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Tuesday Halolinks: Angels gain ground on Oakland, lose a starter

The Angels made up some ground in the standing by beating Oakland Monday night, however one of their rare commodities has landed on the disabled list.

Good night, sweet prince.
Good night, sweet prince.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that's more like it.  The club is back to 3.5 games behind Oakland, while having a slightly better record than Seattle to lead in the wild-card standings.  Only bad thought coming from yesterday is the injury to Tyler Skaggs.  With the shortage of adequate starters in the Halo's system, any injury to one of their five could be disastrous.  Keep those fingers crossed.  In the meantime, here are some Tuesday tidbits from the Angels pressbox:

Angels have won eight of last nine at home and 11 of last 14…
Halos are 12-17 vs. AL West opponents (23-11 vs. rest of MLB)
Prior to last night's game, the Angels pitchers have been tagged for a 5.12 ERA vs. the division (248 IP – 141 ER) while
batting .241 (236/980)…Against rest of Majors, the club has a 2.96 ERA (310.1 IP – 102 ER) and .268 average (316/1178).

And now, Halolinks:

  • Isn;'t nice when a player takes it personal?  Sure, it's a team sport, but when a player says, "I'm going to win this one" and does, that's pretty fantastic:  Richards regroups, turns tables on A's - The Orange County Register.  "“I gave them one last time,” Richards said. “I felt like this was my time to show them what I've got.” Sharp from the start, Richards struck out four and walked none, throwing 107 pitches. His first 15 pitches, stretching into the second inning, were all fastballs, and all were clocked at 96 mph or faster."  Hopefully he used that last start as a learning experience: MLB Recap - Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - Jun 09, 2014 -  "The last time Richards faced the A's on May 30, he gave up five runs and got only two outs. He entered Monday 0-3 with a 7.50 ERA in his six previous career starts against the A's."
  • Another thing that's awesome is when a player talks trash and then has the nads to back it up: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - June 9, 2014 -  "And it was big, mostly, for Ernesto Frieri, the emotional closer who was eight weeks removed from serving up the game-winning homer to A's catcher John Jaso and one day removed from delivering an inadvertent bulletin-board comment about the A's, partly saying: "We're going to beat 'em. I hate to say this, but they've had a little bit of extra luck." Then Frieri walked the walk, appearing in a fourth straight game for the first time in his career, facing the heart of the A's order -- Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Yoenis Cespedes -- and striking out the side to pick up his 11th save. "It was a misunderstanding," Frieri said of his quote the previous day. "I'm sorry if I offended somebody. I respect the Oakland A's; their team is playing really good baseball. But at the same time, I have confidence in my team. I knew that we were going to play better baseball."
  • Breaking new!  Mike Scioscia has a heartbeat.  He actually showed some emotion while getting tossed arguing Trout's home run triple double.  He finally stopped sniffing his fingers and decided to do something: Angels' Mike Scioscia tossed after replay takes away Mike Trout homer -  "After initiating a crew chief review, it was ruled that Trout had an RBI double that put the Angels ahead, 3-1. That infuriated Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who seemingly felt Trout should be on third base because he probably would've had a triple had it bounced off the wall."
  • He makes a good point: Angels cut A's AL West leads to 3 1/2 with 4-1 win - Yahoo Sports.  "''I don't know how they overturned the home run. That ball was over the yellow line when it hit that guy's glove. There's no doubt,'' Scioscia said. ''I don't know what they saw in New York - and that's part of the frustration that I have with this whole system. There's no way that's indisputable evidence that that was not a home run.''
  • As I mentioned above, the Angels can't afford to start losing starters:  Skaggs heads to DL with strained right hamstring -  "We're doing this more as a precaution to make sure it gets behind him," Scioscia said. "Hamstrings, they have a life of their own. You never know. But we don't anticipate it being longer than [the extent of the DL stint]." Skaggs said he didn't really feel like he had a hamstring injury during his start, but once he got off the plane later that night "it was super stiff," so he didn't even throw his between-starts bullpen session."  Especially when the replacement hasn't been doing all that well: Angels turn to Santiago after Skaggs' injury - The Orange County Register.  "Santiago, sent down to Triple-A three weeks ago, had not been having any success against lesser competition. In three starts, he struck out nine and walked seven over 13 innings, allowing 23 hits and 12 runs."
  • Lonnie Chisenhall had a good week yesterday: Cleveland Indians vs. Texas Rangers - Recap - June 09, 2014 - ESPN. "Chisenhall had nine RBIs and three home runs in a five-hit game"
  • Looks like those AStros aren't as bad as we thought: The Astros have a better record than the Red Sox and Rays - HardballTalk.  "Here’s where the team that has lost 100+ games for three straight years stands compared to the defending World Champions and a Tampa Bay team which has averaged 91.6 wins over the past six seasons:
    Houston Astros: 29-36, .446 winning pct.
    Boston Red Sox: 28-35, .444 winning pct.
    Tampa Bay Rays: 24-41, .369 winning pct.