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MondoLinks: Weaving wins with smoke and mirrors

The patchwork quilt of starters is holding together. The offense is firing on cylinders we didn't even know we had. Even the bullpen is doing well enough to forgive Joe Smith. This is Red Magic.

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Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

I cannot quite put my finger on it, but Jered Weaver's fastball just doesn't seem to be a viable pitch anymore. Now, I would say what most of you would say, that it is all about velocity (or lack thereof). But we have had Weaver himself convince us that this has nothing to do with anything. He has been arguing this point for a long time, since way way back when his fastball was in the 80's.

Well, whatever it is, Weaver himself has decided - at least for yesterday's game - that this whole fastball thing is overrated anyway, so he practically abandoned it.  And in case you failed to notice, his smoked the bash-busting Baltimore Orioles yesterday with 7 full innings and 6 strikeouts against 5 hits and 2 runs.

About the only thing more amazing than Weaver's performance is the fact that an Albert Pujols needs a Johnny Giavotella behind him for protection.

Have some Wake up!, Your team is 7-3 over the last 10 games Links:



The Upcoming Series:

Los Angeles Angels @ Texas Rangers - Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
MONDAY 5:05 PM PDT Nick Tropeano (2-2, 3.30 ERA) vs. Derek Holland (3-3, 5.63 ERA) FS-W
TUESDAY 5:05 PM PDT Jhoulys Chacin (0-0, 4.76 ERA) vs. Martin Perez (1-4, 3.57 ERA) FS-W
WEDNESDAY 11:05 AM PDT Hector Santiago (3-2, 3.93 ERA) vs. Colby Lewis (3-0, 2.75 ERA) FS-W

From the official team Game Notes:  "RANGERS ON DECK: Texas leads 2016 season series 4-3…Angels took 2015 series 12-7, marking second straight year winning season series…LAA is 29-16 since 2014 against Rangers…Halos’ 443 all-time wins vs. Texas are most vs. any franchise (443-420)…C.J. Cron hit .360 (27/75) with five doubles, a triple, two home runs and 20 RBI is 18 games vs. Rangers in 2015."


Everywhere In Baseball

Tool Number Five: Mike Trout has it. Base runners everywhere are now on notice..........

Tools Number 1 through 4: Trout finished up Saturday with a pretty dominating week. .393 / .469 / .643 with an OPS of 1.112. 11 hits included 2 home runs, 6 RBI's (he has 31 now. He had 90 all of 2016.) But then there is this Jackie Bradley Jr. fellow who is having a run right now, too. Bradley won last week and he has not let up.........

Freaking Out: More than one AL General Manager (probably representing AL West teams who will have to face Lincecum on more than one occasion) have made their anonymous feelings known that Lincecum has made a mistake by coming to the American League. They don't think his pin-point location style works with the Designated Hitter. How that makes sense s not something I have the spare brain cells to cook up tonight..........For his part, Lincecum is coming along very nicely.

Weave: Ok, all that hash about trading Mike trout came to naught, so at least one jibber-jabber blogger has moved on, and insists that Billy Eppler needs to trade Jered Weaver. Um, yeah. Right. I am sure Eppler will get right on that. Arte would love it..........

Shoe Horse: Matt Shoemaker's brilliant Saturday may have been driven off the cliff by Joe Smith, but that doesn't mean it counted for nothing. It was such a great outing that Shoe has made one list of most-dominating pitching performances of 2016..........

Road From Ruin: the race is on! C.J. Wilson is just barely a neck ahead of Tim Lincecum in his rehab schedule. But be mindful, Mike Scioscia tends to hold Wilson back a tad. So we still have a chance that Lincecum could beat Wilson to the mound. I should be ecstatic, but somehow I feel like I am watching a race between guys on crutches..........

Eject: MLB is suffering from an ejection epidemic this month. This epidemic has not avoided LAA.  Tracking 2016 MLB ejections over at Umpire Ejection Fantasy League, we see that we had 2 ejections in March, 17 ejections in all of April, and 22 days into May we are already at 39. So imagine my surprise when we see Phil Hughes of the Twins practically beg to be ejected, but was not. Hughes led off the 5th against Josh Donaldson with a decent effort at Donaldson's ribs, but Donaldson managed to dance around it. Not to be deterred, Hughes sent his second pitch even further inside, ending up behind Donaldson. For background, there had already been some banter with Donaldson and the Twins dugout and Donaldson had homered earlier. Somehow home plate umpire Mark Ripperger came to some other conclusion, much to Donaldson's dismay. At this point, Jays manager John Gibbons walked out onto the field to protect his player, and some relatively calm discussions were held. But this is May, and we have to eject somebody. Fortunately, Dickhead Joe West was on the scene and was not to be denied. Not not only does West eject Gibbons, but he chastises him all the way back to the dugout. Nice work, there, umps..........

More Eject: Now fast forward to Saturday night, when in the 9th inning plate umpire Dale Scott suddenly decided to re-invent the modern interpretation of the strike zone. Yunel Escobar struck out looking at ball 2 and went ballistic. He was ejected. That was easy because he was already done for the night and was truly histrionic. Then up came Mike Trout, who went nuts when Scott called ball 2 a strike. Trout, an MLB god and a player still in the game, was given some leeway and not ejected. Which brings us back to the post-game interviews from Friday night. Mike Scioscia thought that Santiago should have been granted some leeway, and given a warning. A starting pitcher tossed that early is a serious problem for any team, including a longer-term impact on the bullpen. But read the link. Orioles skipper Buck Showalter agreed with Sosh, pointing out that there is a different standard for hitters than pitchers, and that hitters get leeway when pitchers do not.  And the contrasting outcomes of Hector Santiago and Mike rout are the example of that point..........

Changes in the Wind: 2017 may be seriously different. We could see pitchers not having to soft toss 4 pitches for intentional walks, and teams might get to simply wave the batter to first base. And MLB might force umpires to stop calling strikes at pitches below the knees (Escobar? Trout??)...........The A's plumbing problem has returned..........And at a fraction of the cost, George Springer is more entertaining and more realistic than Jurrasic World............


The Duffle Bag

We get Tim Lincecum, the Rangers get Yu Darvish. Something tells me that is a win for Texas. Good news for us is that Darvish will open Saturday, after we have left Arlington...........Beach balls at baseball games are stupid. No. Correct that. Beach balls at baseball games are fucking stupid............Oh, boo hoo. The A's have Sonny Gray going to the DL, joining Josh Reddick. Why, that's practically a plague!..........Stoopid Padres. They cannot even get the National Anthem right. UPDATE: Padres take responsibility for screwup. Fire somebody else............Rougned Odor is not going to get to profit off his brawl and suspension after all? That decision must have come from MLB. It's not the kind of thing that we have been reading and hearing out of Texas itself..........Running outside the basepath is an out. Except when that basepath is the running lane to first. Then it's not an out, it's an out. Got that? Neither does Joe Maddon...........We know that Bartolo Colon can''t run. Turn out that he hates to walk, too............La Liga needs to contacted by the Oakland A's tarp sales rep. Stat..........Jewish baseball players kicking ass right now...........