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MondoLinks: Indians sweep Halos off to Oakland

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It is then being miserable to know oneself to be miserable; but it is also being great to know that one is miserable - Blaise Pascal

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

We are Great, inasmuch as our awareness of our misery defines the turn from 2014 to here. We aren't headed anywhere near where we got last season. The only fans Greater than we, suffering through 2-8 over the most recent 10 games, would be those of Baltimore, Detroit and Atlanta and their 1-9. But the week is young, my friends. We are fading. And they are starting to hope for the Win Fairy.

Let's cut right to it. Albert Pujols is a hot mess. Batting this guy up at 3 or 4 is murderous, and there is nothing we can do about it.  Over the last month his RE24, the actual run production that has resulted from his at-bats versus what should be expected, is a gut-wrenching -4.92. Only Aybar's -5.56 is worse, but we don't expect Aybar to be Driver In of Runs.

Trout Rises again (I guess August is over now?), but Pujols is a tank. A boat anchor. Who has the nuts to go tell him he's dropping to 6th in the lineup until he finds some way to produce. Not just again. At all.

Nobody? Yeah, me neither. You also expect a diva. The ugly part of that contract could have arrived earlier than we feared.

Let's distract ourselves with links:


Angels Baseball

The Upcoming Series:

Los Angeles Angels @ Oakland Athletics - Oakland-Alameda County Stadium, Oakland, CA.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
MONDAY 7:05 PM PDT Hector Santiago (7-8, 3.13 ERA) vs. Felxi Doubront (0-0, 2.41 ERA) FSW
TUESDAY 7:05 PM PDT Matt Shoemaker (6-9, 4.48 ERA) vs. Chris Bassitt (1-6, 2.82 ERA) FSW
WEDNESDAY 12:35 PM PDT Andrew Heaney (5-2, 3.11 ERA) vs. Sonny Gray (12-6, 2.13 ERA) FSW, MLBN

From the official team Game Notes: "OAKLAND ON DECK: Angels have won five of last seven games but have dropped last two in Oakland…LAA leads 2015 series 7-5 (3-2 on road)…Halos have won 14 of last 20 overall matchups…Since 2002, Angels (6) or Athletics (5) have won 11 of 13 A.L. West crowns."


Trout-Castings: A less interesting center-field wall gives Mike Trout another home run yesterday. All according to Statcast, that 1st-inning triple was headed for 424 feet. On the other hand, once he gets up to speed he runs station-to-station at about 3.48 seconds. He took 11.57 seconds to go all the way from home to 3rd base. StatCast shows that as awesome speed and who are we to argue? Well, that's about 17.6mph station to station and about 16mph from home to 3rd. Or, roughly, 3-4mph slower than the 20.8mph StatCast pegged him stealing bases earlier this season. And about 5-6mph slower than he was clocked in July. Trout had a great game at the plate yesterday, going 4 for 4. But he also was caught stealing twice in the last 4 games and hasn't successfully stolen a base sing July 31st. Maybe bad jumps are only part of the story here?..........

Jered Weaver: Weave gave up a grand salami yesterday, taking a cue from joe Smith the game before. The sad part is that even Weaver knows that the pitch he threw was pretty weak. "Threw one too many heaters ... if you still call it a fastball." Actually, no Jered. That pitch was so slow that it was recorded as an 80mph changeup............

Less than Sun-sational: Since when do Angels fear the heavens? How is it that two outfields play the same conditions and only one side loses the fundamentals over how to play the sun? Trout lost one in the first..........Not to be outdone, Calhoun loses one of his own in the 5th............

Beware: The other day the Halos narrowly avoided being no-hit by Justin Verlander when Chris Iannetta slapped a double onto the left field chalk in the 8th inning. Very close. It's something going around, as the Dodger learned last night. The Angels are going into Oakland now. And if look at the three pitchers they are facing - all 3 with low ERAs, one a brand-new look to the Halos, and one is Sonny-fracking- Gray - this offense should be expected to continue struggling. And going up against a guy like Gray, this offense is at risk again of being no-hit. They are due.............


Elsewhere in Baseball

FAN Safety: We lost a fan this weekend, when a man fell fro the upper deck onto his head, being pronounced dead later a the hospital. Initial reports were that the man was inebriated and ran down to heckle Alex Rodriguez when ARod went to bat in the 7th inning. But none of us have the actual blood results, nor video on the actual event, so let's all just reserve judgment for a bit, shall we? Rob Neyer asks the tough question, however. As the national dialog amps up about fan safety, shouldn't that conversation include fan consumption of alcohol? I don't agree with elimination, but I would agree to more responsible sales and monitoring. we could start by putting our word of random DUI checkpoints around a game....................

FO Musical Chairs: The Toronto Executive Deck Chair Dance is moving quickly, with the Blue Jays taking away from the Cleveland Indians their Team President Mark Shapiro to fill their President/CEO role..............Remember, Blue Jays' GM Alex Anthopoulos sees his contract end in October and is already rumored to be a man on the move............Meanwhile, over this past weekend, the Seattle Mariners dumped their own GM, Jack Zduriencik. Jack Z's tenure in Seattle has been gloriously horrible, something for which all LAA fans are grateful. The odds are that his stock is not very high and he is not going to get much interest. This will make him desperate enough to actually some possible offer from Arte to run LAA, taking the job that gets al the blame from Arte but lacks all the authority due to Arte's favorite employee further down the food chain............

MLB Bias: Eff you, West Coast Teams, says the MLB. The Oakland A's took exception to a lot of the silliness and missed opportunities for smart scheduling and reducing the brutality of travel. This apparently started when they got their first look at their 2016 schedule. Yeah, read the link. There is a lot of knuckledragger logic there. But MLB told Oakland to go pound sand. The official MLB response is disgustingly rich. Essentially, it says "Yes, it's hard to do this. But lots of teams complain and we can't play favorites. But we look forward to people filing their complaints." Sure shit. As if MLBgets a lot of bitching from the Yankees about their brutal travel schedule to Toronto, Boston and Baltimore. (And, no, I have not taken the time to study the LAA travel schedule. Maybe in December.)............

LLWS: It's all over. After Texas defeated California, Pennsylvania defeated Texas again to claim the US National Title and reach the Little League World Series World Championship match. On the International side, Mexico creamed Venezuela only to lose a tough 0-1 loss to Japan. Japan then took on Pennsylvania yesterday and, in a slug-fest, claimed the World crown 18-11............

OMNI: Weiner Dogs run wild!............he only thing funnier this weekend, might be outfielder scared up the wall by fly ball..............Brian McCann and his new team, the Yankees, were busy playing the game "the right way" and rung up 20 runs on Brian McCann's old team, the Braves. That made the whole series 38-11 in favor of The Classy Ones...........Curtis Granderson might not be available, but apparently his brain has been a free agent for years.............It's official. Next year will be Vin Scully's last...............The Brewers tried to slip K-Rod through waivers. Didn't work, so they pulled him back............This actually happened a couple of seasons ago, but is now going viral. Everybody is trying to identify and shame "The Evil Woman", and the effort even has its own FB page...........The Dodgers didn't mind the other day when they got no-hit by an Astros pitcher who was probably using a foreign substance. But don't go putting a no-hit shaming on them in a game that includes a ball that eats up an infielder................