How about that. With Tuesday night's 14-inning win, the Angels have won 5 in-a-row and are now just 2.5 games behind Oakland who sits atop the AL West. It looks like the Halos like that home cooking as they've won nine of their last 10 and twelve of the last 15 home games. Here are today's Halolinks:
- Very exciting, and somewhat unexpected end to a long game. MLB Recap - Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - Jun 10, 2014 - CBSSports.com. "After five ensuing scoreless innings, Cowgill abruptly connected against Jeff Francis (0-1), driving a two-strike pitch just over Cespedes' head into the bullpens beyond left field. "I was just hoping it had enough on it to get it over his head," said Cowgill, who had three hits. "That guy has made some incredible plays on us the last couple of times." Francis made a good pitch to Cowgill, but like Trout a few days ago (more on that below), he was able to get his bat on it and drive it out of the park.
- With the dramatic ending, it's easy to overlook how great the Angels' pitching staff performed Tuesday night. Big props to Hector Santiago and his 6 excellent inning: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - June 10, 2014 - MLB.com. "Cowgill's first career walk-off hit capped a stellar performance from Hector Santiago and the Angels bullpen, a group of seven pitchers that combined to strike out 14 A's and allow just one run. Santiago threw six shutout innings in his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake. He allowed only four men to reach base and faced just three batters over the minimum in his six innings, striking out eight. "He looked like a different pitcher than what we saw a few weeks ago," manager Mike Scioscia said."
- Yeah, it was an amazing toss: Angels Afterthoughts: That throw, though: Angels Blog: Orange County Register. "The Angels won Tuesday night’s game over the Oakland Athletics, 2-1, in 14 innings. But the biggest story in both clubhouses afterward was not the outcome. It was Yoenis Cespedes’ ridiculous, remarkable, one-of-a-kind throw from left field that nailed Howie Kendrick at the plate and propelled the game into extra innings."
- Within this notes section, we are reminded about the anniversary of another great outfield play: Line atop right-field wall gets fresh paint at Angel Stadium - The Orange County Register. "Tuesday marked the 17th anniversary of Jim Edmonds’ memorable catch as an Angel in Kansas City. With his back to home plate, Edmonds dove toward the fence in straight-away center field and snared the ball on the warning track." One of the most amazing catches I've ever seen:
- Upon further review, Angels' Mike Scioscia still disagrees with call - Los Angeles Times. "It wasn't part of the proposed $150-million renovation that Angels owner Arte Moreno and the City of Anaheim have haggled over for months, but the top of the right-field wall in Angel Stadium got a fresh coat of bright yellow paint Tuesday. "I didn't even notice it," Manager Mike Scioscia, peering over a group of reporters from the third base dugout, said before Tuesday night's 2-1 win in 14 innings over the Oakland Athletics. "It looks a lot better, but I didn't request it." "Nobody ordered the yellow paint, it was nothing that came from the clubhouse or from above," said Tim Mead, the team's vice president of communications. "It was actually on a facilities work-order list, and they ended up doing it today." How convenient."
- Wednesday's game should be a great game as the Angels go for the sweep: Athletics-Angels Preview - Yahoo Sports. "The right-hander (Jered Weaver), though, has allowed one run in 27 1-3 innings to win his past four home starts against them and owns a 0.78 ERA in the last eight. He's 4-1 with a 2.04 ERA in his last five outings in Anaheim overall, including a win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday. Weaver yielded two runs over six innings while striking out a season-high nine in an 8-4 victory. He'll be opposed by Tommy Milone (3-3, 3.68), who is 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA in his past six starts. The left-hander hasn't received a decision in the last two, giving up three runs over six innings in both. That was also his line in both of his starts versus the Angels this year, not getting a decision either time, and he's 2-0 with a 2.96 ERA in his last four against them."
