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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Torrid Trout torches Torii's Twins

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Mike Trout, phoenix-like, continues to rise from the ashes of his own August debacle. Can he carry the lumbering Pujols on his back?

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

True to form, the Angels find a way to ruin my day, by totaling making my night.

I decided to get a jumpstart on today's link dump by composing some good content concerning the use of Erick Aybar at leadoff, and how negatively impactful that is on run scoring. So, sure, the Halos go out and rip off the largest run total since July 26th, 48 games ago. (Although Aybar did go only 1 for 6 and scored but 1 of the Halos' 11 runs.)

And I built some snarky stuff on Mike Trout and Albert Pujols' anchor dragging and how punishing that has been on any remaining chances. So Trout suits up and goes 2 for 2 with 2 home runs - 3 runs scored - 5 runs batted in - and 3 bases on balls, getting on base 5 of the 6 times he went to the plate (just 1 K, there at the very end).

Thus, I ended up having to throw away a few hours of research and composition. But I got to trade that all in for a few hours of galdamnable offensive joy that ended up in a much-needed victory.

So...trade-off linkage!

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Angels Baseball


Trout & Pujols: Trout is only the 2nd player in the past 5 years to collect 2 homers and 3 walks in the same game. The other was Albert Pujols in 2013 versus the Rangers. That was when the Rangers were pitching around Pujols to get to Hamilton (who went 0 for 4 that day). Last night it was the Twins pitching around Trout to get to Pujols. And this time it was Pujols who went 0 for 4. I picked a bad time to delete all that Pujols smack content I had teed up. Let's just net it out with the factoids that before Pujols hurt his foot by running on it (getting old sucks), his run-expectancy contribution per every 24 base outs was a +10.03. That works out to a +13.7 over a full season. Since then it has been a -2.46, which would work out to be a -22.9 over 162 games. The swing there, for a guy who is supposed to be a run producer, is an atrocious 36.6 runs...........By the way, has anybody else noticed how productive Trout has been since his afternoon spent with Mayhem? Some serious coaching went on at Angels Stadium that day, to be clear..........

Matt Shoemaker: It's not announced yet, but look for the strong possibility that Shooey could be our starter on Sunday. We are getting to that point where Shoemaker might find himself pitching in the biggest games of his career. Grab your Shoe minifigs and get your mojo going, people..........

Huston Street: Street returned to the field of play after Sunday's debacle. 3 up, 3 down, 12 pitches, 8 for strikes. See, it IS possible. Even with a 3-run lead. Is it possible when it counts?..........

Trout-Puff: Here is your daily dose of puffery, for those who relish such things. I credit his new shoes for the improved arm strength...........

Twitter Round Up: Hector Santiago flew to Minnesota early to get rest and preparation for is start yesterday......He ended up with the shortest outing of his career.....LA Times writer extends the false history of Torii Hunter's departure, fueling another generation of Facebook fans. And he postulates an alternate reality. One that forgets, conveniently, how much Hunter and Pujols hated each other.......Gotta put it out there: Taylor Featherston hit a home run. And a monster home run it was!.....

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Harper Porn: Sigh. Remember the old days when all the superlatives in baseball were being used to try and keep up with Mike Trout? Bryce Harper finally turned on the jets, and Trout is merely very good..........

Barry Zito: I joked about it yesterday, but Oakland has brought back up Barry Zito. I figure he will only do one thing decent in what might be his last tour as an MLB player, and that will come against the end of this month. One thing good he has already done for us, though, is that he has brought to MLB a fastball even slower than that of Jered Weaver..........

Playoffs: Figuring out a decent playoff system that rewards success without penalizing other participants is hard. And all too often the penalties of unusual solutions come as a consequence of the organizers being unimaginative and making things easy for themselves. As the playoffs approach the lamentations have begun. Poor Pittsburgh. "The Cardinals and Dodgers are the only major-league teams to win more games than the Pirates the past three seasons. The Cardinals are the only team to win more this season. Yet, what is the Pirates’ likely reward? A third straight appearance in the winner-take-all, Wild Card game." It's easy, and lazy, to merely respond with "win more".The Pirates case shows that this wish to sidestep deficiencies should really be phrased "win even more than more". This sounds silly because it is silly. The bigger problem, however, is tradition. Once you have more than two teams in an MLB playoff system you break from decades of tradition. And the more teams added, the further the drift from tradition and the more resistance you will receive from all quarters. The solution will be something radical (2-game elimination bracketing, with division winner byes, anyone?). But being radical enough to solve the problems will be radical enough to be unacceptable to most...............

Divisions: Speaking of radical, why wait until the idle dark nights of winter to play mind games with MLB realignment? Let's go balls to the wall now!...........

Jeff Samardzija: Samardzija may come cheap, since his walk year has been a craptastrophe. As Scott Kazmir has shown, redemption for a pitcher is always a probability. Could he be in the price range of whichever person Arte suckers installs as GM?...........

R.I.P. Milo: Milo Hamilton passed away at the age of 88. He had been calling games for 50 years, his final gig being the Astros broadcaster from 1985 to 2012. You know his voice, even if you didn't know that you know..........

Comebackers: Jimmy Nelson of the Brewers meets a pitcher's worst nightmare: a comebacker line drive that smacks him in the head.  Nelson got lucky. Very lucky. He went to the hospital awake, on his own feet, and "lucid". Let's hope he stays that way. I know it's baseball and everything, and I don't mean any animosity towards the Cards, but it sure feels icky that play continues while a player lays incapacitated, perhaps even mortally, on the field of play..........

