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Thursday Halolinks: Baserunning mistakes take their toll

The Angels lead the league in base-outs, but they continue to run.

Stephen Dunn

The other day, and don't ask me why, I was watching the Angel game on the Chicago feed.  Of course, when you watch the alternate feed you get the alternate announcers, and in this case that would be Hawk Harrelson.  However, in this instance he actually said something that I thought was interesting.  To paraphrase, "A team is going to win 60 games and lose 60 games.  It's what happens in those remaining 42 games that make the difference."  He went to mention that the Sox were something-and-something so far in those 42 games.  How he determines which games belong in which category wasn't explained, but I'm sure he has some sort of magical formula.  If I had access to Hawk's formula, I'm sure Wednesday night's game would have fallen into the "games that make a difference" column.  Until the ninth inning, last night's game was winnable for the Halos...that is until they started making avoidable mistakes.  I don't know what the Angels' record is in the "deciding 42" games this season, but you can put last night's game on the board. Yes.  Halolinks:

  • One of the things I was most proud of about the Angels was their baserunning.  Remember when they used to lead the league going first-to-third, putting pressure on the opposing teams' defense?  Yeah, it looks like the club is regressing to the mean: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - June 11, 2014 -  "It got away from them, mostly, because of more baserunning mistakes. The Angels now lead the Majors with 28 outs on the bases. And at least nine of them have come within their last four games against the A's, with six taking place over the course of this three-game series. "It's going to go in cycles," Scioscia said. "Sometimes, it seems like you run into some in bunches, and sometimes you create some things on the bases. But we're going to stay aggressive and hopefully get the good reads. We lost some guys on the bases in this series." Scioscia didn't believe poor baserunning ultimately cost the Angels a victory in the series finale, but it certainly didn't help matters."
  • Albert Pujols went 2-for-4 Wednesday night, but it was his first multihit game since May 24th.  Angels' Weaver again has trouble with the A's - The Orange County Register.  "Albert Pujols had two hits but made the ill-advised decision to challenge Cespedes’ arm on a sixth-inning double. The lumbering 34-year-old tried to get to third once Cespedes bobbled it and was thrown out by several feet. Scioscia defended the decision."  It's his job to defend the decision, don't make it right.
  • You know what?  If Albert Pujols were hitting .320 with 20 HR, these baserunning mistakes wouldn't be a big deal.  In fact, I bet we'd be happy to see the big guy showing some hustle: Outfield defense propels A's past Angels - Yahoo Sports.  "It was no fun for Angels fans to watch Pujols get thrown out at third in the sixth inning with their team down by three runs, especially when the memory of Cespedes' throw Tuesday was so fresh in everybody's minds. Pujols also ran through a stop sign and was thrown out at the plate in Tuesday's game. "I do believe Albert is trying to create some things because I know nobody feels worse than Albert when he's not swinging the way he can and contributing to the team," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "And I do think on the bases at times he's trying to help us in any way he can. At times he's created some stuff and at times he's run into outs. But he's playing hard, he's playing aggressive, and that's what our team is about."
  • You know how Oakland has that huge run differential and the Angels' is just "meh".  Here's one of the reasons: MLB Recap - Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - Jun 11, 2014 -  "Oakland LHP Fernando Abad has stranded all 14 of his inherited baserunnners, while Angels RHP Fernando Salas has allowed all nine of his inherited runners to score".  Read that again.
  • This is kinda funny: A's Yoenis Cespedes defies odds with another rocket throw -  "Earlier in the game, Crisp made a highlight-reel play of his own, skying over the center-field fence to take a home run away from Josh Hamilton to lead off the bottom of the second. It came so close to going out that a small batch of red fireworks shot out of the rock pile in center field, prompting Crisp to turn around and deploy a finger-wag that was notorious with a former NBA center. "They popped the fireworks, suggesting it was a home run," Crisp said. "So I gave them a [Dikembe] Mutombo."
  • Within this notes post is the following paragraph on the Angels' draft: Angels sign 14 Draft picks, five of top 10 -  "The Angels have signed 14 of their 40 selections from last week's First-Year Player Draft, including five of their first 10 picks, but none of their first three. First-round pick Sean Newcomb, a left-handed pitcher from the University of Hartford, and second-rounder Joe Gatto, a right-hander from St. Augustine Prep in New Jersey, are among those remaining unsigned. Newcomb was the 15th-overall selection, which has a slot value of $2,475,600. While Gatto, as the 53rd-overall selection, is slotted at $1,050,600. The Angels selected 22 pitchers and 18 position players in the 2014 Draft. Thirty-seven of their picks were from colleges and three were in high school."
  • This is pretty cool:
  • The Grand Slam: Kendrys Morales signing already paying off for Twins - Yahoo Sports.  "Morales singled and doubled twice to raise his early average to .462. Among the hits was a knockout blow in the seventh inning. With the bases loaded, Morales smacked a double to center field that cleared the bags and extended Minnesota's lead to 6-0. A gorgeous swing with a better result that had manager Ron Gardenhire fawning from the dugout.  ''Pretty amazing,'' Gardenhire said. ''It doesn't look like he hasn't played in a long time.''
  • Not to say I'm unhappy with the Angels' season so far, but in the "It could be worse" department: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Tampa Bay Rays - Recap - June 11, 2014 - ESPN.  "Desmond Jennings had a two-run single during a four-run fourth inning and the Rays snapped a club-record 31-inning scoring drought en route to beating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 Wednesday night."
  • Garrett Richards is the best starter on the Halo pitching staff: Current Cy Young Tracker