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MondoLinks: Fightin’ Halos Won’t Go Easy

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Outmanned and outgunned, the Angels warn Oakland of what might have been, or what might be.

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Wake up, people, Mike Scioscia is leaning into the brave new world of pitcher flexibility. Sure, his hand has been forced, but here he is. He used a position player, Francisco Arcia, in the 9th inning Saturday night. That was the first time in his very long career that he fell to that level of desperation. Arcia would throw a scoreless frame. He would then come back and homer in the very next game, yesterday afternoon. Two-way brilliance! Look out Shohei!!.......Scioscia got 8.2 innings out of his bullpen corp yesterday, which was just hours after using them for 5.2 innings to cover for a collapsing Tyler Skaggs. If you don’t have starters to put into your starting rotation, you make it up with your relief corps. It almost worked. Had Jim Johnson not gotten dumped for 4 runs yesterday in the Evil Inning of 4, and Skaggs not wasted everybody’s night on Saturday by pretending to be an effective starter, the Angels would have had a chance to sweep and it would have been done on the shoulders of the extensive bullpen effort. But, alas, that is all wouulda-coulda-shoulda. After winning on Friday 4 - 3, the Angels dropped Saturday night 7-0, and then ran out of time to come back on Sunday, losing ultimately 8-7.

But that Friday win, that Saturday night extended bullpen shutdown, that Sunday comeback, all done with Mike Trout and all done without some dozen other players, should serve to warn the rest of the AL West that the Halos will be dangerous if ever they stop breaking down.

Today we get Andrew Heaney. He starts against the Padres at Petco. I should have stayed in San Diego, where I have been since last Tuesday night.

Welcome to Elimination-Number-Down-To-30-HaloLinks:

(Could be worse. Baltimore is already eliminated and we just started August!)


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Shohei threw a few pitches off the mound over the weekend. Half the media in the world was present to watch and report on what probably took less than 4 minutes of clock time. The LAA coaching staff had to work overtime to get back out in front of any news or conjecture and push the results of this workout back into the Cone Of Silence. So we have no idea if it’s true or not that this means Ohtani is one step closer at getting back on the mound.............But take note that after those bullpen pitches Ohtani still played that same night, going 1 for 4 as DH............

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

There comes a time when all you can do is laugh in the face of such absurdities. That Mike Trout day-to-day for more than a week thing? The one that had him expected back in the lineup on August 10th?. Well, that thing ended up with Mike on the DL. Yet another injury calamity. Yet another sugar-coating all the way to the true bad news.............

A Little Bit Of Angels News

Tyler Skaggs lasted all of 3.1 ruinous innings on Saturday, and has returned to his familiar spot on the DL couch..........

Kole Calhoun, from Mr. Hyde to Dr. Jekyll.............

Uh, hey Will Leitch. If we are to wait until the Angels retire Mike Trout’s jersey as the next one so enshrined, it will mean a wait of about 23 years past Tim Salmon’s retirement. If that were to happen, it would be criminal...........

Albert Pujols collected his 1,000 hit as a Halo. It’s also his 1,000th hit as an American League player. It’s almost never happened that any player has done such a thing. Just three players, total, and we have enjoyed two of them: Albert and Vladdie. Dave Winfield was the only other guy...........

Speaking of Vladdie, thank you for everything you have done, and continue to do, Vlad...........

Will Sosh end up joining Vlad in the Baseball HoF?..............

There is a fair chance that when MLB releases the final 2019 schedule for the Angels, there will be some official games against the Astros set for Mexico............


Everywhere In Baseball

King Felix gets old, just like the rest of us. Well, the rest of us not named Bartolo Colon.............For his part, Hernandez expects to work back into the rotation...........

When a manager gets far too stuck in pre-determined math plans............

Player’s Weekend will start August 24th. Brad Boxberger’s Uni will be the one to buy...........There are some good nicknames around MLB. Gerrit Cole, Josh Phegley, Michael Wacha..........ESPN has their faves..........For our part, the Angels have their full list of NOBs. They need a new thesaurus. There are more than enough synonyms for the word ‘broken’ to create more accurate nicknames for most of these guys...........

It should come as no surprise that the folks that would have been in collusion to manufacture bogus birth documentation would be upset when some broadcaster might wonder about the legitimate age of any wunderkind. I’m not saying that Juan Soto is older than his paperwork due to his size, as Braves’ broadcaster Joe Simpson has done. I’m just saying that these are the same institutions that want us to believe that Albert Pujols is only 38-years old...........

Bud Black should also jump into the bullpenning world in order to catch a playoff slot?............

A month ago the Angels announced they would be hosting a Gay Pride event in 2019. (Not in Mexico, I presume.) That left the Yankees as the last team remaining not to host a Pride event. This month, the Yankees join modern civilization..........

Little League World Series time. The final bracket play starts this Thursday. From the West, we have Hawaii winning the West Regionals in San Bernardino. (My older brother played in 2 of those San Berdoo Regionals, one year losing the final game.).....New York gets in with a perfect game (and the help of one of those LL strike zones)....But we already have a real LLWS hero. Because “I hit dingers.”.............

No no no no no! One does not call up a potentially huge productive generational prospect just because that prospect has the MiLB world on fire. Oh, hell no. We have the CBA to consider and hanging on to an extra year of service............

The Red Sox might end up being the clown act that finally erases the current regular season games won record held by our clown act neighbors to the north. It’s very possible. But I just have to think that the Red Sox cool off before the season is out. They have won 14 of their last 16, 3 by walk-off...........Meanwhile, the Astros have won only 4 of their last 16. They just got swept by Seattle, and their AL West lead is down to just 2.5 games over Oakland. I might need to check in on things over there to see how panicked they are...........

Johnny Giavotella has retired. Yeesh. The post-mortem on the last few years of LAA 2B play is even worse than what we measured when we were in the middle of it.........

You don’t mess around here. Kenley Jensen is sent to the DL with an irregular heartbeat. He is expected to miss a month. Hank Gathers, people. Never forget the lesson of Hank Gathers...........

You have to be thrilled that the Angels are not owned by the Wilpons...........

MSM might rage back at the dying of the light by charging readership a subscription fee, but only for the sports news. I dunno, are there any local newspaper sports departments out there that are still worth paying for?..............And Big Package sports combines are raging against the dying of the cable subscription system not by beating them to the world of OTT or streaming services, but by begging the consumer to shame the carriers into pretending like it was still 1995...........


The Duffle Bag

We have trends. In the Minor Leagues, we have weird games endings...How about a 3-run walk-off wild pitch? This kind of thing has happened before.....How about one guy catching 2 home runs in the same game? This kind of thing has happened before, too. And it’s not unusual for the same fan to snag multiple balls. Sometimes on back-to-back pitches.....How about a 2-pitch, 3-out, game-ending frame? (Thanks, silly rules changer man.)......Meanwhile, fans can be ballers, too......Especially LAA fans.....Very, very old-timers game..............Fenway Park, destined for disappointment...........The lesson here is that it’s probably better to go to a ballgame without your dad..........