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TuesdoLinks: Angels Up in Arms

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Heaney K’s 10. Calhoun K’s 1. Angels take series opener 2-1.

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Heaney outpitched Lance McCullers, Jr. by a fair amount last night (Game Scores of 85 to 64). HeanDog went 8 full innings on 100 pitches even. 64 of those pitches were strikes (or, to be honest, called strikes) which nailed a perfect 10 Astros for strikeouts. He walked only 1. He gave up only 1 run. It was an ace-quality achievement of the kind that puts LAA on the 2018 post-season radar.

And it was necessary.

The Halos could only muster 2 runs on 4 hits themselves, Justin Upton getting half of those. McCullers was his typical Angels killer self. It was a classic three-way pitching duel. Heaney threw his 64 strikes, McCullers threw his 64 strikes, and Kole Calhoun threw his single strike. Of those 129, Calhoun’s meant the most.

Justin Anderson took the hill for the 9th inning and rope-a-doped his way through the top of the Houston batting order, absorbing the Astros run (with that major assist of Calhoun’s) to snatch his needed 3 outs without giving up a run. And the Angels take the opening act of this 3-game set by a score of 2-1. That puts LAA back in front in the AL West. 4th-most victories in all of MLB. Despite all the hoopla, they are only 3 12 games worse than the Yankees.

Keep your belts buckled. We have two more brilliant pitching matchups where we are pine tar disadvantaged. It’s Gerrit Cole vs. Jaime Barria tonight, and then Justin Verlander vs. Garrett Richards tomorrow.

Indulge in these -Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

New Silly Debate! Is Shohei Ohtani really the best baseball player in the world, or is it still Mike Trout? After all, Ohtani can also pitch like hell............The arguments against this new idea is not helped by a Mike-three-singles week. (That second link could be re-titled by the author to “Mike Trout: Alpha Velociraptor”.).........Nor is it helped by the trending reality that Ohtani is a major key to the LAA success this year..........The Athletic is now struggling to keep up with Ohtani’s brilliant arrival. Their opening point: why do we need any more time to know that the kid is the real deal?.........

Congratulations to Griffin Canning, Greg Mahle, Adrian Almeida and Ryan Clark as the Mobile Bay Bears combined for their second no-hitter of the season............

These next two paragraphs are particularly topical this morning:

On the other end of the spectrum is the abomination formerly known as Kole Calhoun. Utterly embarrassing. For me, too.........

Andrew Heaney used to be a very good pitcher. Then he got hurt. Now he is back. He is not the same pitcher. He might actually be better..........

Blake Wood nearing a return...........

Keynan Middleton nearing complete evaporation. MRI reveals ‘UCL tear’. ‘UCL tear’ traditionally means ‘TJS’. ‘TJS’ traditionally means ‘See ya in 2019!’..........And I am left to wonder...what is the percentage of pitchers the Angels have drafted over recent years and traded away who blew out their UCL, versus the percentage of pitchers drafted and retained who blew out their UCL? Is this an LAA training and arm management problem? Is it a problem with draft philosophy? Is it in keeping with all of MLB? Or is it merely the burial ground curse?............

Tyler Skaggs enjoys the freedom of playing under Mike Scioscia. So, no, Sosh is not a micro-manager..........

Victor with a new column summarizing his take on recent things. He also has failed to notice the hot bat of Maldonado, which Rick Souddress pointed out to us all..........

Eric Karros might be on to something here. Pitching could be an important element of the game of baseball...............

Farm hands Jose Rojas and Jared Walsh getting some love..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Here we go! The U.S. Supreme Court has, as long expected, struck down the prohibitions against betting on sporting events. This thing has been in the works since 2009 and now will lead to what it expected to be an explosion of new gambling business ventures and programs in every state. Because we have seen this before.

The.....news.....is.....everywhere...........Officially, Major League Baseball pulls the temperance movement card , as does the Players’ Association, as they work together in their fight to guilt lawmakers everywhere into handing over the lion’s share of any public revenues to be hauled by public interest in sports books..........Because make no mistake, rich business owners will spend their whole day raging against government regulation, except for when they desperately need government regulation to change rules so that they get to become even richer. So expect MLB to join the NFL, NHL and NBA in this lobbying rush to Congress to allow them to claim victory over the Supreme Court by doing an end around and creating new laws in their favor..........

Do you know what I do not need in my life? I do not need lawyers splitting their legal hairs over baseball cleats.............

A tip of the cap to the Yankees, who have been privately sending flowers to the funerals of officers slain in the line of duty. They have been doing this for decades. George Steinbrenner started it back in 1982. And they are doing this for the families of the fallen officers nationwide..........

I wrote about this a lot yesterday. I missed the MLBPA chiming in on CleatGate. This sentence is particularly funny: “But our previous proposals have either been rejected or met with unbalanced demands for concessions.” Yeah, I just imagine. Players Union: “We want to wear black shoes!”...MLB Ownership legal team: ”Ok, but in exchange you have to extend the initial team rights for players to perpetuity. No arbitration.”...........

Going into yesterday morning’s game against eh Cubs, Atlanta braves’ Jose Bautista experiment was going rather badly. 9 games, 4 hits, .160 BA, -0.3 bWAR already. Yesterday was Blind Squirrel Day..........

What’s this? Have content providers found a way via skinny bundles to stave off the cord-cutting wave? For now?...........


The Duffle Bag

An interesting observation from reddit, to explain what little success the Reds have had. Glad they are not on our schedule..........Little Jered Weaver already shows more power than dad. Notice how he inspires the defense to realign into the shift. All infielders except 1B race to left field..............Jameson Taillon, fist bumps only. No handshakes..........Vlad, Jr. has got serious game. No, not that kind of game. Troll the twitter twits game..........I think we are living in the era of The Little League Magic Slide................