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Thor’sLinks: Halos Toast Texas

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LAA finding their stride just in time for elimination

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Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

There is a tactical plan that is often used in team sports where the approach is to “neutralize the top player and make the other guys beat you”. You have heard it hundreds of times. You have seen it in action. But not in baseball. You don’t see that in baseball. Why not? Well, because of the nature of how a baseball team works together in a sport that is mathematically engineered in favor of failure.

Think about it. A player who hits .300 is a success, but that means that player gets a hit less than once every three tries. So a player who hits at that rate will often get only 1 hit in 4 at-bats in a game. If you neutralize that player, you only eliminate one single hit over the course of an entire game. Plus, working towards eliminating that single hit can increase the damage that can be done by other players.

Take last night. Mike Trout is the Angels best player. The Rangers neutralized him, with Mike going 0 for 4 last night with no walks and 2 K’s. Texas took 4 of the 24 outs last night from Trout, and Trout gave nothing back. The result? Angels blow out the Ranger 8-1. Yeah, the other guys beat them. Bad.

Those other guys were pretty productive. Felix Pena went 6 full shutout innings, allowing only 1 walk and striking out 3. In case you are not paying attention, Pena is doing pretty well of late. His last outing just 5 days prior was 7 innings, 2 runs allowed. Same thing back on September 1 against Houston. Over the last 4 starts it’s been 26 innings and only 6 earned runs allowed.....Jose Fernandez hit the second home run of his career, in his second consecutive game (by the way, keep tabs on how often Mike Trout shows clubhouse leadership, such as his dousing of Fernandez last night).....Francisco Arcia hit two home runs last night alone. He also doubled, totaling 10 bases on the night.....Justin Upton tripled.....Shohei Ohtani also doubled.....Andrelton Simmons went 3 for 3..........

Yep. Winning is more funner than losing. Winning is more funner than no baseball at all. At this point, it’s all we got and I’ll take it. That’s 7 out of the last 9 for those keeping score at home. And the Halos are back to .500.

But, still, Oakland did win. Yep. We are next. We have our Elimination-Is-The-Loneliest-Number-One-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Ohtani, AL Player Of The Week last week, remains hot. It’s too early for BBR to give me a 14 game link (his 13 game link is here), but doing the math by hand over the past 14 games (manually adding in his great game last night) he is .413/.500/935 with an OPS of 1.435, 16 RBI, 6 home runs, 7 walks, 4 doubles, a triple, and 3 stolen bases. I can’t wait to see what this kid will be able to do when he grows up............

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Tool #5: A throwing arm. Robinson Chirinos is left shaking his head, because that’s not what the scouting reports said what would happen............

By the way, there is a lot of chatter after that play calling for Trout to get the Gold Glove this year. Um, OK, but still...........

A Little Bit Of Angels News

This is why Albert Pujols will keep dragging out onto the field of play: milestones..........

Mike Scioscia is getting a bobblehead. No, not this one.....and not this one.....and not even this one.....but, yes, this one..........


Everywhere In Baseball

WTF is it with MLB pitchers getting hoof & mouth disease? Brad Peacock makes #3 this season...........

Adam Jones, Mr. Gold Glove, is seeing his career disappear right before his very eyes. This brings forth the opportunity to review those excuses from yesteryear: “Mike Trout’s just a rookie. He will win lots of Gold Gloves in his career.”..... And ”Mike Trout’s just a rookie. He will win lots of Player of the Week awards in his career.”.....And ”Mike Trout’s just a rookie. He will win lots of MVP’s in his career.”.....So how’s all that working out for MLB’s legacy?”......

Hmmm. Is it time to start thinking about opt-out decisions? Too early?...........

Oh, joy, just what we need. The Yankees getting another Luxury Tax reset. Remember, they were enjoying a break earlier this decade due to MLB rules about new stadium financing...........

Lots going on here. First, it’s tragic when a fan gets clobbered by a loose flying bat. Foul ball line drives are tough enough. Have you ever stood in the path of an oncoming spinning bat? I have, multiple times. 99 times out of 100 if you cannot duck you will get hurt. Catching the damn thing is like holding a winning lottery ticket......This kind of thing happens in Boston.....And note how the extended netting had zero impact on preventing this accident.....Also, watch what happens to the bat after striking the man. Remember, there is a fellow baseball fan nearby who has just been STRUCK IN THE HEAD BY A FLYING BAT. First, we got 3 guys going for the bat. Two guys are fighting for it before one claims possession and goes to tuck it away as his personal prize. Another guy flips to complaining that the bat was his and the possessor stole it. Forget the fan, grab that bat!!!.....Oh, not done. Stadium security leaps into action. “No! That bat will NOT be yours. Or yours. Or even yours. Here, junior security guy, take this bat downstairs and put it in my locker. I gotta go make like I care about the victim.”............

Yeah, Sheryl Ring over at FanGraphs taking on Sean Doolittle’s home run celebration challenge. Truly, No Fun Police. Keep it to yourself, Sheryl. It’s just baseball..........

Joe Maddon is feeling the pinch of late-season scheduling nightmares, as they crash headlong into Hurricane Florence. 30 straight days of baseball. Well, just wait until those days start including double-headers. Or you play even if it’s raining.........

Joe Mauer considering retirement? Wow, I am getting old.............

You know, backing into the playoffs still means that you are in the playoffs......Ain’t that right MFY fans? Would you rather trade season results with us?...........

red floyd should be able to help here, because I need the verification of a rocket scientist. If we are doing hypothetical baseball in outer space, we need to remember that it’s outer space. Out in space, where there is no wind resistance to degrade the motion path of he baseball, and no gravity to pull the baseball back to any nearby object, even a bunt pop-up - something that launch angle tracking would ignore completely - would not only clear any home run fence, they would keep on traveling through space just as far as a 109mph Shohei Ohtani line drive. That is, of course, until the baseball gets close enough to some other object..........

Bad news for cord-cutting trends. The grass is greener without carrier bundles because the grass over there is expensive as shit............


The Duffle Bag

Bat Flip & Tater Trot Of The Century............This is why you shouldn’t take MiLB playoffs too seriously............This guy at Fenway, he’s clearly done this a few times before...........Ok, this is some form of magic trick, right? Cups and balls and balls rolling on strings short of shit?..........No, Kieboom, I want to enjoy my version of your tooth fairy tale that I posted yesterday. Don’t go screwing it up with baguette stories...........