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Thor’sLinks: Angels Roll the Rockies

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Barria with 5+ shutout innings, Upton/Cozart/Trout with offense

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Colorado Rockies
Barria None!
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

In a Rocky Mountain matinee, the Angels kicked off MLB with an 8-0 roll of the Rockies. Jaime Barria went 5.1 innings of shutout baseball and his ERA should drop to the 2.50 territory, something to go with that 3-1 record. If he had enough innings pitched, those would threaten to break him into the ranks of being an AL Top 10 pitcher.

Justin Upton and Zack Cozart both homered. Mike Trout had a pair of hits. And Albert Pujols did not GIDP the entire Colorado trip (more on that below). The bullpen (Justin Anderson + Jose Alvarez + Akeel Morris) picked up where Barria left off and also allowed no runs. Instead it was 3 hits and a walk and 7 K’s over 3.2 innings of work.

And add yet another data point that Jupiter and Neptune have aligned to bump Planet Earth out of LAA karmic misalignment, and our fortunes are normalizing. Brooks Pounders - THE Brooks Pounders - made an appearance in the game yesterday. But his appearance was as a Rockie and not a Halo. And he was most definitely not Cy Young. He was just as Pounders as he was when he was in Anaheim: 1 inning survived, 2 runs allowed on 4 hits. His outing went double + double +ground out + single + single (Shohei Ohtani with a pinch hit!) + GIDP.

Angels win 8-0, split the Colorado series 1-1, finish the road trip 3-2, and remain 12 game behind Houston for the AL West lead after the Astros plunked the A’s 4-1 in Oakland. The A’s, of course, can never do anything right. They got their A’sses swept as they were outscored 24-5.

The Angels come back to Anaheim for their longest stretch of home cooking this season.

Have some Jaime-Barria-The-Door-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Albert Pujols’ peak was incredible. I would call that 2003 - 2010 when he averaged 8.7 bWAR. This celebration review expands that window............But just a note of comparison. Even with extreme youth and injuries, Mike Trout has averaged over the 2012- 2017 season a bWAR of 9.0. Right now he is tracking at about 14.95 bWAR for 2018, which would up his bWAR average to 9.8 (that assumes no annual Fall swoon). That is why Albert Pujols is a Hall of Famer, and Mike Trout is tracking to be an inner-most ring Hall of Famer.........

You were totally thrilled to see Ian Kinsler dropped out of the top spot in the batting order, were you not? You see, that’s the difference between you, the mere fan rube, and a brilliant baseball mind like Mike Scioscia. Back in Game 5, on April 18th, Kinsler went 2 for 4. his BA was then .368 and his OBP was .409. Those have been his high points. Over the next 10 games he went .182 with an OBP of .250, both crippling as a leadoff resource. You, oh simple one, would have yanked him even then. That would have been far too impatient for a veteran presence such as Kinsler. Sosh needed to see him go 6 more games, in which his BA was .074 and his OBP was .167. But the team scored 46 runs as Kinsler’s punishment to the lineup was cloaked from view of us mortals. But Sosh’s mind churns still, and he knew. He knew it was time. And so, for the first time since 4/11, Sosh has opted to intercede and restore Zack Cozart to leadoff...........

Trout Takes: Who is this Mike Trout dude involved with all this excellent CF defense?..........Speaking of Trout, he was once intentionally walked with the bases loaded..........Trout, ever the gentleman and all around good guy, turns a potential double into a sure single because he pauses to apologize for his bat breaking. Name one other MLB player who you would expect to do such a thing in that moment..........

Mother’s Day is coming. Pink stuff everywhere. But let’s salute the Honorary Bat Girls for that day, most of whom are breast cancer survivors. For the Halos, it’s Anne Fleck. As a cancer survivor myself, a special tip of the cap to these people and wishing for them a sunny day at the ballpark..........

