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Thor'sLinks: Trout thrives on rare air

Nothing can compare with the limitless Power of the Celestials!

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

What's the difference between Marine Layer and Mile High? Maybe about 15-20 home runs per season?

The storm gods rained down on Denver last night and delayed the start of the game by an hour, but Trout is the god of thunder, and merely was enjoying his batteries getting a boost from the heavens. By the time the game kicked off, he was more than ready to go.

Trout took Rockies starting pitcher Chris Rusin deep two times to up his season tally to 24. That puts him squarely into a 5th place tie in all of MLB (Pujols is 2nd), and tied for 2nd in the AL (Pujols is 1st). The great part about Trout's homers, IMHO, was the reaction by Rusin both times. The baseball had not traveled 5 feet on either occasion before Rusin knew that he had screwed up and Trout was taking the full trip. Rusin barely flinched. And he didn't even bother to look back in either case.

Can you imagine what Trout could with his power if he played 81 games a year where the air rarely fights back? Trout has more than 120 homers in his young career already. What would he have if our home field was up at Lake Arrowhead? 160? More??

By the way, Johnny Giavotella is 6 for 8 with the bases loaded, and Baby Clutch saved Mike Trout's ongoing exploitation of the very thin air in Denver...not to mention the way that Matt Shoemaker danced through a 9 hit outing over only 5 2/3's inning in the bandbox that is Coors Field, giving up only 2 runs (both earned).

A-game-and-a-half-back-Links, everyone!


Angels Baseball

The Upcoming Series:

Los Angeles AngelsSeattle Mariners - Safeco Field, Seattle, WA.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
THURSDAY 7:10 PM PDT Garrett Richards(9-5, 3.35 ERA) versus Felix Hernandez (10-5, 3.02 ERA) FSW
FRIDAY 7:10 PM PDT Hector Santiago (5-4, 2.40 ERA) versus Mike Montgomery (4-2, 1.62 ERA) FSW
SATURDAY 7:10 PM PDT C.J. Wilson (7-6, 3.82 ERA) versus Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1, 7.17 ERA) FSW, MLBN
SUNDAY 1:10 PM PDT Andrew Heaney (2-0, 1.77 ERA) versus Taijuan Walker (7-6, 4.53 ERA) FSW

From the official team Game Notes: "SEATTLE ON DECK: Halos lead 2015 series 6-3…Angels are 13-15 in last 27 meetings vs. M’s (6-9 on road)…Halos pitched two combined one-hitters vs. Seattle last season…LAA’s pitching staff has allowed just 19 unearned runs in 2015 (T3rd fewest in A.L. with Mariners)."


Derby Daze: The Home Run Derby is set, and it set up without Mike Trout. Trout promises us that he will participate "one day". Confusing that is, to me. Life makes no promises, not even to Michael Nelson Trout. Where is it written that he will get another invite? Maybe they will never have a Home Run Derby in Colorado? Maybe his home run power meanders off in the same direction as his base stealing abilities? Maybe MLB keeps changing All-Star week and drops the Home Run Derby altogether? Maybe the AL explodes with a rash of power hitters and Trout, even though still amazing, no longer stands head and shoulders alone above everybody and there are not enough slots? Maybe Trout starts needing to rest his body more and more at the half-way point as he ages? We could do this all day, so if Mike finds it agreeable to compete in a showcase, why is later better?..........

BodyArmor: Mike has chosen to take some precaution now that it's clear pitchers are going hard with fastballs up and in. Sometimes those pitches get away and when more pitches are thrown close to Trout's upper body, more of them are going to hit him. So Trout will be wearing an elbow pad, at least until such time as pitchers figure out that Trout has learned to crush them from there. In the meantime, consider this a synergistic marketing tie-in to boost Trout's chosen sports drink..........

Pujols Power: Albert is in theDerby, as we know. He has drawn The Next Mike Trout - Kris Bryant of the Cubs - as his first round opponent. I wonder who would have been left home had Trout accepted? Prince Fielder?...........

Chris Iannetta: Iannetta has been a much different dude lately. From June 15th through Wednesday, his slash line is .306 / .458 / .389 / .847. As Alden Gonzalez notes, it has helped that he was getting pushed by a strong start out of call-up Carlos Perez. And we have been lucky, because in the same span of time I noted for Iannetta, Perez has plummeted. His slash line for that time frame is .167 / .182 / .185 / .367.............

Huston Street: As I write this, the All-Star break mat be coming at just the right time for Huston Street. On the final pitch and play of the game last night (where Giavotella nearly pulled Pujols off the bag with his near-errant throw), Street pulled his left groin. How serious it is should be known today..........


