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TuesdoLinks: Angels open the gauntlet

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9 tough games against 3 tough opponents as part of the final 19 games of the regular season. Truly the make-or-break stretch. Survival is the minimum.

Mike Trout merely toys with the game of Baseball
Mike Trout merely toys with the game of Baseball
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it looks like we are not going to miss out on Justin Verlander after all, so let's review. Mike Trout's BA against Verlander over the last 5 seasons is .077. For Albert Pujols, that number is .154. Kole Calhoun is .059. Verlander is not having as good a year as last season, but he is still having one of his best years since 2012. This is his second start with Houston (he defeated the Mariners 3-1) but he has not surrendered more than 2 earned runs in almost a month, and only twice since the All-Star break. So we have a bunch of guys who have rarely, if ever, seen Verlander and/or looked like shit against him for a long time, while Verlander is hot. That adds up to...WIN!, because it's baseball and anything can happen. We got, what, 4 - 5 innings of Garrett Richards?

For a team that didn't even take the field, last night was one of the better recent nights for the Angels. Realistically, there are 7 teams vying for that last WC slot. Yes, I am assuming the Yankees are getting in. Of those 7, from the Angels down to the Tampa Bay, 2 did not play (Twins and Angels), 1 won (Rangers) and everybody else lost (Royals, Orioles, Mariners and Rays). Remember, it's not only how many games the Angels are out of a playoff slot, it's ALSO how many teams are between them and that slot. So last night 4 of the teams behind the Halos, got further out of their way.Yeah, it was a good night to go lurking on other SBN sites and witness the wide-spread misery. (And, hey Padres, you just swept the Dodgers and took 2 of 3 from the DBacks. Give us 2 more, will ya?)

Have this collection of Rose-Colored-Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

When you get this late into the season, yes, EVERY series becomes life or death. You hope to be lucky enough the stave off death and, at a minimum, survive to the next life or death series. Soon it will be every damned game. At least, we hope the Angels survive long enough to experience that. Just look how a game can swing things with so little left to play. After losing the first two games in Seattle, the Angels won only the last one. But that last one, being as late in 2017 as it was AND with the Twins losing that same day, increased the Angels playoff chances by 8.8%..........

Alex Meyer surrenders to surgery. This is a 12-month recovery process. So don't count on Meyer until the 2019 season. For those keeping track of such things, those will be the final two seasons on Mike Trout's current contract.........

Andrew Heaney had his MRI and they found no "major' damage. They did update his status to questionably missing his next start. Not ruled out entirely, yet. Just "questionable". This joint has a shitty track record with those odds when it comes to pitcher health. Let's hope his next start, whenever it happens, will still be a chance to be a meaningful one..........

Who is Justin Upton? Turns out, he's the wizened old soul...........

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Josh Mayhood's Library of Mike Trout Hagiography

Mikey may not be hitting, but he is still making unusually great things happen.............

Mike missed 40 some odd games, and STILL almost tops all position players. Because...TROUT!.............

Which adds to the current chapter in the ongoing story of Trout being the best player for his age, again..........

After the FG updates, Trout was once again in the #3 overall spot for position player fWAR. 6.3, behind Anthony Rendon at 6.5 and Jose Altuve at 6.7..........He is a week from showing up on all the boards..........


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Everywhere In Baseball

Yesterday I played a mind experiment where the Dodgers and Indians were in the same Division, and we watched the Dodgers huge lead all but disappear in about 3 weeks. What I failed to do was realize that those two teams ARE in a race - for home field advantage in the World Series! Remember, the World Series ASG game no longer counts..........

Terry Francona is riding yet another miracle result there in Cleveland. Success just seems to track that guy down, doesn't it? But he has some serious help, notably with pitching............

Giancarlo Stanton is crushing baseballs, but until he learns to do other things he still is playing catch up. Jose Altuve, because he does a lot more everywhere else, still leads. And only an injury keeping Trout on the sidelines for 1/3 of the season keeps him from mashing both. Anthony Rendon at #12, though??? Somebody is probably very bad at Fantasy baseball.........

