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TuesdoLinks: NiTro Glistens as Trout Bombs

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Nick Tropeano filled in nicely for an injured Andrew Heaney, matching Oakland Ace Sonny Gray inning by inning until Mike Trout homered to break the game open as the Angels win 4-1.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

With Andrew Heaney hurting and on the DL, the Angels needed Nick Tropeano to step up and fill the gap.

I'm gonna stop right there. It was just last year that a very young Heaney himself had to step into a rotation slot and fill a gap and I was calling bullshit on all the hope. Now here I am describing Heaney as an anchor where we need some other kid to step in and fill his shoes.  I just had to point that out. Amazing.

Well, Nitro filled in just fine. Considering he was matched against Sonny Gray he was more than fine, he was outstanding. Combined with Mike Trout remembering that he can crush pitches down in the zone (however briefly as that K looking in the 7th against Ryan Dull was worthy of a swing), and Albert Pujols stealing a base(!), it added up to a nice start of their first road trip. 4-1 Angels win. And, no matter where the team ends up in the standings when the year concludes, that outcome is always welcome against the A's.

Have some Welcome Rotation Depth Links:


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Everywhere In Baseball

Black & Blue: This is long overdue. Yesterday all Major League Umpires wore a special patch honoring the 50th anniversary of the late, great, Emmet Ashford's entrance into Big League baseball. Ashford was the first black umpire to make it into the bigs, and his pioneering effort was both professional and immensely entertaining. I got to watch Ashford a couple of times, and it was a joy to behold. His spirit dominated the game and his enthusiasm granted him a good degree of delight form the fans, and a great degree of silence from the dugouts...........

Not So Fast: Players get older. Their numbers decline. But you what doesn't decline with age? Surprisingly, it's a player's ability to hit a fastball. Players of all ages pretty much share a common success/fail rate against fastballs of all velocities...........

The Power of Small: The joy of small numbers is the overreaction they can cause. Like the folks worrying about the poor start of the Mets. And the folks worrying about Zack Greinke. And the asshat carrot top worrying about the Red Sox bullpen. And the hot start of the Orioles. And the surprisingly hot start of the Reds...........

Big Heart: Rod Carew continues to recover. Spend some time listening in to an interview with Carew discussing his recovery process, both physically and mentally............

Striking Out: Here is the very best case on behalf of robot umpires I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot. Maybe not 4000 games, mind you, but still a lot. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm pretty damned old. Maybe I have seen 4000 games. Anyway, back to the subject. Yes, here is the very best reason I have ever witnessed, and Jeff SUllivan is all over it. Clayton Kreshaw throws a real baseball smack down the middle of the plate, within an inch and a half of dead center and thigh high, and plate umpire Brian O'Nara saw it as a ball. From Clayton Kershaw. This is obviously the worst possible call of this young season, and will probably still own that distinction come November. But I suspect it might rank as the worst possible call of all time. It's less than half the width of the actual baseball away from being perfect, for chrissakes. Sullivan is perplexed, as were Kershaw and Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis and even the Giants announcing crew. IMHO, the fault lies with where O'Nara sets up. There is not a single part of his body that is behind any part of the strike zone even as he has to lean in towards the plate to get a view around the batter, Hunter Pence. This is a shit show if ever there was.............

Half the Man: TaterTrot Tracker has been recording David Ortiz for quite some time, and in that time his average home run trot has been 27.42 seconds. And Ortiz personally own about half of all the trots longer than 30 seconds. So yesterday Super speedster Billy Hamilton hit a home run (only the 11th of his career), and Hamilton got around the bases in 16.2 seconds flat. Half the time that Papi requires..........

Ageless: Ok, For a moment please disable your Rangers Hater Radar and click over to this great tale of a kid making it to the Big League and make his debut in front of his 92-year old grandfather. Rangers catcher, Brett Nicholas, owes his love of the game to his grandfather, Frank McCabe and his debut game in front of multiple generations of family was extra special because of it. When you come back, please resume full Rangers Hater Radar operation..........

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The Duffle Bag

That outfielder that the Orioles have out there in right, that Mark Trumbo dude, he is off to a pretty good start..........Are the Cubs owners already building a new throne room for the yet to be crowned players?..........You know those Spring Training tickets that used to be a buck or two, but now are thirty to sixty?? Well, that probably ain't the last of it. How else are we to expect the Braves to get back their $100 million on a new training complex?..............This Detroit fan sure had the magic seat for fouls balls. 5 in the first 5 innings. Plus a batting practice home run...........Kids need to know that they are still years away from having enough experience to master the bat flip..........What's it like to lose a perfectly good seat in a working airplane and land in a baseball field? Like this..........Jose Altuve, with something in his pocket and happy to see Chris Carter............Counting to three used to be easy. But they just don't make threes like they used to..........

OT: Anybody else having problems seeing MLB box scores on GameDay wraps? I see way too many blank black browser pages using Chrome, IE and FireFox.

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