That is the number of days that had passed between the night that Fernando Salas did that, and last night when Fernando Salas did this. I don't know what to make of it. In that time, the earth and all of us on it have traveled 480 million miles. But Mike Scioscia's brain appears to have moved not one inch. One might think that in all that opportunity he would have dialed himself up a clue. I guess not.
Right now it feels like the Angels are not as good as the Royals, nor as good as the Astros. Not over the long haul. But if the team can get into the playoffs, and be as hot for the first three weeks of October as they were for the first three weeks of July, we won't be riding on a razor's edge where tactical decisions are a fraction of the import and everything will be simply...awesome. So. 300. Halo fans, ready your breakfast and eat hearty...
The Upcoming Series:
Los Angeles Angels @ Los Angeles Dodgers - Dodger Stadium, CA.
|7:10 PM PDT
|Hector Santiago (7-4, 2.43 ERA) versus Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 2.51 ERA)
|1:05 PM PDT
|Andrew Heaney (5-0, 1.79 ERA) versus Zack Greinke (9-2, 1.37 ERA)
|1:10 PM PDT
|C. J. Wilson (8-8, 3.89 ERA) versus (TBA)
Mike Trout: Yes, Trout was back in the lineup yesterday. Probably shouldn't have rushed it, since he wasn't particularly Troutish with a walk, a groundout, a popout and a strikeout. He admitted that his wrist bothered him a couple of times, and it's still not healed............
Jered Weaver: Weaver made a rehab start with the Inland Empire 66er's last night. Remember that this is a High A ball team. Weaver went 3 2/3 and yielded 3 hits, 2 walks and 1 unearned run against 2 K's. An expert review of his performance suggests that he needs more work. Then again, maybe that's all he's got left............
Still Pissy: Alden Gonzalez is still looking down his nose at Angels fans, maintaining an air of superior insight as he points to the Astros obtaining Carlos Gomez and the price that Houston had to pay.
Look at what was just given up for Carlos Gomez, & you'll get an indication why the Angels opted to address their lineup with platoon guys.
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) July 31, 2015
This is correct inasmuch as it points out why the Angels are not dealing to keep up with their competitors this month. But it completely misses the bigger point about WHY the Angels have to lag behind. And that point is still fair game. Houston paid for Scott Kazmir, Carlos Gomez, Mike Fiers and an international signing slot with 6 players out of their system. Only 1 of those, Domingo Santana who came to Houston via trade back in 2011, is a player that was not available to the Angels on some draft day. The Angels - and yes this was on Jerry Dipoto's watch - could have drafted every one of the other 5 guys that were used as payment for Kazmir/Gomez/Fiers. Those names were of sufficient value to Oakland and Milwaukee to warrant the exchanges, and they could have been ours. Teams get depth not just by having high draft picks, but also by using well those picks that they have. Houston is rewarded for being better in the draft than LAA, and that remains a worthy thing to be complaining about as our competitors raise their battlements against us. Sosh notices it, so it's perfectly fine for us to notice it, too.........
Matt Shoemaker: Shoemaker kicked some serious ass last night. One way to look at baseball is to realize that the Astros drained their talent pool in order to fetch a pitcher equally as good as the guy we are about to stash away in our bullpen............
Elsewhere in Baseball
Business of Baseball: Big TV contracts are still flowing. The Cards just inked a deal with Fox Sports Midwest for $1 billion for 15 years worth of rights, commencing in 2018. If you are smart enough to be worried about he gap between the organization skills of your favored franchise and those of the Cardinals, you are smart enough to be freaking out about this promise form the Cards: "It has a nice increase in rights fees as well as the equity component and as a whole it will allow us to remain as competitive as we have been with our payroll, with our spending in the international markets, with our activity in amateur markets and other ways we have invested in development. We have certainty going forward."..........
Musical Chairs: Remember just one year ago, when David Price was the guy who, by coming over from Tampa Bay, suddenly made the Detroit Tigers a World Series Favorite? That dude does smile a lot for carrying such a heavy burden everywhere he goes............That whole thing about the Mets backing out of the Gomez deal with Milwaukee because of medical reports, the one that broke the heart of Wilmer Flores? Yeah, it's more like the Mets really backed out because of money. Shocking, I know..........Anyway, since Gomez was back on the market, we might as while add to the incredibly deep talent pile gathering in the AL West, right? Thus the Astros nabbed him away from Milwaukee. (I'm not wishing an injury on anybody, but I do think it would make this story even more amazing if Gomez were to now get hurt.).........The Giants finally showed up...........The Pirates needed to balance out the humorous mistake of buying Joe Blanton from the Royals, by beating the Cards to the punch and fetching Joakim Soria at the fire sale happening in Detroit.............All this activity, even Jeopardy! can't keep up..........
