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HumpLinks: Anaheim bats are the silent killer

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Angel offense whimpers the night away. And in their silence, another strong pitching start was killed. Keep this up, and soon so will be our hopes.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Boy, I would really like to blame Joe Smith for imploding so bad and giving up 4 runs on only 2 outs late in last night's game. But that would make me think that losing was Smith's fault. It was not. Despite the fact that it will be everybody's focus (and despite the OBVIOUS fact that "8th-inning Smith" pitched TWO innings just 24 hours before). Those 4 runs came in the 10th inning of a 10-inning game where the LA Angel offense amassed exactly zero runs across 30 outs. 5 measly base hits in 10 innings of work. 3 of those batters, including the player DESIGNATED to be the team HITTER in the lineup (Marc Krauss), are hitting below the Mendoza line and all three watched their average plummet further as they (Matt Joyce, Chris Iannetta and Krauss) went a combined 0 for 10. Frankly, Mario Mendoza would be a major boon to the production coming from the bottom half of this lineup.

The Halo pitchers held the Padres scoreless for 9 innings. That should have been enough. For an offense that considers itself a playoff team, that should have been more than enough.

Here, have some links:

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Ah, The Averages, Lords of Baseball. They seduce one and all with the attractive power of proven history. Time, drawn out long and languid, piles up high the arguments in favor of allowing The Averages to run their course. Because they always have, and always will. And there is comfort to be had by climbing into the welcoming arms of Averages, leaving to them the responsibilities that come from actual results. Thus it is with Albert Pujols.  "'But what can I do?  All I can do is just keep fighting, man, and continue to do my work. As long as I'm putting good swings, I'm not concerned about it. And I'm doing that. If I'm rolling over and striking out, that's when you need to be concerned. When I'm hitting line drives, hitting balls hard, putting good swings on the ball, there's nothing I can do.'"  The lesson of Mike Napoli has been lost already...........Or, they could do as I do, and spend time scouring the Internet for what's happening and learn a thing or two from the Pirates about fixing their offense by simply taking what pitchers are giving them.

If there is One Great Truth about fans of the Angels, it is that the bulk of the base is far less inclined to show up for a vote. Any vote. This is especially true with All-Star voting, and always has been. To compare, just look at what is being done by the nouveau riche of Kansas City, who are overwhelming the ASG voting process with the mid-western bandwagon. 5 of the 9 starters, which would mean 5 of the 8 position players, are lining up to come from the Royals.  Get the Royals out of the cellar, and their base swells and swells with rabid enthusiasts willing to take action. Compare that to how many years we have whined about deserving Angels being snubbed, both in down years AND in up years. And, if one pays particular attention to the contributors here, and how we come from so many places other than Orange County, one cannot blame the great sun and surf and skiiing of Southern California for the lackadaisical support. So hats off to Royals fans, putting their clicking fingers where their mouths are.

Payback is a bitch. As Mike Trout now knows. Hit it harder next time, kid............

Alden Gonzalez notes that last night was the 4th time already this season that the Halo offense has posted goose eggs, whereas last season they got skunked only 3 times all year...........

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It surely must be a sign of petulance when one's first instinct (Bryce Harper Bryce Harper) upon hitting a fly ball that will eventually leave the park, is to pout about it before one knows the outcome (Bryce Harper Bryce Harper)..........

Dallas Braden cheated when he was a player. He has admitted as much, because (according to Braden) opposing batters were very grateful that he was cheating on behalf of their safety. Note, for the sake of knowledge alone, that he pitched against the Angels more than any other team, and he was only 2 and 6............

Grab your popcorn, ladies and gents, baseball insiders are coming out, taking potshots at Miami Marlins GM Dan Jennings naming himself as manager, and not knowing how to do that particular job............

Yeah, "killing the win" as a stat is a dialog that needs to just go away, because the reality of the situation is that this is one particular stat that is never going away. Never. And even the players know it better than many...........

If you are thinking that it is only a matter of time before the Angels snap out of it and catch the Astrosyou may want to stay focused on Houston's outstanding bullpen............

Uni-watch made a nice catch. Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross is now using an NFL quarterback-styled wrist cheat-sheet to help call the game...........

If things were to continue on the way they have gone so far, the grand Billy Beane Overture that played out in the offseason will have resulted in the A's being eliminated from any chance of taking the AL West title a few days before August is even over. That defines loser. So it's only fitting that they represent the only team in MLB that couldn't even get their Memorial Day uniform merchandise correct...........

OT, but still fun: The Angels' neighbors to the north, across the tragically dry riverbed, are in the hunt for a title themselves. The Ducks are closing in on a spot in the NHL Stanley Cup. They have shed their duck mask. They have shed their colors. They have shed the original name of their arena. But they cannot shed their roots, for their roots still know how to quack. Loudly.

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