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Thor'sLinks: Angels almost not lose badly. Do.

Angels 9th inning come back falls just short.

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Wow. That was such a close one. After a see-saw battle in the first half, which saw the Angels go into the locker room with a 5-4 lead, the Yankees took advantage of our starting QB and his rookie backup to zoom into the lead. But then Mike Trout, roaring back from his recent slump, belted a home run to open the 9th and bring the Angels to within a single touchdown. Alas, the three batters to follow could not put the ball over the goal line one more time and the LAA comeback came up short. If only our lads had one last bit of luck in their game. And if only this wasn't baseball.

Three un-close losses in a row to a mediocre Yankees club, because we are a slightly less than mediocre Angels club.

Have some Really Bad Big Apple Links:


Everywhere In Baseball

Draft Dodging: The MLB draft starts at 3PM (PDT) today. The Angels pick at #16 and #60 today. As you follow just remember: laughter makes for the best medicine..........

Mahle Trolley: Greg Mahle got pasted last night. 3 hits, 2 of which were homers. 4 runs, 2 earned. No strikeouts and no walks. All through only 2 outs. That earned him a cab ride to the airport for a long flight back to AAA. Well, that and the time Tuesday he kind of missed his target. But don't give up on the kid, though. He started the season strong so he is capable, and he's barely 23 years old...........

Credit Where Due: Give Mike Scioscia credit here. When teams struggle and disappoint and the season is falling apart, small things can escalate quickly into controversy and tear things to shreds. The Angels are at such a spot in their season and when Yunel Escobar makes a couple of screw-ups on consecutive days, getting a strong but tempered response from a skipper with Sosh's authority and track record keeps everything on even keel. Sosh isn't taking the media bait and, by not doing so, keeps his players glues together..........

Bobblehead: I'd like to say that Yardano Ventura is an asshat, but that would be me merely projecting. After all, I only sit here behind computer screens and TV screens. What do I know? Players and managers, on the other hand, they are immersed in this world. They know. So if they say that Ventura is an asshat, that must mean something. Players and managers know that Ventura hit Machado on purpose based on their hour-by-hour personal experience on the field and in the clubhouse. And the Royals Front Office knows that Ventura is more trouble than he is worth. So if those people tell me that Ventura is an asshat, my saying it is no longer projecting..........

Throwing predictions out the Window: Of all the Divisions in MLB this season, it is the AL West that has been absolute chaos. "This is not to say the other divisions haven't been fun. The whole reason for cutting out the process of getting from Opening Day to these points in the graphs above is to hide the fact that every division is fun...The AL West is special, though, because no one saw these battles coming.".........

Yu Back?: Yu Darvish, fresh from Tommy John recovery, is demonstrating why the whole TJ process itself is one of special care and mystery. In just his 3rd start back, he took to shoulder tightness and was pulled as a precaution. I make note of something like this as a cautionary tale for us, who have several of these cases in our own future..........

Hamboned: Josh Hamitlon, traded away by Arte Moreno to the Texas Medical Center, where he has spent all but 50 games over the past year and a half, had reconstructive ACL surgery yesterday. So, what, now he's out until next June, the final year of his contract?...........

Shield Your Eyes: Back on May 31st, in his final outing for the Padres, James "Big Game" Shields got totally pasted by the Mariners. This earned Shields and the Padres a tongue lashing from his own team owner.   Shields was sent packing to the White Sox just 4 days later. Then, 4 days after that, yesterday, Shields took his first turn for his new team. And he picked back up right where he left off. He got pummeled for 8 hits, 3 of which were home runs, and 7 earned runs over only 2 innings. That left the White Sox in such a bind that they then went through 6 bullpen arms before being forced to call upon a position player to close out the game by pitching the 9th. ladies and gentlemen, I give you the left-handed, +90mph throwing, conqueror of Ben Revere AND Jason Werth AND Bryce Harper: THE J.B. Shuck. FML.


The Duffle Bag

Cleveland outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall hits home run. Pasty Mariner's fan hoping to be cool throws it back. Pasty M's fan's girlfriend kicks his ass in public for being a doofus..........Juan Uribe, dogging it..........Lyle Spencer just gagged. Modern Master of baseball data analytics, Tom Tango, has been hired into the Baseball Mothership to oversee StatCast data. His blog will continue.........Just a friendly reminder that Tyler Chatwood, killing it outside of Coors Field (where we don't play), netted us the guy who is currently catching for the Mariners..........I once had a business associate regal me with stories about his days hanging with Snoop Dogg. How Snoop would ring his doorbell out of the blue and the two of them would spend the subsequent 12 hours or so out in his back yard indulging in the kinds of things that would one day result in performances such as this............It requires a hell of a lot of spin from Royals' manager Ned Yost to figure out a way to make Yordano Ventura appear as a victim..........By the way, after Victor and Gubi made a crowd-source 11-place finish for their TV broadcast coverage, Terry Smith and Mark Langston got voted nearly dead last. That's mostly because nobody voted............Wait. 16 cases of beer is supposed to last an entire year? I must be doing something wrong..........Manny Machado has crabs. For life. He will need to be careful how to announce that..........Mike Piazza bought himself a franchise. A soccer franchise............


Mystery Graph

(TOC has been nailing these. Yesterday was, indeed, LAA runs scored each season versus AL League average runs scored. In his honor, the color of today's mystery chart is orange...)