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MondoLinks: Trout + Ohtani = Sho’Time!

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Halo prized players smack Seattle boo-turds to the turnstiles

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

It was a ferocious weekend up in Seattle. The Halos took 2 of 3, losing the middle game in extras only because of a lame showing by the bullpen, which barfed up multiple leads.

But along the way we got Albert Pujols’ 3,000 career MLB hit......We got Zack Cozart getting his groove back.......We got an ancient Chris Young thumping aged King Felix............We got three straight games with Mike Trout nabbing 3 hits per game.......We got Andrelton Simmons with a 4 for 6 night that (briefly) vaulted him to the top of the MLB Batting Average rankings......We got Garrett Richards back.....We got Tyler Skaggs pushing to take over the Ace label.....And we got Shohei Ohtani going 2 for 4 with a walk, RBI and Run Scored on Friday, then coming back and pitching 6 solid innings on Sunday with 6 K’s and only 2 runs given up.

This all happened in Seattle, where the locals reminded Shohei Ohtani why he needed to NOT choose to play for them. They booed him on Friday when he came to the plate as DH. They booed him Sunday when he left the game after blistering the Mariners bats into submission. After the Friday boos Ohtani admitted to being a little put off. My reaction, had that been me, would have been “And now you know why I chose Anaheim. Tell those people I will be seeing them Sunday.”

It’s yet another day off as the Halos jump to Denver for 2 quick games against the Rockies. After the DBacks took down the Astros (who are getting a little pissy in their frustration...see below), the Halos are 1 game up as AL West leader.

So Dig these King-Of-The-Hill-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Let’s go over that Mike Trout weekend again. He hit .600 while doing The Weekend Cycle (at least one walk, single, double, triple and home run). He also stole a base. And he nailed Ben Gamel committing an an over-aggressive slide with this bullet strike from CF to 3B. That’s a War Porn Weekend, people............His slash line for May now stands at .545/.677/1.136 with an OPS of 1.814. He has 2 HR’s, 2 3B’s, 3 2B’s and 5 singles. He has scored 8 times, and driven in 6 runs. It. Is. Only. May. 7th..........I mean, that is almost Mookie Betts territory..........

Pujols at 3,000 hits, 600 home runs, is loaded with history............He isn’t known as The Machine for nothing..........One tidbit of history is how teammate Justin Anderson, who grew up an Astros fan, grew up being crushed by Pujols on a regular basis...........

Shohei throwing smoke in Seattle..........And also joining some LAA franchise legends with his pitching prowess...........We didn’t get the lusted or Ichiro versus Ohtani moment, but we did get this, which is RESPECT..............

Gatorade is back! But you knew that would happen, didn’t you?................It’s necessary because Martin Maldonado is unavailable due to bereavement leave............

Jabari Blash smashed a foul ball clear out of Safeco, showcasing his power potential. No. Literally. In the literal sense of the words. Out of the entire stadium. None of that was present in Blash’s first LAA hit...............

Recall from Friday’s WeekEnd Links the graphics I cut up and posted over Ian Kinsler’s 3rd-inning everybody-missed-that-he-drew-a-walk. I showed how MLB had listed the mystery pitch #6 as a foul ball, which it clearly was not. Well, over the weekend MLB fixed that on their game database. The hilariousness of that At-Bat now jumps right out. Kinsler walked, and then stood there and endured 2 more pitches, swinging and missing on a 4 ball, 2 strike pitch as his part in to ending the inning:

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Everywhere In Baseball

MLB puts the Dodgers and Padres in a 3-game series in Mexico (the Padres won that Mexico Series). This is how MLB works to promote the game beyond our borders. Too bad for the people beyond our borders that prices for tickets were out of reach.............So only the elite got to witness the 4-pitcher LAD no-hitter Friday night..........

It was a tough weekend for injuries. The list is long, but most noteworthy are Clayton Kershaw with a biceps injury and poor, poor Yadier Molina with the second case of losing one’s jewels on the diamond in recent days. Molina took a 102mph foul tip to the gonads, which was so forceful it caused a hematoma, which needed emergency surgery. He is out for a month. I am cringing just typing this paragraph...........Mookie Betts also got bruised, is day-to-day but should be back shortly...........And Miguel Cabrera took another hamstring strain..........

The Yankees have had a very hard time figuring out a way to lose recently. Their win yesterday, another walk-off, was their 15th in their last 16 games. They are 20-4 since April 10. They now receive the not-quite-as-hot Red Sox (16-8 in that time) into Yankee Stadium or 3 games. The Red Sox need to prepare appropriately............

The Astros are not mailing in their victories any longer. After taking a beat down by the Yankees, they have lost 2 of 3 to the Diamondbacks. The last loss is the one that is showing some sphincter tightening. It was a tight enough game with the Astros leading 1-0 in the 6th and Verlander dealing on the mound. And then A.J. Pollock takes Verlander deep to center field and we have a clumsy play as Pollock slides into third base. Pollock will end up scoring the winning run on the play and the Astros go bonkers. A.J. Hinch calls bullshit. And then Verlander calls out Pollock, as if Pollock had time to whip up some kind of plan to get thrown out at home and get it overturned..........

If you haven’t been around for long, you probably don’t know that Matt Harvey could have been an LA Angel. Arte played hardball and Harvey refused to sign. He ended up with the Mets, where he had 3 pretty damned good MLB seasons. That last one, 2015, probably blew out his arm and he is now on his 3rd consecutive pretty shitty season. So shitty he got demoted to the bullpen against his wishes. That didn’t work out, either. So shitty that we was demoted to the Minor Leagues against his wishes. This time, since he won’t report, the Mets are DFA’ing him. That means that Arte gets another shot at signing Matt Harvey! With his arm problems, he should fit right in. And Arte would be pleased to learn that the Mets will pick up a lot of his salary. Plus, nobody has the Angels on the Harvey radar, so it would be Eppler and Arte sneaking up on MLB again.............Jay Bruce thinks those 3 good years are enough to qualify Harvey as a grizzled vet............

Am I getting this right? Is Buster Olney of ESPN blaming advanced analytics for rising K’s and rising HR’s? My old age must be fossilizing my brain. I must have forgotten that in the past 5 decades we didn’t like pitchers striking people out or batters hitting home runs..........

The Orioles are imploding badly. One particularly intelligent baseball analyst suspects that we daily Links readers could probably do a better job of making Baltimore relevant again...........

Pedro Florimon with some Andrelton Simmons quality tomfoolery for the victory..........


The Duffle Bag

Yet another story about parking spot entitlements.............How low have the Dodgers gotten? This low. This incredibly low............In an earlier age of Major League Baseball, getting 15 K’s in a game would be amazing. Now it is only really cool..............Scherzer’s 15 K’s did come pretty quickly, however, which is notable............The Public Service Announcement comes as a reminder that there is a stark difference in athleticism between professional baseball players, and those who keep the fields dry for professional baseball players...........Here comes Tim Lincecum...........Real men don’t need to take baseball gloves to a game...........All hail The Bullpen Cart. It needs its own rollout music...........Gerrit Cole knows the K. Both sides of it...........

Farewell Ichiro. Here are all of his MLB hits. All of them. Really fast.