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HumpLinks: Walk On. Walk Off.

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Mike Trout IBB’s thrice plus one pitch around. Justin Upton finally hits on time.

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MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Upton’s broken clock struck the right minute at just the right time to to score a walk-off win. It came after Mike Trout was intentionally walked three times and pitched around once as Orioles manager Buck Showalter brought us all back to Barry Bonds baseball. And it also came just in time to bail Mike Scioscia out of one of those good, old-fashioned, stick-to-your-roles usage so that we get to burn through three effective relievers until we finally get to somebody who can lose the lead.

Nick Tropeano was brilliant for 6.1 innings and was done. Justin Anderson came in and got 2 outs on only 10 pitches and was done. Jose Alverez took over and went 2 outs on 15 pitches and was done. Jim Johnson went out there and got his 1 out. On 1 pitch. And that was enough. Sitting in the dugout for the bottom of the 8th while the Halos went through 2 outs on 9 pitches clearly took a lot out of Johnson, who must have then been too gassed to go back out and try throwing a 2nd pitch. In came Cam Bedrosian. Bedrosian, who hadn’t given up a run of any sort in his previous 6 outings, gave up a couple off runs of the blown save sort.

Luckily, the Orioles bullpen is in town to screw things right back up. And there was Upton with his .120 BA with RISP and the bases juiced in the bottom of the 9th to make everything alright and everybody all happy again. Angels win 3-2.

-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Our first month of Ohtani-Time. I dunno, but it looks as if we can keep this kid healthy he may work out OK.............Not even Ippei thought it would be this much fun..........

Ken Rosenthal wishes that it were 1981 again, when all of Baseball would be in amazement as Albert Pujols approaches 3,000 hits, and nobody need worry that this baseball player might have a franchise bending salary to detract from all the hoopla...........Rosenthal needs to read Mike Digiovanna. Digiovanna dates back to 1981..............

Jeff Fletcher must have woken up on the other side of the sports department from mark Whicker and Lyle Spencer. Suddenly the guy...is...all...stats..........

Speaking of stat tweets, Kole Calhoun is making me shake my head in shame..........

Kenyon Middleton joins the flood of injured MLB’ers with an opening stint on the 10-day DL with an inflamed elbow.............


Everywhere In Baseball

In their never-ending ability to market MLB the worst way possible, Rob Manfred and company have chosen the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners to open the 2019 season...in Japan. Think about it for half a second. There are three AL teams on the west cast of the US. One of them has “The Japanese Babe Ruth” - Shohei Ohtani - and two of them don’t. If you are going to pick from those three options, there is only one that is the very worst possible. And MLB found it..........

The 2003 Detroit Tigers, a template for 2013 Houston Astros, who are a template for the 2018 Detroit Tigers..............

Trevor Bauer refuses to keep quiet on his hinting that the Astros pitchers are cheating (pine tar), even when he gets some push back from Lance McCullers...........

Matt Harvey, having spent his health trying to get the NY Mets a World Series ring in 2015, is now enjoying the wrath of the rag-assed cheap New York journalism as a thankyouverymuch..........

Bryce Harper, at .458 OBP, is pretty much at his career peak of .460 back in his MVP season of 2015. So why the hell not bat him leadoff? Well, one reason might be that Harper ain’t doing much to get on base other than draw walks. So pitchers might just decide to take that first AB away from Harper and K his ass. Because he is doing a lot of that, too..........

So Corey Seager goes down for the season with an injury mandating TJ surgery. Pffft. So what? It’s not like we have not seen stuff like that ourselves. But in the Land of Overreaction, it is suddenly Manny Machado....Manny Machado....Manny Machado....Manny Machado.....Machado is on the brink of a huge payday that nearly all of MLB has been prepping for, while the Dodgers just re-signed 4-6 bWAR Justin Turner for 3B thru 2020 and Seager is a cheap All-Star MVP candidate who ain’t going anywhere for 4 more years. I’m going to sit this one out and just watch everything implode..........

The Jeff Mathis Effect. When a Major League manager is forced to accept a black hole in his batting order instead of enjoying a slugging catcher, because that’s the way his pitcher needs it to be. Aaron Boone now has that problem in New York.........

The record for strikeouts in a single season is 223, held my Mark Reynolds. Assuming a 154-game season (giving a player a few rest games along the way), right now I calculate that there are 7 players primed to destroy that record. And only THE LEAST among them is Giancarlo Stanton. If everything carried on as it has, we would see Yoán Moncada (278), Miguel Sano (277, but he might not get enough games), Yeonis Cespedes (255), Drew Robinson (254), Robinson Chirinos (238), Carlos Gomez (237) and Stanton (237). And Aaron Judge and Matt Olson are within striking distance (215).........

Just like everybody else, all Jessica Mendoza needs is time to get comfortable in the gig...........

Twitter picking up more sports content for streaming, but not a lot of that is baseball...........


The Duffle Bag

This upcoming weekend may be Ichiro’s Last Stand. Please please please let us see an Ichiro at-bat versus Shohei Ohtani!...............(h/t UniWatch) Angels game programs used to be so uber-groovy back in the day. This one can be yours.........Rob Neyer is switching sides, becoming Commissioner of Baseball for The Western League. That’s on the assumption that the new Save America Pastime laws don’t destroy his finances...........After drawing only 5,415 souls Monday night, The Miami Jeters were averaging only 8,052 attendees in this latest home stand. And that’s while winning 3 of 4!..........The only thing more intimidating than a 101.8mph fastball would be a 101.8mph strike...........We call this “a lack of situational awareness”. Mitch Garver, just pick up the damned ball and tag the base running threat out............Bartolo Colon: “low maintenance”..........