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Thor'sLinks: Halos battle walks with walk-off

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The Halo bullpen blew up the strike zone in the 8th and 9th innings last night, loading the bases both innings and giving up the lead. Only two miracle double-plays and an Albert Pujols 2-run walk-off homer saved the day.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

And what was I just saying yesterday about Oakland not taking walks like they did in the A's of Old?? My idea of the Oakland legacy is a team that wins by refusing to swing a bat. The plate umpire gets conned into losing his strike zone (which he did when he lost the bottom of the zone with Bedrosian pitching). Base runners appear all over the place. Leads are lost. Oakland pillages another cheap one. Billy Beane is a genius.

Last night was a perfect display. Even the final infield double-play to end the Oakland 9th inning rally came from not wanting to swing the bat. Six walks in the 8th and 9th innings led to 2 runs scored and a tie game. Two miraculous inning-ending double plays with the bases loaded kept things from becoming a catastrophe. Thankfully, Albert Pujols is having a powerful second half and the Oakland reliever Ryan Dull panicked with Mike Trout running from 1st base on a 3-1 count and serving up a meatball sandwich that Pujols deposited deep into the Family Section for a walk-off win, with Mike Trout scoring the winning run.

Have some Echoes of Glory Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Trop-Oh!-Cannot: It's official. After getting his second guess, Nick Tropeano is committed to TJ surgery. See ya in 2018, Trop!..........

Richards' Rich News: Garrett Richards, on the other hand, sailed through his latest checkup showing more healing taking place. His stem cell therapy may be having a positive effect (I say maybe, 'cuz I'm no doctor and I'm no scientist). He has another checkup in a couple of weeks and he has until November to decide if this treatment will circumvent a surgical response..........

Cron-ic: C.J. Cron has been cleared to swing a bat. That's a little bit sooner than originally expected. Let's hope that when he finally does get back he picks up where he left off...........

Trout Porn: Just a head's up, everybody. Using BBR as the tape measure, Trout is .9 bWAR away from taking the franchise lead from Jim Fregosi for career overall WAR. He is 1.1 offensive bWAR away from taking the franchise lead from Tim Salmon. He is still 2 - 3 years away from cracking the franchise Top 10 career dWAR, though..........Also, BBR tweets out that, as per JAWS, Trout has a better case for the Hall of Fame than do Kirby Puckett or Johnny Damon. Puckett IS in the HoF already. So is Larry Doby, also behind Trout. In fact, BBR lists 11 HoF center fielders who Trout has already passed in JAWS and if we exclude Harry Wright, every one of them has at least 500 more games under their belt than does Trout......By the way, who has Johnny Damon on their HoF ballot?..........Mike Trout Factoid: April 4th through Jun 27th SLG % = .572. June 28th through August 2nd SLG% = .451..........

Jose, can you Si another Trout?: Here we go again. Jose Altuve is having a mind-blowing season. An MVP-type season. He has a succession of excellent seasons, to be honest. That doesn't make him another Trout. It does make him the latest success story to measured against Trout, which is a pretty awesome career achievement right there. At least this time, unlike the earlier Bryce Harper and Trevor Story surges but more like Josh Donaldson, Altuve is lasting............

Auld Lang Syne: ChiTown put on one of those Ex-Los Angeles Angels of Someplace Else celebrations yesterday at Wrigley Field. In the 7th and 8th innings we saw John Lackey surrender a 2-run home run to Jeff Mathis, followed by Joe Smith giving up a dinger with the 8th pitch of his Chicago Cubs career. Lackey was working a 1-1 tie when Somehow-Still-Employed Mathis took him deep. And Smith sent the Cubs deeper into a 1-4 deficit by giving up a solo homer to Christian Yelich after getting his first batter, Martin Prado, to fly out. The Cubs offense would then stage a rally and win in a walk-off, starting out by getting 1 run back in the 8th off of a wild pitch by THE Fernando Rodney and, eventually, cancelling out all the errant ways of Lackey, Mathis and Smith........... By the way, with that home run Mathis doubed, in a single swing, his home run total for the entire season, thus entering into a tie with Madison Bumgarner. That's kind of unfair, though, since Mathis has 50% more PA's than MadBum.........