Elsewhere in Baseball

The Cardinal Way: Well, here we go. It's not enough that many STL fans have grown into a rather insufferable horde over the past decade. Now we have the actual participants picking up that idle mantle of MFY entitlement. Two nights ago there was a close play up the first base line that cost the Cards the lead against the Cubs, with 1st base ump Pat Hoberg ruling fair ball on a grounder the Cards desperately wanted to be foul (the second bounce looks like it hits the line to me). That triggered a rally that cost the Cards their active pitcher Seth Maness for arguing, AND cost them the game. Last night, as the umps rotated and Hoberg went behind the plate, the Cards were pissy all night over what they felt was a tight strike zone being called against Michael Wacha. Clearly, looking at the PitchF/x data, this is the Cards being hyper-sensitive, and wrong. There really is only 1 pitch inside the zone that was called a ball (my feelings about all this excepted). But one of those at-bats was at a critical moment, when the Cards didn't get a strike they wanted on Miguel Montero and Montero then cleared loaded bases with a 3-run double to cost the Cards the lead again (they would win late anyway). Yadier Molina had had enough, and went off. Ejection. Out comes manager Mike Matheny to argue some more. Ejected too. And what were they arguing about? They wanted a called third strike on pitch number 5 here, which was a ball. But they are the Cards, and apparently Hoberg owes them a few...........

Kershaw: Just as Mike Trout was showing us last night why we will miss him in the Home Run Derby, Clayton Kershaw was showing us why we might miss him in the All-Star game itself. Kershaw KO'd 13 against the Phillies. One would hope that he just picked up the Philadelphia voting bloc..........

Never Gets Old: I've written to this point before. The toughest part about being part of an MLB ground crew is that you spend all your time practicing how to deploy tarps while the weather is good. So when the crew actually has to work when it counts, when weather is rough, all kinds of things go haywire. For instance, wind blows and guys get eaten by the tarp itself and the next thing you know you need the players to come to the rescue before you sail away. My thoughts on this were sparked by watching the Anaheim crew try to deploy their tarp one Sunday afternoon and ward off an incoming shower, only to learn too late that rain brings water. It turns out that water is heavy, and that heavy water will get on the tarps. And heavy tarps don't move. That total fail was comedy gold...........By the way, that crew member in Pittsburgh was hilariously memorialized the next day.

Unlucky: Alex Gordon of the Royals went down hard, and is out for at least weeks and weeks. The good news is that he should be back for the Royals this season (I never wish injury on players or teams). the bad news is that this means Gordon will miss his All-Star opportunity twice in a row. last year it was a wrist injury...........

Wreckage: When you sign train wreck entertainment to help celebrate your Big Party, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise when you get a train wreck instead. Just hours after Ariana Grande was announced as a singer during All-Star Week, but Ariana Grande was removed as a singer during All-Star Week. We all knew that donuts kill...........

Baseball Biz: This is only indirectly apropos to baseball, but it speaks heavily to media bias. The big news these days in the media world is the parting of ways between ESPN and Keith Olbermann. ESPN is not renewing Olbermann's contract. This might come as good news to many of you who despise Olbermann, or his schtick, but consider this: one major reason for ESPN's decision is that they don't like Olbermann doing negative commentary on the NFL and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Yeah. ESPN is going to tell you what you like, and why you like it. Especially when it makes money for them. Period. Remember that the next time somebody mocks you for your claims of EastSPiN bias...........


And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday Thursday...for beer...(which works better on Thursdays anyway, because it gives you all some runway to take advantage of Friday goings on...)

Friday: As part of the Central Coast Pride Festival, San Luis Obispo is the town for the Seven Sisters Craft Beer & Music Fest taking place at El Chorro Regional Park & Campground..........

Saturday: Beachwood BBQ & Brewing does their 4th Anniversary at their Long Beach location on Saturday and Sunday..........Lakeside Hotel and Resort in San Marcos will host a BBQ & Beer Tasting event, Poolside...........Loma Club Golf Course in San Diego celebrates the Heroes Craft Beer Brew Festival 2015..........The Nevada County Airport, which is Grass Valley CALIFORNIA, not Nevada, is showcasing the Red, White & Brews Airfest. That's wines and beer and cool aircraft all in one place...........

Sunday: Beachwood BBQ & Brewing does their 4th Anniversary at their Long Beach location concludes, along with your last chance to tackle their Pickle Bar...........Pyramid's Summer Movie Series kicks off with a beer-centric social gathering at Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery & Restaurant in Berkeley

BEER BONUS: We continue to track the Ales for ALS 2015. project brought to us by red floyd. Each week I will check back in and look for upcoming events for this worthy cause. At this time there are no events listed, but stand by!

Stay safe, everyone!


(All grammatical errors still remaining should be intentional.)