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HumpLinks: Halos Make Dodgers See Red

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Angels sweep Dodger fans all the way back to the Palisades.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Dodger fans had themselves a long drive home last night. And all along the way they had to keep seeing signs welcoming them back to the County and City named for the team that just booted their sorry asses out of Anaheim.

Shohei Ohtani again dealt immediately with another Japanese superstar pitcher-batter matchup, yanking a 3-2 82mph meatball from Kenton Maeda over the right field wall with ease to open up scoring in the bottom of the 1st inning.

Shortly thereafter Justin Bour stepped up to the plate and ruined a lovely paragraph of snark I had prepared to recognize his return. Bringing to Anaheim the success he enjoyed down in Salt Lake City, Bour greeted Maeda’s second pitch with a 3-run home run and make that 1st inning score 5-0.

Not a lot of Halo offense happened after that. Dodger pitchers collaborated with some fine framing by Dodger catcher Chris Taylor to make plate umpire Nic Lentz look silly so that Lentz could make the LAA offense look futile.

The Angels pitching parade walked the tightrope pretty much all night. Over a fairly precipitous chasm in the 7th with the bases loaded and 1 out. But solo home run after solo home run just chipped away at that 5-0 lead. The Dodgers would put a man on base every single inning. But by the time the 9th started it was, yes, 5-3. Time enough for one more tightrope act, courtesy of Hansel Robles. Let’s watch Robles put the first 2 men on, tying runs and all, and then work his own ass out of his own jam. Remember that pitch framing thing above? The thing that made umpire Nic Lentz do silly things? Yeah, well, it turns out that Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy can fetch himself some of that crap. K looking to LAD Chris Taylor (oooh! irony!!). K looking to LAD Kiki Hernandez. Full count groundout to Russell Martin after an outside called second strike. 3 outs. Game, set, match. Angels win 5-3 and sweep the LA blue back up the 5 freeway.

Relish the results with these Let’s-Hit-The-Road-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

The philosopher Erasmus gave us the proverb “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” These days we say the same thing, in the form of ($$) Griffin Canning’s development may have already gotten him to the top of the Angels’ rotation. The rest of the LA rotation constitutes a pretty low bar, so it doesn’t take much to rise to the top of that heap......In truth, however, there is real accomplishment in Canning’s arrival............

I am not the only one who did not see Tommy La Stella coming...........

I find that it would be totally out of character for the LAA Front Office of the past couple seasons to be diving into the trade market before the deadline arrives, either as a buyer OR a seller...........

Justin Upton took the field with the IE 66’ers again last night.....He is lining up to escape the IL any day now......(Upton went 0 for 3 with a walk and run scored last night.)............

Trout Porn, from BBR..........And from Dan Szymborski..........

Did you happen to pay attention to the fact that the Monday night contest was a new ballpark attendance record? More so than even any of the 2002 World Series games?..........

Dustin Garneau remains in the organization as valuable depth...........

Beto Duran comes south and makes a visit behind The Orange Curtain and discovers...inclusion?..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Sean Doolittle is on the side of players having fun, and that the Bumgarners can stuff it..........

Baby steps. MLB is no longer burying their Futures Game during the All-Star break. They are not fully showcasing, it either..........

MLB seems to agree. Josh Donaldson is a dick......He is appealing his one-game suspension because he is in denial, but we all know.....While he awaits the MLB rejection of his appeal, Donaldson took out his frustrations with a first At-Bat home run to kick off a 4-homer barrage.....By the way, it might not be the amazement of 4 home runs in a row like the Nationals did on Sunday, or even the 3 home runs in a row the Halos did on Saturday, the Braves going homer-homer-K-homer-homer is pretty damned cool..........

Yep. Big miss. Recall that after the 2017 season Mike Moustakas couldn’t get a job. He ended up re-signing with the Royals for a one-year deal worth a meager $5.5MM, and and $15MM team option against a silly $1MM buyout. And 2/3’s of the way through that next 2018 season he was kicked over to the Brewers for a couple of guys that the Royals are now fielding as part of their rebuild. The Brewers took that $1MM buyout and put Moustakas back onto the market, where he would again languish until late February before re-upping with the Brewers. It’s only an $11MM deal with an $11MM mutual option for 2020 against a $3MM buyout. Frankly, people, those numbers are mind-numbingly absurd for a guy who has produced nearly 5 WAR in 1 12 seasons, 10th-best in all of MLB. By way of comps, if it were not for the shocking production of David Fletcher last year and Tommy La Stella this year, who happened to have played 3B for parts of 81 games combined in 2018/2019, the Halos would not even have a 3B considered qualified for any sort of consideration...........

In the 2009 MLB Draft, the guy taken just before the Angels selected Randal Grichuk and Mike Trout was Jared Mitchell, two-sport star out of LSU. Mitchell’s star has not yet risen out of the Minors. He plays for the Sugarland Skeeters in the independent Atlantic League. This gave me the chance to reflect back, and reading the scouting projections for Mitchell and Trout at that time are pretty laughable today. So I then go over to BBR, to see how Mitchell has been faring in all this time down on the farm. And eagle-eyed readers will notice that because of some AA/AAA appearances way back in 2015, the only time he has any association with the Halos, the BBR MiLB page for Jared Mitchell has Mitchell photoshopped into an Angels cap and uni...........

This is a pretty interesting legal perspective on the contract relationship between a sports franchise and a player/employee, when a non work-related injury interferes with the player’s availability............

Let’s celebrate Toni Stone, the first woman to play professional baseball...........

Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians was a man on the rise, a serious talent and a very serious AL MVP candidate. In 2017 the Indians pre-empted his impending Free Agency with 5-year, $26MM extension. Ramirez was wowser in year one of the deal, 2017, tossing out a 6.9 bWAR season which was tied for 9th-best in all of MLB. Year two was even more wowser, with a 7.9 bWAR (8th best). All-Star, Silver Slugger and 3rd-place MVP ballot recipient both seasons. And then 2019 happened. And Jose Ramirez has gone !poof!............

Maybe the most frustrating thing about having Mike Trout on our side is watching the parade of hot prospects arrive with a media salivating that they be the one to snatch away the crown. Such it is with the latest phenom of promise, Wander Franco, the can’t miss kid......Hell, even Cody Bellinger.....But perhaps the second most frustrating thing is that all these prospects fade back into he general population of MLB very good players.


The Duffle Bag

From UniWatch comes the alert that the Seattle Mariners will be handing out bobbleheads of a native son, Jimi Hendrix. Even thought the likeness looks more like ex-Laker Rick Fox, the announcement is old-school concert poster coolness. And the bonus is putting Hendrix into the throwback uniforms of the Milwaukee Brewers. Wait...what??............Dodger fan takes a seat in Anaheim, whips out his phone to memorialize a Mike Trout strikeout, gets humbled instead...........See??? Just put some fun into how you promote each homestand...........This shall not be one of Boston RF Brock Holt’s finest career moments...........