Brace Hyper: When Bryce Harper has a baseball dream, just because it's Bryce Harper doesn't mean we should get all worked over it. It's the same damned dream the rest of us have. Hit a walk off home run in the World Series. Duh. What would be intriguing here is if Harper said that his baseball dream was to learn to umpire or something...........Anyway, the REAL reason I have a Bryce Harper entry is because of FiveThirtyEight. After Harper's volcanic 2015 campaign, and his blazing 2016 start (which I was suggesting at the time was a chimera created by a fortunate run through multiple shitty pitching staffs), Harper has evaporated from the national dialog. He is like disappearing ink. What the hell has happened, or is happening? His power is down (as measured via bat speed) and his launch angle is up. Way up. When stuff like this happens to a young stud still growing into his prime, my first thoughts lead to some unspoken sore something that we will learn about later. Kind of like Trout's wrist last year..........

Race to the Bottom: One member of the Cincinnati Reds is pretty frustrated with losing, calling out his team for playing as if they want to fail. Homer Bailey, the player in question, hadn't seen the memo about tanking and how that is the fashionable rebuilding method of the day. It's important to note that down here at the bottom of baseball in 2016, the race is truly on to secure a Bottom Ten Protected Pick in the first round of the draft next year. The Reds are pretty secure, being tied for 2nd worse but having ejected even more talent by sending away Jay Bruce. The Angels are barely within the Bottom Ten at the moment but there are still plenty of teams close enough to kick us out and force us into the QO quandry..........

Sports Biz: The Stadium Scam of Arlington crossed another hurdle yesterday as the City Council voted 7-0 to proceed towards acceptance of a proposal to put the new stadium plan onto the ballot. to be fair, at least that is far more advanced than the railroad job done in Cobb County, Georgia to re-home the Braves. The citizens of Arlington will surely get their chance to see through the baloney and vote down the project, but never under-estimate the ability of the stupid to to be confused into taking from one another and handing everything over to the crafty............Keep in mind, the current ballpark there in Arlington is greatly admired. USA Today ranks it 12th (and has pretty nice things to day about it)...........

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The Duffle Bag

Food for thought for all out there drooling of a no-QO-penalty Josh Reddick this winter...........Hey, beach balls have physics, too............Long time NYC guy gets traded, but keeps his NYC apartment and rents it out to the guy he was traded for. Long time NYC guy gets traded back. Now homeless..........Speaking of NYC guys, clearly adhering to Marquis of Queensbury Rules...........In the list of 10 Quickest Ways to Get Kicked Out of a Ballpark, why are heckling and heckling rated so high?..........Mariners fan: outwitted by nothing but net..........It took Jonathan Lucroy all of three pitches (not in succession) to own the Rangers pitching staff............Yuck. Now even the sabre rattlers are getting into the game of changing our game..........Something that confuses us all. When Yeonis Cespedes suffers an athletic injury and takes time off from baseball, Yeonis Cespedes does athletic things and plays lots of golf..........Some nice history behind the roots of Willie Mays, the unspoken neglect of Negro League Baseball by the City of Birmingham, Alabama, and the opportunity to reclaim baseball and that legacy in that city..........Ken "Hawk" Harrelson and friction in working well with others? Who would have thought?.............

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Mystery Graph

(Yesterday., the easy one, was a quick catch. Mike Trout's OBP versus the League Average OBP in the same time frame.  Yeah. Trout is awesomer than what everybody else sees day-to-day. You've had your breather. Let's get obtuse, but save the truly tough stuff for the weekend.)

Mystery-Chart-28


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