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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Halo Pitchers Fail 4th Grade

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For some reason, each of 3 decent starters tanked in the same 4th inning of work.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Welp, this 4th-inning thing is what it is. Just as Skaggs imploded in the 4th inning on Tuesday, and just like Tropeano barfed in the 4th inning on Wednesday, Andrew Heaney took his dump in the 4th inning on Thursday. The Angels scored 10 runs across those games, but the Angel pitchers gave up 21 runs. 14 of those runs were scored in the 4th inning of these 3 games. For the 4th loss in a row, no less. Just like that, we were swept out of Florida and into insignificance, with the dust of our dignity landing in Cleveland for a weekend series. Angels lose 4-2. Elimination number is down to 38.

That was pretty uninspiring. Sometimes that will happen even to juggernauts. We are no juggernaut, though, so getting swept in Tampa at this point of this kind of season is not really noteworthy. I’m not going to get into a tizzy about it. But what I do spend more and more time thinking about is that it seems as though there is something going on throughout Major League Baseball of which the Angels are not a part. It’s just starting to feel that the Angels are hard at work mastering a version of baseball from a decade ago, while a lot of other franchises have moved past that and now easily dominate us. I just can’t put a finger on it. Maybe that’s because it’s not just one thing.

What’s also uninspiring is MLB. We have a post trade deadline hangover and not enough fun and funky things going on. Let’s hope for a better weekend. Until then, get yourself ahead of the game with these Shifting-Out-Of-Neutral-Gear-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Shohei remained a No-Sho............

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Mike hurt himself sliding again. This time, when he tried to steal third base the other afternoon he jammed his wrist. It’s the kind of thing that bugs his swing, but since he has had a slow month anyway we might not notice. He is listed as day-to-day............

A Little Bit Of Angels News

I am pretty sure that the initial draft of this article had the title “Now What?”.............

Since the July 4th game, Luis Valbuena is batting .088. That is all..........


Everywhere In Baseball

We seriously have a damned good crop of players having damned fine seasons to go along with Mike Trout. Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor have been solid all season. Mookie Betts, too, when he is not on the DL. And Alex Bregman. All names from top-tier teams. But don’t forget Matt Chapman...........

Damn. Why can’t we have a guy playing 2B for us who can play like Ian Kinsler?. (Amazingly, all that great play resulted in only a 0.1 fWAR for Kinsler on the day.).............Did Tom Verducci ever interview Ian Kinsler when he was in Anaheim?..........Did anybody ever put up augmented reality of Kinsler’s defense while he was a Halo?.........

MLB released the post-season schedule. I can say that, thankfully, unless there is some weather delay or two, we will NOT have to worry about November baseball in Anaheim this year. How they manage to avoid as much NFL as they do is astounding. After all, NFL pre-season games start just next week..........

The Rays just showed how they can master a quality opponent by flexing their bullpen powers. The Yankees are moving one of their starters, Sonny Gray, to the bullpen where maybe he has a more useful life. Our bullpen has not been the quality that we had hoped for this year. Maybe we should put all of our guys int he bullpen, too?..........

This is hilarious, in a disturbing way. MLB is going back and having video edit out anything that might not shine the very best light on Rob Manfred?...........

This is a very, very good read. It guides the reader through some important fundamentals on how teams, over the years, have valued the very best players and how those players move from some starting point to any specific team. It’s easy to spot the points in history where there have been franchise reactions to strikes, and to see the steroid era. But what’s fascinating (to me, at least) is how obvious it is that the Baseball Information Age kicks in and stabilizes things. as the author writes: “Finally, we see the Moneyball era take hold around 2006 and 2007, with teams placing more scrutiny on the value of free agent excursions.” And the conclusion is solid: “A great deal of this data works as evidence that teams are getting better at identifying their young stars, signing them to long-term deal past arbitration, and generally closing market inefficiencies.” THIS is the part that the MLBPA has missed, AND a lot of baseball writers and commentators. (Catch the hell up, Grant Brisbee.) We just had a revolution in smarts among MLB Front Offices. So they aren’t doing stupid things as much. And we are now finding the true water level for player evaluations...........

Josh Donaldson is a guy one might consider a star. And the Blue Jays were shopping him. For some strange reason, no buyers were will to bite on the chance to lose some prospects for that reputations and get back a guy yet another DL pass-holder. 113 games last year? 36 games this year? Gee, it’s a real mystery.........

You know that Houston’s pursuit and acquisition of Roberto Osuna has gone sideways when we are down to quibbling over grammar in conflicting statements. It depends, I guess, on the definition of the word “it”..........

And we still have a soap opera of fun to follow in Washington DC......They are dysfunctional.....”No we are not.”..........”Yes you are.”..........

I knew we would come to this. Now we have an Internet population spending their days and nights reading tweets by MLB players from years and years ago, hoping to be the one who nails somebody for being a dick at any point in their life...........


The Duffle Bag

Maikel Franco with the electric shock therapy bat flip............Ummm, shades of Jeff Mathis? Having a runner caught dead to rights off base and throwing to the meaningless base............Terry Francona knows that we don’t need to bicker over Mike Scioscia (Yeah, I know it’s The Onion)...........Huzzah! Somebody finally allowed themselves to use the bullpen cart!!..........So the Red Sox are going to pay Pablo Sandoval around $8 million to sit on somebody else’s DL. Sweet..........There, people, if you are going to go funky themed uniform jerseys for one game, go all the damned way!..........Personally, I think that when any batter strikes the ball twice and the ball lands fair, he should get credit for both times the ball was hit...........Yeah, Jonathan Holder, what were you thinking? At least Felix Pena got ONE out in our recent example...........If you suspend a Minor Leaguer without pay, does their W2 even notice?..........