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Thor'sLinks: Shoemaker dazzles, but offense frazzles

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Matt Shoemaker showed us a yet another consecutive awesome start, giving up only 7 earned runs over his last 27 2/3's innings. But the offense spent everything on Tuesday night, and nearly got no-hit.

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

That's great. Matt Shoemaker has stepped up to be a workhorse in the rotation and help keep the LAA ship afloat, and the offense spends all it's chips the night before. Of course, thanks to Hector Santiago, Cam Bedrosian and Fernando Salas, the Angels needed ALL of that offense the prior night to survive.

So Shoemaker is busy making a nice run of consecutive starts and the Angels are folding over on behalf of yet another rookie pitcher on the opposing mound. Of course, it helps that the stadium shadows were there to impact both sets of hitters.

Fortunately, we have a day off and only have to deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates get a lot of press playing in the tougher NL Central, but they have only 2 more wins overall than the Halos. So, who knows?

Have some High Heeled Shoemaker Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Trout Porn: Fangraphs confesses that they have been overlooking Mike Trout The Glorious in 2016, much to their own dismay. So they rectify that and remind the entire Baseball World that we are the luckiest baseball fans of our generation. "Nothing more needs to be said, but everything needs to be said. He’s just amazing, and this game is constantly changing, so watch him play baseball as often as you can, lest you miss something." And, yeah, Trout is crushing it in 2016............And, looking long-term and using the long ball, Trout is well on his way to joining the 500 HR club.  Comparing him to the 500 club, at about the same number of Plate Appearances Trout is running 18th all-time...........Conversely, Grant Brisbee does a mind game where April never happened, so what would baseball look like now? On his list is the sample headline "Did Bryce Harper turn into Adam Dunn?" because take away Arpil and Harper is "...right at the Mendoza Line, and that can't all be bad luck. What's more worrisome is the relative lack of power. He's at four home runs, which is fine and dandy, but he's hit just one double, and his slugging percentage is a modest .363."..........

KRod: At one point, before Francisco Rodriguez was young and effective and being used like a wet mule by Mike Scioscia, I was convinced that K-Rod was on his way to the Hall of Fame. After taking over the closer role for Troy Percival, he was averaging nearly 50 Saves per season. hate the Save stat all you want, you don't have a vote for the Hall of Fame. That big payday thing didn't work out. He had had injuries. he has had personal controversy. He has had suspensions. He has only twice made as much money as he was making at the end of his LAA days. And he has averaged only about 25 saves per season since. And yet, on the auspicious occasion of Frankie earning his first save in Anaheim for an opposing side yesterday, Sosh proclaimed Frankie to be on his way to an HoF plaque. Strange, to me, that Sosh is so strong behind a guy like Frankie who has tailed off pretty strongly, when Sosh was so pathetically weak in getting behind his own Mike Trout when Trout needed a little extra P.R. juice to help vault him into an MVP award...........

Big Mistakes: We have our GMJ, Jr. We have our Vernon Wells. We have our Josh Hamilton. And, most notoriously, we have our Albertross Pujols. So we can judge. We, of all fans. We can laugh at the Phillies and their Ryan Howard, who is being paid $25 million and is owed another $23 million for next year, and cannot even get off the bench anymore..............And we can laugh at the Cincinnati Reds and their Joey Votto, who is being paid $20 million this year, is still owed another $172 million through 2024, and is batting .213 with a -0.6 bWAR. Think hard, my friends, about the possible ramifications these stories all have for Mike Trout's next contract...........

PEDS: The Indians are going to have a tough time living this one down. With Marlon Byrd getting the 162-game ban-hammer for his second PEDs offense, that makes two Cleveland outfielders in the same season to get nailed (the first being Abraham Almonte). The Tribe cannot even do that right. They are sucking this season just as badly as we are..........I would surmise that, with the Indians ditching their cream-colored jerseys after this season, next year they will replace them with something more topical, say, black and white stripes...........And with the Byrd announcement, the had-wringing has begun. Jeremy Guthrie, a fellow player, is pissed off and retired player Dan Haren is tweeting pissiness.  Over at ESPN Eric Karabell is on a high horse about how cheating does pay, while Jerry Crasnick has put himself up in the watchtower on the lookout for who is next............

