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HumpLinks: Tyler tailors gem. Tinkers with KC hitters.

The LAA offense roared all night, humiliating the KC Royals. The only thing throughout MLB last night loud enough to drown out the Halo Hit Parade was the pitching mastery of Tyler Skaggs, who carved the defending champs to shreds.

Harry How/Getty Images

The Angels looked like monsters last night. It cannot be argued that this was not against the defending World Series Champs. It can be argued that these Royals are playing like anything but, but this kind of quibbling is for losers.

Tyler Skaggs immediately jumps to the head of the class. At worse, assuming Hector Santiago is having a good day, Skaggs is our #3. Last night was arguably a #1 quality start, as Skaggs was simply brilliant. but Matt Shoemaker has more of these under his belt. It's just that Shoemaker hasn't been getting anything near Skaggs' run support. It took the Angels 4 of Shoey's starts to gather up as many runs and hits as they brought forth on behalf of Skaggs last night.

But make no mistake, Skaggs was dominant, picking up right where he left off in Salt Lake. Sure, he didn't hit double-digit strikeouts, but his Game Score of 79 was THE top pitching performance in baseball last night. That's the 8th best Game Score by a Halo this season. (Shoey has an 88, 86 and 84. Chacin has an 84. Santiago has an 82 and 80, and Weaver has an 81. And, for hte record, the best in Baseball this year is Madison Bumgarner on 7/10/2016 with a 98.)

I'm sure it was mentioned in the game thread, or the broadcast, or on the LAA web site, or in recaps everywhere, but in case you avoided all that I pulled up the BBR Play Index and pulled up the history. The last time the Angels collected 22 hits in one game was...oh...July 2nd. As in 2016. They scored 21 against the Red Sox. What the hell, since I have the data the Angels have had a total of eight 22-hit games. They have had two 23-hit games, one 24-hit game, one 25-hit game, and their franchise record of 26-hit games has occurred only twice, 8/25/1979 against Toronto and 6/20/1980, also against the Red Sox.

More fun facts: Albert Pujols left 7 men stranded on base. Kole Calhoun, Daniel Nava and Ji-Man Choi each left 5. Andrelton Simmons and Johnny Giavotella each left 4. And Mike Trout left 3. The Team LOB total was 14, and they went 9 for 25 with Runners In Scoring Position. So it could have been a hell of a lot worse.

Yunel Escobar didn't leave anything, anywhere. The dude went 5 for 5 AND was walked once, scoring twice. That's the kind of thing that can raise an OBP somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 points...AT THE LATE JULY POINT. Holy crap I'mma gonna miss that guy...........

Back to Skaggs, I have one word for you for the foreseeable future: "innings limit". If you recall, innings limit was THE major health tracker for Stephen Strasburg , which worked out even through some playoff controversy. It was also THE major health tracker for Matt Harvey which came with its own controversy, and might not have worked out after all. The Tyler Skaggs counters are now 7.0 innings. (Yeah, he also threw 88 pitches but that doesn't mean as much, since nobody is keeping tabs on all the rehab pre-game warmups and rehab starts AND the ongoing MLB pre-game warmups.)

Oh yeah. Shame on Johnny Giavotella, who got worked by Halos' ex-catcher Drew Butera there in the 9th. Butera lasted 6 pitches in emergency relief and faced Johnny G. with the bases loaded. It took 6 pitches before Giavotella put a ball into play, but it was merely a in infield ground out to end the onslaught.

Have some Laughter-Is-The-Best-Medicine Links:


Everywhere In Baseball

Trade Winds: Give LAA GM Billy Eppler some credit. It appears he has some serious chutzpah. He is listening to calls from other GM's wanting Hector Santiago, but rumor has it that his asking price is pretty steep: "...two controllable starters, but only if it would improve the team’s roster right now or in the near future." Now that's ballsy. ONE back-of-the-rotation starter controllable for little more than 12 months, in exchange for TWO viable starters that are locked into longer-term situations. Not even the Marlins should be that dumb. Jeez. If that's what Eppler is demanding for Santiago, what must he be demanding for Shoemaker???.........

