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MondoLinks: Halo Bats on Holiday

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LAA offense refuses to work on Labor Day Weekend

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

You know that things are not going well when Jose Fernandez and Jefry Marte are leading your offensive charge. Those 2 guys got 2 hits each. 4 other random guys singled. And Kole Calhoun drew 3 walks.

Shohei Ohtani made one mistake in his 2.1 innings as a starter (which came after he got sore from a stiff back between innings, losing serious velo), and the bullpen gave up only 2 runs the rest of the way out. But that was enough to doom a flaccid offensive showing against 6 different Houston pitchers.

Look at it this way. Both teams had 7 hits. One team had 5 walks and the other had 6 walks. One team left 9 men on base and the other team left 12 men stranded. So far, not that much separation. But in a very tight game, those small difference can be everything. However, one team had 4 K’s and the other had 17 K’s. Not a small difference. It means that on offense, one team has 23 active at-bats with which to work and the other team has only 10. As it happens, the team that had the 23 active AB’s didn’t even need them all. The Astros won, 4-2, using only 19 active at-bats. In tight games, small things matter.

Give one last Glimpse At-A-Double-Digit-Elimination-Number-Of-10-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

With his 2.1 innings on the mound last night, Ohtani claimed some Ruthian history............

MSM still campaigning for Ohtani as RoY..........

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Still no. For this past week, Monday to last night, Trout batted only .211 / .407 / .368 with an OPS of .776. Mike Trout is wasting his 2018 season...........Now other guys are doing the 30 home run, 100 RBI thing......And other guys are tearing it up at the plate doing inhuman things......And other guys have 23 home runs in only 60 games of play.....

A Little Bit Of Angels News

Kole Calhoun is cooling off.

Watch for this when the playoffs come. The Angels just taught the rest of MLB how to fight back at the Astros stealing signs. The Halos might not have had the health and the talent to make it to the playoffs, but they sure have the lead in brains.........

Justin Upton was not in the lineup last night because of the Houston turf. He hit his head against that turf in the Saturday game and suffered a concussion...........

On that same play that Upton conked his noggin, Simmons was busy flashing his leather. I call this out even though it is repetitive because of this factoid. Simmons has more dWAR through his age 29 season than any other MLB player in history. The punch line is that this is only Simmons’ age 28 season..........

It’s September call-up season. This used to be a cool time to see the future up close, while that future was getting a taste of the MLB level. It’s the kind of thing that we hope Taylor Ward is learning as he struggles. Well, those days are yesteryear. The Angels won’t be doing much of that......Victor thinks that is a good thing...........

Junichi Tazawa is one of the September call-ups. This is the same Junichi Tazawa that is used by MLBTR as the poster child for Japanese players coming over to MLB early. It hasn’t been working so well for Tazawa...........

Jeff Fletcher is still on a roll. Just as he guessed right that Ohtani would pitch Sunday, and then guessed right that Shoemaker would be pitching tonight, he guessed that Ohtani would be on a 50-pitch limit. Ohtani threw 49...........

And, yes, Shoemaker does start tonight..........

Some cool PCL history for you Los Angeles Angels buffs...........

Welcome back to SoCal, David Freese..........Guess who is no longer available, again?..........


Everywhere In Baseball

As I mentioned above, it’s September call-up season. In this age, the Front Offices have been gifted almost all the cards by the Player’s Union via the CBA. Makes sense. The Union protects those who ARE IN the union. Period. And the union members are already fretful that Baseball is moving money away from paying vets for who they used to be, and towards the younger players for who they might become. So why should the MLBPA have gone out of their way to insist on protections for Minor League Players? Pshaw on that! Except, um, oops. That bites at the players who would otherwise be knocking at the union door with their first union dues in hand. So Service Time manipulation is a big, and growing, controversy......It’s why the Blue Jays ain’t about too call up Baby Vlad. But the bigger new is Byron Bruxton. Bruxton, you might not realize, has already played 306 games over 4 seasons. But he got hurt, went on the DL, and has been doing Minor League rehab stints. But according to Twins GM Theo Levine, Bruxton ain’t ready. Also, he has a fiduciary duty to monitor service time!. For fans, who are NOT unionized, this makes sense. For Twins players, who ARE unionized, this pisses them off. And for writers, who tend to be unionized, this is sacrilege........

Who would have guessed that Jhoulys Chacin would be one of the very best Free Agent signings of the past Winter? Somebody really fixed him down in San Diego last year, and whatever magic they have is not working on Eric Hosmer...........

What’s also not working down there in San Diego is their inability to figure out what they want to be known as visually, what with their ongoing uniform merry-go-round..........Also, pest control..............

Here is why you cross all your fingers and all your toes that Billy Eppler is the proper captain to command the Front Office battleship. In this lengthy essay by Grant Brisbee looking back on how the Royals and Orioles screwed up the destiny they owned as recently as 2014, the bottom line is Front Office. One screwed up by trying too hard, and the other screwed up by not trying at all...........

Joe frickin’ West. After starting off his game Friday night with the Phillies pitching and the Cubs batting, and effing things up as early as batter #2. Country Joe decided that he had to chase the victimized Javy Baez back to the dugout. (This is something that umpires feel they get to do a lot these days.)..........Then Joe went bonkers, inventing a new rule interpretation for “foreign substances” and using his tenure as top dawg among umpires to try and create a new precedence. He yanked Phillies reliever Auston Davis’ notes card from Davis’ back pocket......This, as MLB is happy to point, is complete bullshit and West needs to get his ass back into zone of invisibility, where umpires need to stay...........

SAVES may be weird, but they are a thing. Right now the single season MLB record belongs to the Halos, thanks to Frankie Rodriguez and the Mike Scioscia who used him. The Mariners, via Edwin Diaz, are trying to take that away from us. That would be bad, because that would mean that we might have to suffer seeing the Mariners in the playoffs. That would ruin a 16-year good luck streak that the rest of MLB have been enjoying..........

Of all the teams that would take up a rental cause of a Josh Donaldson who might not even get healthy enough to play, why would that team be the one that already has the very best 3B in MLB???........For the Blue Jays, though, they scored. They get a guarantee of a return more of their choosing without the risk of Donaldson forcing them to pay him another $18 million via the Qualifying Offer system in order to be injured all over again...........

I hadn’t thought of this before, but Bobby Wilson might one day make his start on a second career as a minor league manager...........

Here comes legalized sports betting. And it’s gonna be huge............


The Duffle Bag

Good Baseball Dog goes good into his retirement days...........Two home runs, one home run trot..........I like Aaron Boone’s determination to get better at the umpire arguing game. That shows commitment to his craft. (Full disclosure: I am not of the belief that standing a the edge of the dugout looking puzzled is an effective method for getting an umpire to pay attention.)..........Baseball is a long season, so it is fertile soil for pranks to keep things light and lively..........Position player records home run as pitcher. Doesn’t that make him a mini Shohei?..........Yasiel Puig has turned to tech to stop people from burglarizing his house..........Let’s spend some time glorifying the stands. Padres fan, because chicks love the long foul ball.....Not an A’s fan, because the ball comes right into his lap while he sits wearing his glove......Yes A’s fan, because real AL West fans don’t need gloves. And they save their beer. Which he should now chug...........This is how pitchers need to enter the game from the bullpen..........