Pirates & Headhunters: There I was, reading up some more on how the Pirates tend to throw high and inside - in the general vicinity of where opposing batters store their noggins - far and away more than any other MLB team. More often than 3 standard deviations above average. There within the details are the data points the author uses to identify pitches that are "high & tight": at least 3.2 feet off the plate, and at least 1.2 feet towards the batter from the center of home plate. Home plate is 17 inches wide, which makes it 8 1/2 inches from the center of the plate to the outside edge. Thusly, 1.2 feet being about 14 1/2 inches, we have an inside of at least 6 full inches inside. Yeah, pretty tight. But the part that struck me was only 3.2 feet off the plate. How, I wondered, could that be considered "high"? Being 6'4" tall myself, that would merely be "high" to my back pocket. But then I went and looked at one of the pitches that prompted the article, the pitch that beaned Jean Segura. Segura is only 5'10" and uses a deep crouch. And when the pitch came in he ducks and drops to the ground to try and get under it, lowering his head even further. So, yeah, freezing the frame right before impact that pitch is only about 35 to 40 inches of the ground. That may be a valid measure for the author, after all. Which then brings to mind the other surprising realization. 29 other MLB teams make it a point to stay far, far away from an entire quadrant around home plate.............

Pissed off Owner: I'd like to see this in Anaheim, to be frank. The Padres owner, Ron Fowler, went on the radio and blasted his team, saying the he is embarrassed and frustrated. His best line was when he confessed that "we've been miserable failures so far.". Yep, Pads, you have been. But to clarify my statement that I would like to see this in Anaheim, let me be clear. It's not cool to blast the players put out onto the field. Ever. Even on teams that are intentionally tanking for strategic advantage, like the Astros did and the Braves are doing, the players on the field are not the ones tanking. Even if their output sucks, they are working their ass off to not suck and they are the first to be embarrassed at sucking in such a public context. No, what I would like to see is Arte sit down in front of a mic and proclaim that he is embarrassed and frustrated at his own involvement and that he has been a miserable failure as General Manager..........

Sports Biz: Cord-cutters keep shredding ESPN's subscriber population, now down 1.5 million pairs of eyeballs. Sorry ESPN, but the damage done by the likes of Skip Bayless is beyond repair..........

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The Duffle Bag

Toronto police department with a fine sense of humor (h/t reddit. Make sure to enlarge the page so that you can read the full report).............I missed this "come backer" in Tuesday night's game. I admire that one. It's what I would do every so often if I were a Big Leaguer. Puts pitchers on notice that I am not defenseless...........So Barry Bonds is getting wiser and more self-aware as he gets older, admitting that he used to be a major dick? Hey Barry, as Doc Pederson shows, you still are one..........Mitch Williams, former middling MLB relief pitcher who is best know for this lollipop, just watched his latest meatball get swatted completely out of the court yesterday.............Why should NFL fans have all the fun with the Deflategate fiasco? Minor League ball gets in on the action, themselves..........Trevor Rosenthal of the Cards is more American than any of YOU are, and don't you forget it!...........A's fans fight for a foul ball. Guy "A" wins the ball. Guy "B" wins the beer that used to belong to guy "A"...........Shades of Kendrys. Felix Hernandez got so excited when one of his teammates stroked a home run, that he leaped off the bench to celebrate. And, in so doing, he ripped his own calf muscle and is headed to the DL............Old-timey vintage Babe Ruth footage pulled out of the archives for us history freaks..........Hot dog races are not for the meek or timid. Vegan pretend dogs need not apply...........This is what happens to Steve Bartman now that we have Instant Replay. Let's call this progress............The Cuban talent pipeline appears to have dried up..........

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Mystery Graph

(Yeah, that one last week was too easy. Try your hand at this one...)

Mystery-Chart-2

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