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HumpLinks: Pujols picks up slack

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Albert Pujols taps in at #599 and leads the Trout-less Angels to a big win. 1 last swing to a major MLB milestone.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

You know, not everything goes wrong for the Angels. Decades after losing Bartolo Colon to injury and Free Agency where he meandered off to win almost 90 games and present untold moments of entertainment and hilarity, Colon returned to The Big A just in time to dig the Halo faithful out of our collective funk. A 9 run 3rd inning ran Bartolo to the showers and blessed newcomer Parker Bridwell with enough breathing room to relax and enjoy his cup of coffee. Oh, sure, a couple of errors by the Atlanta defense added large amounts of difficulties there, but why be fair? Thanks, Bartolo!  (For the curious, Colon has faced LAA many times since he departed. I count 8, with his various teams going 6-2 before last night.)

But, hey, highlights! I know things suck these days but baseball is still fun. It beats the crap out of December-no-base-a-ball. So here goes Kole Calhoun sending an air-to-air missile to take out Nick Markakis trying to score. Pretty dumb move to send Markakis there, to be truthful. Calhoun caught a sweet one-hopper on the dead run in shallow RF as he was setting up for his throw anyway......And there was #599 from Albert, the best part putting the Halos into the lead.

Angels clobber Braves, 9-3.

Lost Weeks Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

About that Parker Bridwell, called up to start last night. Bridwell is from Hereford, Texas, about 25 miles outside of Amarillo. Hereford does have a Walmart Supercenter and a Carl's Jr., so it ain't so bad. We got Bridwell from the Orioles for PTBNL and some spending money. To date, he has had only 2 bullpen appearances, both with Baltimore last year. He has had some success in our farm system pretty quickly, much to the lament of Oriole faithful, who are pissed that players seem to go off and do better elsewhere (where have I heard that before?). But Amarillo is proud. When all was said and done, Bridwell's line was 6 innings pitched, 3 runs on 6 hits and 1 walk with 4 strikeouts. 92 pitches, 56 for strikes.............

Albert Pujols will reach the 600 home run milestone any minute now and, beyond we Halo fans, the Pujols family, and the LAA media merchants, who cares? Well, maybe everybody in St. Louis. Maybe the Hall of Fame. Maybe Major League Baseball. Maybe people like that? It will be his 155th home run as a Halo. His 9th of the season in a year when he is at the lowest point of his career in Home Run hitting rates (Games Per, Plate Appearances Per, and At-Bats per). It comes in the second season of The Lost Years, just after Trout's injury put a cork into whatever miracle playoff shot might have fallen out of the derriere of some red-tinged unicorn. And it will only will have cost Arte roughly $692,000 per home run to get there. But it gives us something to watch. While we wait. The Angels are still only 3 games out of the playoffs. What Albert does still means a hell of a lot to us...........

It will probably comes as something of a shock to you to learn that the Angels are among the luckiest of teams in MLB. Third luckiest in the AL, actually. Actually, it has nothing to do with injuries and more to do with comparingball/strike calls that go for/against each time. This comes from a reddit contributor and I cannot track down the research...........

Cameron Maybin is not injured. Cameron Maybin is not injured. Cameron Maybin is not injured. Cameron Maybin is not injured. Cameron Maybin is not injured...........


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Josh Mayhood's Library of Mike Trout Hagiography

This section is temporarily un-retired, because of the following amazement.

FiveThirtyEight puts Trout's absence into proper perspective. Losing Mike Trout For 7 Weeks Is Like Losing A Normal Star For A Full Season. That's because Trout typically puts about three years of production out of a typical quality player into every one year that he plays. The trick to this study is less about total WAR lost compared to other major injuries, but about how much WAR is lost in so little time..........

And, for the record, Trout going to the DL for the first time of his career is not necessarily a good thing. He should have gone on the Dl back in 2015..........

I just want to end this with the suggestion that as bad as it is that Mike Trout is lost to surgery, it could be a lot, lot worse..........

What? Really? Mike Trout being on the DL until August might have some threat to his string of All-Star appearances?Why? Just because the game this year is less than 6 weeks away? The next thing you know, they will be telling us that he won't be appearing in the Home Run Derby this year...again!............

Buried in this review of what the world now looks like without Mike Trout (sad face) is the idea that Trout might take off 2 months, come back, toss out another 3.5 WAR, and end up having a season better than most anybody, anyway..............This other article is merely about how sad the world is without Mike Trout...........And when Mike comes back, how will he recover?.............


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Everywhere In Baseball

Scott Boras comes to the defense of his client, Bryce Harper. Arguing before the Supreme Court of preemptive public opinion, Boras models out new tort law for unwritten rules and written MLB punishments..........And it kinda worked, I guess. Strickland got a 6 game suspension and Harper only 4 games. By MLB math, 6 is bigger than 4 so there. By real world math, though, Strickland has been pitching about once a week lately so 6 calendar games could mean as little as zero impact on Bruce Bochy's plans if they time it right through the appeal process. (Meaning, they use the appeal process to delay when Strickland begins serving time off. For example, pitch him the 31st, then immediately drop the appeal and begin serving on June 1, which is an off day. 6 games after that is next Wednesday, making Strickland available again on Thursday the 8th. One week between appearances. Business as usual.)...........

In that fight, Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija was in the scrum. During the melee, he took out teammate Michael Morse. Morse is now on the 7-day concussion DL...........

With Trout on the sidelines, the AL MVP vultures are already circling.............


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The Duffle Bag

Jeb Bush has quit Team Jeter in the bid to buy the Marlins. Looks like Jeter wanted more power than his bankroll was paying for? Anyway, Team Jeter is no longer favored.........Buster Posey was conspicuously idle during the Harper-Strickland brouhaha...........Or, as Grant Brisbee wrote, Posey was pretty much saying to Strickland "you-break-it-you-buy-it"..........Speaking of Harper-Strickland, can anybody figure out that the hell that nincompoop Bill Plaschke was trying to get at in his one, then two, then three tweets? I think (and I use that word loosely) that he thinks (and I use the word even more loosely) that MLB putting green caps on ballplayers is some form of solemn moment worthy of national importance. Like, maybe we should rename the recent holiday "MLB Green Cap Day"..........If Bryce Harper needs a play to party while he is serving suspension, while still in the Bay Area he has a standing invite..........


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Jordan Serena Watch of Destiny

(Our quasi-official Halos Heaven adopted prospect)

Let's lead off by making sure that you do not miss JeffJoiner's initial interview with Serena. Really, people, I have seen the eyeball stats, You missed it. Go read it and get introduced. Then feed us your questions so that JJ can get into a groove of regular chats with our adopted hero-in-training. My first question is: "How does a dude with a rich and proud Italian heritage hook up with Team Great Britain in the WBC?" My second question is: "You graduated from an Ivy League college. You had to be introduced to such things as math, science, maybe some statistics and probability. How do you make the balance between advanced baseball metrics and natural physical instincts?".........

The entire California League was off yesterday. The 66'ers open up a 4-game series n Modesto tonight.

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