I guess Garret Richards finally figured out what it'd take for the Angels to beat the Mariners...a combined one-hit shutout. The win brings the Halos to 4-5, a game and a half behind both Oakland and Seattle, and tied with the Rangers. The club has a day off today before returning home to face the New York Mets for three games, followed by Oakland for three more. With today's lack of action, you'll have plenty of time to indulge yourself in luxurious Halolinks:
- You know, because everyoone has their role, and heaven forbid a pitcher is used outside of the designated game situation: Pujols' power surge timely in Angels' 2-0 win over Mariners - The Orange County Register. "Smith and Frieri retired six of seven batters in the eighth and ninth, the first time this season the Angels have had a chance to use their setup man and closer in their expected roles." It was great watching Richards pitch as well as he did, but it was kind of deceptive. Not to take anything away from his performance, but right around the 6th inning I was completely surprised he had only given up one hit. I knew he was pitching well...just not that well: Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners - April 9, 2014 - MLB.com. "Just from experience, I think the game has slowed down a little bit for me," Richards said after the 2-0 win. "It's basically come down to me just executing pitches." Richards' execution gave the Angels their first win over the Mariners in five tries, splitting the two-game set and winning four out of six in a road trip that began with four games in Houston."
- I hope this isn't going to be a trend; a season filled with good-news, bad-news: Los Angeles Angels vs. Seattle Mariners - Recap - April 09, 2014 - ESPN. "The pitching effort was needed after the Angels had been knocked around by Seattle, getting outscored 31-11 in losing the first four meetings against the Mariners. The pitching, combined with the 494th homer of Pujols' career, provided a bright spot after a miserable start to the day and the news that Josh Hamilton could miss two months with a thumb injury."
- SBN's Daily Dish site gives a pretty good look at what actually happened to Hamilton's thumb: Josh Hamilton injury: Angels outfielder will have thumb surgery, miss 6 to 8 weeks - MLB Daily Dish. "Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton will miss six to eight weeks due to a completely torn ulnar collateral ligament and a torn capsule in his left thumb, according to the LA Times' Mike DiGiovanna. The injury will require surgery and an often troublesome rehab program. The injury is sometimes called Skier's thumb or Gamekeeper's thumb."
- The games best leadoff hitter may be moving down in the order again: Angels' Hamilton needs surgery on thumb, to miss 6-8 weeks - The Orange County Register. "David Freese was moved up to Hamilton’s cleanup spot, but Scioscia said Raul Ibanez will also get some opportunities. Scioscia also didn’t rule out the possibility of moving Trout to the No. 3 spot and having Albert Pujols hit cleanup, but that’s considered less likely. Kole Calhoun was in the No. 6 spot Wednesday because Ibanez was not playing against a lefty, but Scioscia said his preference is to keep Calhoun in the leadoff spot mostly."
- I still think the challenge system being used in the replay thing is stupid, but at least they're getting the calls right: Close call at second base confirmed upon Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon's late challenge - angels.com. "The disputed play occurred when Mariners left-hander Charlie Furbush threw to first base to pick off Kole Calhoun, who had broken for second. First baseman Justin Smoak's throw to second appeared to beat the runner, but covering shortstop Brad Miller did not apply the tag in time. Second-base umpire Seth Buckminster ruled Calhoun safe, as fans began to boo. After Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon calmly walked out of the dugout to discuss the call, the play went under a quick review. Moments later, the call was confirmed and the game continued." Or should I say, most of the call right. I was watching this game earlier in the day, and it seemed like the replay showed conclusively that the umpire had called the play incorrectly, yet upon review the call stood: Call stands, Royals' Alex Gordon called out after challenge | royals.com. "Royals manager Ned Yost lost a replay challenge in the second inning on Wednesday. Yost argued that Alex Gordon, called out trying to steal third base as Mike Moustakas struck out, was actually safe, so Yost issued a challenge. After two minutes and 10 seconds, third-base umpire Quinn Wolcott's out call was ruled to stand and the inning ended on a double play. Yost said the umpires gave him no explanation. "No, [just], 'He's out.' You can't argue with it. They're trying and I don't know what the explanation is," Yost said. "I'll talk to [MLB executive] Tony La Russa or somebody about it. It's a new system and there are bugs to be worked out, and I think it's going to be fine in the end." It was kind of the same play Calhoun was called safe on (except it was a steal of third). The ball arrived before the runner, but the tag was applied after the runner reached the base.
