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MondoLinks: Reality Check

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Let’s get back out on the road where we left that offense.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Angels
“Look! Over there!! It’s our offense...”
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not a sin to struggle against a Johnny Cueto and his 0.35 ERA at the moment. A Cueto no-hitter through 5 is not a shock. Coming up short yesterday can easily be chalked up in the column of those games a team is going to lose.

The other baloney that has been happening since I last posted around here, though, that is sinful. Getting out-scored 42 to 10? At home? WTF?

This pitching rotation may truly be this second-tier. But not these bats. There were a lot of down cycles in this home stand. Bad coincidence. Bad timing. Bad results. That must mean that we have a lot off bats due to break out any minute now.

It’s a quick 3-game road trip to Houston. But before we go...

Have these It-Gets-Even-Tougher-On-The-Road-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

It occurs to me that one downside to a 6-man rotation is that it takes too long for Garrett Richards to come round again..........And that is important. It looks like Baseball is prepared to remember that Garrett Richards is a frikkin’ ace..............

Trout now has 9 home runs on the season. This latest one came with knee-high pants, which is not something I recall seeing out of Mike in the past. That leads all of Baseball, and his 7th in his last 13 games. Since April 7th he has been on fire. He is batting .404/.500/.894 with an OPS of 1.394. I mean, he’s not Mookie Betts for heaven’s sake, but that is pretty damned exciting for what he might spin up across an entire season.............Trout did take over the #1 spot on fWAR yesterday...........

Perhaps we can credit Trout’s surge to his “Secret Stuff”?...........

Yeah. We are a couple of weeks away from Mr. 3000...........

Andrelton Simmons is on bumps and bruises watch after getting HBP..............

Shohei Ohtani is doing his part to makeup for falling attendance revenues throughout MLB. After the freeze out in Kansas City, followed by an off-day, Ohtani Day has moved from Sundays to Tuesdays. Normally a down attendance day, Ohtani game dates are resulting in a 51% price increase for tickets...........By the way, as should be expected Ohtani is not seeing enough Plate Appearances to show up as a “qualifier” in the offensive leader boards. Nor is he pitching enough innings to show up as a “qualifier” on the pitching leader boards. But, overall, he has 0.5 fWAR on offense and 0.4 fWAR on the mound.............And while you were distracted by last week’s shit show, let me remind that Ohtani is batting .333/.378/.619 with an OPS of .997, while holding batters he has faced to a BA of .154, carrying a WHIP of 0.8 and an ERA of 3.60 (that would rank 27th among all AL starters).........So, yeah, Sho-Time is off to a great start..........

(By the way, when looking up that Ohtani placing on the ERA list, I first had to get over the shock of seeing yesterday’s Cueto at #1, tonight’s Gerrit Cole at #4, tomorrow’s Charlie Morton at #2, and Wednesday’s Justin Verlander at #5. Dayum...)

Luke Bard is back in the minors. Eduardo Peres is back on the plane heading to Houston...........Jaime Barria was optioned back to Salt Lake, too...........

This is just a thing of baseball beauty. Rob Manfred is not pleased:


Everywhere In Baseball

Speaking of Rob Manfred, unpleased. Pitchers are taking a new strategy of avoiding the strike zone. And this is raising the number of pitches per PA. And that slows down games...........

Over the weekend we had Sean Manaea of the Oakland A’s tossing 2018’s first no-hitter, against the Red Sox no less...........The Red Sox had a shot at drafting Manaea back in 2013, but passed..........For his part, Manaea didn’t know he was throwing a no-no. He thought he had a one-hitter going...........BoSux Andrew Benintendi is pissy that he was not allowed to reinvent the path to first base that he had already established, and curtail Manaea’s NH.............

Kris Bryant took a pitch to the helmet yesterday. And the Cubs did not think it was accidental. Cubs hitting coach Andy Haines was ejected (Chili Davis was too) for throwing his Gatorade at the umpire...........

But even more scary, White Sox relief pitcher Danny Farquhar made an appearance in Friday’s game against the Astros, went to the dugout, and promptly passed out in the dugout with a brain hemorrhage. He underwent emergency surgery and is stable, but critical............

Matt Harvey has been demoted to the Mets’ bullpen. This will be called “temporary” so that Harvey’s feelings are not hurt. But we might see this becoming “temporary” with greater frequency and for longer stints..........

Study these factoids about TJ surgery all you want. But then ask yourself: why is it that Houston pitchers are avoiding TJ issues so strongly?..............And then go look at this flyball update, and scroll down to the bottom and see how Eric Hosmer is the one-man antidote............

I always thought I was imagining this, but no, umpires really do call a different game in extras...........

Buster Olney pulls it out into the open: more and more pitchers are using foreign substances on their pitches. Pine tar increases spin rate. Apparently it’s becoming common. Maybe, as the article hints at, that would include Houston’s Gerrit Cole?..........

I don’t know what took The Ringer so long to get in on the story, now that it is pretty much closed. But they tear into MLB owners for the shameless refusal to compensate Minor League players fairly or their time, participation and contributions to the sport..............

Mike Napoli tore his ACL, needs surgery, and that might be the last song for the Napster.............

RF Jose Bautista finally found a contract to his liking, signing on with the Atlanta Braves......to play 3B.............

New Jersey is laughing in Rob Manfred’s face over MLB’s demand to get a cut from their legalized sports betting machine.............


The Duffle Bag

What’s this kid actually so amazed over? Catching any home run? Or CJ Cron hitting a home run?..........Derek Jeter is not enjoying not being unquestionably adored as in the old days when everybody just pretended he was a quality defensive SS.............Jeter and his 5-wins should thank his stars for the 3-win Cincinnati Reds. At least the Reds gave Jeter direction for his next move: fire the manager...........Cody Bellinger watches Mike Trout on TV..........