Buy vs. Sell vs. Sit on your hands: FiveThirtyEight has this thing called The Doyle Number, which they developed to measure whether an MLB team should be a buyer versus a seller at the trade deadline. Since Nate Solver has his abacus engaged in figuring out what a Doyle Number is all about, we should pay attention. Yeah, without even looking you know that the Angels should not be buyers right now. Basically, teams with a Doyle Number above 1.00 should be buyers, and teams below should be sellers. BUT, teams at 0.00 "...reserved for hopeless playoff causes, essentially means there’s no amount of current-season talent that would make giving up a future win worth it." There are 8 such teams. And just barely above the hopeless are the Angels, at 0.01...........

Teen Idols: This is fun. Here is Andrew Heaney, 25 years, 1 month and 23 days old. When he grows up he wants to be just like his hero Tyler Skaggs, who is 25 years, 0 months and 15 days old..........

Too Little, Too Late: The citizens of Cobb County finally got the chance to vote in defense of their wallets concerning the ongoing scam that is the new baseball stadium they are being forced to gift to the owners of the Atlanta Braves. Unfortunately, the vote doesn't get them their money back. It just boots to the curb the politician most responsible for picking their pockets. I am looking forward to the Braves naming ex-County Chairman Tim Lee some kind of new Special Assistant to Vice Chairman John Schuerholtz...............

Upgrades: That trade between the Yankees and Cubs that featured Aroldis Chapman has stirred up quite a bit of chatter and review. It truly is a blockbuster, with 4 prospects going back to New York in exchange for a one-inning guy. FanGraphs looks at how those 4 guys going to the Yankees project out into the future. But you know what would be really cool? The Yankees sent away to the Reds 4 prospects to get Chapman.How do THOSE prospects project out? And what is the difference between what the Yankees sent away and what they got back in return? A huge haul, I suspect.............

K Street: Miguel Sano is re-writing history with his massively incredible strikeout skills. Looking at Albert Pujols' start, Pujols was at 227 K's after his first 2,036 Plate Appearances. Sano is walking back to the dugout at more than three times that rate. It's hard to fathom that this is considered acceptable if you can get 36 hoe runs per season out of the guy. "However, to simply suggest that Sano would be better if he struck out less is sort of missing the point of how he’s so good in the first place. He’s unafraid of striking out, treating it just like a groundout or a pop up or whichever method of making an out is deemed less aesthetically jarring than whiffing." Of course, grounding out and popping up are the kinds of outs that could advance a base runner, but who's counting?...........


The Duffle Bag

Peter Bourjos is still busy beating himself the hell up..........Dee Gordon's hangover ends today.............Karma is a bitch. 10 days after the Pads won on a walk-off balk, the Pads turned around and lost on a walk-off WP...........MLB is no fun. They threaten to fine Yasiel Puig for wearing Vin Scully cleats. Bryce Harper needs to get involved...........The word is out: Seattle execs are a bunch of cheapskates and players around MLB are in revolt..........One lucky little kid, who won't realize it for another 8 years or so...........Man, this Chris Sale uniform escapade just keeps growing way beyond its actual value..........What the heck is going on down on the farm? Minor League baseball is getting into a lot of major league brawls all of a sudden...........(h/T UniWatch) Minor League Baseball goes all Elf on a Shelf...........Stealing home is the most exciting play in baseball. Who knew there was a way to make it even more exciting?

OT: Noah Syndergaard is joining Mike Trout in weather love. For my part, I would hate to have that particular office that got zapped...........


Mystery Graph

(I'm going to give TOC the class credit for figuring out the last Mystery Chart. It was Win Probability Added for hitters, all MLB. At the time, Trout was #2 behind Anthony Rizzo. They are currently flipped. TOC was close enough for the win, and we move on. Bwaa haa haa!...)