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Thursday Halolinks: Are The Angels Back On Track? Is Ervin Santana Who He Thinks He Is?

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I usually don't like girls (okay, woman) who have the sass to pee on sidewalks at night. Sass, or Grey Goose, whatever. Typically, I'd be appalled (appalled, I tell you!) at this behavior, but I have to admit...not this time. This time I really think it's going to be an interesting ride. In a good way. This time I have something to add to Halolinks:

  • If Ervin Santana wasn't going to be himself, why couldn't he at least be someone GOOD? Angels 8, Indians 4 - MLB News - FOX Sports. "''I don't care how good you are. No one in the game is about going through a period of time where you're going to struggle - especially when you're good enough to play this long,'' said Iannetta, the Angels' catcher. ''You see some of the best pitchers in the game go through stretches where they're not themselves." Okay, that might be a little unfair as he he was good last night. Maybe I should use the "inconsistent", but then I'll be just like everyone else when they're writing about Gopherball, I mean, Santana.
  • I think I've written about this before - Isn't throwing strikes somewhat of a no-brainer? Isn't that like job one for a pitcher? Take a look at the last start Bartolo Colon had against the Halos where he had something like 90 pitches and 89 of them were strikes (or something like that). Why is that so had to understand? Cleveland Indians at Los Angeles Angels - August 15, 2012 - "Santana got ahead on 16 of the 25 batters he faced, and when he got behind, he effectively used a slider that has looked a lot more crisp lately. "He had a good feel for it today," Indians manager Manny Acta said, "so that was key for him and we never adjusted to it."
  • Kinda sad when your team is celebrating the fact that they're now tied with the A's: Santana impressive in Angels' victory - The Orange County Register. "The back-to-back wins over the Indians allowed the Angels to take a series for the first time since they took two out of three from the Kansas City Royals on July 23-25 – and gain ground on both the Rangers and A's for the second consecutive night as well, moving into a second-place tie with the A's in the AL West."
  • In manufacturing there's; Quality, Time, and can only have two. In baseball, it's Pitching, Hitting, and Defense. There's no rule you can't have all three, and finally...FINALLY, the Angels have put together games where they have at least two: 3 Up, 3 Down: Angels 8, Indians 4 - ESPN Los Angeles. "For the second straight night the Los Angeles Angels’ offense and pitching decided to show up on the same night and once again displayed what kind of team the Angels could be when those two are on the same page (read: field)."
  • I'm going to go out on limb here; If the Angels take 3-of-four from the Rays this series, they're going to the problem. A split and it's going to be a fight. Anything less than 2 wins, and the season's just about done. Rays-Angels Preview - FOX Sports. "We don't care how (the Rays are) feeling, or if they're scuffling, we have our own business to take care of," Los Angeles outfielder Mark Trumbo told the Angels' official website. It would seem Tampa Bay has a good chance to bounce back at Los Angeles, where it's won nine of 11 and shut out the Angels (62-56) in the final two of a three-game set last month."
  • Five games back with 15 to play? Yeah, good luck with that: Pujols: Tap past to right troubles in future - ESPN Los Angeles. "In fact, a slight smile comes over Pujols’ face when he talks about the Angels being counted out of the playoff race. This is nothing for Pujols. He remembers last season when the St. Louis Cardinals were five games back in the wild-card race with 15 games left in the season. You know how that story turned out."
  • I can take and understand Pujols positivity, but when Jeff Miller starts spouting the feel-good crap, it kind of freaks me out: Angels show signs of life - The Orange County Register. "It was heartening to see the Angels take advantage of a floundering opponent and move back to within six games of Texas in the American League West. If their starters keep this going, the wild card might not be the Angels' only entry into the playoffs. They actually could undo a start that otherwise might be their finish."
  • Trumbo taking his slump harder than most - "Sure, all athletes care. But you'd be hard-pressed to find one who cares more than Angels outfielder Mark Trumbo, a diligent worker who has a very tough time dealing with failure. It's what helped him go from an 18th-round Draft pick in 2004 to one of this game's mightiest sluggers in 2012." He only hurts because he cares.
  • Mike Trout Porn:

    Now, sit back. I'm warning you, this could get ugly. Lyle Spencer is quoting WAR. Lyle, put the website down! FanGraphs is no place for staunchy old sports guys who've seenn over 4000 games with their own eyes! Mike Trout's first year on pace to be among best ever - "The people who load computers with data have Trout ranked as the Majors' most irreplaceable player by a wide margin with a 7.8 WAR (wins above replacement player). Next, at 5.8, are the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen and the Tigers' Justin Verlander." Well, it just happened, and I saw.

