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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Angels look to stop skid in Seattle

Powered by the Rally Cat, the Angels finally showed some life on Thursday, even if it came up a bit short. Can they take some of that momentum to the Emerald City and embarrass former boss Jerry Dipoto?

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Angles were swept again, this time by National League powerhouse St. Louis. Jered Weaver looked to have his home field mojo working, until he didn't. The Angels put up a good fight and didn't let former ace Adam Wainwright re-establish himself on their watch. Still, with an opportunity to take the game and complete the miraculous comeback, this team did what we've grown to expect in recent years.

Have some Buttercupped links:



The Upcoming Series:

Los Angeles Angels @ Seattle Mariners - Safeco Field, Seattle, WA.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
FRIDAY 7:10 PM PDT Nick Tropeano (1-2, 3.69 ERA) vs. Nathan Karns (3-1, 3.38 ERA) FS-W
SATURDAY 6:10 PM PDT Jhoulys Chacin (1-2, 5.40 ERA) vs. Hisashi Iwakuma (1-4, 4.19 ERA) FS-W
SUNDAY 1:10 PM PDT Hector Santiago (2-2, 4.07 ERA) vs. Felix Hernandez (3-2, 2.27 ERA) FS-W

From the official team Game Notes:  "KARNS CARRIES MOMENTUM INTO START vs. HALOS: The 28-year-old Karns struck out a season-high nine in a strong outing against the Astros last Saturday, consistently hitting 95 mph with his fastball while allowing just one run in 6 1/3 innings... Tropeano is 1-2 with a 3.69 ERA in six starts for the Angels, including a no-decision against the Mariners on April 22 in Anaheim when he allowed two runs on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings... The Mariners took two of three from the Angels in their first meeting of the season in Anaheim and have gone 7-0-1 in their last eight series to move into first place in the American League West."

Fool me once: Jered Weaver was perfect through 3.2 innings before allowing 9 of the next 10 batters to reach base. If the Angels rotation were not so paper-thin, perhaps we would be discussing how Weaver could translate that junk-balling act to the bullpen, where batters only get one at-bat to get a read on him....

Out of left field: Daniel Nava's fourth inning solo home run was only the second extra-base hit by an Angels left fielder this year. Remember when we all said it was impossible left field production could get worse? Well, these Angels don't know the meaning of the word 'impossible'...

Injuries continue to mount: Yunel Escobar jammed his thumb diving after a grounder in the eighth inning and Cliff Pennington left in the fourth with a hamstring cramp. Expect a corresponding roster move (or two) today....

Pity is worse than hate: This Mariners fan expresses guilt over taking glee in the Angels' current plight. "The Braves are bad in a baseball way. The Twins are bad in a baseball way. The Angels are bad in a sad way. In a human way." Please, don't feel bad for us. I imagine the life of a long-suffering M's fan would be much worse.

New Age Heaney: As we have grown to learn during his young Angels career, Andrew Heaney is not your typical ballplayer. As he waits for an injection to hopefully heal his aching elbow, Heaney is using what he feels is the best thing in his tool kit"Right now I'm trying to will my body to heal itself... The mind is a powerful thing." Heaney got the idea from his father, a therapist. Heaney admits he is a pessimist by nature and is hoping meditation can help his outlook. Ballplayers have certainly done crazier things to bring them luck....


Everywhere In Baseball

The book on Puig: Remember once upon a time when Dodger fans thought they had a claim on the best outfielder in So Cal? Clearly those days are in the past, but it appears Yasiel Puig's days as a productive player could also be in the past, as the game's pitchers have him figured out and he has yet to adjust. "A couple weeks ago, Dave Roberts said Puig's been hurt on fastballs in and soft stuff away. Pretty much. And that's also kind of a traditional blueprint, but it's been aces against Puig to this point."

Poll season: Public Policy Polling has released it's annual sports poll, with a few interesting results. "6 different teams poll between 10 and 15% for favorite honors- the Cubs get 15%, the Braves 13%, the Yankees 12%, the Red Sox 11%, and the Royals and Dodgers each 10%... It's a similar story with the players- 4 different ones lead the way... It's Clayton Kershaw at 12%, Kris Bryant at 11%, Bryce Harper and David Ortiz at 10, followed by Mike Trout at 9%, Madison Bumgarner at 8%, Matt Harvey and Buster Posey at 4%, and Andrew McCutchen at 3%..." Not terribly shocking, as baseball is largely driven by regional popularity. Also of interest, 82% of fans support instant replay; 65% prefer pitchers hitting to the DH rule; 48% of fans approve of the bat flip, though that is heavily padded by the 79% of "young fans" who approve. Only 23% of seniors approve. Does that make all of us 30-55 non-seniors considered "young fans" in the baseball world?

Never bet on baseball: Matt Sassi, long-time Mets fan, made a bet at the start of the season that he would get a tattoo of Bartolo Colon's face if he hit a home run this season. Apparently, Matt is a man of his word and the tattoo is a beaut! Remember, anything can happen in baseball, even though it usually doesn't.

Reporter offends Gomez: Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez took offense to a Houston Chronicle columnist quoting him verbatim in a recent article. "That person knew exactly what he was writing, and he did it intentionally to ridicule me," Gomez said... With all due respect to what [reporters] do, they deserve respect, but people like him who want to f--- with you because they can f--- with you, they should be suspended or fined, just as someone on TV is fined who says something inappropriate... If we are talking about a subject between us and you know we don't dominate the language properly, whether it is Spanish or English, you guys are the ones who studied this to perfect and polish our words.... That is your job. My job is to express myself."

The quote in question: "For the last year and this year, I not really do much for this team. The fans be angry. They be disappointed."

No doubt, Houston Chronicle columnist Brian T. Smith made a conscious decision to not clean up Gomez's broken English, as reporters typically do when quoting a player for whom English is a second language. Gomez has a right to be upset, as he at the very least makes an effort to learn the language rather than rely on an interpreter. With no previous record of this columnist quoting a Latin player in this way, you have to believe that Gomez's general lack of likability led the writer to make him look foolish with the quote. Still, printing the quote in that manner not only insults Gomez, but all players trying to learn the English language throughout the game. With most Americans failing to grasp the basic rules of our language, it is certainly no easy chore for these imported players.


The Duffle Bag

It is only May but already the contenders have begun to separate themselves from the pretenders, fueling early-season trade speculation. First up: the white-hot Ryan Braun....... It is a long baseball season, with twice the number of games as any other major sport. We know better than to get caught up in early-season hot streaks, right? Here is a little reminder of who started 2015 hot and where they are now....... A look back at Reggie Jackson's lost (not even a baseball card!) but unforgettable season with the Baltimore Orioles........