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MondoLinks: Halos Dodge a Housecleaning

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Kole Calhoun and Justin Upton staved off a 4-game brooming as Mike Trout took the day off.

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images

Kole Calhoun unslumped (briefly, at least), and smacked a go-ahead home run against Seattle to push the Halos to a 4-3 victory, staving off a sweep at the hands of the Mariners. So we are done with Seattle, going 8 and 11 against them............

Today is the next to last off-day before we start a very long off-season. The Angels open their final road trip, a 6-game deal, with a 3-game set in Oakland followed by 3 games in Houston, where we are certain to see Verlander yet again. That would make 6 times this season, out of 19 total games against the Astros. Lucky us. We are 7 and 6 against the A’s and 6-10 against the Astros. This trip will finish off Houston, but we see the Angels come home for a closing homestand, and we conclude with 3 against the Rangers and three final ones against the A’s.

We can still make a difference in the playoffs. The Yankees and A’s are pretty much tied up for home-field advantage in the post-season play-in game. That would mean doing the Yankees a favor, but we can hose them next year.

Dig these Next-To-Final-Lap-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Ohtani getting both of Mike Scioscia’s big thumbs up for RoY. And there are two ways to look at Sosh’s (far more) educated opinion: this way...and this way..............

Forbes read Sosh’s statement, and have stunningly leapt out to the forefront with the announcement that, yes, Shohei Ohtani is RoY worthy...........

But it’s getting easy to see the Othani love. He has been a damned miracle. It’s why we celebrated so hard when he chose Anaheim, and why others cried even harder for losing out...........

Ohtani yanked his ankle Sunday. Sosh is downplaying it and suggesting that Shohei will play tomorrow as normal. But you know what that kind of news means when it comes out of Anaheim............

Shohei knows his silly trends. Mike Scioscia does not care.............

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Way to go, little Hailey Dawson! It’s a perfect way to cap off your “Journey to 30” of throwing out a first pitch in all 30 MLB ballparks, by spending Sunday with your hero, Mike Trout...............And, then, journey complete! Good job, Master Trout...........

And that wasn’t all that young Mike did over the weekend. After making friends with young CHOC patient JJ, Trout did JJ a solid by giving him a personalized home run, on the first pitch he saw Saturday night...........

I’m going to start pointing this out more often. Watch Trout in the dugout. That young man is doing everything as team leader other than name himself captain. Which he should be. But when you have an Albert Pujols on the roster..........

Mike Trout has been very, very good. We have been very, very lucky to live to see him play............

A Little Bit Of Angels News

This snuck up on you, didn’t it? Justin Upton, the guy Billy Eppler grabbed to plug the gaping hole that has been LF, just hit his 30th home run of 2018. Nobody, not even Garret Anderson, hit that many HR’s for LAA out of the LF position...............

With Trout, Ohtani and Upton all over the 20 HR mark, and Kole Calhoun reaching his 19th yesterday, all we need is one more HR out of Calhoun and the Angels will have 4 20-HR players, a first since 2012. And, unless my math is wrong, Having Pujols go onto the DL and coming up short at 19 would leave us 1 HR shy of the first season with 5 20-or-more HR players since the 2000 season (Mo Vaughn, Troy Glaus, Darin Erstad, Garret Anderson and Tim Salmon)............

David Fletcher came out of the game with a hamstring issue.....This time Scioscia is pretty straightforward. Yeah, when there is only 2 weeks left in the season and this is when you pull your hammie, your season might possibly be done..........

Matt Shoemaker has been all over the place since returning. I’m not going to lose any sleep over that, It’s pretty much like returning to Spring Training for him...........

Tyler Skaggs is coming back this week. He went onto the DL after his July 31st start, made one appearance on August 11th, and will now get a couple more starts before his offseason begins. It should save some stress on our bullpen, FWIW...............

Kole Calhoun has cooled off again (yesterday’s HR notwithstanding), but his defense still shines............


Everywhere In Baseball

These Mesa brothers might end up being pretty important to some MLB franchise. They should get lots of suitors. Chief NOT among them would be Jerry Dipoto, who no longer has the international money that he once had. Hee hee!...............

Umpire Laz Diaz completely lost it this weekend. You have heard and read about umpires making the game all about themselves? You will never see a better example than what you will see when you click the link. For my side, I have never seen an umpire lose it and stop a game so that he can call out a center fielder over balls and strikes, because he doesn’t like the way that CF caught a fly ball. And I have seen umps make bad strike zone calls, but never so obviously on purpose. Same with intentionally ignoring a batter’s request for time out. Diaz needs an early off-season..........

On the other side of the coin, here is John Gibbons going nuts over the weekend, getting ejected for what might possibly be the last time in his managerial career. He’s upset that backup catcher Luke Maile got himself ejected for arguing balls and strikes form the dugout, mostly because plate umpire Roberto Ortiz is not falling for Blue Jays starting catcher Danny Jansen’s attempt to frame this outside pitch (#1) from Toronto pitcher Sean Reid-Foley. So, did you get that? Pitcher is off the plate, catcher tries to frame and trick the ump, ump doesn’t fall for it, BACKUP catcher 70 feet away and on the wrong side of the plate thinks he saw the pitch better, and bitches form the dugout, getting tossed. So Gibbons goes out to argue all that, blames it on a home-town call (turn the sound up), and gets tossed, too. I give this one to the ump..........

One unintended consequence of extended netting, would be the challenge it creates for players to toss an inning-ending ball to the fans. It’s turned what used to be cheap marketing into a new player sport............

Don Mattingly is joining the Mike Scioscia anti-September call-up campaign. This only makes sense if Mattingly is freaking out that his Marlins are at risk of dropping even further away from the #1 pick next June............

Hey, let’s talk about that draft order next June. It’s something to have fun with in this race to the bottom as we close in on the end of the season. Baltimore has a lock on the #1 pick. They are 15 games head(?) of the Marlins in the loss column, with only 13 games left to play. But look at the mess right around Miami. They dumped huge in an effort to get prospects AND a top slot in the 2019 draft. But with so many other concurrent tankers AND the normal number of random failed franchises, the Marlins are at risk of falling out of the Top Five. Hell, they could drop all the way down to #8:

Untitled

Rank (Literally) Team W L PCT
Rank (Literally) Team W L PCT
1 Baltimore 43 106 .289
2 Kansas City 52 97 .349
3 Miami 58 91 .389
4 Chi White Sox 59 90 .396
5 San Diego 60 90 .400
6 Detroit 61 88 .409
7 Cincinnati 64 86 .427
8 Texas 64 85 .430
9 Toronto 67 82 .450
10 Minnesota 68 81 .456


The Duffle Bag

Ben Zobrist, just doing his annual thing...............Rookie hazing is just a bunch of guys horsing around...........Credit where credit is due. Yeah, Yankees suck...........Willson Contreras showboated his way out of a triple in a close game. Joe Maddon is not pleased...........UniWatch gives us good stuff. I’m going to call it right now. Bet on the guy on the left............