- All I can say is "Wow"...and not in a good way: Ultimate Astros " Astros match last year’s 0.0 TV rating. "Once again the Astros played a game this week and, according to the Nielsen Company, nobody in Houston was watching on Comcast SportsNet Houston. Nielsen’s Houston ratings report for Monday shows a 0.0 rating for households, adults 25-54 and men 25-54 for the afternoon Angels-Astros game at Minute Maid Park. The Angels won the game 9-1. Monday’s game is the second time, according to Nielsen, that the Astros have played a game on CSN Houston that no one watched."
Mike Trout could do this, he just doesn't want to show up the other team: Billy Hamilton Tags Up And Scores On Pop Fly, Remains Ridiculous. "Billy Hamilton, who is just so damn fast, somehow turned a lazy pop fly into short right field into a scoring play during today's game against the Cardinals."
- Hey, remember this guy? I do, but I don't remember him throwing this well. Maybe the pitching coaches in the Brave organization gave him a few pointers: New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves - Recap - April 09, 2014 - ESPN. "Santana (1-0) was sharp from the start, throwing 28 strikes in his first 29 pitches. He finished with six strikeouts and no walks. He said he didn't expect to have such strong command." According to the post, Santana's first 20 pitches were strikes, and he threw only one ball in the first 3 innings. "Honestly, no. In the bullpen I was all over the place," Santana said. "I just stepped over the line and focused and threw strikes."
- The only thing I remember about Terry Collins whaile he was with the Angels was that he was a dick. I could be wrong. New York Mets at Los Angeles Angels - April 11, 2014 - MLB.com. "Mets skipper Terry Collins led the Angels for two full seasons in 1997-98, compiling a respectable 169-155 record. In 1999, though, a team picked to win the division was hampered by injuries. The losses started to mount and Collins basically lost the clubhouse, resigning with 29 games left and a last-place, 51-82 record. The following season, Scioscia took over. Collins is starting his fourth year with the Mets, and this will be his first visit to Angel Stadium as an opposing manager."
- I once saw Erick Aybar on the street in Minneapolis and thinking, "Yuck" when I saw his teeth. I have a thing about teeth. No matter how good looking, or how nice of a figure a woman has, if her teeth are jacked-up, I'm not interested. Not o say that I'm now interested in Aybar, but you know, it's nice to see he's taking care of things: Aybar sits out after pregame dental work - angels.com. "Angels shortstop Erick Aybar was a late scratch from Wednesday's lineup due to some pregame dental work, according to the team. John McDonald took his place, batting ninth" Here's an "after" shot of his new choppers:
- This picture is unfortunate, but it's also not as bad as it looks. The camera angle makes it look like the flag is on fire, but it's really just a firework buring in the foreground: The Braves Set The American Flag On Fire At Their Home Opener. "The Braves really fucked up, you guys. During yesterday's home opener against the Mets, they set off a fireworks display way, way too close to the American flag. You are not supposed to put flames that close to the American flag, Braves!"
- I want one, although I'd probably never wear it: The Sweater That Ruth Wore - Ralph Lauren Magazine. "A century ago, as Babe Ruth, then a 19-year-old phenom, was just beginning his career, baseball was in the midst of a style hitting streak: From about 1910 to 1930, an extended but almost forgotten fashion moment, players entered stadiums clad in dapper team-issued sweaters. The default style was a chunky shawl-collar wool cardigan that was casual yet elegant."
- I linked to last months post about Cleveland's opening, here's another: Watch The Marvelous Pregame Show Projected Onto A CHL Team's Rink. "Last month, the Cleveland Cavaliers used a projection system on their court for a cool pregame video, and this week, a CHL club did something similar on their rink."