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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Angels strand WC spot on base

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Going 0-11 with RISP wastes chance to snatch winnable game. And with all the other prime WC contenders losing, they missed an easy chance to gain playoff ground.

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

When there is an offense as crappy as that of LAA (and, really, one of the worst in all of Baseball - it's bad...bad...bad...bad....bad...bad), it's really important for Mike to be Trout. 3 singles over his last 5 games, 25 times stepping to the plate, is going to create...um...issues.

It happened again last night. down by 3 runs, 8th inning, first 2 batters get on base, Albert Pujols comes to bat. And after drawing a 2-0 count to start, 100% of us were praying for a walk. Begging for it, actually. We almost got it, too, except that Pujols fouled off ball 3, then manage to draw ball 3, only to pop up ball 4 to shortstop. C.J. Cron, up next, didn't help matters. At that point Jason Grilli had thrown 19 pitches, and only 6 of them found the plate. Cron swung at the first pitch he saw, out there on the outside edge of the plate. Outfield fly, no runners advance. 2 outs. Andrelton Simmons, struggling himself over the last 2 weeks, was smart enough to watch 2 balls well out of the zone. He swung at both pitches inside the zone, but the second strike was also on the outside edge of the plate and Simba ended up punting the ball down to Napoli at first base. 3rd out. Rally done.

The Angels were 0-11 with Runners In Scoring Position. They left 8 runners on base. Trout, Calhoun and Graterol each stranded 3, Pujols and Simmons stranded 4, and Cron stranded FIVE.

The impressive part was that the LAA pitching held the Rangers to only 5 total hits. And only 2 walks. In 5 of the 9 innings, they held the Rangers to 3-up, 3-down. 2 home runs off of spot starter Troy Scribner generated their only 3 runs of the entire game. But that Anaheim offense. Ingloriously inept. Angels lose ZERO to 3. They lose the series ONE to 3. They lose opportunity as 5 of the 6 teams ahead of them in the AL all lost. And now here come the Astros for 3, fleeing Hurricane Harvey.

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A Little Bit of Angels News

Indulge yourself in an Andrelton Simmons Defensive Highlight round up............

Scribner coming up for last night meant somebody had to go down. That it was Eduardo Paredes probably had more to do with Paredes begin the guy who just burned his arm than it was Paredes losing the game the night before..........

Hat's off to Albert Pujols' wife, Diedre, in her fight to raise awareness concerning human trafficking right here under our noses in Orange County.........

Angels nicknames, explained. Winner belongs to Huston Street. Non-ironically..............

Rob Neyer has had enough of the Albert Pujols bashing. He hates that it is going on without him. So he joins in. And then he follows up with an unwitting crack on the LAA brain trust. (You have to remember back to June to understand that.).............

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Josh Mayhood's Library of Mike Trout Hagiography

Mike Trout is coming for you, all you Mike Trout doubters...........

Yesterday was a good day to forget that Mike's outfielder arm strength is, in truth, rather underwhelming......Fox is willing to overlook that.....And so was Deadspin..........Which leads to people asking questions as to what has changed? Technique??............

If Matt Welch wandered by more often, he wouldn't be having to do his own math. Mike Trout's PA per team game average is currently 2.9. To get to 3 he needs to average 3.8 on the way out. If he just averages 4 PA's per game over the next 2 weeks, he will suddenly show up on all the stat boards as QUALIFIED the morning of September 6th and we are on Plate Appearance count cruise control the rest of the season.

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Everywhere In Baseball

One way to speed up the average pace-of-play in the 2017 would be to cut back on these 4 hour and 17 minute Yankees/Tigers melees. Three bench clearings/ 2 brawls? 4 tickets punched in the 6th, 2 in the 7th and 2 more in the 8th? Hell, we even had Tigers fighting Tigers! What a mess. I haven't seen such stuff since the Dodgers/Giants of the 60's. Of course, those teams had bad blood that preceded that and lasted up free agency granted player mobility. Stuff today pales to what it used to be, so I expect there to be no lasting issue between the MFY and MFT...........Except for Yankee fans. They need to stay the hell out of Comerica Park. Even if they bring a glove to defend themselves..........

Because it's so fashionable, Yankees manager Joe Girardi blames all of this on the umpires. keep in mind that had the umps started shutting everything down right away with more immediate warnings and ejections, Girardi would be complaining about these same umpires making the game all about themselves..........

