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Wednesdasy Halolinks: Bullpen suffers rare breakdown

It was bound to happen, right?

Harry How

It was bound to happen at some point.  The last couple of weeks have been a dream as the Angels pummeled their opponents by doing this: LAA is batting .310 (136/439) with 95 runs scored and 49 XBH their last 12 games…Halos scored seven-or-more runs in eight straight games (Sept. 5-12) to match franchise record set in 1979…Angels lead MLB w/ 737 runs and run differential (+164; 737-573)…In A.L., Halos rank 2nd in AVG (.263), 2nd in OBP (.326), 4th in SLG (.412), 2nd in XBH (464), 2nd in hits (1382) & 3rd in 2Bs (289).  We didn't really think they could keep that up for the remainder of the season did we?  Yeah, I kinda did.

Always looking at the bright side, at least now we'll get a chance to see how this team bounces back after getting their butt kicked.  And read us some Halolinks:

  • As hot as the Halo offense has been lately, the Mariner bats have been cold: Seattle Mariners vs. Los Angeles Angels - Recap - September 16, 2014 - ESPN, "Seattle's moribund offense finally broke through against the Los Angeles Angels' vaunted bullpen, which gave up 10 runs in two innings midway through the game. Mike Zunino's two-run double keyed a four-run fifth, and the Mariners climbed within a game of the second American League wild-card spot by routing the AL West leaders 13-2 on Tuesday night. Seattle broke it open with six runs in the sixth. The 13 runs tied a season high and were one fewer than the Mariners had in their previous eight games combined."
  • I was a little perplexed as to why Rasmus was taken out of the game after the 4th inning.  He seemed to be cruising right along, and with Wilson starting Wednesday night, another inning out of Rasmus would save an arm for Wilson's typically short 110-pitch, 5 inning outing.  Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels - September 16, 2014 - MLB.com LAA Recap, "With Shoemaker hurt, and inconsistency from C.J. Wilson and Hector Santiago, the Angels may need to stretch Rasmus in the last few weeks of the season to give the club another pitcher with length, and, possibly, a playoff starter. Rasmus has never thrown more than 51 pitches and hadn't recorded 12 outs until Tuesday. "He threw the ball as well as you could throw the ball, there's no doubt about it," Scioscia said. "There's an endpoint for him right now and he was there. … He did exactly what we wanted him to do, getting 12 outs and getting to a point in the game with the lead."  Yep, it was a predetermined decision, made prior to actual events happening on the field. Twelve outs appears to be the limit regardless of the game situation.  I curious as to how Scioscia would have handled the situation had Rasmus' pitch count been in the 30's rather than the 40's.  Bullpen fails in loss to Mariners, but Angels' magic number falls to 2 - The Orange County Register, "Rasmus seemed to have enough in his arm to at least start Tuesday’s fifth inning, having thrown only 11 balls in 43 pitches. He said he told Scioscia he wanted to continue after the fourth. Scioscia said Rasmus was "pretty gassed," but he was still going to leave him in for a batter or two until the Angels’ half of the fourth went long. "At the end of the day, it's their decision," Rasmus said."  As Gorbachav5 mentioned in the postgame write-up, we'd be bitching about Scioscia had he left Rasmus in the game and he gave up the lead.
  • Things keep going south for Oakland: Rangers-Athletics Preview - Yahoo Sports, "With a loss Wednesday and a win by the first-place Los Angeles Angels, Oakland (83-67) would be left with the wild card as its only route to the postseason. A loser in 23 of 34, the A's hold a one-game lead over Kansas City and are two ahead of Seattle in that race. Oakland had won seven of the previous nine from major league-worst Texas (58-92) before Scott Kazmir allowed six runs in 4 1-3 innings and the A's made two more errors during a 6-3 loss Tuesday."
  • I respect eclou's comments about his friend C.J. Wilson, but I'm wondering...if Wilson is so smart, why does he keep doing dumb things?  If he has a gameplan when he pitches and it fails, why doesn't he change the plan?  On deck: Mariners at Angels, Wednesday, 7 p.m. - The Orange County Register, "LHP C.J. WILSON (12-9, 4.61) This Wilson start took on a lot more intrigue when Matt Shoemaker went down because of an injury, because Wilson became a lot more important to the Angels’ postseason rotation. He was probably slated to start anyway – four starters are typically needed – but without Shoemaker, Wilson might be the No. 2 guy behind Jered Weaver."  Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels - September 17, 2014 - MLB.com Preview, "Wilson, meanwhile, has been largely pedestrian for the Angels, with a 4.61 ERA on the season, the sixth-highest ERA among qualifying AL starters. Over his last four starts, Wilson has a 5.75 ERA and 1.82 WHIP but is coming off back-to-back victories. With a depleted starting rotation, the Angels could use a deep start from Wilson, who hasn't finished seven innings in nearly three months. In his start on Friday, Wilson needed 108 pitches to record 15 outs as his offense picked him up with a seven-run fifth inning."
