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Thursday Halolinks: Angels bats go cold in Houston

The frozen bats of the Halos' offense was in the deep, sweltering south. Maybe a move to the frigid north will heat them up.

Bob Levey

I hate to say it, but I just want to turn the page on the last two days.  Add them to the loss column and move on.  Nothing to see here folks, please move along.  Halolinks:

  • This is one of those good-news/bad news things.  The good news; Jered Weaver pitched a good game last night...the bad news; it wasn't good enough: Carter's 2 homers lead Astros over Angels 4-1 - Yahoo Sports, "Angels starter Jered Weaver (15-8) allowed five hits and two runs in six-plus innings for just his second loss since June 16."  This Weaver quote made me wonder, what kind of career would Weaver be having if he pitched in a hitter's park?  Would he be the same Weaver if he played half his games in Colorado?  Astros again soar over Angels - The Orange County Register, "Carter, who also hit a two-run homer in the eighth, now has 13 homers against the Angels, his most against any team, including 11 in the past two seasons. Weaver said he thought Carter got under the ball, but it still easily cleared the short left-field fence at Minute Maid Park. "That’s why I like pitching in Anaheim," Weaver said of his more pitcher-friendly home park. "I thought he mis-hit it, but he’s strong as an ox."
  • Fortunately for the Angels, second place Oakland lost to Seattle in what could be a preview of the Wild Card playoff game: Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics - Recap - September 03, 2014 - ESPN, "If the Seattle Mariners can get into the AL wild card game against Jon Lester and the Oakland Athletics, they'll be plenty confident with King Felix on the mound. Kyle Seager and Corey Hart homered leading off the seventh inning to back Felix Hernandez's stellar start, and the Mariners rallied to beat the A's 2-1 on Wednesday to win the three-game series between playoff contenders."
  • There's a video in this link that shows the play.  What I found interesting was Aybar's reaction to the call.  It was both immediate and very demonstrative, as he KNEW the call was wrong: Scioscia successfully challenges call on pickoff -, "With two outs and Jon Singleton on second base, reliever Jason Grilli turned and threw to Erick Aybar covering the bag. Singleton slid back in and was initially ruled safe, but after Aybar and Grilli's incredulous reactions, Scioscia stormed out of the dugout to discuss the call with the umpire. Moments later, he formally challenged."  One benefit for the umpires that replay is providing is that players no longer go after them when they think the call is wrong, they motion to the dugout letting the manager know to challenge the call and completely ignoring the guys in blue.
  • Speaking of replay, here's an interesting post looking at how well technology handles the replay system: The Physics of Replay Reviews – The Hardball Times, "There was a day when TV broadcasts were simply sent to your set as 30 still pictures every second. Since it takes your eye and brain take longer than a 30th of a second to make sense of the image, the video appears smooth and continuous. Today, the situation is wildly complex. The data your TV gets depends upon whether you collect your signal off the air or from cable/satellite and your provider. The image you see is determined by the software in your set. The still images may be presented at 30 frames a second (fps), 60 fps, or a combination known as "interlaced." The frames are composed of horizontal lines. Interlaced signals are made from every other line of the last image and the rest of the lines from the current image. Bottom line, most cameras produce an image every 60th of a second."
  • On deck: Angels at Twins, Thursday, 5 p.m. - The Orange County Register, "Did you know: Target Field is the last AL ballpark the Angels have not visited this season."  Yes Jeff, I do know this since I live about 2 hours away from Target Field and have yet to see a regular season Angels' game live.  And since they waited until school started up again, I'm going to miss these games for the first time in years.
  • Did I also know: Angels-Twins Preview - Yahoo Sports, "Minnesota (61-78) has won three straight and six of eight at home against the Angels, but was swept in that three-game set at Anaheim in June." Nope.
  • But I have faith in Hector Santiago's new-found brilliance: Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins - September 4, 2014 - Preview, "Santiago, who hasn't gone more than six innings since April, has a 1.19 ERA over his last four starts and will test his hot streak against Minnesota on Thursday. He will also try to extend the Angels' 4 1/2-game lead over the A's in the American League West. In his most recent start, against Miami on Aug. 27, Santiago went 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out six and walking two. With that win, Santiago lowered his WHIP and opponents' batting average over his last four starts to 1.059 and .200, respectively. After beginning the season 0-7, he has not lost since June 15."
