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Thor’sLinks: Trout/Pujols Bombs Away!

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Mike Trout and Albert Pujols showcased homers as Andrew Heaney was nails.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Los Angeles Angels Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

It rained in SoCal yesterday. It was quite the surprise to many.

No, I am not talking about the water that fell from the clouds all over the Southland. That was surprising, yes, but even more surprising was all the home runs that Halo batters rained done on Angel Stadium. Trout + Pujols + Upton + Maldonado = 6 of the Angels 10 runs. That was more than enough to back Andrew Heaney, who went 6 full innings a gave up only 5 hits and 1 walk for 1 run. It all added up to a 10-1 lead going into junk time of the 8th/9th innings.

And oh hell did the 8th & 9th innings turn to junk. Akeel Morris? Eduardo Paredes? 6 runs surrendered - every single one earned - in only 4 outs. What was a laughing-place rout was gifted back into a nail-biter as the score was 10-7 with a runner on 1st and Manny Machado and Adam Jones coming to bat. Scioscia went back to Jim Johnson just in time. Final score stayed at 10-7. Barely.

Have some Grab-Your-Butts--Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Shohei Ohtani wins AL Rookie Of The Month for April. And that, with what I consider to be a mere middling few weeks.........Mike Trout did NOT win AL Player of the Month. That went to Did Gregorius, which is more than fair. Mike didn’t have a great first week or so, then got super hot, and then tailed back off again in the final week.........

Albert Pujols is on the verge. A home run for 2,997...and a double for 2,998. Am I imagining things, or did Albert look particularly dialed in at the plate last night?............

LAA’s own Michael Hermosillo leads off this week’s MLB Prospect Watch..........

Mike Trout is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. But do you know what Mike does not do? He does not do 3-home run games to chum the waters and create a frenzy. Other guys do that. Mookie Betts and Edwin Encarnacion both did that yesterday. And it is becoming kinda common in 2018. On rare occasions he might pop with a 2-homer game (like Giancarlo Stanton did yesterday) but even those are becoming more rare. And multi-homer games for Trout are becoming more rare in a time when home runs in general are becoming less rare. I wonder why this is? When he homered in his first at-bat last night, I had hopes. Yesterday seemed like National Homer Day. But nope. Sigh.............

Since I will take credit for bringing the rumor to SoCal in my links yesterday that this weekend might be Ichiro’s farewell to MLB, I can surmise that Jeff Fletcher is reading HaloLinks. Maybe HH is where he has gotten some of his influence towards analytical baseball thinking.........

Now THIS is a pretty picture. I’ll bet few of you remembered that the caps outside the front gates used to be blue...........

Johnny Giavotella is back out there looking for a gig again. Probably because the Marlins, at 11 wins, suddenly think they have a chance..........


Everywhere In Baseball

It’s a strong play when you have something to sell to pretend that you are not interested in selling it. Desperation only serves to drive the price down. But for Orioles GM Dan Duquette, the poker face on Manny Machado is played out. If he is thinking that his peak selling moment will be the trade deadline, he may find that wealthier buyers have already moved on from 2018 and will be calling on Machado’s agent in November, without any need to talk to Duquette..............Of course, Machado chose a poor moment to showcase in the LA market..........

I’m not the hugest fan of Trevor Bauer. But I am going to keep an eye on this Houston Astros pine tar thing he is cranky about. I linked to it already this week, but then I tripped over TheRinger pimping the much-improved Gerrit Cole. It’s pretty easy to see that Cole is now twice the pitcher he was in Pittsburgh. (Ahem...kind of like how 35-year old Justin Verlander is now twice the pitcher he ever was in Detroit.) And he was already damned good. Suddenly he is bending minds with pitching ninja tricks. Or, instead, he has instantly figured out how alter his arm and wrist motion and instantly add 7% to his spin rate now that he wears an orange colored uniform. Or maybe Bauer is leaking that which should remain unmentioned..........And maybe Bauer went out on his last rotation outing and slipped himself a mickey to light up the StatCast guns to demonstrate his point..........Whatever the case, Ian Kinsler has jumped into the discussion by calling out not only Bauer, but the whole Cleveland staff...........

For the record, I do not agree to formally making foreign substances legal for pitchers. Then again, I do not agree that MLB should be monkeying around with slicker baseballs. If it’s a safety issue, then I am all for MLB putting a uniform grip surface on all balls used in play...........

Baseball Scouting School. Where you pay good money for people to teach you how to be subjective with your critical thinking skills. And cry until you are as subjective as everybody else.........

I knew the Jung Ho Kang situation had its level of toxicity, but I had no idea how multi-dimensional the whole story of problems really is............

Johnny Cueto, the best player on the SF Giants this season, just days after mowing down the Halos, chooses NOW to get injured. Dammitall............

Sean Newcomb turns in a pretty good game himself. Good for Sean, good for the Braves...........

It’s simply unpossible to review a baseball video game without creating all sorts of humorous connections to the real world. Take, for example, this review of “Super Mega Baseball 2”. Within the review are moments like this: “While the gameplay is fairly crisp and polished there are some minor gripes. There have been a number of instances where fielders have been seemingly close enough to make a play on a grounder but it’s gone right by without any sort of effort animation.” And that, my fiends, describes perfectly our Luis Valbuena, Base Man of Third............

Remind me. Why again does Sammy Sosa need to apologize to the Cubs for making them millions and millions of dollars while he was juicing and filling their stadium? Or to their fans for all the hoopla? To the rest of us, maybe. But to the ones who profited from exploiting his PEDs bump? Really?............

Sports TV ratings are down, and expected to fall further this month. Everybody is scrambling to come up with a reason why. But think about it. Outside of NBA playoffs (which are enjoying craven ratings), what’s the April/May content draw? Don’t look to MLB. We are a regional phenomenon at the start of the regular season with 13 of the teams committed to lose and a league that cannot figure out how to market it’s very best player...........


The Duffle Bag

When are bunts super cool? When they are used to put the ball in play away from the shift to squeeze in the walk-off winning run! Yeah, baby, every damned time!!..........Suburban rats infest baseball field..........Dexter Fowler’s wife knows how to make baseball a priority. But 20 years from now that child is going to be asking some tough questions. The first one being: ‘YOU WANNA TALK ABOUT NOT USING YOUR PHONE WHILE DRIVING? OK, MOM, LET’S TALK!!’............(h/t UniWatch) A new beer outta Baltimore. Apparently, it goes down smoother than Derek Jeter...........This is rookie hazing, writ productive. But who is the jackal that asks for a double pump of vanilla???..........Don’t you just hate it when you play for the Red Sox and don’t get to just do anything you want?..........Need a job? Want to be the cause for the Rangers to fail into eternity? Baseball Systems Developer can be yours..........Diamonds loose on the diamond..........