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Jeff Mathis is hero in 16, Carl Crawford a halo in '11. Halolinks

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Sweet 16: Long day ends with victory for Angels - The Orange County Register


The Angels were outhit 14-6, blew a lead in the ninth inning and a bases-loaded scoring opportunity in the 11th and had another taken away when Indians centerfielder Michael Brantley robbed Juan Rivera of a home run with a leaping catch at the wall in the 10th inning. "On the offensive side, it was like root canal," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're grinding it out. Some things are a little painful right now. We just couldn't execute some little things that might have ended it a lot sooner."

Okay, the Angels won, but come on...6 hits in 16 innings? The "hitters" went a combined 6 for 49 at the plate resulting in a sub-Mathis-like .122 batting average. I suppose I shouldn't rag on Mathis, he did manage to hit a long flyball to score Torii Hunter to win the game, but why does it not feel satisfying? Especially when you consider the Halo's 2011 closer went 6 decent innings to lower his ERA below the 6-run mark. Kazmir allowed just 2 hits (and 3 walks) while striking out 6. Yet I'm left with the feeling that my favorite team just won a silver medal in the Special Olympics. Here's some 'lights: Bourjos blasts a solo home run to center - Peter Bourjos blasts his third home run of his career, a solo shot over the center-field wall to put his Angels up 3-1 in the sixth, Marson nails the winning run at the plate - Lou Marson chases down a wild pitch and fires to Joe Smith covering the plate in time to nail the potential go-ahead (winning) run, Torii races home with a walk-off run in 16th - Torii Hunter races home with the walk-off winning run in the 16th inning on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Mathis, Kazmir strikes out six over six innings - Scott Kazmir strikes out six over six innings of work.

Crawford enjoying the ride while it lasts - FOX Sports on MSN
1. Will Crawford lead the underdog Rays past the Yankees and bring a World Series title to Tampa Bay? 2. Which team will win the high-stakes bidding for Crawford’s services on the free-agent market? The second question is speculative and premature, which makes it awfully fun to bat around. On Monday, I asked David Ortiz for his take. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.) "The Yankees," Big Papi replied. "That’s the team that’s going to pay him. Either the Yankees or Anaheim." Big Papi either has some solid sources or subscribes to the same conventional wisdom as many non-uniform-wearers in the industry. Because that’s not the first time I have heard those clubs mentioned.

Sorry, but put me on the "Not Convinced Crawford is the Answer" bus. He's a great player, but I'm worried he's going to cost too much to sign for too many years. The Angels seem to have the right players in the pipeline, just not soon enough. Overspending on Crawford when a more affordable option is a couple years away doesn't seem like the wise off-season move I'd like to see the Angels make. Tell me your thoughts in today's poll and in the comment section.

Scot Shields' Angels career is winding down, but he hopes to pitch again this season - Los Angeles Times
"It’s all to be determined," Shields said, when asked about a possible return to the Angels. "I understand the business side of it. You look at our bullpen now, and there are a lot of young guys who can really throw the ball. The future is definitely bright here." That future probably won’t include Shields, who may have thrown his last pitch as an Angel on Tuesday night, when he left the game against the Indians because of elbow tightness. Shields, never one to acknowledge the severity of any injury, is confident he will pitch again this season.

The only way Shields makes next year's club is by accepting an invite to spring training and proving he still has something left in the tank. At least, that's what I think.

Educate Me on Bobby Abreu - FanGraphs Baseball
The only explanations I have are either that he’s just unlucky – which everyone hates as a reasoning but … — or that he’s hitting the ball differently, which is translating into easily fielded balls. That seems immeasurable (since what is an easily fielded ball objectively?), but that is all I can come up with.

FanGraphs is still trying to figure out Bobby Abreu.

Here are some entertaining videos from last night's MLB games:

Bourn catches popup, waves goodbye to fans - Video - MLB.com
Michael Bourn catches Alfonso Soriano's fly ball to center for the last out of the game and waves goodbye to Wrigley Field fans.

Not sure what that was all about, but Bourn looked like he was ready to leave Chicago.

Fan snags a ball while holding hamburger - Video - MLB.com
A fan catches a ball headed to the stands while holding a hamburger in the other hand.

This kid is the king of cool, for a short time at least.

Oakland fan lays out for a home run - Video - MLB.com
A fan at the Mariners-Athletics game dives in the stands for a home run ball, but no one's around him

This is one of the funniest clips I've ever seen. Seriously. The way the guy takes flight trying to catch the ball, and his not so gentle landing are hilarious.

Angels " Win Probability " Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - FanGraphs Baseball

20100908_indians_angels_0_medium

Posts Thirty-Two Fast Pitchers - Joe Posnanski
OK, having riffed on the topic of fast pitchers, now it’s time for my list of the 32 fastest pitchers in baseball history.

