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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Angels overcome a Royal pain in the ass

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To surprise of absolutely everyone, the Angels defeated their own post All-Star road losing streak and snuck up on the Royals to win the opening game of this extended weekend series.

Lots of Missouri fans in blue standing around in utter confusion...
Lots of Missouri fans in blue standing around in utter confusion...
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

It's late. I am in San Diego. And I am fighting off the effects of multiple Bali Hai mai tais. For the uninitiated, these things are known locally as "jet fuel". In one of my former lives I was a bartender, so I am fully qualified to observe the assembly of these beasts when I happened to fetch Round 3. Their recipe is pretty simple. 3 parts random rum "A" and 3 parts random rum "B" and 1 part cheap-assed pre-mix. Each glass is, essentially, 4 oz. alcohol.

I tell you this only to demonstrate my commitment to The Faith. despite the event being attended, despite the chemical recombinant impact on my metabolism, I could not take my eyes off my phone as the Angels mounted a completely unexpected comeback to defeat the Royals. Yes, wins should be far more normal and expected and not result in such moments of major stupification. But I shall accept the surprise and the distraction and the delight. And I shall share with thee all some links!

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Angels Baseball

Wilsonian Update: C.J. Wilson has come to his decision, and chosen to protect his arm and his future career and have surgery. He is out for the balance of the season, solving the rotation logjam for Scioscia caused by the success of Andrew Heaney and the return of Jered Weaver. Something to think about: what if the Angels had made a trade of Wilson for a left field bat, only to now have to undo that because Wilson is damaged goods?..........

Creative (Lineup) Writing: Miraculously, Mike Scioscia realized that Tayler Featherston might possibly not be his best offensive weapon just in time to pinch hit C.J. Cron and watch Cron get a clutch hit to tie the game. A whole bunch of add things conspired at that moment to run out the most unusual infield we have seen all years. Scratch that, maybe in any year. Dino Ebel is being credited with the lineup, but we ended up with "...first baseman Albert Pujols to third, second baseman Johnny Giavotella to short, third baseman Conor Gillaspie to second and right fielder Kole Calhoun to first base". According to Baseball Reference, that was Giavotell'a first game at shortstop, Gillaspie's first MLB game at second base, Calhoun's 9th ever game at first base, and Pujols' 106th game at 3B. We may never see such an unusual setup again in our lifetimes...........

Erick Aybar: A main reason for the odd defensive alignment described above was Aybar leaving the field during batting practice with severe back stiffness. It is not yet clear if he will need to spend a stint on the DL, but the crazy dude will be missed. I need to send Aybar a tweet, and inform him that getting old is a bitch.........

Mike Trout: Yeah, Trout is in a slump. The word from Dave Hansen, assistant hitting coach is that it is a function of timing and that Trout needs to correct getting his front foot back down. I really want to digress right here and ask why Trout is being managed by the assistant hitting coach and not the primary hitting coach, but Trout will figure out his timing thing soon and I will leave that coaching issue for another day. Instead, the article we are linking too has something far more important to say. Mike trout has dropped the whole swinging more at first pitches thing, and has tailed way off from his early season numbers to regress back to his more customary average. "Last season Trout swung at the first pitch 10.6 percent of the time. This season, he has swung at the first pitch … 10.7 percent of the time. Early in the season, Trout was living up to his vow to be more aggressive on the first pitch. Through the end of May, Trout swung at the first pitch 18 percent of the time. Since the start of June, though, that figure has dropped to 5 percent." Shit. Reading further we find that Trout is far more comfortable yielding that first pitch to the pitcher. Crap. Nobody's perfect. Not even Mike. It just kills me to know that as great as he is, he can't find it in himself to now try and see how great he can be when he bats using 3 strikes to work with instead of only 2...............

Chris Iannetta: Iannetta is being sat for a spell, because he sucks again..........

Stoopid KS Royals Operations: This is odd. Not something one picks up following via MLB Gameday, so it was a surprise to learn this:

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Hamhocks: You people are gonna love this. Josh Hamilton is dealing with yet another injury, just the latest in a series that is crushing his season. But no, that's not what I am talking about. I am talking about why Josh Hamilton is suffering. It's you. You Angels fans. It's your fault. Why? Well. let's allow the author to explain it for us: "Despite his return to the Rangers, the season has been 'tremendously frustrating,' due to the number of injuries he’s sustained in his lower half as he’s tried to rush back after an offseason of disenfranchisement from the Los Angeles Angels followed by surgery and prolonged inactivity due to being in limbo." That's right. It's because he was disenfranchised. And it's all because he was left in limbo. And it's all because he was then forced to rush to get back into game shape. And it's all the Angels fault. Boo hoo...........

MVP: With Trout slumping, the door has been opened. And here comes Josh Donaldson...and now more than once...........

Old Guard Media: Buster Olney got caught out using shitty facts and he has raised the anti-reality shields to defend his stupidity. In essence, his pride has him doubling down against WAR in his mistaken reasoning to prop up Josh Donaldson..........

OMNI: Lucky ballplayer. Unlucky trash can..........Jerry Dipoto has had an immediate impact. No sooner does he join the Red Soxbut their farm system jumps in overall ratings from 4th best to #1 best..........Little League Home Runs celebrated, third and final part............Go for it, grandma!

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This Date In Baseball History: 1919 - The Brooklyn Robins (future Dodgers) and the Chicago Cubs (ex "Chicago Orphans", ex "Chicago White Sox") play a double header. The Cubs win the first game 2-0 and the Robins win the second game 1-0. Both games, combined, require only 2 hours and 17 minutes to complete..........1932 - Jack Quinn, pitching for the newly renamed "Brooklyn Dodgers", defeats the New York Giants 2-1 in 10 innings. Quinn thus becomes the oldest player to win a baseball game at the age of 49 years, 1 month and 13 days. This record will stand until April 17, 2012 when Jamie Moyer defeated the Padres. Moyer was 49 years, 4 months and 30 days old..........1937 - The Detroit Tigers sweep the St. Louis Browns (today's Baltimore Orioles) in a double header 16-1 and 20-7. The 36 run total for a single day will stand as the record until the Rangers score 39 runs in a twin bill on August 22, 2007 - against the Orioles. Also, while we are at it,  the total time for both games combined was 4 hours and 22 minutes (almost twice as long as the 1919 double header mentioned above)...........1939 - 49 years before the Cubs figure it out, the Chicago White Sox play their first night game under their new, permanent, field lighting system. They defeat those St. Louis Browns who keep showing up in today's review, 5-2. Contrary to some, this was not the first-ever night ballgame in Chicago. There actually was a minor-league game played under temporary lighting at White Sox Park back in 1910...........1960 - Yankee fans boo Mickey Mantle, and Mantle is benched, for failing to run out an infield ground ball that resulted in a double play. On the play, the Yankees will lose Roger Maris to bruised ribs as he collides with Washington Senators second baseman Billy Gardner's knee...........2001 - At Fenway Park the Red Sox celebrate closer Derek Lowe with a giveaway poster. Lowe comes in at the top of the 9th to close out a game where the Red Sox have a 1-run lead over the visiting mariners. He promptly gives up 3 consecutive singles and blows the game. He is pulled. The Red Sox lose 6-3 in 11 innings. The Boston fans respond by tearing up their posters and littering the field with Derek Lowe confetti..........


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