See guys, We really need to have more Thursday games so that I can have something cool to compose for Friday links.And how much cooler can it get than to have Mike Trout bomb a 3-run jack in the bottom of the 9th inning to cap a 4-run rally and overcome a 2-5 deficit and snatch a 6-5 victory out of the jaws of LOBzilla. Cuz, like, that's what really happened.
Joe Maddon sends in Grant Ball-FOUR to close the game in the 9th with a 5-2 lead, and nary an out was e'er witnessed again. Ball-FOUR to Hank Conger. Ball-FOUR to Efren Navarro. Colin Cowgill base hit (1 run in). Exit Ball-FOUR. Enter Brad Boxberger. Enter Mike Trout. Exit lead, exit Boxberger, exit Maddon, exit sanity. Boom. And as Gubi spouts: "You can check that one off the bucket list." Trout has his first walk-off home run of his career. Now we just have to teach him the lesson of Kendrys Morales...
Oh, and yeah, for those wondering why Trout can lead the AL in WAR while still working his way out of a slump, he also does shit like this.
Here is the Statlas for the game, but you might want to check back after they get the opportunity to code the complete game. As of this writing all they have is 1-0 TB over LAA into the 6th.
- Mike Trout need not be worried. This is not a slump. This is just the natural consequence of Trout upgrading his aggressiveness. So says Matt Snyder at CBS Sports. "Indeed, the strikeout rate is way up. He's striking out 27.8 percent of the time while he was at 19 percent last season. His walk rate is down, too. What's the difference? Aggressiveness. He's swinging more often at pitches both inside and outside the strike zone while making contact less often on both." My eyeballs tend to tell me that the problem is not with Trout swinging his bat more often, but with the baseballs coming off Trout's bat no longer going where he wants them to go.
- These guys are schizo. Play with the sort columns here on the MLB team stats page. The Angels are tied for 2nd in OPS in the league. They own 2nd place outright for slugging percentage. They are tied for 3rd in stolen bases, and are tied for second lowest in caught stealing. They are tied for 2nd in home runs, lead the league in triples, tied for 2nd in RBI, and are 3rd best in runs scored. And yet they swim in the middle of the pack in hits, walks,strikeouts, and on base percentage. And they do all this with the 9th best batting average. I guess that's called picking your spots.
- Uh oh. Buster Olney is now officially on board the Garrett Richards Love Train. Maybe I need to rethink this. Too bad for Buster that somebody feels he is worth paying money to learn this.
I hate the Instant Replay system. But I gotta admit, I'm loving the results. Especially in our own home park! I mean, like really, Umpire Jim Reynolds had the chance to hose the Halos twice in one game and got rejected both times? Have I fallen into some alternate universe? And, please take note, Joe Maddon has a history of getting ejected for arguing at Anaheim. Last night he did not. And he did not, twice. Because Joe can't argue the video evidence. Nice.
This Date In Baseball History: 1912 - Ty Cobb is suspended for for assaulting a fan who is a regular heckler, who also happens to be handicapped..........1917 - A panel of sportswriters gathers after the game and votes to change the official scorebook, thus awarding Bob Groom of the browns with a no-hitter..........1939 - The first American League night game is played, between the Indians and the A's. Only 15,109 attend because it's freezing-assed cold at game time..........1953 - Figure this one out: The White Sox trail the Yankees in the 9th inning, 3-1. They manage to load the bases. So manager Paul Richards decides to pinch-hit for Vern Stephens, who has 10 grand slams in his career to that point. the pinch-hitter is Tommy Byrne. A White Sox pitcher. Byrne hits a grand slam anyway and the White Sox win 5-3..........1970 - 14-year old Alan Fish, sitting with friends at Dodger Stadium to watch a game between the Dodgers and Giants, is struck in the head by a foul ball. Young Alan will die 4 days later, becoming the only person in the history of Major League baseball to die as the result of a batted ball (Ray Chapman was killed back in 1920, but that was from being hit by pitch)..........2000 - A fan steal the cap of Dodger Chad Kreuter, smacking him on the back of the head while in the act. A group of Dodgers rumble into the stands at Wrigely field and launch a brawl..........2006 - As the Angels defeat the Blue Jays 8-3 in Anaheim, Jose Molina steals second base off his brother Bengie. Bengie steals the base back in the 7th, off of Jose. Only time that has happened.
The draft is right around the corner, so...
- This year's draft is loaded with flamethrowers. It's just barely possible that the Angels get lucky enough to nab one of them for us. Not this guy, though. This guy is the best of the best, firing away at 102mph as a high schooler. His name is Tyler Kolek, and some day Mike Trout is going to step tot he plate against him and all of baseball will hold their breath.