    I wrote yesterday that this was my biggest worry with Trout: Trout's power continues to be a pleasant surprise for Angels - Yahoo! Sports. "Trout has 27 home runs in less than 508 major league at-bats after hitting a total of 23 in 286 minor league games. But Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the power numbers are not that surprising. "I won't say it's surprised me," Scioscia said. "Everything he's doing, he had the potential to be doing. Just doing it at age 21 is remarkable." Will the power last, or is it just a "thing" he's doing for now?
  • For every Mike Trout, there's a million Brandon Wood's. You couldn't turn around and not read about Gregg Jefferies: Prospect Retrospective: Gregg Jefferies - Minor League Ball. "25 years ago, in the summer of 1987, Gregg Jefferies was the hottest prospect in baseball. He was considered a sure-fire future All Star and an expected mainstay for the New York Mets. Take Manny Machado and Jurickson Profar, combine them, and you have an idea about how much hype Jefferies was receiving. And he deserved it, too; he was a remarkable prospect."
  • Oh yeah, and this happened yesterday: Perfect game! Felix Hernandez finally gets his moment with masterpiece against Rays - Yahoo! Sports. "''I don't have any words to explain this,'' Hernandez said to the crowd, speaking on the field after the final out. ''I've been working so hard to throw one and today is for you guys.'' Click this link: The Best Lineups to be Perfect Gamed - Beyond the Box Score. "Where does Felix Hernandez's perfect game rank in history? Forget game score—let's look at how good each lineup was when they fell victim to a perfect game." Very interesting. And this too: Was Joe Maddon's Ejection "Bush League"? - Baseball Nation. "Rays manager Joe Maddon immediately popped out of the dugout. Almost as immediately, Drake threw Maddon out of the game, but of course Maddon stayed on the field for a few minutes to get his money's worth. And also, perhaps, to break King Felix's rhythm." Oh, and you have to see this: Here's What The Scorecard From Felix Hernandez's Perfect Game Looks Like - Deadspin. "Dave Sims, who called a fantastic game today for Root Sports, fully embracing the fact that Felix Hernandez was on his way to history and eschewing any ridiculous notions of superstition during the telecast, just posted a photo of his scorecard, and it's astonishing to see."
  • This is a surprisingly good post from Deadspin. I like the site, it usually has some content that cracks me up, but this is very good in a non-comedy way: Did Performance-Enhancing Drugs Actually Help Melky Cabrera? - Deadspin. "But a closer examination of Cabrera's numbers suggests an alternate possibility: Performance-enhancing drugs haven't done much at all for his offense. Yes, Melky's hitting .346, a full 62 points better than his career average. But everything else he's doing is in line with his usual performance."
  • Some other stuff:

    Today's Lesson: Players Lie - Baseball Nation."This isn't about Andrew Baggarly not doing his job. It's about baseball players lying. And really, what else was Cabrera going to do? He certainly wasn't going to say, "Yes, I failed a drug test and now I'm in the middle of the appeals process. We'll know if I'm suspended on the 15th of August."

    Chad Curtis has another charge filed against him - HardballTalk
    . "In June we learned that Chad Curtis will stand trial in Michigan on five counts of criminal sexual conduct. Let’s make it an even six"

    Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Marmol Clear Waivers; Giants a Fit for Soriano? - MLB Daily Dish. "Marmol, 29, is still owed $9.8 million next season and has put up dreadful numbers that have likely hurt his trade value. The right-hander owns a 4.46 ERA and 11.1 K/9, but has an MLB-worst 8.4 BB/9."
  • The Mathis Mystique - FanGraphs Baseball. "Seriously, though, teams have their reasons for doing things like this, even if they are not always apparent (or good). Let’s try and think it through.