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HumpLinks: Angels hammering home the wins

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Angels plod forward with pitching and power, as Garret Richards and staff hold the D'backs to a single run, while Pujols and Freese homer across a pair of runs each.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Quick: how many innings has it been since the Angels have scored an earned run driven in by anything other than a home run? Answer below...

But...know now that the answer is pretty bad. The Angels are doing a highwire act right now and managing to stay up on that wire, but the margin of error is slim. Imagine if Erick Aybar doesn't make that first inning play to end a bases loaded threat. This team is surviving. It's hard to complain about survival, certainly, but it's necessary to know that the struggles continue and the search for magic formulas go on.

So, before Scioscia starts making even more unusual moves, eat some links:

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Angels Baseball

We knew this was coming. It had to come some day. Not even the stoic Mike Scioscia could keep this frustration bottled in forever. And yesterday it finally started to ooze out. He is getting vocal and going after instant replay, and he is going off on the New York review crew for getting  the calls wrong even with the evidence in hand. "...you know, again ... when we were in New York, we went over to the (Replay Operations Center) facility and it seems like they have every camera angle, every super slow motion you would need. But again, we’re seeing, in my estimation, too many calls that aren’t reversed. Not only for us, but for the other team, also.He's right. But, of course, it was all predictable. Nothing screws up technology like the way humans use it.............

You know times are tough when we celebrate the fact that David Freese has 10 home runs already on the season, in half the time as it took him in each of the previous 2 seasons.

Sean Newcomb had an interesting outing last night. 6 total runs, 5 earned, in 5 innings pitched...but with 11 strikeouts. The damage really coming in a 5-run 4th inning.  (Sorry, MiLB.com was down for maintenance when I went to link you to the box score and it was incomplete. If it still is, it ain't my fault.)

The Angels second round pick, Jahmai Jones, signed for apparently above slot value, and third round pick Grayson Long signed for slot money of $548,600. (By the way, am I the only one around here who sees the name Grayson and wonders if this is what happened to OUR Grayson???)...............

Hat tip to some Halos, including some Strike Force members. They spent the afternoon visiting hospitalized youngsters at Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). I speak from experience that the medical staff and volunteers who are part of CHOC are true heroes. And that facility is a great way to give community service. Humbling. So any bit of news that LAA is contributing will get a moment of shining recognition from this guy. It's the best hit Matt Joyce has made in months. (Sorry, I couldn't pass that up.)..............

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Hacks: The big news yesterday was the learning that the FBI is investigating the St. Louis Cardinals for breaching the internal computer systems of the Houston Astros and lifting private data. #CardGate. This is a very big deal, and nobody is denying anything. This is the kind of thing that gets people arrested, and due to the nature of the evidence itself - what with it all being digital records and trails that memorialize activity by date, time, location and user accounts - it gets people prison time. That part should be assumed a done deal. The only drama remaining is how many within the Cards' organization, and how high up it goes. There has probably already been some pretty lame attempts as ass-covering and trail erasing, but unless they started that kind of activity before they started their disturbing efforts, it's already too late for ass-covering work. It's likely not the first time a pro franchise has been penetrated, since they are such rich targets, but it probably IS the first time that one franchise went after another. It's too foolish of a data theft and too amateurish of a method to be the kind of thing that goes on secretively...........

More Hacks: I agree. This will be an interesting time to observe how Commissioner Rob Manfred will handle any discipline. Being a Halo fan, you might not want to think about this any further, but in that article Craig Calcaterra does make the correct point that Manfred already did choose to walk away from the obvious potential investigation of the Angels concerning the leakage of Josh Hamilton's trip to New York and the reasons for it, both of which are supposed to be protected information according to the CBA..............

Job Security: Mike Scioscia, 50:1 odds of getting dumped this season. Not very precise, of course, but it IS true that "...I don’t think Mike Scioscia will ever actually go away. He’ll just sort of keep fading away into less and less prominent roles...but Arte Moreno loves Scioscia. I think it would take a complete disaster for Scioscia to get canned…think something like a 90 loss season. That’s not impossible, but it’s not exactly likely either."............

The Thrill is Gone: Yeah, Cal State Fullerton was officially bounced from the College World Series, losing in the losers bracket to LSU 5-3. But they will always be able to go through life convinced that only if there had not been a rain delay while leading the defending champs in the opening game............

Biz of Baseball: I linked yesterday to legal traffic surrounding suits and broadcast rights and coverage. Today we have more progress to report. In what the author suspects may be a reaction to the NHL lawsuit, the NBA has announced plans to sell single-game streaming packages...........

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Bits & Pieces

Yeonis Cespedes remind us, one and all, that when you gotta go, you gotta go................It's pretty great when you get a player who fails to follow the mandatory list of cliches..................There goes Prince Fieldertaking his mind off of baseball and thinking about cake again...........The Phillies go old school. REALLY old school. They tried to call to their bullpen, but the bullpen phone was left off the hook. If you don't know why "off the hook" is a bad thing, please re-position yourself to an alternate location more distant than my lawn..............The American League is not the only All-Star ballot that is messed up.

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FINAL ANSWER

The answer to the quiz up at the top is 36. It's been 36 consecutive innings since the Angels have scored an earned run any way other than via the home run. 8 innings of at-bats last night with all 4 runs coming with HR's. 9 innings on Monday night with all 3 runs being un-earned. 9 innings on Sunday afternoon with the only run being un-earned. 8 innings on Saturday with the only run coming off a 1st inning Albert Pujols homer. That is 34 innings right there. On Friday the Angels scored 2 runs in the 8th, but both were solo home runs. That makes 35 innings. They did not score the inning before, making 36 innings. But the inning before that, the 6th Kole Calhoun singled with nobody out and drove in Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. So that's it. 36 consecutive innings without scoring an earned run any way other than a home run.