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Tuesday Halolinks: Despite loss, Angels seem to have "it"

Sometimes you win, sometimes you loses, sometimes it rains. Regardless of the outcome, this year's team seems to have that "winning quality".

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Angels lost last night, I still feel really good about this team.  And one of the reasons is I actually thought the club was going to come back and win it in the ninth.  Even though they came up a few runs short, it was unusual that those thoughts occurred to me, and even more unusual that when the rally came up short, I wasn't too disappointed.  I don't partake too often in the game-threads as I find it too hard to follow both the game and the comments, but I do read all of the post-game comments.  I've notice within those comments, even when the team loses, there's not much talk of being "buttercupped" or Sosh-bashing.  It's funny how winning cures so many ills.  Don't get me wrong, I think the Halos are winning in spite of Scioscia, not because of his managerial moves.  It's pretty easy...well, it's manage when everything is going right, and a lot of the credit should go to Jerry Dipoto for the team he put together.  We all can't be 100% happy with this team's moves 100% of the time, but the recent play of the team sure makes it easy to overlook.  Meh, have some Halolinks:

  • These things (poor outing) are bound to happen from time-to-time: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels - May 19, 2014 -  "Richards yielded a season-high 10 hits and five runs over seven innings, leaving him with only two victories in his past seven starts despite his impressive record. "Finding a way to throw seven innings after going through all that in the first three isn't an easy thing to do," Richards said. "I put up some zeros and kept us in the ballgame and gave us a chance to score runs. I think that's part of my maturity and my progression as a starting pitcher."  I completely agree with his comment about maturing.  To be able to regroup after a couple of bad innings is something he probably wasn't able to do last year.  Richards loses magic touch in loss to Astros - The Orange County Register.  "“I made some good pitches and they were spitting on some good two-strike breaking balls and they found a way to put the ball in play,” Richards said. “Just one of those nights.”
  • Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed how the club seems to play poorly against pitchers who throw a lot of strikes?  That's kind of a lame analysis as most pitchers who throw a lot of strikes have better games, but it seems that many of the Angel hitters start off their at-bat with a 0-1 count.  I could be talking out of my butt, and have done no real looking at the number, it's just a eyeball thing I think I see: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels - May 19, 2014 -  ""That's a very powerful lineup," Keuchel and his 2.63 ERA said of the Angels. "I was lucky to get into the ninth inning. I was careful, but at the same time, my game is to go out and attack the zone."
  • Now that the Halos have gotten on track the last couple of weeks, what do they do now that their injured players a ready to comeback?  Obviously they're not going to let go of Calhoun and Freese, but what happens if the club goes back to being a sub .500 team once the regulars are in the lineup?  Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels - May 20, 2014 - Preview.  "Despite injuries to several key players, including Josh Hamilton and David Freese, the Angels have won eight of their past 11 games to grab sole possession of second place in the American League West. Their starting pitching has carried them, posting a 3.59 ERA through the first 44 games of the season."  Ninth-inning rally comes too late for Angels in 5-2 loss to Astros - Los Angeles Times.  "Right fielder Kole Calhoun (right ankle sprain) was two for five with a double and two RBIs, and third baseman David Freese (right middle finger fracture) hit a solo homer for triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Calhoun is expected back with the Angels this week; Freese is expected to be activated for Tuesday night's game against the Astros. … Reliever Sean Burnett is nearing a return from elbow surgery, having thrown a perfect inning Monday for double-A Arkansas, his fourth straight scoreless outing. Scioscia said the left-hander's stuff is “where you'd like to see it, but we want to make sure it's going to stick.”
  • Didn't I just write that Dipoto should get a lot of credit for the team's recent success?  Well, I'm going to downgrade the word "a lot' to "some". Angels still value Ibañez's bat - The Orange County Register.  "We believe in Raul,” the Angels general manager said. “We believe in his swing. Even though he hasn’t been himself, he’s managed to drive in a lot of important, critical runs for us. I can count on two fingers wins we wouldn’t have had if Raul wasn’t here.”  It's important to have those "two finger" wins.
  • Angels Afterthoughts: Santiago gets a turn - Orange County Register.  "What Mike Scioscia saw was a fastball that averaged 92.2 mph. In his previous two outings, he’d averaged 90.2 and 91.5. In most of his starts he’d been pitching at 92-93 mph. “Tonight it looked some balls came out of his hand hotter and that’s good to see,” Scioscia said. “Hector has got more fastball in him than 89-90 mph. He’s working his way into that.”
  • I really, REALLY hope this isn't anyone from the Halos Heaven family.  Foul Ball-Seeking Angels Fan Absolutely Wrecks Old Woman.  "Her shoulder certainly doesn't look like it's in good shape (dislocated?) after backward-hat Angels bro crushes her trying to grab a foul ball off the bat of the Astros' George Springer."
    Angels fan lands on old lady after leaping to catch foul ball (Video) - Yahoo Sports
    .  "'ll see an Angels-loving bro showing himself to be anything but an Angel as he lands on top of an old woman. He had jumped to catch a foul ball off the bat of the Houston Astros' George Springer and crushed the woman as he came down with the ball. Dude, no. Old ladies, like kids, are out of bounds."  This looks like one of those AngelsWin bromios.
  • At least Texas takes a little of the douchieness away (as usual) Grown-Ass Men Fighting Over A Baseball Bat, In Extreme Slow Motion.  "Edwin Encarnación let a bat fly into the stands during the ninth inning Saturday in Texas, and some Rangers fans engaged in some epic and embarrassing struggle in an attempt to take home a very special souvenir."