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TuesdoLinks: Halos Lose a Game Of Inches

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Just another foot for Justin Upton and last night would have been an entirely different ballgame.

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Inning #7, bases loaded, Angels down 6-2, 1 out, full count to Justin Upton at the plate. And then this happens. Had Upton hit that ball a fraction of an inch different from his bat, life this morning might be entirely different. If, if, if and if. Deep sigh. At least Mike is still doing Trout things.

Angels lose 7-4.

Meanwhile, the Astros are having loads of fun. 12 wins in a row now. Do you know when the last time was that the Angels had 12 wins in a row? Never, actually. The longest winning streak is 11 games, back in 1964. So losing 7 out of the last 8 has put a serious crimp in any post-season hopes. But it’s only June. Mid-June. Maybe we get some guys back. The Halos are still over .500.

So do yourself a favor and enjoy some Chill-Pill-Links:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Ohtani will be re-evaluated in 2 to 3 weeks.............But the Angels are “very optimistic” about Ohtani’s arm..............

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

MLB announced the American League Player Not named Mike Trout of the Week Award. Evan Gattis. This week Gattis wins because he has the good fortune of having a tank-induced powerhouse lineup of bats capable of getting on base ahead of him often enough that Gattis collected 15 RBI’s out of his plate appearances. Trout destroyed Gattis in nearly every other category for the week. You can see for yourself with Gattis here and then Trout here. (What you don’t see there is Gattis earning 0.6 fWAR and Trout earning 1.3f WAR.) And you can frame this as Evan Gattis’ week PLUS a typical week out of Jordy Mercer would about equal what Trout did all by himself...........But the special study would come from looking at the context of the PA’s between the two last week. For the 14 times that Gattis came to bat with runners on base, Houston was kind enough to provide him with 22 such base runners. Trout came to bat only 8 times with men on base, and the grand total was only 10 guys. Gattis gets 15 RBI, Trout gets only 7. Gattis must be better. Because of RBI. And Gattis’ stellar defense............By the way, Gattis collected 14 of his RBI’s against Oakland. The Angels marched into Oakland right after that and the A’s pitching staff walked Trout 4 times (once intentionally) and hit him with a pitch another time. They only let him even try to bat 9 times and he got 6 hits and a Sac Fly..........For those wondering, throughout his entire career to date Trout has won POTW only 3 times. Only 2 times not shared. The last was July 12th, 2015. MLB has turned this into a participation trophy..........

At least Mike’s dog loves him..........And FOX Sports..........And ESPN (I warned your a little while ago that Trout’s 1000th game was coming up.)..........And reddit users. Reddit users found a lot to love about Trout yesterday. Here.....here (where MLB fans from all over are calling out MLB for being stupid, even Houston fans)....and here.....

Hey MLB, you shit-for-brains failures for talent recognition/reward and shit-for-brains failures for not being able to stamp your brilliant once-in-a-lifetime talent on the minds of anybody but the most fervent baseball fans, you don’t get to sell beer or potato chip ads on the back of Mike Trout’s home run prowess.............

A Little Bit Of Angels News

Were you surprised to see Kole Calhoun in RF last night instead of AAA King Blash? If so, it’s only because I don’t do this gig with an evening edition because the news was out there..........Funny, though, that even after Calhoun had been announced as called up and after he was on the lineup card, the LAA transaction page was still listing his return date as “TBD”. Hopefully they have corrected that by the time you read this, but it does speak to the accuracy of team injury info made available to the general public. Not a priority..........

Minor League Baseball already misses David Fletcher............But MiLB is loving on Jose Suarez while it can..........

Jo “Baby Trout” Adell is still blowing things up with the 66’ers. His week is better than Gattis’.........And I will continue to call Adell ‘Baby Trout’ until he figures out a way to screw up his own trajectory, which does not appear to be happening..........Do you know who did NOT miss the chance at a grand slam last night? Matt Thaiss, that’s who............


Everywhere In Baseball

Let’s clarify a little Moneyball was not about bullpenning, defensive shifts, or velocity spikes. But the Moneyball approached was strong in ushering in the analytical era to what is supposed to be the thinking person’s game of Baseball. In this Jeff Passan piece, he walks through some of that. He reviews a whole lot of other things, too (such as Mike trout and Andrelton Simmons). But he gets his best response out of me from this unnamed scout: “If you ask people that are the target audience what they like, millennials will tell you guys throwing 100, crazy breaking stuff, homers and the emotion and shareable clips. And the league is actively fighting all of those. Because they’re close-minded, scared, rich old white men that have no idea how to sell their product.” Sounds pretty close to me, except for that “rich old white men” part. Because, you know, Arte Moreno............

This is the problem with MSM scribes throwing out trade thoughts. They ain’t any more credible or well thought out than we can see on fan blogs. Take, for instance, a Ken Rosenthal who would very much like to see his Red Sox snatch up Manny Machado. Yeah, well, reality check time...........But fair warning. Unless you are the Chicago Cubs, you will only be renting Manny Machado..........

Since we are talking possible trades, wouldn’t be nice to have picked up a Kelvin Herrera from the Royals. The guy has an ERA of 1.05 and an ERA+ of 402. By way of comparison, our counterpart Cam Bedrosian has an ERA of 3.18 and an ERA+ of 128. Could Billy Eppler have beat the return of Kelvin Gutierrez, Blake Perkins and Yohanse Morel?

Here is how rainouts and make-up games create fun little problems for the Cretins Of Technicalities that plague Major league Baseball. Juan Soto hit a home run in a game that will be credited to a date before the date assigned to him as his debut..........

I force myself to read HighHeatStats twitter feed every day hoping to see something as interesting as this. Strikeouts are going to kill us all..........

Once upon a time Baseball attracted hoards of fans. Once upon a time the baseball experience was pretty cool. A lot of that has changed. I miss most the paper cups and paper airplanes..........Other people miss most the affordability of a ballgame. I don’t miss that one as much because back then I didn’t have to pay, anyway.........

Wow. In the CWS Washington was leading Oregon State 5-4 after 5 innings when rain and lightning stormed the field. Both teams went to the locker rooms and waited 4 hours before resuming (no 5-inning official games or suspended games for college kids). When they came back to resume battling, OSU came out firing on all cylinders. Final score was 14-5 OSU over Washington, and Washington becomes the first of the Final 8 to go home.............


The Duffle Bag

Big news outta yesterday: Bryce Harper shaved his beard. Lumber-sexual just ain’t sexy any longer...........Put me in coach, I’m ready to play............The Athletic is growing in SoCal..........(h/t UniWatch) Architectural student builds perfect MLB stadium models. Complete with working field lights..........Ouch! MLB #2 pick signed for quite a lot. That’s not going to make a Mike Moustakas very happy.........Do the Nats have a reputation for sign stealing?..........Fans doing their own ‘ump show’............