civic icon, swung over a pitch from Shields that skimmed the dirt. That ended the "rally" in the sixth and kept the home team down 3-1.

I'm not one to look at other's misfortune to make myself feel better, but in this cause I'll make an exception.

Johnny Damon fitting well with Tigers - FOX Sports on MSN
When the Tigers returned from their latest road trip, a gift was waiting in each player’s locker. It was a cross between a baseball jersey and a bathrobe, like something Hugh Hefner would wear to take batting practice. Olde English D on the front. Name and number on the back. Plush cotton from head to toe. The official attire of a big-league badass. Naturally, this was the work of Johnny Damon. After Damon’s new teammates told him how much they admired the fluffy frock, he made a gesture that befits a man of his financial/personal cachet. He bought one for everybody. "It’ll be like the Ritz-Carlton around here," Dontrelle Willis said. When a teammate asked to pay for his share, Damon refused. His treat.

The only reason this link is here is so I can say, "I told you so". Noodle arm? Ask Matsui about that (yeah, I realize it's Hideki Matsui, but still). Not clutch? I think Scot Shields may disagree (yeah, I realize it's Scot Shields, but still).

Taser 'em again, Cardinals pitcher Wainwright says, after another fan runs onto field - USATODAY.com
"That was tired, that was bad,'' Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright said. "You know what, the Phillies' fans should be mad at that guy because he might've gotten in the way of Cole's mojo he had going. That's terrible timing. And if you don't want to get Tased, don't go on the field. There's absolutely nothing wrong with getting Tased if you're on the field."

Hey you kids, get off my lawn!

You know what time it is? It's awesome-o'clock!

Here's the original...I'm John Lackey!

John Lackey says Angels can't have it both ways - latimes.com
"You're supposed to give up for the team; then when it comes time, they might not want to give it up for you. But I was prepared for that. That's the nature of the game today.""Their track record speaks for itself," Lackey said. "I lost so many teammates over there, guys who went to other places. It prepares you for these things." But doesn't Lackey, who prided himself on being the "lead dog in the rotation," as Angels Manager Mike Scioscia called him, miss that label? "Whatever, (lookie here, I'm John Lackey!)" Lackey said. "I know what I am (John Lackey!). What matters is being in the playoffs and pitching in meaningful games."

Whatever.

May 5 - BR Bullpen
1962 - Bo Belinsky of the Los Angeles Angels beats the Baltimore Orioles 2 - 0 with a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium. Belinsky strikes out nine and walks four.
Happy b-day to the man who would capture a Soviet submarine, rescue army rangers in Columbia, save the Prince of Wales, and become the Vice-President and then eventually the President of the United States.
1905 - Jack Ryan, outfielder (d. 1967)
Oh wait, this isn't that guy? Nevermind.

Napoli steals 3rd base!:

Los Angeles Angels
Erick Aybar, SS 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 .245
Bobby Abreu, RF 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 .264
Torii Hunter, CF 4 0 1 0 0 2 0 .302
Kendry Morales, 1B 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 .311
Hideki Matsui, DH 4 0 0 0 0 2 1 .250
Juan Rivera, LF 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .242
Howard Kendrick, 2B 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 .284
Mike Napoli, C 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 .236
Brandon Wood, 3B 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 .179
Totals 29 1 5 1 2 7
Batting
2B - Torii Hunter (11, Lester), Mike Napoli (3, Lester)
SH - Brandon Wood (1)
RBI - Kendry Morales (18)
SB - Mike Napoli (2, 3rd base off Lester/Martinez)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Aybar-Morales, Kendrick-Napoli-Morales
E - Kendry Morales (2, Misplayed grounder)
Boston Red Sox
Marco Scutaro, SS 5 1 3 0 0 1 0 .290
Dustin Pedroia, 2B 4 0 1 0 1 0 3 .287
Victor Martinez, C 3 0 1 1 1 0 1 .242
Jonathan Van Every, PR-CF 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 .200
Kevin Youkilis, 1B 2 1 1 0 2 0 1 .293
J.D. Drew, RF 4 1 2 0 0 1 2 .258
David Ortiz, DH 4 0 0 0 0 2 4 .149
Adrian Beltre, 3B 3 1 0 0 1 1 0 .323
Jeremy Hermida, LF 4 1 2 3 0 0 0 .255
Darnell McDonald, CF 3 0 0 0 0 2 1 .275
a- Mike Lowell, PH 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 .317
Jason Varitek, C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .324
Totals 34 5 11 5 5 8
a-doubled for McDonald in the 8th
Batting
2B - Marco Scutaro 2 (5, Santana, Santana), Dustin Pedroia (9, Santana), J.D. Drew (6, Santana), Jeremy Hermida (4, Jepsen), Mike Lowell (5, Shields)
RBI - Victor Martinez (8), Jeremy Hermida 3 (13), Mike Lowell (9)
2-OUT RBI - Jeremy Hermida 3 (12), Mike Lowell (4)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Scutaro-Pedroia-Youkilis, Pedroia-Youkilis
Los Angeles Angels
Ervin Santana 7 7 1 1 1 7 0 4.02
Kevin Jepsen (L,0-1) 0.2 2 4 4 3 0 0 4.63
Scot Shields 0.1 2 0 0 1 1 0 9.39
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 115-72, Kevin Jepsen 32-13, Scot Shields 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 7-7, Kevin Jepsen 1-0
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 29, Kevin Jepsen 6, Scot Shields 4
Boston Red Sox
Jon Lester (W,2-2) 8 5 1 1 2 5 0 3.93
Jonathan Papelbon 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 1.93
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 120-76, Jonathan Papelbon 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 13-4, Jonathan Papelbon 1-0
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 29, Jonathan Papelbon 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37411
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - John Hirschbeck