clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Thor’sLinks: All Quiet on the Anaheim Front

New, 135 comments

Halo bats are taking the week off. Houston fans are grateful.

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

Astros manager A.J. Hinch continues to learn. This week he learned about pulling an ass-kicker pitcher having an ass-kicker night and handing a close game to your bullpen. With Justin Verlander at 99 pitches and clinging to a 2-0 lead, even after laboring somewhat in the 8th, he sent Verlander back out to face the Halos in the 9th. Still laboring, but still having his way with plate umpire Chris Conroy, Verlander closed his own game, got his own hold, recorded is own save, and tucked the Angels to bed with a 2-0 victory.

And tucking them to bed was necessary. Sleepy heads Mike trout and Shohei Ohtani and Justin Upton went a combined 0 for 12 at the top of the order. Ohtani, with 3 strikeouts, looked absolutely lost. For the starting rotation, against the World Series champs, that was 4 runs over 22 innings of work. But the Halos only scored 5 runs themselves over 26 innings of effort. trout was 0 for the series and his BA has fallen 38 points over his last 9 games (3 for 26). You can’t blame all of that on Houston.

By the way, that was Verlander’s first shutout since 2015. Against you-know-who.

Some folks might want to blame Zack Cozart for committing an error, but all it did was put Garrett Richards into the stretch. Two pitches later it was Richards, who guessed wrong on a 0-1 count to Evan Gattis and gave Gattis exactly what he was looking for. Garrett immediately went under 2 runs to none. That would be the final score. All game long only one run-scoring hit. A home run by a guy who came into the game batting .209 with 3 home runs and 9 walks on the entire season. Since the Angels could not muster a score at all, Cozart’s baserunner (Josh Reddick) meant nothing.

Whine through your coffee with these Somebody-Find-Me-A-Strike-Zone-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Jaime Barria was sent back to Salt Lake and Eduardo Paredes was reclaimed and added tot he 25-man. As Jeff Fletcher points out, with an off-day next week Scioscia does not need a 6-man rotation. I have not had enough months to go back and review what has actually been happening versus my pre-season modeling, but doesn’t this sound like the “6-man flex” model I was advocating? In that model, we would have a 6th starter bouncing between Anaheim and Salt Lake based on need driven by off-days, with the specific purpose of protecting 6 calendar days between Ohtani starts. It doesn’t look like the Angels have locked Ohtani into a specific rotation spot (my optimal spot was the 4-hole), but they are flexing one of their rotation slots with SLC...........

Some trout Porn: Mike trout The Very Good Dude is letting a teacher take over the power of his public voice for a week...........trout is also one guy who defeats your shift with alarming efficiency...........And in the Bureau of Obvious Expectations, Mike is entering his prime athletic years..........

Shohei Sunday in Anaheim. Why am I always out of town for these??..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Miggy Cabrera is done playing physically hurt. Because he gets emotionally hurt by booing fans............

Uncle Grant has the hottest Cano take of the week. Now that ll the kids know the secret as to how Robinson Cano made all that money, pharma stock should jump across the board..............

Like many of us, winning a lot of baseball games is still not enough to convince a Blake Swihart to be so Boston..........Carson Smith might be right behind Swihart on that bandwagon out of town..........

Derek Jeter is really happy with all that he has accomplished. He just cannot figure out why his team is not good enough to win games anymore and why his fan base is unwilling to come out and hand Jeter all their money to watch Jeter’s team lose..........

Jeter should sign Bartolo Colon. $1.75 million with no long term commitments at his age, a fun date for fans to watch, and all he does is keep winning ballgames............

At some point in history, somebody wanted to take the sport of “rounders” (also know as “base ball”, two words) and modify it, changing the way the game is played and coming up with our “baseball”. Fair enough. Two sports, baseball wins out in popularity. If somebody wants to come along today and change the way the game of baseball is played, fair enough again. Go have fun with that. Let’s see which has the grasp of public popularity down the road. just leave my damned game alone!..........

When the gods decide that they do not like you this week. The Twins lost catcher Jason Castro to a knee injury just before they came to town to face the Angels. So the Twins had to go with a replacement front-line catcher for the 4-game series. Since then Castro has had his surgery and the worsier news for the Twins is that Castro is lost for the season. The worsier news for the Angels is that Castro’s replacement, Mitch Garver, is the guy who tied the game up in the 9th inning of the Friday game, moving Max Kepler into position to be the winning run. And that is the same Mitch Garver who doubled in the winning run in the 12th inning of the Saturday game...........

Hahahaha! (That’s a 4 “ha” laugh.) The MLB/NBA/PGA consortium of highway robbers has agreed to approach New Jersey with a new deal. Instead of demanding 1% of the gross on sports gambling, they are willing to settle for 0.25% of the gross. I suppose their theory is that without such protection money, the leagues will just keep going on as always, and that is ‘risky’............So if the sports leagues are being absurd, why not New Jersey? They are suing the leagues for all the gambling revenue they lost while the leagues fought legalized gambling in the first place............

Hahahahahahahahahaha! (A 10 “ha” laugh. Because it’s worth it.)...........

UniWatch reviews what might be the most fun baseball-related book of the year..........


The Duffle Bag

Something that had never occurred to me: a peanut-free zone at ballgames..........If I were you, mister Miguel Cabrera Venezuela monster slugger with the body breaking down for the past 4 seasons, I would be keeping my head down right about now...........Thank you Jerry..........So CJ Cron is finding his groove? Sometimes a kid needs to be kicked out of the house in order to knuckle down and get his job done..........Just an observation: anything that is hosting 20 grasshoppers and/or goes down in one chug is not “beer”. It’s called “bud”. Or ‘coors”..........Either somebody installs a hot dog roller next to my desk or I am going to go pitch for the Mets...........Thank you Jerry..........Here is The Final Answer: it is “yanny” or “laurel” depending on the rate of speed with which one listens. And we listen at different rates. It’s something that was taught in old-school presentation skills training. Ned Yost is not enough old school..........Why score only 1 run on a passed ball when scoring 2 is twice the fun?..........This young man better watch out with all that celebration. The next time that batting tee may park itself high and tight..........

Almost OT: Sports analytics experts can come from all places. Like this guy, who comes from a division within my own company and used to do what I do..........