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MondoLinks: Halos hanging in there

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Still next in line for a WC slot, still within a game. But the Twins are faltering and everybody else is mediocre, so it would be a good time to make another run.

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Welcome to the final major home stand of the 2017 regular season. Nine games: Houston+Texas+Cleveland. We got this. Who's with me?

I sure do like the look of a Justin Upton batting behind a Mike Trout. That 2-run double was quite tasty. Pretty much, that was all that stood between us and a catastrophic weekend. After losing the first two, Friday frustratingly and Saturday embarrassingly, one more loss would have been soul-crushing.

Well, maybe not the ONLY thing. We also had Parker Bridwell going 6 innings and scattering 7 hits and a walk, yielding up just 2 earned runs. Let's just call that August 30th/September 4th set of games against Oakland the anomaly, just Oakland on that offensive tear that would go on to shred Houston. Something the world never sees. Like Bigfoot.

Checkout these Take-A-Deep-Breath Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

Andrew Heaney is off to fetch an MRI on his shoulder...........Heaney himself seems none too concerned...........Formally, the team is siding with Heaney and thinking that he is not going DL on us, and will make a start this week. If not his normal slot, then Saturday.............

Yunel Escobar, recovering from the boo boos, has had the setbacks. Par for the LAA medical course............

Garrett Richards, recently back from that gauntlet, talks about his return. Personally, I am still in freak out mode with Richards, as if every pitch is going to be the one that lands him back on the table until May/June.............

Alex Meyer, by way of one example, tells us "I went out to throw one day and it was not good." Check. Just like that. See ya' next Spring, Alex. And that's why I stayed worried ...........

In comes Houston, who just got their asses canned by Oakland in a 4-game sweep, where the A's scored 41 runs. It doesn't seem likely that the Astros are undergoing a Dodgers-like collapse, so it must mean that they are due. Bummer for us............Maybe we just try and not walk anybody?...........

Well this is unusual. Beyond The Boxscore, SBN's Baseball stat site, goes all Lyle on us and focuses on idea that the addition of Justin Upton over Cameron Maybin might not be all about numbers, but it sure makes the Angels "...look formidable"............

With Jose Altuve crashing, Aaron Judge still in smoldering embers, Mike Trout not being...um...metoeric, and Giancarlo Stanton not doing anything when he is not hitting home runs, the door is swinging open for an Andrelton Simmons MVP campaign............

Let's take a moment on this off day to throw Maldonado some love, shall we?..............

Ummm, guys, you are the pros. You should not be using the same Little League signals for your fielders to communicate with one another. With all the buttons being pushed my a Mike Scioscia coaching staff, this should not be a new idea.............

Keep a candle burning for Victor's family............And consider joining the Angels in supporting the victims of the last hurricane............

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Josh Mayhood's Library of Mike Trout Hagiography

Stuff.............

Mike hit a home run yesterday. Everybody thing is awesome again. It was, though, only his second hit of the series. He was 2 for 10 with a double, a solo home run, and a single BB. Those 2 hits are the only ones over his last 19 at bats. Not a good look. His fWAR is holding at 6.2 and he is now 4th in MLB for position players.............So it's an odd time for Buster Olney to be waking up to how often Trout has been getting on base this season..............Mike now has 432 Plate Appearances on the season, which has him at 3.02098 average across the team's 143 games. Low scores and getting pulled after 5 innings on Saturday were no help.

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Everywhere In Baseball

The wrist slapping due to the Red Sox and maybe the Yankees could happen this week. Both teams seem safe enough now that they will make the playoffs so everybody can safely just skip right over this and announce the start of printing playoff tickets...........Buster Olney suspects that this whole sign-stealing issue is going to force teams into even greater depths of subterfuge, slowing things down even further and thwarting Manfred's goal to speed things up............Dave Cameron of FanGraphs is jumping on the Joe Girardi bandwagon of advocating more technology to allows ballplayers to communicate in private. As a technologist, one who predicted the much of tech problems inherent in  today's replay system, I'm saying again that this is not an idea well thought out............

The Dodgers are going to make the playoffs. That's not really an issue. What IS an issue is that they are no longer anything near invincible. That, and the notion that LADs fans are throwing themselves off the cliff of arrogance is especially delicious. The Dodgers lost their 10th straight yesterday. Meanwhile, The Cleveland Indians won their 15th straight. I went looking. Back on August 25th the Dodgers had 91 wins, and the Indians 71. This morning, which is 17 calendar days later, the Dodgers have 92 wins. The Indians now have 87. Where they used to be 20 games apart, they are now only 5. If these two teams were in the same division, we would be witnessing an epic race for the ages. All that said, there are still 20 days left before the season ends, and just as much can happen in the other direction, so let's not go assuming this is all said and done...........

Sports Illustrated is having a problem with the dictionary. In their pursuit of trying to determine MVP based on WAR, $ value of WAR delivered, minus actual salary paid, a guy like Trout gets erased from the leaderboard because he actually makes a little bit of money. Well, that's an interesting idea, but it does not deliver an understanding of VALUE. It delivers an understanding of MARGIN............

Aaron Judge, appearing to have bottomed out, had himself a better-than-horrible day yesterday, making some more history...........

Odd. Noah Syndergaard seems to have contracted LAA pitchers-syndrome. It appears to be spreading. Somebody needs to call the CDC............

Doug Fister is the Boston version of Ricky Nolasco. Kinda of what he has always been, but in Fister's case, his 2017 is driving the Red Sox launch into the playoffs...............

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The Duffle Bag

What? A sports broadcaster doesn't know anything about sports? Finally, one guy admits it..............Bryan Price, Reds manager, was just about to dive deep into his yelling at umpires when song broke out. Just like on Broadway..........Bryce Harper, for shame! At least Albert Pujols has the excuse of being ancient gimp............The Nats clinched. I wonder if baseball players all have designated drivers after such celebrations? Even if they don't drink, who is going to believe them?...........Sorry, modern MLB. This is NOT an eephus pitch.  THIS is an eephus pitch!...........

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