  • Today must be video day:
  • Shoemaker update: Angels' Matt Shoemaker to bypass one start - LA Times, "Asked whether he thinks he'll be ready for the postseason, Shoemaker, who is 16-4 with a 3.04 earned-run average and has been the team's second-best starter behind Jered Weaver, said, "Very optimistically, yeah." But even moderate oblique strains can sideline pitchers for four to six weeks. Recovery times vary depending on the severity of the strain and how quickly a player heals. And pitching with any kind of oblique strain can be very painful."  Angels' Shoemaker optimistic, but he'll miss at least one start - The Orange County Register, "Shoemaker said he was confident he would recover for the playoffs. "Definitely, that’s the plan, if not sooner," he said. Scioscia seemed a little more worried. The manager acknowledged having a "very elevated level of concern" after Monday’s game. But he said Tuesday the concern decreased after an MRI showed only a mild strain. "The news obviously could have been a lot worse," Scioscia said. "We’ll hopefully be better able to evaluate this in another 3-4 days." The oblique muscles are located on the body’s side, near the ribcage. They help create torque in throws. When strained by pitchers, they typically need about a month to heal and can take 6-8 weeks."
  • It's not how hard you can hit, it's how hard you get hit and keep moving forward: Mariners-Angels Preview - Yahoo Sports, "There's no guarantee Shoemaker - whose 16 wins are a franchise rookie record - will be able to pitch in the postseason, with manager Mike Scioscia saying his return will be dictated strictly by his healing and not by the club's situation. Los Angeles already lost ace Garrett Richards last month due to a torn patellar tendon and Tyler Skaggs earlier to Tommy John surgery. "You have to move forward, you have to keep pitching and you have to keep getting outs," Scioscia told MLB's official website."
  • Or you can act like Chicken Little: Miller: Hey, Angels fans, it's time to panic - The Orange County Register, "If Shoemaker joins Garrett Richards on the sidelines for the postseason, it requires very little imagination to envision this team finishing with baseball’s best record and then being the first ones eliminated in the divisional round. Think about it. Without Shoemaker, if the Angels lose their first game behind, presumably, Jered Weaver, they could be candidates to be swept, regardless of who they’re playing."
  • Good news/bad news.  Good news: Hamilton's healthy.  Bad News:  Hamilton's healthy.  Hamilton returns early; Pujols in lineup at first - angels.com, "Hamilton started as the No. 6 hitter for the first time this season, with hot-hitting Howie Kendrick (.457 in his last 11 games) taking his place as the cleanup hitter. Scioscia didn't say how long Hamilton would be slotted there in the lineup. "I think we can adjust a lot of different ways if we get Josh swinging the bat to his capabilities," Scioscia said. "You have a lot of different looks you can get and we'll be a deeper lineup whether he's hitting in the cleanup spot or fifth or sixth."
  • Good Guy C.J.: Wilson named Angels' Clemente Award nominee - angels.com, ""C.J.'s impact in the community goes far beyond the game of baseball," Angels chairman Dennis Kuhl said in a statement. "We are proud of how he continues to represent the Angels on and off the field and are proud to nominate him for this award to honor his contributions throughout the Southern California community."7c879af3a5199426b8a4ac00aa778d6fff82acb2_medium
  • This is awesome.  Really.  Check it out.Bryan Cranston's one-man baseball show spoof is very funny - Yahoo Sports, "The premise of the videol is that Cranston's new project is a one-man show in which he portrays the entire American League playoffs without so much as a cameo appearance from a co-star. The video that follows includes Cranston imitating everything from Babe Ruth calling his shot before homering, to Derek Jeter's backhand flip throw, to Carl Yastrzemski's dramatic home run, to Kirk Gibson's famous World Series home run trot. "

  • This link shows Giancarlo Stanton's face.  It's a nice face, except for the blood and swelling.  Photo by giancarlo818