Ack!: Back in 2009 a bunch of people - all highly intelligent, exhaustively informed, and brutally motivated - gathered together in conclaves around the country and fought tenaciously to select the very best possible talent prospects available. Those blessed with the first picks had the most incredible opportunity to be right AND the most incredible opportunity to be the biggest screwups. This was the year that 21 teams failed to select Mike Trout. The Nats filed twice, but by taking Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen it can at least be said that they didn't fail. But the Mariners. Oh, the mariners. The M's chose, at pick #2, Dustin Ackley. Heady times, back then in Seattle. 3 years later Mike Trout was in the middle of his RoY season where he would earn 10.8 bWAR. Yesterday, the Mariners shipped Ackley and his career bWAR of 8.2 out of town altogether by trading him to the Yankees..........
Rain Delay: Some of you will recall how I often poke fun at the silliness of the LAA grounds crew because of how ill-prepared they can be to deal with actual rain. I witnessed it personally. The problem I witnessed was how they were slow to run out the tarp and when that happens the tarp becomes too heavy to manage as it gets covered with rainwater. Well, lacking a video that actual event, we have a showcase example from the Padres Mets game yesterday....A more hilarious version of this example is over at Deadspin....And the rest of this story is epic. The Mets were actually winning 7-5 in the top of the 9th with 2 outs against the Padres. The Pads had runners on 1st and 2nd and Justin Upton came to the plate. With lots of ways to get that last out and win the game and flee the rain, the umpiring crew let them play on to get that last out instead of delaying. Justin immediately screwed everything up by slamming a 3-run homer on the first pitch to put the visiting team ahead 8-7, forcing everybody to figure out how to play the now-required final frame..........
OMNI: Red Sox fans are the worst...........Mike Trout is happy he chose the sport of baseball to exploit with that linebacker body of his. Can't say as I would blame him...........Yasiel Puig has come to the conclusion that when he plays baseball video games instead of soccer video games, he performs better in real baseball games............Just wonderin', but why have we yet to see more of this in Major League Baseball? We certainly have enough broadcasts to leverage..........Look what happens when you ask Google who makes the decisions in Anaheim!..........
This Date In Baseball History: 1897 - John Grimes sets the all-time MLB record by hitting 6 batters in the same 9-inning game. Grimes doesn't last long, appearing in only 2 more outings in his 1-year career..........1908 - Fred Tenney of the New York Giants steals 2nd base as part of a hoped-for double steal. But the runner on 3rd base, Luther "Dummy" Taylor, remains at 3rd when Tenney fails to draw a throw. Frustrated, Tenney promptly steals 1st base, so that he can try it again! A few pitches later and Tenney steals 2nd base for a second time. Still no throw from the catcher, though, and Dummy is left stranded at 3rd...........1912 - Ty Cobb goes 1 for 4, collecting his 68th hit for the month of July. To this day this remains the most hits in a single month by any major league player..........1963 - Paul Foytack, recently acquired by the Angels from the Tigers and pitching in relief, becomes the first major league pitcher to allow home runs to 4 consecutive batters. He does so against the Cleveland Indians. The third Indian to homer, Tito Francona, is the father of the man currently managing the Indians, Terry Francona..........1981 - Baseball's first-ever mid-season strike comes to and end when both sides agree to a pooled compensation system for losing players to free agency. Play will resume on August 9th with that year's All-Star Game. The split season will result in some pretty messed up playoff results, and the agreed-upon Free Agent Compensation Draft System would only last 4 years anyway..........1982 - After a record-setting 479 clean chances, Manny Trillo finally commits an error by booting a ground ball. The batter who hit the grounder that Trillo would boot? Bill Buckner..........2005 - Brothers Bengie and Jose Molina both hit home runs for the first time in the same game, off of future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson as the Angels lose to the Yankees 8-7 in New York..........2008 - Back in Yankee Stadium, the Angels defeat the Yankees 12-6 and claim the best record in baseball as all three outfielders - Juan Rivera, Torii Hunter and Vlad Guerrero each hit 3-run home runs.