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TuesdoLinks: Loss merely delayed, not denied.

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The heavens had their chance to open up and allow angels to weep upon the brows of our forlorn season. Not even that kind of power could stop Mike Scioscia from managing his way through half the bullpen in a tight game, eventually finding the loss.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Now you know why the LAA woes go well beyond just the damage to the starting rotation. Now you know why bullpens matter, and why solid closers are worth so much time and attention.

Jhoulys Chacin was totally solid, going 5 innings with only one real mistake. 91 pitches being the new 100 pitch limit, he wasn't tasked with going back out there and Mike Scioscia got to start playing the bullpen game. Let's give Mike Morin a turn! 1-2-3. Well, more like 1 and none and then 2-3. Whatevs. On to the 7th! Let's try Cody Ege. out-out..oh, wait, Cory Rasmus. Yeah, let's play Rasmus. Home run. Damn. Well, ok. We'll try something else in the 8th. A.J. Achter should be fun. Out, single, double. Crap. Go talk to him, tell him to walk the next guy. Move on to Jose Alvarez.  Oh, wait. The phone system is dead. Even the electricity in the stadium wants this merry-go-round to end. Out-out-whew. That was close. But now we have learned something. Alvarez there, that guy seems to be getting the job done. Let's leave him in. After all, with our starters only going 5 or 6 innings lately we HAVE been burning out our pen. So leave Alvarez in. He's only given up 2 runs all month. And we can pull him and find somebody before things get out of hand, no? No. 9th inning, first pitch, base hit. Second pitch for a strike. Third pitch for a base hit, winning run in scoring position. Shit. 3 pitches and we are already in trouble. Too late to think about warming anybody up. We are stuck with this situation. Maybe....just maybe. Or, maybe not. 4 pitches later the game is over. Rangers win 3-2.

By the way, that was the Ian Desmond hitting that walk-off that nobody wanted this past off-season. How many of us were expecting Rafael Ortega to drill Elvis Andrus trying to score from second base?

Have some Soggy Cereal Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Scioscialism: Longevity has its perks. Mike Scioscia has been sitting in the Angels dugout long enough to surpass Earl Weaver on the all-time MLB Manager win list. In a couple of years he is gonna pass Tommy Lasorda............

Trout: Trout is, predictably, among those players up for the esurance MLB Best Major Leaguer and Best Hitter. It's fan voting, so vote often. One mihgt notice how similar the candidates are to those expected to be voted upon by BBWAA types for MVP in their respective leagues. As if letting fans vote will overcome writers mis-voting...........Oh, lookie, we have a new journalism sport: postulating on how Mike Trout will get screwed by one's peers. Rather passive-aggressive, no?..........I do want to poke one particular bear, here, however. In the linked article Ken Rosenthal does the bullshitty thing of allowing his fellow voters their way out, because he confesses prefers MVP's to come from contenders. And his reasoning is the standard trope. "...believing that they perform under greater pressure than players from non-contenders." Here is why I feel that is crap logic. It assumes that a player on a contending team is always competing against players on other teams who are working extra hard only against them. Sure, the consequences of trout striking out anymore and failing to propel his team forward is less than those when Josh Donaldson fails to do likewise. But that is measuring the outcomes against a backdrop of the author's bias. When Donaldson and Trout both step to the plate even now, does the pitcher on the mound say to himself "Well, Trout ain't going anywhere so let's groove him a fastball"? Hell no. So they both get the slider. If Donaldson misses it the author projects that this is because Donaldson choked under pressure. If Trout misses the same pitch what does the author then think? That Trout didn't care? And here, when Trout is facing a playoff contender, do these authors think that Trout is getting some sort of free pass? they are not applying as much pressure as possible in order to ensure their own success? I call bollocks on the whole idea............Donaldson doesn't, however. he is under pressure. Lots and lots of pressure. Mostly to stop sucking. That .114 batting average since September 3rd is the pressure proof why he needs to be MVP, right?............And here we have the Betts vote, again for "pressure". Uh, not so. Scroll down to the WPA chart in this link that audio11 gave us yesterday............

Calhoun: Kole missed the game last night to be a dad. A little red. I like how in the article we go out of our way to inform everyone that dad is not going to be getting 6 weeks of paternity leave or any such thing............

Shoey: Great news. Matt Shoemaker is now symptom free. Let's hope he remains that way and is crisp and ready to go in Spring. Enjoy your winter months, Shoemaker family!............

Go West!: Really. West, just go. Joe West and crew were back in the thick of things again there in Arlington, no? Coincidence? Hmmm...(For the record, I had Odor out. And I REALLY loved how Petit had his foot in the way of Odor's slide.) Well, Odor wasn't buying it. He thought he was safe. So did Rangers manager Jeff Banister, who challenged. Joe West was the guy who made the call,and I can just imagine Country Joe talking to the replay dude back in new York and just daring him to overturn the call. He didn't. So then we move to the 6th. Sosh challenged a boundary call and got the New York crew to overrule the home team's understanding of their own field. banister comes out with hands raised in the body language of the innocent. West turns to him and walks over to him ostensibly to explain what was ruled. Totally fair. But you can immediately see that Banister was not buying it and started to object. Oh, hell no. Not allowed. Watch how fast West jumps into Banister's grill for having the temerity to challenge a challenge ruling! Banister is booted. I am of the mind that West granted Banister quite a bit of leeway right there.............

Tebow: Tim Tebow had his first minor league workout. It even drew a news helicopter, probably because there were no police chases ongoing int he neighborhood at the moment. Tebow is already cashing in hard. He and the Mets are selling officially Majestic uniforms with his name and Matt Reynolds number and, since Tebow is not on the 40-man and he has a direct contract with Majestic, the Mets and Tebow split the proceeds instead of seeing that money bleed off to real MLB players per MLB contracts. And the jersey is selling like hot cakes. The Mets should probably make back their signing bonus any minute now already............Note that Tebow has a serious option available to him in the NFL at the moment...........

Bum Rush: Madison Bumgartner is a dick. He has had it in for Yasiel Puig for some time now. Puig got the better of him in the 2nd with a double. Bum K'd Puig in the 5th. In the 7th Puig ground out back to Bumgartner, but Puig hustled his ass off. Afterwards, Bumgarter stared at Puig and chirped at him as he walked off to the dugout, Puig is not the kind of personality who backs down. Things got real chippy. Not as chippy as they would have back in the 60's, but not or lack of Bumgartner trying. One is not allowed to look in the general direction of MadBum..........Listen to Vin Scully lip sync these two. It's awesome............

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The Duffle Bag

Halo Hazing, costume style. Some fun stuff in there. Although maybe the T-Rex thing is now just so last-period.............You know the world is comedy when even fans of other teams write in to Halo fans and point out the inefficiencies of our typical lineup...........Rick Porcello wants Manny Machado to know that Machado is a tactical knucklehead. It started with this. The, uh, mother-effer coming up behind Porcello is worried about is Mark Trumbo..........14-year old guitar player performs National Anthem pre-game, and rocks the stadium...........Oh, gee, I got a bat! No, you can't have my bat. My bat. Gimme a hot dog dad...........Mark Teixeira wonders why PEDs users are allowed to stay in the game. Uh, maybe because they get the attention from the media so that baseball sells tickets and draw viewers?.............

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