You might have been following on your own the sage of the Yadier Molina "rally cat" in St. Louis. If not, to quickly catch you up, a young feral kitty scampered onto the field in STL and interrupted the game. As soon as it was rounded up and taken away Molina homered. The Cards ended up winning and a myth was born. But before the local press and fans had the chance to invent a meme, the cat escaped and ended up in a local shelter. The Cards, sensing a marketing opportunity, leaned well into their sense of entitlement and planned to promote said cat, then went looking to get it back. That's not how shelters work, and the shelter said no. The Cardinal Front Office, clearly indignant, went after the shelter. back and forth they went, until yesterday. The shelter pulled the lawyer card...and the Cardinals' own legal team intervened to back the hell away safely. Feral cat, born free, shall remain free of the clutches of The Cardinal Way..........

The Giants and A's have a nature problem. Their skies over their stadiums are crowded with an air force of flying poop machines: seagulls. You and I can see this problem swarming over any county dump close to a coastal area. The problem is commonplace, as is the solution. Dumps use falcons and hawks to scare away the gulls. The A's are using kites shaped like hawks, but eventually the gulls are gonna figure out that there is no real threat. Real hawks and real falcons are a proven, permanent fix. You should see it in action. It's awesome...........

Scanning the tubes I tripped across this post on reddit. I had no idea there was once a proposal for a domed stadium in Brooklyn, and 10 years before the Astrodome, to boot! Well, one thing leads to another I started to trip over all sorts of references. Some of the artist renderings of proposals were pretty damned futuristic. Further digging leads to things like NYC exec Robert Moses, whose influence can be considered one of the sparks that resulted in so much west coast baseball. Another fun one is an ongoing bitch session with the New York Times for propagating an error on post-Ebbets Field stadium locations. I lost track of time and it was great.........

I rarely agree with Jon Heyman, and I usually take everything he writes with a huge block of salt. This take down of umpires would normally fall on the wrong side of my bullshit meter, but the fact that he isolates Joe West and Angel Hernandez away from the pack is dead on.  Except the teensy tiny little factoid of Joe West being the President of his union, meaning that the union might tend to back him up..........

Oh giggle. Commissioner Manfred is growing impatient with the lack of progress down in Tampa Bay concerning solving their stadium situation. Now, to be clear, they have a stadium. It's 27 years old. About half the age of Angels Stadium. It doesn't have any of the infrastructure problems of Oakland. It drew 2.5 million for the inaugural baseball season, and between 1.5 million and 1.8 million when they were contending. They are not contending. They have quite a few home games with fewer than 10,000 paid. Obviously, it's the stadium's fault. And the only way to fix it is for local government official to give Major League Baseball another billion dollars or so. And if they don't, maybe Montreal will?...........

Looking for a job? Good at stats? Love baseball? Want to spend a career inventing new and exciting ways to pimp the magnificence of Mike Trout above all else? Baseball Info Solutions is hiring...........

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The Duffle Bag

Eric Hosmer hits a home run, cameras reveal that he is really Kiki the Alien...........Second guessing is what non-participants do. We bitch about Dave Roberts pulling his pitchers in the middle of a no-hitter (or 2, or 3), and we bitch about leaving his pitchers in...........The Mets. Wow. Finding Mets ways to hit the DL..........One thing is for certain. Pujols is a true baller on the road...........

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Jordan Serena Destiny Watch

Jordan got to play-ay. Jordan got to play-ay. He went 1 for 4 and got to hang out in right field all evening. The High A pitching was as abominable as ever, and in a game that was tied 14 all after 9 innings, Serena made it to the 10th with a single, got walked over to second base, then walked over to third base. There he was, the go-ahead run 90 feet away. Hero time. The Lancaster coach goes out to settle down his pitcher, who immediately throws 4 straight pitches in an attempt to get anywhere near home plate. He fails. Jack Kruger takes a stroll to first base having one little more than his uniform is on straight, and Jordan Serena comes home to score, leading the go-ahead rally.

4 more runs later, with the 66ers now up 19 to 14, Jordan comes to bat again. Bases loaded, 2 outs, he drives one deep...deep...deep...to foul territory over near first base. Inning over............

Whatever. He had already done his job, launching the rally and breaking down the door to lead the 66ers to a 19-15 victory.

Oh, and Jaime Barria is off to a good start at the AAA level..........

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