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HumpLinks:Dark times in Gotham

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The Angels are seeing the sun set on their season. We need some guys back, and we need to make a couple of runs. Not unpossible.

Elsa/Getty Images

Yesterday was un-inspiring. Not the kind of effort we need at this point in the season. It might still be early June, but the club is already 10 games out of the lead in the Division, and 6 games out of the Wild Card with 9 teams ahead of them. Don't believe me? if this crew would want to hit 90 wins in 2016, they already now have to go 69-35 the rest of the way out. Who is the idiot out there thinking this talent pool can pull that off? That would be a rate that would equate to an 107 win season across a full 162 games. So, like, no.

We need some luck. We need some guys getting back from the DL. Especially pitchers. We need some magic from newcomers like Tim Lincecum. We need Mike Trout to arrest the free fall of his offense (having dropped 16 points in 4 games, and his Slugging Percentage has dropped 40 points in 6 games). We need Albert Pujols to strike out instead of grounding into double plays (it's always better to make only 1 out rather than 2 with the same plate appearance). We need a couple of double-digit win streaks. And even with all that we need the Rangers and Astros to stop winning.

If those things don't start happening soon, I'm going to be forced to go back and focus more on the beer. Or my newest discovery: Sotol.

Have some Kick It Into Gear Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Add Some Gas: When a team makes a trade for another player, "for cash considerations", isn't that just a stupid way of saying that team "A" bought a player form team "B"? Because that's what the Angels did yesterday. They bought, as in "traded for cash", a minor league pitcher named Jose Valdez from the Tigers. Now don't go getting your hopes up. This Jose Valdez dude is not going to be rescuing anything: "The 26-year-old right-hander tallied nine innings of work for the Tigers last season.  Over that span, he allowed 10 hits, four earned runs and four walks to accompany his four strikeouts. Managing a 0-1 record en route to an even 4.00 ERA, he also amassed one blown save as well." Based on this backstory of his minor league results one must assume that Valdez is a find brought to Billy Eppler's attention by his scouting department out there beating the bushes..........

Le Freak: Tim Lincecum took another turn with the Bees yesterday. He went 5 innings and gave up 2 earned runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. That's good enough for the Anaheim offense to win games right there, folks. But hang tight everybody. Lincecum wants one more AAA start and he is set to make it in Fresno, against the Tacos Grizzlies...........

Smith, Street, & Morin: Yeppers. Joe SMith's experiment with eating extra Wheaties to heal his hamstring has failed, and to the DL he goes. Mike Morin is recalled.............Now returning from the DL party boat is Huston Street, rejoining the team. Let's hope we need to use him..............Oh, yeah. And Javy Guerra is back into the DFA tunnel............

Cobbling Together Success: Matt Shoemaker has become a different animal of late. How is he doing it? More splitters. "In addition to the increased strikeouts, all of Shoemaker’s peripherals have improved. The ground ball rate (GB%) on his splitter increased from less than 40% prior to his May 21 start to more than 60% afterward. That’s a HUGE deal for a dude with serious fly ball issues. And it might be sustainable, too, given he’s spotting the pitch a bit better now than he had been in April and early May. He’s also throwing the pitch for strikes almost three-fourths of the time — much better than the near-coin flip from his first seven starts. It’s so simple, but more strikes and fewer balls correlates nicely with more strikeouts and fewer walks."............

Birds Airing It Out: MLB sees Trumbombs leading all of baseball this year. Think about it. Mike Trout has 12 home runs. Albert Pujols has 12 home runs. Those two anchors are on track for 33 homers for the entire season. Mark Trumbo has 20 home runs all by himself, already. His magic is the he is mashing fastballs with 99th percentile exit velocity and slightly better launch angle. Now, when he makes contact, "...Trumbo is wasting less of his time on singles.Trumbo is among a crew on a record pace. Alone, Mark is projecting out to 56 homers this season. LAA farm system product right there, people..........

Bird Brained: Robin Ventura is the cause of yet another melee? Who would have guessed? After plunking the Orioles' Manny Machado, however, this time Ventura to a clean shot to the head and learned that he is not a protected species. Maybe he will learn something from this. No. No he won't.............

CWS: The 8 Super Regional schedule has been laid out. Games begin Friday and ESPN will be covering. For us Westerners, Arizona is at Mississippi State at 3PM (PDT), and UC Santa Barbara will be at Louisville on Saturday, time to be determined.............

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The Duffle Bag

Chinese baseball loves bat-flipping. I love Chinese baseball.............Everybody dreams of having The Mike Trout. Joe Girardi was the closest, so it's Ok for him to daydream............Someday soon the MLB Instant Replay System will be changed. Here are the obvious improvements to be expected..........That Yankee team rolling us? They aren't even the best team in New York, and might not be again for a long time...........You are a Major League Baseball player. So even when you fail, fail big.............Take heart in knowing that Albert Pujols doesn't even make the cut on the All-Star team of horrible contracts..........Madison Bumgarner is not afraid of the home run derby jinx. SF Giants Manager Bruce Bochy, on the other hand, is most fearful..........We always hear about the Majesty of the '27 Yankees, even though none of us saw them. The 2016 Cubs might be changing all that.............Is GOT jumping the shark now? The Pirates have taken on the meme for their opening lineup announcement. No, not these pirates. The other Pirates, from Pittsburgh............Uh, Ok everybody, rebuild your MLB draft  predictions. Delvin Perez, a Top 5 probable, just failed a drug test.

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Mystery Graph

(Yesterday's was, as TOC called it, how LAA stacks up against the American League average in terms of team ERA over the years. Today...go...)

Mystery-Chart-5


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