Good list, and as always with any Posnanski post, well written.

Rosenthal: Next labor deal must Improve balance - FOX Sports on MSN
It’s funny: For all the complaints about revenue sharing’s failings, the program’s successes — the Brewers, Twins, Rays and others — are undeniable. Even the Pirates, last in the majors in payroll, are an example of how revenue-sharing recipients can rebuild. Fans do not yet see it on the field, where the Pirates recently clinched their 18th straight losing season. But the team has spent a major-league leading $31 million on the draft in the past three years. Whether the Pirates are choosing the right players remains to be seen. But it’s indisputable that they are trying to improve.

A short history of the Ventura County Gulls - The Hardball Times
Old baseball guys Ken McMullen and Jim Colborn had a great idea in 1986: Bring minor league baseball to Ventura County. The area just north of Los Angeles would be a natural fit. Many major leaguers had come out of the area, and many would also in the future. There were two successful major league franchises in the Los Angeles area, plus the San Bernardino/Riverside County area to the east had a good history with minor league baseball. The love of baseball and the coastal climate of Ventura would be a perfect match.

Good historical story about a local minor league team...well, for one year.

Why the Padres dream season has been a nightmare of late - Lee Jenkins - SI.com
From April to August, baseball theorists busied themselves trying to figure out how the Padres were winning so much, despite a $38 million payroll and an offense that ranks 21st in the major leagues in runs, 25th in batting average and 25th in slugging percentage. Now they are trying to figure out how such a powerhouse could be losing. Here are five reasons:

Padres 4, Dodgers 0 - FOX Sports on MSN
Cory Luebke struck out seven in six sparkling innings and San Diego added to its lead in the NL West with a 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.San Diego has won three consecutive games since losing 10 in a row and is two ahead of San Francisco after the Giants lost 3-1 at Arizona. The Padres will host the Giants in an important four-game series beginning Thursday.

The San Diego Halos swept the Dodger and seem to be back on track.

Seattle's elimination number is two:

American League West
Team W L Pct. GB
Texas 76 63 .547 -
Oakland 69 70 .496 7
L.A. Angels 67 73 .479
Seattle 55 85 .393 21½

September 9 - BR Bullpen
Events, births and deaths that occurred on September 9.
1965 - The Angels waive Lou Clinton and both the Indians and the Athletics claim him. Since the rule on waivers is that the team lowest in the standings gets first dibs, Clinton joins the Athletics. He arrives in mid-game and appears as a pinch-hitter, striking out, as California beats the A's, 7 - 2. He and the Athletics then learn after the game that Clinton has been awarded to the Indians because the Athletics' claim was filed after the 24-hour claiming period had expired. Charlie Finley knew this before Clinton reported to the Athletics, but manager Haywood Sullivan, fed up with Finley's second-guessing, didn't answer the telephone during the game, and therefore didn't find out.
1970 - California's Alex Johnson becomes the 3rd player in history to put one into the CF bleachers at Comiskey Park when he connects in the 6th against Chicago's Billy Wynne in a 2 - 1 loss in eight innings.
1977 - In the second game of a doubleheader loss in Boston, Tiger rookies Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell debut together. They will hold down the 2B and SS jobs in Detroit for a record 19 years. I always liked these guys.
1983 - White Sox Britt Burns pitches a one-hit 11 - 0 win over the Angels. California's sole hit is Mike Brown's single with two out in the 7th.
1989 - California's Devon White steals four bases including second base, third base, and home in the same inning in the Angels' 8 - 5 win over Boston.
1992 - Brewer owner Bud Selig is selected by the owners to serve as acting baseball commissioner until a permanent successor can be found. It will take nearly six years to name a permanent commissioner and it will be Selig himself.
1993 - The major leagues vote to divide each league into three divisions, and add another round of playoffs featuring two wild card teams.
R.I.P.:
1999 - Catfish Hunter, pitcher; All-Star, Hall of Famer (b. 1946)

Six hits? Seriously? Geez:

