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HumpLinks: Hanging (onto) a “W”!

A nice showing by the offense. A (mostly) nice showing by the pen.

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

Well how about that!? A 5-4 victory that felt a lot less close than that. But a ‘W’ nonetheless. It’s a keeper.

On the upside, we got Cam Not-so-Badrosian last night. In a game that saw an emergency start by Felix Pena, and knowing that Bedrosian might be needed for an inning or so, why not consider using Cam as an ‘opener’? Let him do his inning or two in low-leverage situations at the front side, allowing one of the normal rotation to be on the mound in later innings.

On the downside, sad trombone. Justin Upton has now stranded 30 men on base across his last 8 games. These are games the Angels have been losing by between 1 and 3 runs per game. Upton needs to apologize for wasting Mike Trout.

Back to the upside. Kole Calhoun did this. Crouch no cancel power after all, huh?

And in even more upside, David Fletcher! I know that is feels like he has been warming the bench and going to waste, but he has actually played in every game since coming up. Only the June 13th game was one where he saw zero Plate Appearances, but he IS getting to play. He was 2 for 4 last night (now batting .385) and drove in a run.

Mike Trout went only 1 for 1. But he drove in a pair of runs on that one hit. That came with the bases loaded and the DBacks faced with surrendering one run or chancing +1 runs. They took the risk. They lost. (The third baserunner would also score, but that came on an error.) He got on base all 4 times he went to the plate. 1 hit, 2 walks, and 1 catcher interference. (Catcher interference, like all defensive errors, actually lowers OBP.)

We already did our bit on Trout getting jobbed for PotW last week. Just looking at this week, Trout is now at a slash line of .833/.923/.833 with an OPS of 1.756...........

Sift through some Sugar-In-Your-Coffee-This-Morning-Links for you to plow through:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

I don’t who this Rahul Setty guy is that is now writing about Ohtani over at FanGraphs, but it sure does appear as if he reads HH a lot............

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Trout. Because only LeBron James and Aaron Rogers are more worthy............

Mike really really wants to win the World Series. Like, duh. Why that equates to so many LAA fans throwing themselves off a cliff in despair eludes me. Writers want to make a big deal out of that because the Angels have not been a playoff contender for 2 of the past 3 seasons (and this one ain’t looking so hot right now). Yeah, injuries are a bitch, ain’t they? But writers looking backwards to predict Trout wanting to leave out in the future is stupid. By then Trout will be playing with Adell and Thaiss and Jones and Marsh and Canning and, oh yeah, Ohtani and Simmons. With luck, maybe a Jordyn Adams and Jeremiah Jackson and Torii Hunter, Jr. knocking on the door. Hell, maybe even this Fletcher kid. We could be the Astros of 2020 AND have a Mike Trout still in his peak...........

The Orioles waste Machado. The Mets waste DeGrom. The Nats waste Harper. MLB is a wasteful enterprise and everybody likes to whine about it. It’s becoming the most popular sport in the MSM. And the local guys are among the best at it.........Seriously, if MLB spent as much time promoting the reality of Mike Trout warping all recent memories and understanding of what a baseball player can possibly accomplish, as writers do whining about Mike Trout not playing in every World Series, the MLB might not have as bad of a revenue decline..........

A Little Bit Of Angels News

Billy Eppler has woken up and decided to work on building a new bullpen for the 2018 season. And he is serious about it. Good to know. I’ll make a note of it on my calendar. The one that says that it’s June. Not the one that used to say it is January............

And to think that the Nationals could have had Oliver Drake and kept every one of those prospects they sent to Kansas City..........

If you don’t browse LAA-related twitter feeds often enough, you have been missing our very own Bill The Cat Angels fan over-reactionary. Honestly, if this person ever finds a neutral gear I am going into mourning. He is not a fan of Mike Scioscia, to state things graciously. But most of the time he hammers his nails into all of his coffins with deadly accuracy. This take, for instance. All these losses in June hurt just as much as if they were happening in September.........

Chris Young adds to the DL parade?...........


Everywhere In Baseball

If bullpens are ow more frequently striking guys out while still giving up basically the same batting average as ever, why does that indicate that bullpens are improving? is that a different result than for starters? Aren’t K rates up for everybody?............

Bullpens are the topic of the day. They are the ultimate crapshoot..........

Hunter Strickland is a key piece of the Giants bullpen. Hunter Strickland is kind of a dick. Hunter Strickland’s dickishness just cost himself 2 months on the DL..........And all that Hunter Strickland dickishness amped up the Giants and Marlins into this...........

The Diamondbacks are thinking about renting Manny Machado? They sit in the 2018 NL West. Who are they worried about?..........

The Kansas City Royals handed quality reliever Kelvin Herrera over to the Nationals. Before any of you go and get all upset that Billy Eppler didn’t try hard enough to fix the pen with that opportunity to snag Herrera (because it appears that he did try), know that we already have a guy better than Herrera on our own staff. His name is Jose Alverez. Look it up............Meanwhile, the Padres are putting Brad Hand on the block. The Red Sox are interested. And all that the Padres are asking is Rafael Devers. The Padres must have already said no to David Fletcher.........

Joe Torre jumped all over Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove with a $1000 fine for intentionally throwing at (and hitting) Chris Owings of the Diamondbacks. All Musgrove did was tell the truth. All Torre did was show how tough he can be when dealing with the obvious...........

Billy Beane’s time will come to an end someday. I just don’t think it will happen until after a new stadium..........

If batting orders are such a waste of time, why do teams change them up so much?..........By the way, I did a personally research project a couple of years ago. I wanted to know if Sosh used a larger number of lineup variations than other managers. What I learned was no, he does not. When I did my study, he was not even in the top 3 of tenured managers with healthy rosters when it came to lineup variations...........

In the CWS, Texas got bounced. That clears the final remnants of the ghost of Augie Garrido. Only Mississippi State and Texas Tech are lossless. Florida (#1 overall seed) and Oregon State (#3) need to get busy. Well, busier. Both survived their first elimination challenge. Oregon State plays their next elimination game today against North Carolina..........

Here is flipping the coin on me. AT&T is now going to offer up a very skinny bundle. Not one with a very few sports offerings. Rather, one with a very few entertainment offerings and no sports at all..............

R.I.P. Dutch Rennert, a guy who surely enjoyed his work..........


The Duffle Bag

Omaha in June sometimes requires some heavy artillery in order to play baseball............Let’s catch up on cool video clips! Pirates pitcher Steven Brault auditions for American Idol?..........I have seen LAA left fielders who are worse than this old lady..........Hey Commish! Here is how you connect with fans of the future. No other major sport can compete with this kind of stuff. Other sports CAN compete with this kind of stuff, but it remains important that MLB keep promoting such acts of outreach........I don’t know what’s funnier, the kids frolicking in the downpour, or the Cleveland grounds crew crashing into one another trying to imitate a precision tarp rolling machine..........Someone explain this promotion to me. Please..........I never managed to train my wife into becoming anything this spectacular. Maybe, in the future, one of my daughters-in-law. I wonder where she was hiding her mitt?.........Aaron Hicks sticking the landing (by sticking it to the Mariners)..........Manny Pina knows Bad Fan when he sees one. Bad fan. Bad, bad fan...........