- Just to remind you all, outgoing commissioner Bud Selig is still promoting the inevitability of an international amateur draft. And unless you are one of the 32 human souls throughout the entirety of planet earth that can claim to breath air and own an MLB franchise, that idea has nothing good going for it. It's only to allow those Special 32 keep more of their money in their own pockets. And that is why the other countries hate the idea, with Puerto Rico being the poster child for why this scheme is punitive. "Broadly speaking, the international draft is something that owners want and players do not, that Americans want and non-Americans do not. The details of implementation are almost impossibly complex, particularly because many people are skeptical about whether the draft would benefit those countries. The idea of an international draft has been seriously discussed for at least a decade. But it has remained in limbo because no one can agree on how it should work. In recent years, many Puerto Ricans have argued that baseball in the territory has suffered considerably since the 1990 establishment of the draft there, and officials in other countries have been notably apprehensive at the prospect."
- Some day in the not too distant future, this young man is going to need surgery to repair a useless right arm. But he won't have an MLB medical insurance plan in place to pay for it. And he will probably spend the rest of his life bragging in bars about how one major injury sidetrack a promising Big league career. His coach finally figure out that maybe this was not the best idea available. One day too late. "I realize that it was way too many pitches," Striegel told Big League Stew in a phone interview Thursday morning. "I can understand everybody's concern about it. And I would tell you too that I am concerned also. I probably would change the decision today."
- It's a slow news period throughout baseball, so we get this. Interleague Play has gone stale and nobody cares anymore. Therefore, we need to dilute the game even further by expanding. We need to add one team into what would be the hottest town in MLB. And we need to add the other team into what would become the coldest town in MLB - oh yeah, a town where MLB already yanked a squad away. And then, of course, we need to re-align everything. There. That solves Interleague. And baseball. From, uh, what?
- Oh yeah. Let's fix the draft system and free agency too, while we are at it. "But because Major League Baseball wanted to lessen the power of agents and limit the money paid to amateur prospects—which, in reality, was per club less than the arbitration value of a prime closer—they established a system linking free agency and the draft that purported to improve parity. Now, the system is still based on losing, so a top six market like the Astros can get the first pick three years in a row by putting out a last place product, with very little reward for small market, nickel-and-dime revenue clubs like the Athletics and Rays who annually put forth a pennant-contending product."
Uh, MLB brings Arte Moreno on board to find the new commissioner, because Arte has demonstrated to be such a good judge of executive baseball talent over this past decade???..........Conservation of Energy Department; Sam Miller points out a curious factoid about pitch efficiency..........Tom Verducci wants to lower the mounds and lower the incident rate of TJ injuries. C.J. Wilson doesn't think that this is going to be of much help..........Leave it to the Cubs to screw up their own park, painting a tribute to their crosstown rivals..........Next weekend is Memorial Day, which manes special unis. Get your first look here...........Interesting contrast (to me, anyway). Up at the SBN Mothership, Grant Brisbee worries about attention deficit killing baseball in the distant future. But right there next to it on the same front page is another article, by the same Grant Brisbee, where Grant dives deep into one of the truism of baseball: how to take all that spare time and fill it up with lame oddities. In this case, as is often the case, it's players names...........Nice job, lady. You must be very proud of your competitive spirit...........All you victory-minded post-game thread Michelle Jenneke fans just hit the mother lode. Allow me to be the first to warn you that use of any of these around here is sure to draw some ire. I have no control as to how you use them anywhere else, however.
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday...for beer...
Friday: Busy weekend. Let's start with American Craft Beer Week at Downey Brewing Company in Downey and runs all weekend...........Figueroa Mountain Brewing in Buellton (again, for Lompoc!) is doing a Lizard's Mouth IIPA & Bierge de Menage Tasting & Release (it would be nice if their web site supported this event properly)..........And Dunbar Brewing up in Santa Margarita is doing a NorCal versus SoCal battle of the beers. Seeing as Santa Margarita is so close to the middle of the state, I wonder whose side they are on?
Saturday: Eureka Burger in SLO is doing the 3rd Annual Sour Fest if that's your particular stein of brew..........7th Annual Pints for Pitties at Brew Rebellion in Yucaipa if you are in the area............Wines, Brews & Blues Festival in Escondido...........Doheny Blues Festival in Doheny State Beach is Saturday/Sunday (leave snark below as to how The Doobie Brothers is the headline act for a Blues Festival! At least Gregg Allman, the other headliner, has some history with blues licks.)..........This is claimed to be sold out already, but a little hustle might break you in: The Los Angeles Vegan Beer Fest is going on at The Roxy..........And American Craft Beer Week is still running.
Sunday: Round it up for this smokin' hot weekend, we have 48 Drafts of Sierra Nevada in Morro Bay, at The Libertine Pub...........CHIP Brew Rendezvous at SILO Makers Quarter, San Diego..........Doheny Blues Festival concludes..........And American Craft Beer Week is still closes it's run.