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MondoLinks: Halos still eclipsing expectations

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Halos pound Camden with homers, and survive Penny foolishness to take series 2-1, finishing road trip 7-2, and still own a WC playoff spot. And there are only 6 weeks left in the regular season.

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

This is getting dangerous. If this keeps up, we are going to start getting wrapped up in the belief that the Angels deserve to be a playoff contender and deserve a playoff spot and become pissy and frustrated if "they fall short". We are already starting to see more traffic from long-lost fellow fans here at HH.

The way those guys played yesterday (well, except for Pennington), hell yeah they deserve it. Parker Bridwell was - once again - fantastic. Kole Calhoun and Andrelton Simmons powered the offense with home run power. Simmons was magnificent on defense. Cameron Maybin came off the bench with the clutch 2-out pinch-hit single to score Calhoun (the 3rd run that Calhoun scored all day)  with the winning run. Luis Valbuena could not be kept off the bases. And the bullpen was good enough to go 12 outs without surrendering a run (the 2 runs scored in the 6th off of Middleton were assigned to Parker). All that and they didn't need anything from Mike Trout, who was 0 for 5.Final score Angels win 5-4.

It's intoxicating. But we shouldn't lose perspective. This is playing with house money. This is the hot run we have been waiting for all season and has vaulted the Angels into contention at a great time, but it won't last forever and it won't always be so smoking hot. We need to be calm enough not to panic when things aren't going this great. There is a rollercoaster ahead of us.

That said, who got pitching for us in the one-game play-in matchup???

Have some Total-Eclipse-Of-The-Sun Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

Andrelton Simmons had a Game of Ages yesterday. The world has fallen far short in appreciating just what a killer day he had............We got three brilliant defenses gems in one game, beginning with this cheetah-quick snag-and-throw to start a double play, leaving Orioles CF Adam Jones with a WTF??............In the 6th inning, Angels lead down to a single run, nobody out and runners on the corners, Simba shows us all that he might be the smartest player in Baseball, saving the run and clogging the basepaths to put a doubleplay in order..........Then, in the 8th, tying run again on base, Simmons shows off his ability to go upstairs just as well and ranges far to his right to leap and close down the threat.............And, to add some cherries to the top of this special sundae, Simmons bombed some offense with a critical 2-run jack...........

J.C. Ramirez, who has to exit the game Saturday with some arm soreness (while we were all thinking that it was something with a leg making an infield play at 1st base). This arm soreness will probably cost Ramirez his next start.............

No pressure kids, but the Angels are running out newly returned Tyler Skaggs to face down Cole Hamels tonight. Hamels doesn't have too many games against the Angels, or too many games in Anaheim, but those have been devastating to us.............The Rangers, though, will be without Joey Gallo or Matt Bush, both out on concussion protocol after managing to run into each other............

It's rare that a team has TWO MVP candidates playing side by side in the same season, and even more rare when that happens to a team treading .500 waters. But if defensive metrics were more solid, we wouldn't be talking about any other AL player as a candidate. Andrelton Simmons would have it locked up already............

RotoGraphs just can't seem to keep up with Sosh's bullpen usage. Who the hell should a person run out there on their Fantasy team?...........

Albert Pujols is on the verge of pushing Sammy Sosa down the career HR stack by one, which would put Pujols 2 behind Jim Thome............

Cesar Puello's time in our Franchise has come a quick end. He didn't clear waivers. He is now a Tampa Bay Ray..............Billy Eppler did some claiming of his own, bringing on board Noe Ramirez (from the Red Sox)...........

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Josh Mayhood's Library of Mike Trout Hagiography

Trout was not silent on Saturday. He hit two home runs, aiding immensely in getting the Halos off to a quick start and helping them to a 5-1 victory. But that first home run was historic. In the history of MLB, only Eddie Mathews, Frank Robinson and Mike Trout have 6 25-home run seasons before their age-26 year...........He also signed Fernando Salas back to a minor league deal. That is Major League Baseball speak for "Sosh can't wait"............

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Everywhere In Baseball

In that Andrelton Simmons-Sean Newcomb trade, Simmons wasn't the only one making stellar infield plays on defense yesterday. Sean Newcomb had a highlight moment as well.............

Some of the bigger roster moves over the past year have hit a few potholes lately. Aroldis Chapman has lost his role anchoring the back end of the MFY bullpen......The Dodgers have parked Yu Darvish on the DL.......Sonny Gray and the Yankees? Not quite in sync there, either............

Over the weekend, the umpires chose to stage an "armband protest" against the rising verbal complaints by players and coaches.....A trigger for this was Ian Kinsler's public blast.....For his part, Kinsler ended up getting fined....... But Kinsler wasn't feeling sorry for the umps.....The media was not too impressed, either......The umps DID get their meeting with Commissioner Manfred, and getting that meeting resulted in the umpires ending their protest before the weekend was even over.............And to think all this could have been avoided if MLB had done something about Angel Hernandez a long time ago...........

In just a few short week,s Aaron judge has gone from locking up the MVP, to locking up a record of ignominy............Folks are looking for some kind of reason or excuse, but Judge is not going to agree to blaming any from of injury............But don't be telling New York radio hosts that their hero might be decreasing his teams chances of success in critical situations.............

I'm just throwing this out there as a thought concerning the coming offseason. The Astros do have a problem. They are short pitching.  Think of it as a minor case of LAA disease. Anyway, they are struggling to repair their issue because there are shortages of available talent. Because available talent is in short supply. And that will not change between now and New Year's.............

Rancho Santa Margarita is in trouble in the LLWS. After blowing out Northwest 9-0 in their opener, they ran into the buzz saw of Southeast and got creamed 16-0, getting no-hit to boot. They are now in the elimination bracket, and face Mid-Atlantic today. Should they win, tomorrow they would take on the winner of the Northwest/New England game, neither of whom has looked particularly strong so far.............But it might be that the finest defensive play on any baseball field yesterday was not in the pros, but in the Little League World Series..............

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The Duffle Bag

Stirrups inspired pro baseball bats? STIRRUPS inspired?!? Sign me up...........Justin Verlander is officially on board with the juiced baseball theory............Minor League Baseball is getting in on the Eclipse craze today............Special jersey are showing up everywhere...........LLWS fans will get in on the event, too. A game will be in progress and free eclipse glasses will be handed out.............Jeffrey Loria has no regrets fleecing more than a billion dollars out of so many other suckers over so many years? No doubt............This sounds like a scout that might have once been employed by Tony Reagins............Dear Buster Posey, a man much wiser than me once said something to the effect of "It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool, etc."................

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Jordan Serena Destiny Watch

Serena snuck out of the Chad Tracy doghouse yesterday, getting a start in Left Field and going 0-2 with a walk. That was his first game action since the 15th, and only the 9th game he has been in all month. 28 total At Bats. It's a wonder he is holding onto his average at all. It is, however, still higher than Tracy's career BA..........And, yeah, the 66ers lost all three games over the weekend.

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