Shohei Ohtani has left his mark in Denver. One of those BP mashes that I recounted the other day inspired further review. Upon close up, the ball impacted the railing so hard it left an imprint. And that railing is a long, long, long way from home...........

In super crazy news that must have some original source at The Onion, Kenyan Middleton is doing well and is expected back in Anaheim very, very soon. Yeah. Right. As if I am going to fall for any silly nonsense about good health reports concerning LAA pitchers..........

Cam Bedrosian and the proverbial broad side of a barn...........

Let’s catch up on prospects..........Taylor Ward and Jahmai Jones working on new defensive positional responsibilities..........And Griffin Canning is coming..........


Everywhere In Baseball

I tried to do this myself on Tuesday. look into BBR Play Index and count up all the near-miss no-hitters I keep reading about daily. Too bad for me BBR keeps choking up my queries and pretending like I am not logged in. As it turns out, no-hit bids truly are a plague so far......Diving deeper into the year-over-year stats, we are in a territory not seen in 5 decades......A corollary there is that we could now one day see another rarity: a 21 K game..........And, (even worse?) we could be on the verge of even more pitching terror........

This is more like it. Let’s argue about what player is the best within the Tier 2 talent of MLB..........

We used to complain about Mike Scioscia and his desire for variations in batting orders all the time. We don’t do that anymore. We still praise or complain about some specific lineup, but we have collectively stopped complaining about some different one every day. That’s because Sosh has been tamed. Having dependable role players helps Sosh a lot. Compare that to Joe Maddon, whose team is far below expectations and is now wide open to petty criticism from all directions..........

The Department Of Stupid Things now has a few more members...........National League baseball fans of New York got Metted once again. Yesterday, Little League style, the group of grown-assed adults who call themselves the professional baseball players of the NYM figured out how to bat out of order. In the first fricking inning. Yes, it probably did cost them the game.............CWS prospect Jake Burger tore his achilles while merely walking. Not even gum was involved..........Adeiny Hechavarria, Tampa Bay shortstop, was attacked by the Tropicana catwalk and beaned by a loose baseball..........Aroldis Chapman unleashed the fastest pitch to date of the 2018 season. 103.3mph. The fact that Chapman had no idea where that pitch was going and it smacked against the body of batter Jackie Bradley, Jr. is not anything with which Chapman shall concern himself...........

It might be impossible to alter the presentation of competitive sports information in order to connect with future generations..........

Never lose sight of crediting Billy Eppler for trades to which he refuses to fall prey..........

Just putting this out there. Rafael Palmiero is almost as old as I am...........

Andre Dawson once sent baseballs to funeral homes for a living. Now Andre Dawson IS a funeral home for a living..........

David Price has been diagnosed with Carpal tunnel in his pitching hand. Does this mean he is going to be showing up for work wearing one of those wrist braces all game? Or has that wave of sympathy-fetching washed over our society already?..........

ESPN has figured out that the best way to avoid taking the heat is to avoid having an InBox to which the public can deliver that heat. If there is no Public Editor anymore to alert ESPN brass that things suck, then things must not suck anymore, right?...........


The Duffle Bag

Jeff Fletcher does, indeed, blow our minds with this 2018 factoid de jour.............Mark Loretta probably gets more free beers for being HBP from Pedro Martinez than out of the rest of his somewhat lengthy MLB career. That HBP episode happened here...........Tim Lincecum don’t need no stinking glove. (Never saw that one before.).........Put me in, coach, I can’t be any worse than those dudes you have out there now...........Every sports league has a uniform conformity popo. MLB is no exception. The proper fix is for the franchise to solicit input form the players and make those small modifications themselves, redefining what MLB will attempt to enforce..........The Boston-New York beef goes back a long, long way. Farther back than baseball, by the way.........Something you will NOT see between the Yankees and Red Sox: Tickle Fight!..........Maybe I don’t want a subscription to The Athletic after all..........Finn The Bat Dog is a very good dog.............

And I close with this: “Who the f—k is Tom Brady?”...........