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CincoLinks de Mayo: Mike Trout Storming Olympus

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On this day, we Americans celebrate Mexico's defeat of the invading French military at the Battle of Puebla, where Mexico turned back Napolean III's attempts to come to the aid of the Confederates in our own Civil War.

We'll give you some Trout, but we'll also give you some Cinco, 'cuz it's Mayo.
We'll give you some Trout, but we'll also give you some Cinco, 'cuz it's Mayo.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Thank The Maker we got to the REAL Brewers bullpen yesterday. Finally. So we got upsides. Primarily, Michael Nelson Trout.

Mike Trout has 6 home runs in his last 13 games (7 total on the year), and is climbing the fWAR leaderboard once again............Which is how the Brewers intentionally walked Trout in the 9th in order to get to Albert Pujols. (That paid off briefly for the Brewers as Pujols dutifully flied out. But that also meant that Kole Calhoun got to the plate that much quicker, and Calhoun promptly delivered that insurance run that Pujols could not)..........And, finally, Trout's family was in attendance, much to the delight of the Brewers mascot..........

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But for 7 innings we watched in horror at the looming prospect of a sweep from the Brewers. The Angels did that thing they do best: perform feebly at the plate against some fresh-faced newbie to MLB who happens to be stationed on a pitchers mound. Zach Davies 23-years old and all of 155 pounds soaking wet. He had 6 appearances for the Brewer late last year, with a couple of rough outings against Pittsburgh but settled down as the season came to an end and acquitted himself well enough to earn a starting role this season. Of course, this is a starting spot within a pitching staff with the worst ERA in all of baseball.

Yesterday, entering the game, Zach Davies had the worst ERA of all starters in the 25-man, on the squad with the worst ERA in MLB. Literally, the worst of the worst. He had made 3 starts, lasted a combined 13.1 innings total, and surrendered 14 runs, 13 of which were earned.

Yesterday, Davies made it through 6 innings and threw 97 pitches. His career highs are 7 innings (against the Marlins and also down in San Diego, a game I attended) and 102 pitches (against Cincinnati last year).

Yesterday, the Angels ran Davies' season ERA down nearly two whole points, from 8.78 to 6.98. Zach Davies now has the 3rd best ERA on the Brewers. The Los Angeles Angels say "You're welcome, Zach. Have a fine career!"

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Just thinking out loud on a slow day. After Hector Santiago loaded the bases yesterday, Cam Bedrosian came in and struck out the first batter, then threw a wild pitch allowing the runner on 3rd base to score. I know that it is Santiago's fault for there being a runner on 3rd to begin with, but it just doesn't seem that the run was earned when the scoring was the result of a pitcher-styled error on the part of Bedrosian. If that pitch was across the plate and the ball hit back to Bedrosian, who then threw wildly to the plate and allowed that run to score, would it still have been "earned"? No, but that is because throwing wildly to home plate and allowing a base runner to advance AFTER the ball has been struck is considered an "error", while doing so BEFORE the ball has been struck is not considered an error. Somebody should fix that.

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Everywhere In Baseball

Old School: Joe Smith was tasked with a 6-run save, something that Mike Scioscia just does not do. The last time was September of 2013............It helps that Smith has had not much to do in Milwaukee and the Halos are off today, too...........

Richards to Rags?: I have my probable pitchers table already filled out for tomorrow's Links, but they are probably in error (again, I know). Garrett Richards might not make his start...........

Black Days Ahead: We all know that Bud Black is merely biding time in Anaheim until his phone rings to take over skipper duties elsewhere. But if that call comes from Atlanta, why would any rational person take it?.............

Royal Projections: The CBS MLB Power Rankings expects the Royals to start kicking it into gear after their recent mini-swoon. So do I, but not because I think they have their mojo back. It will be because once they leave Washington they have 10 games against the Indians, Yankees and Braves. Those three teams have a combined 48 losses among them already this season, with a paltry .351 winning percentage. They are 3 of the 9 lowest-scoring teams in MLB, and 3 of the 14 highest ERA staffs. The Royals will do well next week, but it won't mean much of anything more than the Royals are better than the Angels at beating teams they should..........

Harp On This: As I mentioned days and days ago, the early season man-crush on Bryce Harper, with Mike Trout being shuffled into the media background, had more to do with Harper feasting on crap pitching staffs while Trout was getting fed to a seemingly endless series of future Hall Of Fame pitchers. And that would change. Well, change it has. We already have noted Trout's ascendancy.  But as soon as Harper's Tour of Triumph traveled to places like Philadelphia, St. Louis and Kansas City, his numbers have deflated. He is 5 for 32 (including last night) for a .156 BA since getting to hit in 15 of his first 18 games against Atlanta, Miami and Minnesota. And so here we have it, on the season Daniel Murphy is out-hitting Bryce Harper. Hell, Matt Joyce is hitting better than Bryce Harper!.........

Elitism: The Yankees getting roasted by the media (and by me, FWIW) because they wish to provide exclusive access and amenities to those fans who can afford to pay the highest prices for an exclusive experience. Meanwhile, the media (but not me) are roasting the Marlins as a fan sues Marlins because he paid a lot for his seats and is not getting an exclusive experience. Go figure............

Masters of our Universe: Yeah, like I wrote weeks ago, there is no shame in opening the season with a pair of losses to this particular Cubs team. They are kicking everybody's ass at levels we have not seen before. It might not last, but for now it very much is real. "If you adjust for how bunched-up team run differentials have become in recent years, the Cubs are off to the strongest 24-game start since at least 1950."..........

Sports Biz: Cord-cutters unite! As the cable broadcast paradigm closes in on disintegration, Hulu is jumping in to snatch up the choicest market opportunities before the feeding frenzy begins...........But baseball lovers despair. The economic pressure of cord-cutting is going to take out all the content - including all the more minor sports - on the periphery before it gets into the core and had a significant impact on Major League Baseball.............

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The Duffle Bag

If folks are upset about Instant Replay in St. Louis last night, where was the outcry on the 7 minute and 50 second delay for the umps to figure out catcher obstruction in the Angels game on Tuesday?..........Star Wars Bonanza. On the day of May the 4th Be With You, we had a Rays/Dodgers score at one point of R2-D2, and a Cubs/Pirates score at one point of C3-P0..........That didn't take long. Derek Jeter is already playing the "ain't like it was back in my day" card...........The Dodgers are really struggling with their $25 million Cuban Hyper Hope. I assume suspension is how they try to get their money back?.........Hey Cutch! That looked like an error to me. Of a Barry Bonds magnitude type of error (see 2002 World Series, Game 6). So do I get fired as Links-Dude?...........Why, Dodgers, why?? Why can't Yasiel Puig have a helicopter??...........Cleveland fan with Super Selfie...........The Yankees have certainly lost whatever MLB clout they once used to have to lord over the rest of baseball............

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