Hurricane Irma chased the Rays and Yankees out of Florida. So the Rays are losing home games. Both teams are still in the Wild Card battle, though MFY more comfortably so. So how can MLB settle this playing location problem? Send the teams off to Houston and flip the story played out against the Astros? Oh hell no. MLB chose to pick another site. Something in the National League. Something "neutral". Like Queens, New York. Roughly 6 miles as the crow flies from Yankee Stadium. I am NOT making this up. Citi Field is being called "a neutral site"...........The Ray should be allowed to play at home this weekend, against the Red Sox..........

It could have been a lot worse, but Hurricane Irma damaged Marlins Park enough to threaten an upcoming home series between the Marlins and Brewers. (Maybe MLB will pick a neutral site and move the series to Green Bay?) But I do have to wonder, if you build a huge public facility in hurricane country, shouldn't the facility be expected to withstand hurricanes?..........Irma DID take out an entire radio station. The Marlins home AM station lost it's feed entirely..........

Yu Darvish, remember him? He's the Dodgers own non-HGH version of GMJ, Jr. Since moving to LA, Darvish has been...er...disappointing. His ERA+ out of Arlington this season was 117. It's only 79 out of Chavez Ravine. the article would like you to think that he isn't striking people out like he used to. In fact, his K/9 since moving to LAD is matching his career high set back in 2013 of 11.9. His problem is that he is getting shelled otherwise, and not lasting many innings per game. his WHIP in the NL is a monstrous 1.549........

Long Form Alert: Another great, but very long, piece to keep bookmarked for December. The life of scorekeeping. Those new to sabremetrics, and those extremely focused on stats, would do well to read this while remembering how much the human factor of official scorekeeping will always impact the data being distilled. These are the people who define that which are hits versus that which are not hits (errors, for example)..........

Major League Baseball has truly exhausted whatever runway was left to get the season over. With delays and logistical challenges already on the books due to Hurricane Irma, MLB just couldn't handle adding West Coast mess to their emergency plans. So rain in San Francisco was just not going to be acceptable. Initially, first pitch was pushed back 40 minutes, from 7:15PM  to 7:55PM. That lasted all of 5 pitches before the rain came back harder and stare Chris Stratton's night was over. But the umps and MLB were not about to move things already started to the morning. So they waited...and waited...and waited. The restart was 10:50. NBC actually has a webcam at AT&T Park and I have a screen cap showing a 11:00PM time stamp with the tarp still on the field. The game DID restart at 10:50, so that webcam was worthless. But that is 1:50AM back at headquarters. Why would anybody care? Because a staff has to remain in case of Instant Replay. I am not going to stay up for the conclusion, but it might happen that the New York replay team does not get to leave until  almost 5 o'clock in the morning their time! Now THAT is dedication..........As I exit, the Giants already have a lead and the Dodgers have their crown jewels running around trying to play defense on a soaking wet field. And the last BART train home leaves the station in about an hour, at 12:20AM. Good luck with all that guys!...........

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The Duffle Bag

Great moments in cause & effect: you will notice that Dusty Baker has never managed the Padres. Or the Phillies. Or the White Sox............Lowered expectations up in San Francisco. Ryan Vogelsong is rejoining the Giants to retire as part of their family. He and his 3.7 career WAR for SF. He's kind of like the SF version of our Ben Weber. Yahoo........Yesterday it was a sportscaster who admitted not knowing anything about sports. Today it's a sportscaster bummed that his partner was running a Ponzi scheme and trying to steal millions of dollars from other people. Sorry, Boomer, but today is a great day for those who otherwise would have been catastrophic victims...........(Thanks UniWatch). Stirrups are making a comeback with the younger generation! (U18 National team)..........Sam Miller with one of those obtuse tweets of his. Like, who was Sam expecting Cleveland to use to throw the ball to home plate, if not a pitcher?...........

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