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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Angels Lose & Lose Again.

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Losing to Seattle means losing any last mathematical chance of extending the season. Boo on us.

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Why is this man smiling?
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

All it took was one more Oakland win, or one more LAA loss, and the Halos were officially dead in the water. No 2018 post-season even possible (it’s long been extremely improbable). We knew it was coming. I told you last week it would come this week.

It came.

The 2018 edition of the Los Angeles Angels are mathematically booted from the 2018 playoffs. Nurse, note the time: 10:29PM PDT, on September 13. Angels lose 8-2. But thanks Justin Upton for that highlight. Not all bullpenning games work out. Not all normal starter game works out, either.

It’s like when you get hit way too early in dodge ball. “Ok, boy and girls, let’s find a comfy seat in the stands where we can watch all the cool kids have the fun.” Enjoy the live baseball while we got it. Enjoy the playoffs. Enjoy the chance to start mulling over hot stoves.

And enjoy the first of many Counting-Down-To-Pitchers-And-Catchers-Report-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

It turns out that having a guy who can play well as a pitcher AND a position player makes for some unique flexibility. Shohei is proving that now, and will prove that in spades next season as he has the chance to be an every day star while he also rehabs from TJ. It’s such a treat, in fact, that the Halos are inspired to try and sprout more such guys from their farm system............

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

We are entering the phase of Mike Trout news where the MSM will be busy trying to scoop one another concerning contract possibilities. Yesterday it was Jon Heyman of Fan Cred Sports, informing all that Arte Moreno and Billy Eppler will try to make Mike a lifetime offer.I know! You are probably shocked that the sun rose again this morning, too! But here is the deal. These writers come from, and live in ,all parts of the country. They have their regional biases, and they write for fans with regional biases. So brace yourselves for all the times you will read, as with this link, how it would be smart for Trout to not sign such a deal with Arte for some reason or another. That’s the only way that the regional interests can hold out any hope for some franchise-changing shot at history.............

No link because I am doing this by hand before BBR can publish new tallies, but pay attention. Trout is slashing .405/.542/.622 with an OPS of 1.163 so far for September. That’s probably gonna be good for about 1 full fWAR.........

A Little Bit Of Angels News

Holy moly! From my house I can walk over to this Kole Calhoun meet & greet............

3 more years left on this list. Only 3 more years is why we are no longer #1. But, like 99.999% of all Albert Pujols contract commentary, it only focuses on his production between the lines. IMHO, his contract has never been only about his production between the lines. That fails to pay enough attention to marketing, merchandising, TV contract, and even milestone hoopla. There is even something to be said for franchise cache, and I am sure some counter of the beans has a positive entry in the ledger books for that...........

Tyler Skaggs is getting healthier..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Deadspin is left dumbfounded trying to figure out how it is that the Oakland A’s are still zooming towards a playoff spot, especially after their starting rotation has been so decimated (LOL, sez this LAA fan!). Well, I could write up a long article on all of it, but simply put they are where they are because they are doing what they are supposed to do. If you expect to be a playoff team, you need to expect to win your games against those teams that don’t expect to win. Against teams that were non-contenders in 2018, the A’s are 60-23 when you include the Halos, and 54-16 when you don’t. Over a 162 game schedule, those would be winning totals of 117 and 125 wins. Totally unsustainable against the league as a whole. On the other hand, against teams that are contenders, or have been until late, the A’s are only 29 and 34. That’s only a 75 win season. Just against the Orioles/Tigers/Padres/Blue Jays, Oakland is 23-0 with a run differential of +81. By way of comparison, the Angels are 16 wins behind the A’s, and 7 of those 16 potential wins were lost to that same group of losers. The LAA run differential against them is half that of Oakland, at +39. It’s what I wrote when the season began. This year there will be a larger than normal crop of ultra losing teams, and the teams that exploit the losers best will be the ones with the better chance to get into the playoffs. Oakland has done that..............

Let’s stick with Oakland a minute more. We are about to hit playoff baseball, where pitching tactics get turned on their head. And we have spent a season watching the rise of bullpenning. Even Mike Scioscia is an acolyte, as recently as last night. Oakland’s rotation is a shell of what it once was. And there is a well-understood disadvantage of playing in the WC game, since it is urgent enough to attract your best starter, and THAT serves to put that starter into a lessor role in the ALDS. So, for the A’s, why not bullpen that WC game?..........

Hoo boy. Michael Wilbon just pulled into the driveway where the post-season awards partying will take place. And when the valet went out to get his keys, Wilbon handed him the reigns to his surrey..........

Entered into evidence as exhibit #53 as to why Mike Trout is GOAT. Carlos Correa, another one-time media darling to supplant Mike as Baseballs Best Player, has regressed pretty hard this season..........

Then, in another trial ongoing in the adjacent courtroom, Exhibit #8 as to why you reward your superstars with all the accolades they earn at the time they earn it, rather than excusing your stupidity with some level of faith that the future guarantees a correction in snubbery today, we have the sad tale of David Wright. Wright didn’t have much of an age-28 season. He didn’t have much of an age-30 or age-31 season. And he hasn’t had an age-32 or age-33 or age-34 season. This is his 4th consecutive lost year, his age-35 season, and David Wrigth has to surrender to fate...........To break your hearts, compare the first 7 seasons of Wright’s career to the first 7 real seasons of Trout’s career. Quite a lot of similarities, there, folks...........

Yahoo names their MiLB honorees. LAA is represented by 3 Honorable Mentions: Jo Adell for OF, Taylor Ward at 3B, and Luis Rengifo at SS...........

The downside for Trout should he want to spend the next decade playing for the Phillies, is that he would be playing a buttload of games in Citi Field. And for offensive players, that is very, very bad..........

Keep track of Hurricane Florence as it messes up east coast baseball. Say a prayer for those impacted. And stay up to date with the severity of the storm via the Waffle House Index (as a native Californian, learning that this is a thing is awesome!).............


The Duffle Bag

I came to grips with the fact that there are major parts of Planet Earth that passed me by a long time ago. I’m OK with that. But it still shocks me to learn what it is that some people need to do to inject happiness into their lives. This conversion of Fenway over the coming winter for Crashed Ice racing is one of those moments.............Resident of Florida sues Florida baseball team for advertising. Thank you once again, Florida..........Let’s face it. Playing hard grounders over a mound is really tough. Cut the kid some slack..........Yeah. Who needs a kayak?..........A couple of key at-bats can make or break an entire career. Just ask David Freese..........