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HumpLinks: Stella Cures What Ales Harvey

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Tommy La Stella pours on the power to save Matt Harvey from a Brewers skewering

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Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Something to keep in mind: Mike Trout is a big, powerful, dude who moves a lot of mass at high speed in a sport that is loaded with sudden stops and starts. The various forces he imposes on his frame are far more than you and I do, and probably far more than that of most MLB players. Mike is ours for life, which means his niggling injuries that will come from his hard style of play are ours for life, too. Shit like this groin injury shall forever be the cross we bear for enjoying the brilliance of his career. Deal with it.

Moving along, the Orioles have Chris Davis and we have Pezack Bourzart. After last night, our supporting cast combo are 2 for 51 (.039) on the season. Now, just a couple of weeks ago these same guys were 22 for 75 (.293). But they left their bats in Tempe, and we don’t play there anymore. Kole Calhoun is batting .167. Justin Bour is batting .143. Peter Bourjos is batting .048 and Zack Cozart is batting .033. With Trout day-to-day, these guys are almost half of our starting lineup.

Covering the pitching briefly, Matt Harvey is doing his best barf-up-a-bad-inning imitation of the LAA pitching staffs from a couple seasons ago. 6 earned runs over 4.1 innings, blowing up in the 2nd and 4th. This is not a promising trend for a guy we need to hold up a spot towards the top of our rotation all the way to September. Somebody should remind him that he is auditioning for a November paycheck. Then came the bullpen. Luke Bard had an unstellar night but Cam Bedrosian + Luis Garcia + Cody Allen = 3 innings of hitless ball with only 1 walk against 5 K’s. Brilliant bullpenning. In total, Bard’s struggles raised the BP ERA from 1.41 to 1.67 but that still leads MLB (the Aastros are in 2nd way back at 2.20).

Back to the offense. Thankfully, we have Tommy La Stella to lead this team to 11 frickin’ runs against the Brewers, hitting two home runs and driving in 4, gifting fans an 11-8 victory and an unexpected series win. Before exiting, Trout was 2 for 2, raising his BA to .406 and his OPS to an hysterical 1.530.

Gotta love these Tapping-Into-The-Offense-And-Still-Barley-Winning-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Trevor Cahill on Mike Trout’s robbing of Christian Yelich: “Well, he’ll probably jump and catch it.” How’s that for mad respect??............

Mike Trout will show up on the BBR leader boards today, as they unveil their 2019 bWAR data. The better link will be to look here, at career bWAR. Trout just leaped over the likes of Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw, Willie McCovey, Reggie Smith, Andre Dawson, Zack Greinke, Chase Utley, Craig Biggio, and Willie Randolph. All that just since the season began..........

Jo Adell already in the Top 4 power bats in the minors, and in a few weeks he will be at least in the Top 3...........


Everywhere In Baseball

[A correction from yesterday: MLB has NOT fixed the video search tool after all. They only put the search link back onto the video page. When you click the link they simply troll you with an error message informing you that, yes, they still suck.]

The Red Sox finally opened at home yesterday. because Boston, they unfurled the most obscenely massive championship banner ever known, which provided them with the excuse to raise a banner twice....Then they issued bodacious rings. 185 stones. One stone for every game last year plus one for every World Series title. Yes, that means they installed celebration stones for every loss. But wait, still not done. Each ring is custom, with the player’s name part of the outside design. Engraved within the ring was yet another one of those silly-assed Red Sox rally cries, “DAMAGE DONE”...AND the player’s signature...AND the player’s nickname. Because Boston athletes all need to have nicknames............