OMNI: Game over. Josh Donaldson is your MVP this year. He is also going to take the AL crown for runs scored, stopping Trout's streak at 3 straight............White Sox player gets optioned to AAA, so he parks his car on the street expecting to be called back up in a few days. Instead, it was a few weeks. And the player forgot that the White Sox play in Chicago. The result? No more car..............This is why "take out slides" are a pretty nasty baseball play.Pittsburgh shortstop Jung Ho Kang has been lost for the season with a torn ACL after Cubs' right fielder Chris Coghlan went after him with a wild leg slash trying to break up a double play............It occurs to me that if we can't get some notable person to not embarrass themselves trying to pitch a baseball, we shouldn't have them throwing our ceremonial first pitches...............For all the baseball daughters out there, here is a set of pencil sketches showing Elsa from Frozen in all 30 MLB jerseys, with the Angels shown second (H/T/ Uniwatch)...........Good times come so unexpectedly to the Rangers that their skipper gets befuddled enough to lose track of whos' who............This list of the worst unwritten rules in baseball is nowhere near long enough.............

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This Date In Baseball History: 1903 - Prior to the 1903 season, all post-season competitions were considered to be exhibitions. On this date, the Pittsburgh Pirates will sweep the Boston Beaneaters (today's Atlanta Braves) in a doubleheader to secure the National League championship. Yesterday the Boston Americans (Red Sox) defeated the Cleveland Indians to take the American League championship. On this date, it was announced that there would be a very first "World Series" matching the NL champs against the champs of the 3-year-old AL. The Americans will go on to defeat the Pirates 5 games to 3..........1959 - Indians manager Joe Gordon, frustrated with his own front office, announces his resignation effective at the conclusion of the season while the team is still battling the White Sox for the AL pennant (5.5 games back), regardless of the outcomes. GM Frank Lane will fire Gordon 4 days later as he tries to hire Leo Durocher. Durocher doesn't bite, forcing an embarrassed Lane to apologize and re-hire Gordon for the balance of the season and 2 more years. The fun doesn't stop there. The next season Lane will trade Gordon to the Tigers in exchange for Detroit's skipper Jimmy Dykes. After the 1960 season Gordon will be hired by Charlie Finley to run the Kansas City A's, but will get canned mid-season. Gordon will then become a scout and minor league instructor for the Angels.........1963 - Only 1,752 fans are in attendance for the final official MLB game is played at the Polo Grounds in New York. The ancient, historic, field at Coogan's Hollow (not Bluff) is retired after a tiring 52 years - just 3 years older than Angels Stadium..........

PITCHING MILESTONES

1908 - Bob Rhoads, pitching for Cleveland, no-hits the Red Sox (pitching for the Red Sox was the only Mexican-American in MLB at that time, Frank Arellanes).............1968 - After Gaylord Perry of the Giants no-hit the Cards yesterday, Cards' pitcher Ray Washburn no-hits the Giants (marking the first time that no-hitters were pitched in back-to-back games)..........1971 - Clay Kirby pitches a complete game near no-hitter, giving up only a wind-blown home run to Willie McCovey in the 8th..........2000 - Bartolo Colon pitches a near no-hitter against the Yankees, giving up only a single to Luis Polonia in the 8th. It would have ended the Yankees streak of not being no-hit since 9/9/1958...........1996 - Roger Clemens fans 20 Tigers, tying his own record, in his last victory as a Red Sox..........2007 - Mike Mussina becomes the first American league pitcher to win 10 or more games in 16 consecutive seasons..........2008 - Greg Maddux becomes the first pitcher to win 13 or more games in 20 straight seasons..........

HITTING MILESTONES

1967 - The Red Sox woke up the morning of this date in 3rd place in the American League (pre-divisional playoffs). Facing the League-Leading Tigers in Detroit, Carl Yastrzemski hits a 9th-inning, 1-out, home run to tie the game and Dalton Jones will homer in the 10th and give the BoSux a come-from-behind victory. When the night ends Boston will be tied for 1st place, where they will finish the season. Facing the Cardinals in the World Series, they will lose in 7 games as Bob Gibson claims 3 victories by pitching 27 innings and giving up only 3 total earned runs............1975 - Rusty Staub becomes the first Met in franchise history to drive in 100 runs in a season..............1976 - Frank Robinson gets a pinch-hit single as player-manager of the Indians against his one-time team the Baltimore Orioles team in a 4-3 loss. It will be the final at-bat in Robinson's career...........1977 - Ted Cox makes his MLB debut as DH for the Red Sox and will go 4-4, tying the MLB record for most hits in their first game. Cox will then gather 2 more hits in his first 2 at-bats tomorrow, going 6-6 in his first 6 MLB at-bats to become the only player to start his career with 6 consecutive hits..........1992 - Barry Bonds hits his 30th home run, getting him his second 30/30 season, joining Ron Gant, Howard Johnson, Willie Mays (his godfather) and Bobby Bonds (his father)...........1999 - Sammy Sosa becomes the first player to hit 60 home runs in a season two times..........2006 - Jim Thome becomes the second player in MLB history to hit 40 home run for 3 different teams..........2006 - The Dodgers, hitters of the fewest home runs of any NL team, rip off 4 consecutive homers in the bottom of the 9th to tie the Padres, where they will win 11-10 in extras...........2010 - Troy Tulowitzki hits a pair of home runs and ties an MLB record of 14 homers in 15 games.............2010 - Luis Hernandez fouls a ball off his own right foot and drops to earth like a stone. After a lengthy timeout and discussion with team medical staff, Hernandez convinces the team to allow him to remain in the game. He hits the next pitch he sees out of the park and limps round the bases for a home run, his season ending when he crosses home plate and it is learned that he broke his foot altogether.

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