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HumpLinks: Trout Turns 40, Astros eat cake

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Over the past 10 games, Mike Trout is batting .306 with 11 hits, 6 home runs, 11 RBIs, and 7 runs scored. he has 5 hits and 2 homers in his most recent 4 games. Could Trout be getting hot in time to carry Halos into the playoffs?

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

I think it's safe to say that Mike Trout has ended his slump (Trout ending any slump will ALWAYS be inevitable). But by this point, we need more. There is a lot to make up for lately. We are still walking a very fine line.

But, hey! Be thrilled. This is a playoff race. We ARE in the hunt and we ARE engaged in meaningful baseball games and it's still very late in September. This kind of shit doesn't last forever. Ask any A's fan.

So let's keep going with some of these we-still-mean-business-even-though-our-team-is-a-mess-links!

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Angels Baseball

Winning Formula: That's the way it's supposed to work, right? Trout & Pujols lead the team with their bats, and pitching locks down the opposition. Out of 162 tries, how often does this actually happen?..............

Hector Santiago: Hector unhappy. He got himself ejected AFTER he was removed, by barking at plate umpire Chris Conroy. A couple of things might have contributed to Santiago's disposition. One thing might be how Conroy granted Jed Lowrie a timeout mid-windup. Hector clearly was less than thrilled. The other thing might be not getting the benefit on pitch #1, and the ump blowing the call on pitch #2 when Santiago faced his final batter, Marwin Gonzalez, in the very next inning.

Nick Tropeano: Trop gets the call in the rubber game. This makes for an interesting turn of events, especially if Carlos Perez is his battery mate. less than a year ago, Houston traded Tropeano and Lopez to Anaheim in trade for Hank Conger. So here we are at yet another Most Critical Moment of the Season, and we might see a Hank Conger at the plate in the stadium that Houston nabbed him for, fighting the mind game versus Tropeano and Lopez who the Angels are counting on to shut down the Houston offense. So much hinging upon these three kids..............

Kings, Aces & Jokers: Oh, goody. We will get the chance to see Felix Hernandez for the SIXTH time this season alone, TWICE in the last 10 days...........

Future Shock: In not too many days, regardless of what happens, the LA Angels have a monumental task in front of them dealing with this anemic offense. And the outlook ain't pretty...........

M.A.S.H. Report: Some updates on the roster...........11 games left and Joe Smith is just now off crutches, so of course he thinks he will be back in time to pitch this season............Johnny Giavotella is still bumping along towards a full recovery, needing another bit of work before possibly - possibly - making it back in time for this weekend series...........Mike Scioscia is going to juggle the rotation to set up Garrett Richards for any Game 163 or Wild Card Game. This gives Shoemaker a skip in the rotation............

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Elsewhere in Baseball

AA: No, not that AA. Double A is the money level in minor league baseball............

Matt Harvey: The Harvey mess gets an analytic look. I still hold that the underlying cause is the fact that Terry Collins has been burning his starters all season long. There was plenty of runway to avoid this hash house.............

Curses, Batman!: Cubs, curses, goats and myths. If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em..............

Head Case: As if losing is not bad enough, the Tigers kicked their closer to the curb because he no longer gave a shit...........

Yadi Yadi Yadi: Crap. Now we all have to hope that the Cards win the World Series after all, else we aren't ever going to hear the last of it from Lyle Spencer...not to mention random Cards fans.........

WTF: Oakland has on least inter-league series left to deal with, against the Giants. It will run this weekend. I'm really glad that Oakland is not in the playoff race or anything, while the rest of us are beating each other up mercilessly. Anyway, the Bay Area gets to party like it's 2002 all over again, with Barry Zito facing off against Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder in attendance...........

Ignorance is Not Bliss: Take a moment to enjoy Stephen A. Smith working hard to maintain our awareness of his ignorance..........

Hell's Bells: Yeah. Go Joe Maddon. scheduling major events in a baseball stadium during baseball season continues to be a really bad idea...........And, Joe, keep it loose!............

Dammit: And here I had forgotten this dickwad had ever even existed. But there we have it. T.J. Simers is such as asshat he cannot believe that he was fired for being an absolute asshat..........

OT: Not baseball, but what Robert Lewandowski did for Bayern Munich against Wolfsburg last night is the equivalent of a C.J. Cron coming in as a pinch-hitter in the 4th inning of the ALCS and clocking 5 home runs in 5 consecutive at-bats in the same game.............

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