Cleveland Indians
Hitters AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Michael Brantley, CF 8 0 2 0 0 1 4 .233
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS 6 0 0 0 1 0 3 .271
Shin-Soo Choo, RF 6 0 0 0 2 1 1 .289
Shelley Duncan, DH 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 .230
a- Jordan Brown, PH-DH 5 0 2 0 0 1 2 .250
Matt LaPorta, 1B 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 .227
Luis Valbuena, PR-3B 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 .181
Andy Marte, 3B-1B 7 1 1 1 0 2 5 .211
Jason Donald, 2B 7 1 2 0 0 2 0 .254
Chris Gimenez, C 2 0 0 0 1 2 1 .178
b- Jayson Nix, PH 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 .245
Lou Marson, C 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 .188
Trevor Crowe, LF 6 0 3 1 1 3 3 .245
Totals 59 3 14 3 7 15
a-grounded into a double play for Duncan in the 8th
b-singled for Gimenez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jason Donald (19, Kazmir)
HR - Andy Marte (5, Walden)
SH - Asdrubal Cabrera (9)
RBI - Andy Marte (17), Jayson Nix (29), Trevor Crowe (31)
CS - Trevor Crowe (5, 2nd base by Kazmir/Wilson)
Team LOB - 16
Fielding
DP - LaPorta-A. Cabrera
Los Angeles Angels
Hitters AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Reggie Willits, LF 4 0 0 0 2 1 0 .279
Kevin Frandsen, 2B 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .284
a- Hideki Matsui, PH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .266
b- Howard Kendrick, PH-2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .272
Bobby Abreu, DH 6 0 1 0 1 1 2 .250
Torii Hunter, RF 5 1 2 0 2 0 0 .294
Alberto Callaspo, 3B 6 1 1 0 1 0 4 .281
Mike Napoli, 1B 3 1 1 2 1 1 0 .246
Jeff Mathis, C 2 0 0 1 0 0 3 .192
Erick Aybar, SS 6 0 0 0 0 1 3 .255
Bobby Wilson, C 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 .214
c- Juan Rivera, PH-1B 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 .244
Peter Bourjos, CF 6 1 1 1 0 3 1 .194
Totals 49 4 6 4 8 10
a-announced for Frandsen in the 8th
b-hit into fielder's choice for Matsui in the 8th
c-?? for Wilson in the 9th
Batting
2B - Bobby Abreu (35, Tomlin), Torii Hunter (33, Ambriz)
HR - Mike Napoli (23, Tomlin), Peter Bourjos (3, Tomlin)
SF - Jeff Mathis (3)
SH - Kevin Frandsen (2)
RBI - Mike Napoli 2 (64), Jeff Mathis (15), Peter Bourjos (8)
SB - Reggie Willits (2, 2nd base off Sipp/Marson)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Frandsen-Aybar-Napoli, Napoli-Wilson-Callaspo
E - Kevin Frandsen (6, Misplayed grounder), Matt Palmer (2, Throwing)
Cleveland Indians
Pitchers IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Josh Tomlin 6 3 3 3 2 4 2 4.18
Frank Herrmann 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.96
Jensen Lewis 0.1 0 0 0 1 0 0 3.95
Rafael Perez 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.64
Joe Smith 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 4.73
Justin Germano 2 1 0 0 2 2 0 1.19
Tony Sipp 1.1 0 0 0 1 2 0 4.37
Hector Ambriz (L,0-2) 3.1 1 1 1 1 2 0 5.59
IBB - Hunter by Josh Tomlin, Callaspo by Justin Germano
HBP - Willits (by Josh Tomlin)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Tomlin 89-56, Frank Herrmann 13-9, Jensen Lewis 8-4, Rafael Perez 4-3, Joe Smith 16-8, Justin Germano 34-16, Tony Sipp 23-14, Hector Ambriz 48-28
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Tomlin 3-10, Jensen Lewis 1-0, Rafael Perez 2-0, Joe Smith 1-1, Justin Germano 1-3, Hector Ambriz 3-5
Batters Faced - Josh Tomlin 23, Frank Herrmann 3, Jensen Lewis 2, Rafael Perez 2, Joe Smith 4, Justin Germano 9, Tony Sipp 5, Hector Ambriz 12
Los Angeles Angels
Pitchers IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Scott Kazmir 6 2 1 1 3 6 0 5.98
Jordan Walden (H,2) 1 1 1 1 0 3 1 3.00
Kevin Jepsen (H,22) 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 4.62
Fernando Rodney (BS,4) 1 3 1 1 0 1 0 4.06
Bobby Cassevah 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 4.50
Michael Kohn 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 2.70
Francisco Rodriguez 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 4.43
Matt Palmer (W,1-1) 3 2 0 0 1 3 0 5.54
IBB - Choo by Kevin Jepsen
WP - Bobby Cassevah (1), Francisco Rodriguez (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 88-57, Jordan Walden 17-12, Kevin Jepsen 15-6, Fernando Rodney 20-16, Bobby Cassevah 43-26, Michael Kohn 16-11, Francisco Rodriguez 21-9, Matt Palmer 49-31
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 6-5, Kevin Jepsen 2-0, Bobby Cassevah 6-0, Francisco Rodriguez 3-0, Matt Palmer 2-4
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 22, Jordan Walden 4, Kevin Jepsen 5, Fernando Rodney 6, Bobby Cassevah 10, Michael Kohn 3, Francisco Rodriguez 5, Matt Palmer 12