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Wednesday Halolinks: Angels Streak Past Yankees, Oswalt Goes To Texas

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Eight is great for this team with a winning record (26-25):

  • Interesting take on the "new, and improved" Angels. Alden Gonzalez asked Torii Hunter if he's noticed anything different about the team upon his return: New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels - May 29, 2012 - "Significant change can be difficult to notice on a daily basis. The arduous baseball schedule offers very little time for exhale, making perspective a tough thing to grasp for the players who are entangled in its beltway and caught up in the day-to-day grind. That's why it's so hard for most of the members of this Angels team to notice much difference about the way they're currently playing, executing, succeeding. Not for Torii Hunter, though."
  • Here's an example of how things might be "looser" Watch the reaction in the dugout after Trumbo circles the bases: Trumbo goes deep to center in the sixth - Video - "5/29/12: Mark Trumbo goes yard for the ninth time this year, lifting a solo shot to center in the bottom of the sixth".
  • This is a goofy article: Bad news doesn't slow Angels in win vs. Yanks - Fox Sports Network. First, the author claims he doesn't know what caused the Angels' turn-around, "There is no explaining what's come over the Angels. They were 8-15 in April but are 18-10 in May after defeating the Yankees 5-1 at Angel Stadium. The Angels’ eight-game winning streak is their longest since July 2009, and they have finally climbed above .500 at 26-25." And then, he does come up with an explanation for what's led to their improvement, "Offensively, Trout has been the impetus the Angels needed when they called him up from the minors on April 28. The team is 20-11 since he arrived, and his offense and daring baserunning are something to behold." Finally, he makes a small mistake, "For the second time in less than two weeks, he turned a line drive to left field into a triple, sprinting full speed into third base to lead off the third." The triple Trout hit wasn't leading off the third inning, it actually drove in the Angels' first run of the night, scoring Peter Bourjos from second base (who had led off the inning with a single).
  • Pettitte upset over mistake pitches - Yahoo! Sports. "Pettitte had held Pujols to five singles in 23 at-bats during his career entering the start, but Pujols crushed a 1-0 fastball over the left field wall to give the Angels a 3-0 lead. "I was trying to go in; I just left a ball too much on the plate," Pettitte said. "I jammed him his first at-bat, I was up in the count and I left the ball on the inner half."
  • Yankees-Angels Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "Los Angeles (26-25) is in position to earn its first sweep of New York (26-23) since July 10-12, 2009, also at home. The Angels, who are 13-0 at home when scoring at least four runs, have not won nine straight since Aug. 18-27, 2004.Los Angeles is also finally seeing the Albert Pujols it expected when it signed him over the offseason. The slugger is 4 for 8 in this series and his 24 RBIs in May are second in the league only to Josh Hamilton's 31."
  • Angels' Torii Hunter returns but Jered Weaver goes on disabled list - "Weaver, injured on his 12th pitch Monday night against the New York Yankees, was told he had a strain, spasms and inflammation around a disk. He is expected to be sidelined for at least three weeks.It's disappointing missing two or three starts, but I'm going to work my tail off to do whatever it takes to get back on the mound."
  • Say what, Mike? "When you're not swinging the bat, you're going to look dead," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. (Nice blend of young energy, veteran poise - ESPN Los Angeles). Okay, that wasn't sooo bad.
  • Pitcher Garrett Richards feels more prepared in return to Angels - "In 10 starts this season in Triple-A, the Angels' No. 2-ranked prospect is 5-2 with a 4.31 ERA, striking out 48 while walking 29. Richards impressed in Spring Training, but after getting off to a solid start in Triple-A, he has run into some trouble of late, posting a 7.06 ERA over his last six starts. "It's a good experience pitching in Triple-A," Richards said. "With the [Pacific Coast League] being a hitters' league, it kind of forces you to tighten up your pitching a little bit, work on specific stuff as far as getting ahead of hitters and throwing the ball down in the zone."
  • Do yo think the Rangers moved a little quicker in signing Oswalt after Weaver was injured in order to keep him away from the Halos? Rangers get rotation help with Feliz out: Oswalt deal done - "He spoke with several other clubs during the winter and spring, including the Angels, who, according to sources, were very close to signing Oswalt. But by then, Oswalt had reservations about leaving his family for an extended period of time, especially to play with a team so far from his Mississippi home."
  • Cool bobblehead, but the Dodgers are being kind of shady on the way they're giving them out. You can't buy tickets to that game, you have to buy a package: Vin Scully Can Even Make Bobbleheads Seem Cool Again - Deadspin. "Major League Baseball's enduring fascination with bobbleheads is, by and large, played out by now, but we'll grant an exception for this August 30, when the Dodgers hold their first-ever Vin Scully Bobblehead Night and give away this reasonable likeness of the Hall of Fame announcer, now in his 63rd year of calling Dodger games. In fact, you won't be able to buy single-game tickets for that night. You can only get a ticket by purchasing it as part of a special 10-game ticket plan. (After that, it's up to you how much you want to hawk it for on StubHub.)"
  • Interesting article on how preventing pitcher injuries has advanced: Orioles Using Biomechanics to develop Pitching: Dylan Bundy : The FCP Baseball Report. "If a pitcher is late with getting his arm in the proper position, he is more likely to be predisposed to an injury. With that data, a team can adjust a pitcher’s delivery and/or provide a more individualized conditioning program rather than keep pitchers on a one size fits all pitch count and conditioning program. Because these adjustments are made based on scientific data, injuries can be reduced."
  • Mitch Williams gives his views on closing: The Art of Closing - Wild Things. "All over baseball, the closer role has been terrible . There has been 272 save opportunities. And only 145 saves. That’s 65.23 percent. This has to be fixed. Because a blown save and a loss will demoralize a club faster than anything in the game. But there are young closers who need to learn the art of closing and figure out that the pressure is on the guys with the bats in their hands. They are behind!"
  • Todd Frazier performs Heimlich Maneuver, saves choking man at lunch - Yahoo! Sports. ""I said 'I think that dude is choking over there.' He was a little obese and there were two women side-by-side trying to give him the Heimlich. [Ludwick] said get over there because I was the closest one. So I went over there and was yelling at them to get out of the way. They did and I gave two pumps and it came out."
  • Dan Serafini among those who deny that using steroids was cheating - Tom Verducci - ""No, I don't consider it cheating," said former major league pitcher Dan Serafini. "I think it just helps the better player with longevity and a chance for guys to stick around longer." Here's Verducci's magazine article about steriods: Sports Illustrated Special Report: Steroids in baseball -
  • DeShawn Stevenson Has An ATM In His Kitchen, For Some Odd Reason - Deadspin. This is funny because my bank has a kitchen in it.