But wait! There’s more!! Dustin Pedroia was finally back on the field. He went 1 for 4 as the gritty little starting baseman and early Comeback Player of the Year fave. Such a perfect day, parading around all those championship trophies and making everybody feel so good.....Too bad the team actually had to play a game that counted. Because they lost. Again. Matt Shoemaker was in classic Shoey form, going strong into the 6th before being lifted after giving up a run and walking a guy (who would later score as the inherited runner. Shoe defeats the Red Sox 7 to 5, the Red Sox are now 3 and 9 on the season and their .250 winning percentage is better only the Royals and Reds in all of MLB.....Chris Sale sucked again.....He is so out of sorts he gifted a straight steal of home plate to the Blue Jays. That’s pretty embarrassing for their ace....And now they need to figure out what the hell to do with a giant banner made from enough material to cloth an entire Sudanese refugee camp. (No. I am not making light of the plight of Sudanese refugees. I am mocking the shamefully vain extravagance of the Red Sox franchise.)...........

Marcell Ozuna, I have seen Mike Trout rob home runs. You, sir, are no Mike Trout at robbing home runs...............

Step #1 in defeating the Brewers: avoid being down in late innings, because they have Josh Hader. Hader is even better than our own Ty Buttrey.........

Baseball players should be forced to take yoga classes during Spring Training camp. Monday we had Jon Lester pull up with hamstring tightness running the bases...........

Billy Hamilton scores on a sac fly. No big deal, right? Well, how about Billy Hamilton scores FROM SECOND BASE on a sac fly. Seattle CF Mallex Smith falls asleep out there............

Pirate pitcher Chris Archer appears to accidentally reveal his pine tar usage. Keep in mind that this is probably not going to be an issue, because no manager wants to call attention to something his own pitchers are likely doing as well, to contend with the modern baseball..........

Ervin Santana got called up from AAA and made his first start for the White Sox yesterday.....Chicago fans were kind of excited to see what would happen.....It did not go well..........

The Yankees have lost their top-of-the-rotation starter, Luis Severino, for a couple more months. I laugh loudly at their attempts to whine about injury bad luck..........Mike Clevinger of the Indians is now subject to his heritage of starting out within the Halo organization, and is out for a few months due to back sprain..........

Chris Davis and his historic struggles just boggles my mind. His manager keeps running him out there, and he keeps going up to bat, all in an effort to keep doing his One True Thing and wait for the home runs to start raining once again. This is pig-headedness on a now massive scale. Davis faces the shift constantly, and opposing pitchers are pitching to him so that he feeds the shift. He has power to all fields, but his predominant ground ball rate is to pull to the right side. So defenses play there, and pitchers pitch to there. Contrary to what you might expect, he is NOT leading MLB in K’s. Nor in K rate (although he is close enough). It seems to me that if he did like a Hank Aaron would do, and bunt his way out of his slump, that would force defenses to position him more straightforwardly, which would then force pitchers to locate more evenly, and his chances to see better pitches to hit would go up commensurate...........(I write all that and then I go and read this article, and realize that I sound just like Paul O’Neill.)..........In Davis’ defense, Harold Reynolds does have a point about streaks carrying over from prior seasons. (And it pains me to have typed that last sentence.)...........

Billionaires do not necessarily get their billions because they are brilliant. And having billions does not necessarily prevent them from being petty. The ongoing TV rights fees drama between the Orioles and Nationals is a case of billionaires squabbling over millions, and MLB involving even more billionaires to secretly try and funnel hush money into the squabble. I will say though. The Orioles should NEVER surrender even one tiny inch of TV or territory rights. the Oakland A’s did that decades ago, for the betterment of the game, and nobody has ever made them whole again..........

The Athletic is expanding, and included in that expansion are at least 3 new podcasts dedicated to baseball..........


The Duffle Bag

Hold on a second, people. The Mariners are doing a throw-back game, and using a throwback uniform from the Brewers franchise?.............So the Blue Jays having SIX of their starting nine batting under .200 is “insane”. The Angels went into yesterday’s game with FIVE (Bour, La Stella, Simmons, Cozart and Calhoun) and with Pujols only at .229 (which is only 1 hit above .200 at that point). Does this make the Angels merely “crazy”?..........Astros fan still pursuing lawsuit against the Astros for breaking her finger trying to catch a free t-shirt. The Astros are not even thinking about settling on this..........One does not upstage Josh Donaldson. Not even a teammate..........