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MondoLinks: Angels momentum yanked away.

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What started out as a 2-game blip after a 5-game winning streak, has turned into a 5-game losing streak. These guys need a break. I am ordering them to take the day off.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Not much to say. The offense returned to normal (2015 normal, that is) and the pitching took a funk. Weaver, Richards and Wilson all got clocked, and this weekend went a lot worse than the last one (when the Halos were the ones wielding the brooms). Those three gave up 20 earned runs in 13.1 innings of work over the 3 games. Weak offense and bad starting pitching? I'm surprised that they managed to only lose 3.

(Brief note: You know that C.C. Sabathia got himself ejected after the 6th inning by arguing balls and strikes on his way to the dugout? And that his outburst ended up taking out manager Joe Girardi, too? Yeah, well, this is the at-bat that Sabathia was whining about. Greedy bastard.)

Link me away from all this:

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Angels Baseball

Upcoming Series:

Los Angeles AngelsTampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FLA.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
TUESDAY 4:10 PM PDT Matt Shoemaker (3-4, 5.08 ERA) versus Nate Karns 3-2, 3.63 ERA) FSW,
WEDNESDAY 4:10 PM PDT Jered Weaver (4-5, 4.60 ERA) versus Erasmo Ramirez (4-2  5.10 ERA) FSW
THURSDAY 4:10 AM PDT Garrett Richards (5-4, 4.14 ERA) versus (TBA) FSW

From the official team Game Notes: "Rays took two of three last week at Angel Stadium…LAA claimed 2014 series 5-2 (3-1 at home)… Halos captured the 2013 season series (4-3) a year after dropping nine of 10 to Rays…Halos are 48-30 all-time at home vs. TB."

One of the fun things about baseball analysis, the kind that comes trouble-free of empirical data and quantitative study, is that being so unencumbered generates many meaningless cliches wrapping loosely around the obvious. For example, when Mike Scioscia, Chris Iannetta, Mike Trout and C.J. Wilson were quoted after yesterday's game, we were enlightened with such insightful discoveries as: "We need to step up our game...We need to play more consistent baseball if we're going to reach our goal... some guys just haven't hit stride...that's something we need to pay a lot of attention to..."  and "The guys on the mound have been doing a really great job, just this week has been a little bit off. You're going to have that over the course of the season, but we need to put it together on the offensive side" and "We've been facing some great pitchers the last couple of days, weeks, and had some tough matchups. But we can't make excuses. We have to perform, win games" and "We have to just dig deep and execute the fundamentals... we have to execute the fundamentals like moving the runners over and stuff like that. You're going to get your homers from an offense like that, but you can't just rely on homers".  I feel so much smarter now about the game of baseball. I should write a daily column or something. I just have to watch, like, 4,000 more games.

More merry-go-round, giving Dipoto something to do over the weekend.  Grant Green was sent back to Salt Lake, and Drew Rucinski was called up..............The official position of this move is to add some bullpen depth when Garrett Richards failed to make it out of the 1st inning on Saturday and drained some arms in the pen to cover the rest of the game. But with only one game (Sunday) across ~72 calendar hours, I have to wonder. Anyway, Grant Green is the guy with the issues: "  'I don’t know if there were many projected at-bats for Greenie, just like there might not be for Efren,' Manager Mike Scioscia said Sunday. 'Where we are right now, Green needs to go down and swing. Well re-evaluate this thing every 10 days and see where we are.' "  Swinging baseball bats gives baseball players something to do, as well.............

There is more to the story of falling attendance in Anaheim than I pegged last week. And I am not even talking about the incredibly poor public relations awareness displayed by the Angels' Vice President of Marketing. Apparently they no longer teach public relations to people who need to specialize in marketing - to the public! ("We may not be reaching as many of the people on the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder, but those people, they may enjoy the game, but they pay less, and we’re not seeing the conversion on the per-caps. In doing so, the ticket price that we’re offering those people, it’s not like I can segregate them, because I’m offering it up to the public, and I’m basically downselling everybody else in order to accommodate them") Nope, Fangraphs dove a little further into the numbers and they look even more sour.  From last year to this, only the Phillies and Rangers are seeing bigger declines. Over the last month, only the Rays and Rockies. Oh, wait a second. Aren't the Rays and Rockies ALSO two  of the teams that have the most significant impact on attendance when they travel? And haven't the Angels had to host BOTH of those teams? Maybe the part that is sour has more than a little to do with the soft inner goo that is the 2015 home schedule?

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Elsewhere in Baseball

The MLB Draft begins today, running through Wednesday. preview show on MLB Network starts at 3PM PDT today, with the first round coverage starting at 4PM PDT. MLB Draft Central online can be found here. On Tuesday, when the 3rd round begins, coverage starts at 10AM PDT. The Angels draft last in the 1st round, by way of the outcome in 2014 which must seem so mysterious now...back when the outcomes of games ended in victory far more often than in defeat. Witchcraft or necromancy or some such. A couple of other fun facts: before the draft order gets regular in Round 4, after Compensation Picks and Competitive Balance Picks and the Supplemental Round, there will be 105 players selected. Out of those 105, Atlanta will get the most, with 6. Colorado, St. Louis, and the Dodgers each will have 5. The Angels will have 3. The Nationals will have only 1.............

What are the odds that the Braves will have completely built an entirely new stadium, SunTrust Park, in less time than it takes the people of Chicago to upgrade a scoreboard and some bleachers?............

This past Friday night, a shard from a broken bat struck a fan in the close seats at Fenway Park. When it first happened, it did not look good.  In fact, the first responders were taking actions indicating that they didn't think the fan was likely to survive. Fans nearby were shocked at the violence but, thankfully, news is that the fan will survive. So that is pretty scary stuff there. It's the kind of thing that even paying attention might not do you much good if you are the target. You don't just "catch" a broken length of wood spinning randomly through the air at it hurtles your way. And ducking merely exposes other organs, or your neighbors, to the incoming abuse. It turns out that, of all things, players have been aware of this issue for some time now, lobbying owners to address the risk going back to at least 2007. It's important to remember that even though fans have been sitting close like that for decades, bat shattering is much higher these days than it was decades ago.............

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Bits and Pieces

I can tell you, from first-hand experience, that when the Be The Match people swab you and enter you into the Bone Marrow Donor database, they don' t spend a lot of time gong into the details should you get tabbed as a match. For this young college player, being matched up cost him the back half of his senior season, and MLB will be honoring him at the 2015 MLB Draft. Good for him, I say, good for him............Detroit is also struggling, and they need to pull it together or tear it apart? Yeah, we know how they feel............This would be perfect, even though it would really hurt in Anaheim. The Astros restocked heaveily, so they have resources. Trade depth and low payroll. And now, when their success is high, it's the best time to put your foot on the necks of your opponents. Adding Cole Hamels to the Houston roster would do exactly that...........This is how it's done, LAA Marketing dudes and dudettes who keep rehashing promo ideas from the 90's. Jurassic Park night!.............Pat Venditte was called up by Oakland as a relief pitcher, and uses a special glove to get guys out ambidextrously.  It's not a novelty. He is good. So good he needs his own rule............Don't mess with the Pirates when Michael Keaton is in the house!............You are right. Dodgers Stadium really does stink...........