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MondoLinks: Angels meet Seattle as AL West title nears

The Magic Number is 4. But that just means tonight is not going to be the clincher. And it increases the chances, ever so slightly, that the clincher comes Thursday with Weaver and King Felix battling on the mound. What game are you targeting?

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Weekend-recap_medium

While you were away...

The Halos went into the weekend sporting a magic Number of 7, and came out of the weekend having whittled that number down to 4. Up ahead, 4 games against Seattle, capped off by a potential Jered Weaver versus Felix Hernandez extravaganza on Thursday, while Oakland takes on a Texas Rangers team that somehow managed to sweep a 75-win Braves team. For those of you who are not local to Southern California, the weather here is threatening to hold on to the upper 90's through Wednesday, before then dropping back into the 80's. yesterday, the forecast was for rain Thursday night into Friday, but as of now that has been completely erased.

So just think "hot". The weather is hot, baseball is hot, the playoff race is hot, and the Angels are hot Red hot.

Friday night the concluding series between Houston and the Halos opened with the Halos absolutely obliterating the Astros,  11 - 3, and it wasn't nearly that close. The 'stros did have a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the 4th, but then they made the mistake of taking the field. Over the next 9 outs, the Angels would score 9 runs. Several players would have a multi-hit game, but one particular weekend feature player - Mike Trout - had a double and a triple. Remember that name.

Saturday night was a much tighter affair. This game would end with a 5-2 victory as Weaver struck out 12 and held the Astros a single earned run on only 4 hits and 1 lonely walk over 7 full innings. That's ripping Houston lumber to shreds, there. AL's first 17-game winner!  Meanwhile, the Angels began the scoring in the bottom of the first when Trout, in his initial at-bat, launched a 3-2 pitch into the right field fun zone seats for a home run and a 1-0 lead. Mike then came right back up in the bottom of the 3rd, and rocketed a 1-1 pitch to deep center, just grazing the top of the hedge past the wall for a 2-0 lead. that would be Trout's 33rd and 34th home runs on the year.to go with 107 RBI's. But we are not finished. Trout would come back up again in the 5th and double up a 1-2 pitch to left field. This would earn Mike the amazing honor of being gifted an intentional walk when he returned to the plate in the 7th. This was with runners on 1st and 3rd and only 1 out. So intermin Houston manager Tom Lawless chose to walk the bases loaded, putting Mike trout on base AND a runner into scoring position, that he could face Albert Pujols and pray for a double play. This (giggle) did not turn out to be the best plan. Pujols drew a walk, bringing in 1 run. Howie Kendrick then was next to do the honors by stroking a nice single to left, bringing in a second run. And Erick Aybar wrapped things up by bringing in run represented by Trout and the IBB, with an infield ground out to shortstop that had zero chance to get any blazing Trout at home. That gave the Angels 5 and 4. 5 runs to win the game, and 4 elimination games to win the AL West.

Then on Sunday afternoon the Angels winning streak, now at 10, melted into the baked clay of Anaheim. The Angels would lose 6-1 as Dallas Keuchel when Keuchel would take a perfect game into the 6th inning only to lose it by walking Chris Iannetta. But he was still at the minimum and running a no-hitter when he took the mound in the 7th. He would lose that no-hit bid to... Mike Trout single. Oh well.combined with a rare Oakland win, Sunday dropped the A's magic number to a mere 12. Which is supposed to freak me out or something ,I guess, but I might be mistaking that value as the number of excuses that Oakland Fans are scrambling to invent.

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Elsewhere in the Heavens of Anaheim: Let's call it out: Howie Kendrick has been an offensive juggernaut in September.  He is batting .434, and going into the Sunday game his month has already been 23 hits and 14 RBI, wiht a Slugging Percentage of .725 and an OPS of 1.216, scoring 12 times himself.............Yet another reason why we need to clinch this thing: Josh Hamilton is getting closer to returning to the lineup. And Mike Scioscia is excited about this (urp)...........By the way, across the entirety of the history of the franchise, the current win tally of 93 ranks 6th in all time achievements. In 2007 the Halos won 94, in 2005 it was 95 wins, in 2009 it was 97 wins, in 2002 it was 99 wins, and the all-time record was set in 2008 with the only three-digit season in LAA history: 100 wins even. Sosh, however, is non-plussed..........Kole Calhoun is the secret weapon of Fangraphs, They keep recommending that fantasy players "grab him", again and again, despite "uninspiring" tools of his Prospect handbook writeup..........Matt Shoemaker"Rookie Rampage", and this year's beard meme.............Interesting. I wonder why it is that a 2014 conversation with Mike Scioscia is "animated", when the subject of that conversation is Mike Trout as MVP??

Around Baseball: We should probably forget about being a player in the sweepstakes to sign Yasmani Tomas. $100 million is the potential price. The silence you will probably hear would be the muffling power of salary burdens at the top end of Arte Moreno's wallet...........The A's just set up their rotation to put Lester on the mound for any WC play-in game...........Jonathan Papelbon meets cosmic justice. H sucks. He sucks for the Phillies. He sucks for the Phillies right in front of Philly fans. Philly fans dish it out, and Papelbon has to take it, over and over and over again...until he snaps. And even that now costs him!...............Bummer.Phil Hughes could possibly lose out on a $500,000 bonus, because of Mother Nature...........

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Moreno-Carpino Shame Update

148 games lost to the opportunity of remembrance, sharing our 2014 journey with the legacy of one of our earliest warriors.
1 game set aside for honor.
13 more games to be added to the "Lost" list.

Here is a close-up of the official patch, worn for a few hours for one game.

Our patch is HERE. All cotton, embroidered, iron-on. And they are free with a SASE. Just email your request to me and join your fellow HH'ers in the campaign. Or, do as DowningRules did, and join me for lunch and get them in person!

Fregosi-patch-2_medium