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HumpLinks: Halo comeback nipped by the Bud

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A walk-on grand slam to open, and a walk-off grand slam to close. In between an Albert Pujols going 0 for 6 with 6 LOBsters. That's how to lose 11-7 in extras.

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Well THAT is not how to create the momentum for a winning streak. After Jess Chavez craps the mound early and gives up a grand slam on his way to an 0-7 deficit, we watch the Halos rally to tie it in spite of the Albert Pujols black hole. Pujols went 0-6 with 6 LOBsters. But Andrelton Simmons was 3 for 3 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored, Luis Valbuena went 2 for 5 with 3 RBI and a run scored, and Kaleb Cowart welcomed himself back to the Big Leagues with a 2 for 4 showing and 2 runs scored.

The LAA bullpen took over for Chavez in the 2nd and went 23 scoreless outs.

And then, in the 11th inning, we got to meet Bud Norris. Walk, walk, intentional walk. Bases loaded on 12 actual pitches and 4 pretend ones. Only 4 strikes. So up comes Edwin Encarnacion. And we get a first pitch grand-slam walk-off game-winning smash-mouth piece of meatball stupidity if ever there was one.

And the Angels lose, 11-7. And the Big Question of the night becomes: with TWO grand slams in the same game, does this mean we get 80% off our next Papa John pizza???

The Angels playing in Cleveland gives me the chance to bring up this history of Bertman Mustard, which is THE mustard to be used on in-stadium hot dogs. For those of you who want to fight over a bottle of your very own.

Did we have a GloveGate last night?

Have some Very-Long-Road-Trip-For-One-Certain-Pitcher Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

Ok, so no sooner did I publish the Links yesterday but the Angels announced that Alex Meyer was sent to the 10-day DL. Clearly the LAA Front Office types follow the daily HH Links schedule and wanted to avoid a new cycle. Meyer to the DL would, in any other season NOT 2016 or 2017 or 2018, be big news. But these days it's just another shrug one's shoulders moment. Whaddaya gonna do?..........Meanwhile, we HH'ers know a trend when we see one. "10-day DL", LAA Front Office? Really? We're keeping our eyes on you...........Then again, rumor has it that Yu Darvish might be available..............

Kaleb Cowart was in the lineup yesterday, batting 9th (which, using Mike Scioscia math, means leading off once we get past the 1st inning). Unlike the last time, or the time before that, or the times before that, THIS TIME Cowart is ready...............

Oh Bud Norris, finally coming to grips with the notion that a great paying job in hand is worth a lot more than the job he would rather have but nobody wants to pay him real money to do. Thought he was a starter, actually he's a closer. Maybe he can just think of himself as the guy who starts the 9th inning.........

In doing a retrospective on the worst trades in the history of each franchise, one author is doing his very best to pretend that Vernon Wells never existed. I wish that would work for me...........


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Josh Mayhood's Library of Mike Trout Hagiography

I got nothin'..............

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Everywhere In Baseball

A major power shift is upon us. The strong teams of 2017 are not just strong for now, but strong for all time in such a way that the overall power shift has tilted the entire league to one side. The way to read this visualization on FiveThirtyEight is that the best team of 2017 (via ELO rankings), is better than the best team of any season going back to 1961. And hte second best team of 2017, the Astros, are far away better than any second-best team of any season going back to 1961. Etc., etc., etc.........

Humans are funny things. They have likes and dislikes. And few people bother to notice that such silly things can drive trade deals together, and trade deals apart. Buster Olney reminds us to pay more attention..............

Heresy! A not-Aaron-Judge is being talked about as an MVP candidate? Well, like, hell yes. Jose Altuve, who will end up with a monstrous season split for the month of July..........

Bartolo Colon made some personal history the other night when he faced off against the Dodgers Cody Bellinger. (Much) earlier in his career, Colon also faced off against another Bellinger. Cody's father...........

Recall that just the other day I was pointing out that NL MVP candidate Bryce Harper might not even be the MVP of his own team? Here is a deeper look into the amazing season that Anthony Rendon is having...........

Do you know some archaic ignoramous who likes to argue with you using pitcher Wins as his 'evidence'? Bone up on your counter-argument right here..........

Minor League Baseball having all the fun again. Four teams switching their names for a brief spell and getting an Hispanic makeover...........

Remember the link I gave you to the story of the Red Sox calling out the asshatted nastiness of their broadcast partner WEEI? Well, things are getting even nastier. Just think, people of Boston, YOU are the population of listeners that fund the bank accounts of those people.............

Pitchers are starting to fight back against he home run barrage. Does this mean that the baseballs will stop being juiced?...........

Jay Jaffe, the dude who invented JAWS, has published a new book. It makes sense that, with JAWS being focused on Hall of Fame credentials, Jaffe's new book - The Cooperstown Casebook - is all about the Cooperstown membership versus JAWS qualifications. FanGraphs gives us an excerpt - "The ware on WAR" - here. And you can purchase your own copy here on Amazon (or here at B&N if you do not wish to feed The Beast). Mine will be shipped as soon as Amazon makes it available...........

Oops. Nope. We are not quite over The Days of JUDGEment after all. Richest player? Really? This is his ROOKIE SEASON, and he is already 25 years old. He plays for a Yankees team that has long walked away from the George Steinbrenner willingness to spend exceptional money, ARod-style, so it's doubtful he sings a billion dollar contract extension soon. He cannot hit Free Agency until at least 2023, when he will be 31. At that point, TV mega package funding will be on the downward death spiral, player mega-contracts will have tapered off, and whatever actual, SUSTAINED, player ability that Judge possess will be on the downward slide due to normal age factors............

Even traditional media servicing small towns have to adapt to the modern world of sports content consumption...........But what might be a true surprise to you (at least, those who follow these sports media entries as they show up in the Links), is that the cable company streaming service responses might already be doomed. The cable companies think that they can create their own streaming content bundles and just keep rolling along with their billing revenue. Not so, says a recent report...........

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The Duffle Bag

We all should have learned in elementary school that when you freeze something, it will expand...............Testy times in Chicago yesterday. Kris Bryant gets ejected for the first time in his career, for arguiing balls and strikes (pitch #6 here!!). And, to add tot he fun, John Lackey wraps that up by plunking FOUR ChiSox batters, with only 5 innings worth of opportunity..........After getting traded to the Yankees, Ex-Reds Todd Frazier's first at-bat with the Yankees - against the Reds - didn't go so well..........Very good dog skateboards better than  I do...........I vote with the Astros: long live MS Paint!..........What's the big deal here? I'm 6'4". I used to be able to do this. Back when I was 18...........Kid, you're a Rangers fan. Disappointment with big moment fielding is your destiny...........

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Jordan Serena Destiny Watch

Serena got into a game, and opened with a run-scoring sac fly. But he didn't do much else, other than scoring a run himself.............My favorite part was how he came up in the 6th and 9th innings, when Serena saw 12 total pitches and offered at only one of them. But put Serena in the lineup and what happens? 8-3 66ers win.

What else was happening in the lower farm last night? Let's see...

At AZL, Nonie Williams went 1 for 5 and is batting a paltry .125............

At AA, The Mobile BayBears were rocked by the Jackson Generals 10-2. In that game, Matt Thaiss was 1 for 3, Taylor Ward 0 for 2, Jose Rojas 1 for 4, and Jaime Barria was shelled. He lasted 4.2 innings, gave up 4 earned runs on 5 hits 2 walks against 1 K............

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