  • These segues just keep going, since we're talking about recent pitching brilliance, look who got recognized for their pitching prowess:  Angels' Shoemaker earns double honors - The Orange County Register, "The Angels rookie was chosen American League Pitcher of the Month and Rookie of the Month for August, becoming just the ninth player to win two awards in the same month. "It’s really special," Shoemaker said before Wednesday’s game. "The World Series is the ultimate goal. These little things along the way mean a lot." Shoemaker was 6-1 with a 1.31 ERA in August, a month he finished with a 231/3-inning scoreless streak. Shoemaker, whose next outing will be Friday in Minnesota, is 14-4 with a 3.14 ERA."
  • Playing Up or Down to the Competition - FanGraphs Baseball, "The Angels have won just under half their games against good teams, and they’ve won three-quarters of their games against bad teams. They’ve done what you’d expect, except to an extreme degree. All but two teams have been worse against good opponents than bad opponents. The Reds have been basically even. The Mariners have been freaks. To this point, the Mariners have gone 33-35 against sub-.500 opponents. Yet, they’ve gone 41-28 against superior opponents, and as I write this very sentence, they’re narrowly beating the A’s. The Mariners have a winning-percentage difference of 109 points in the opposite direction from the norm, and they’re separated from second place by more than 100 points. The Mariners would serve as an example of a team that plays up to opponents and down to other opponents. They’ve handled themselves against the A’s, Braves, Royals, and Angels. Within the past couple weeks they’ve lost series to the Phillies and the Rangers."
  • Here's an FYI: More to choose from for postseason roster - FOX Sports, "In the past, players on the 25-man roster as of Aug. 31 were eligible, along with players on the disabled list. The overall restriction was not that severe, however; any player in the organization could replace an injured player. The difference now is that all players on the 40-man roster as of Aug. 31 are eligible. The Pirates, for example, can name outfielder Gregory Polanco to their postseason roster even though they will not recall him from the minors until Tuesday."
  • This is funny, but what really got my attention was who tweeted it--Major League Baseball has their own Twitter account specifically for GIFs.  I find that totally amazing:
  • I like how he's got his fist wrapped around that hot dog and lays his head back like it's the best frickin' hot dog he's every eaten: Large, Half-Naked Dodgers Fan Is Living The Motherf@#king Dream, "Look at this beautiful lug. He went to today's game at Dodger Stadium with just enough clothing to keep him clear of the law, cracked open two Dos Equis tall boys, munched on a hot dog, and soaked up some rays. That's all he did, because that's really all any of us should be doing every single day. This right here is living, kemo sabe."
  • This is BS: Cubs prospect Kris Bryant 'realizing baseball is a business' after not getting September call - Yahoo Sports, "If any single prospect earned a September promotion this season, it was definitely Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. In his first full professional season after being selected second overall in the 2013 draft, Bryant hit a minor-league best 43 homers in 138 games between Double-A and Triple-A. But he wasn't just about the long ball. He also posted a .325 average to go along with a 1.098 OPS."
  • Here are a couple former Angels making the news:
  • Remember when some of us were really disappointed U-Haul didn't re-sign with the Angels?  I know I was one.  I loved the guy when he was here for that short time.  But now the non-signing looks pretty good.  heck, it's not like the club used his roster spot to sign another aging, semi-washed up slugger to a quarter of of a billion dollar contract.  Wait, what?  Yankees’ Teixeira problems similar to Phillies’ Howard dilemma - New York Post, "The Yanks know not even to try to move Teixeira. First, the market is not exactly teeming with teams interested in physically challenged older players with terrible contracts and declining skills. Second, Teixeira has a no-trade clause, and he is not leaving a place in which he has established significant familial, business and personal stakes. So the Yanks — like the Phillies — probably are stuck with their Howard-esque problem. Which is a killer in the waning days of this season gone wrong — plus future seasons, as well. The Yanks actually share troubling similarities with the Phillies: The World Series winners of 2009 and 2008, respectively, tried to hold onto their championship cores to expensive debilitation."
  • And remember Kevin Frandsen?  Don't worry if you don't, his play with the Angels wasn't very memorable, which is why I think it's interesting someone is even asking him any questins at all: Kevin Frandsen doesn’t need ‘all the sabermetric-whatever-crap’ - The Washington Post, "I am SO glad you said that, because it is true," Frandsen said. "It’s baseball. It’s what the best part about it is. All the sabermetric-whatever-crap that you guys, [that] people talk about, you can throw that out the window, because it’s baseball. You get someone hot, you get someone not, whatever, it happens."
  • Poor Pete: Peter Principle -, "Peter Bourjos, one of the worst hitters on the Cardinals, rises to the occasion with a walk-off single as the Cardinals beat the Pirates 1-0 for a three-game sweep. Bourjos went 2 for 3 in the game to raise his batting average to .239."  At least he has this to bask in for a bit.