- With the game being played on the west coast and having a 9pm start time for me (hey, 9pm is late for us old-timers. Why do you think Matlock is aired during the evening?), although I woke up and saw the end of the game, I fell asleep during the middle portion of the game and missed whatever Pujols did to piss people off last night. I have been aware of how badly he has been doing in "clutch" situations, and actually, overall. I even benched him on my fantasy team. Anyway, Pujols is the worst at a time when he used to be the best: Pujols opens up about struggles - angels.com. "Most disturbing of all are Pujols' uncommon struggles with runners in scoring position. He entered the 2014 season batting an ungodly .334/.468/.632 in that situation. This year, he's slashing .149/.275/.257 with runners in scoring position, while leading the Majors with 91 plate appearances in those situations. "Shoot, if I would've had one of those great couple of months, I probably would've had 80 RBIs right now," said Pujols, who instead has 35 RBIs to go along with 15 home runs. "It's frustrating."
- I missed this yesterday, but it's such a great write-up. Here's the story behind Trout's game-tying grand slam: Let’s Watch Mike Trout Do Something Amazing - FanGraphs Baseball. "The changeup was just about perfect, for the situation. It was right on the outer edge, and it was down, maybe too far down to be a strike, but close enough that Trout would have to swing. Trout said later he thought it was a strike during its flight. For Sale, this wasn’t a failure to execute. It was just a failure of a human being, against Mike Trout. Basically, the pitch Sale threw can sometimes get lined the other way, but it isn’t a pitch you expect to go for four bases, when thrown just so. It was the ideal pitch in a full count."
- Interesting post about the Oakland closer: How Sean Doolittle switched from first base to star relief pitcher. - SportsonEarth.com. "Doolittle, a former two-way college star at Virginia, had made the Athletics' 40-man roster as a first baseman, but a series of injuries -- a twice-torn patella tendon in his left knee and a subluxed tendon in his right wrist -- forced a course correction. ... Then, after two Triple-A appearances over five days (with eight strikeouts of the 13 batters he faced), Doolittle was on his way to join the major-league club in Oakland, just 10 months after switching to pitching."
- Just stop it. Now. Headfirst slides: Helpful, risky or both? - Yahoo Sports. "For years, the different slides have led to a debate: Is one way faster than another? Research by professor David Peters of Washington University in St. Louis has suggested that sliding headfirst can help a runner reach the base more quickly, but only by a small fraction of a second. He also says going feet first can be more practical because a player can pop up quickly and head to the next base if need be."
- Baseball Helps… Sometimes – The Hardball Times. "No one is exempt from major depression disorder—not the everyman, the Wall Street mogul, or the ballplayers. In an interview with Men’s Journal in 2011 (via Hardball Talk), Duchscherer described just that: "People think if you’re rich, you must be happy. They can’t understand why you’re not. I feel guilty making so much money playing a game. If I pitch a shutout, it doesn’t make me happy. I think of the guys I struck out, how they’re going home, depressed, to their families."
- This is interesting, and probably very smart: Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer takes out massive injury insurance policy - MLB - Tom Verducci - SI.com. "The risk Detroit pitcher Max Scherzer took by turning down $144 million from the Tigers before this season may not be as big as it appeared. Scherzer revealed to SI.com that he took out an insurance policy that covers lost potential earnings if he is injured prior to hitting the free agent market this winter. "This takes the injury risk out of it," said Scherzer, who did not specify if the policy covered all or most of the $144 million."
- This is a good post, but the important part for me is finding this Deslided website. Although they might contain some entertaining or interesting content, I hate those slideshow posts and will sometimes just skip them. However, with this site, you can get rid of all the click-through stuff: Deslided: MLB Draftee Do's and Don'ts: The Minor League Survival Manual - Bleacher Report. "You will become the property of a major league franchise and be shipped off to the minor leagues to begin the crucible that is the road to the show. It will be hard, it will be long, and it will make you wonder why you didn’t stay in school and get your degree. But fear not, new blood; before you pack up your cleats and kiss your mother goodbye, here are some things that will help ease your transition from MLB draftee to minor leaguer."
Former Cy Young winner Bob Welch dies at age 57 - CBSSports.com. "Former Dodgers and Athletics pitcher Bob Welch has died at age 57. According to a Dodgers press release, Welch died Monday night of a heart attack at his home in Seal Beach, Calif."