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HumpLinks: Skaggs Bags The Jagged Jays

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Tyler Skaggs out-pitches Marcus Stroman? Who woulda thunk??

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Skaggs almost broke Billy Eppler. With Skaggs’ best outing in I don’t know how long (too GA to look it up and that phrase just sounds good), we almost tripped over a complete game. Skaggs actually out-pitched Marcus Stroman, going 7 13 and giving up only 1 run on only 3 hits against 6 strikeouts and ZERO walks. Every single box score data point was superior to that of Stroman, including the efficiency of fewer pitches.

So there he was, 1 out in the 8th inning and 5 outs away from a Complete Game. And he was totally dialed in. He had just taken down Rowdy Telelz on 4 wicked pitches, making Tellez look sick. He was at 87 pitches. The guys coming up had made good contact in earlier At Bats, but Skaggs had handled them and he had a 2-run cushion. He was facing the worst offense in Major League Baseball.

But no LAA pitcher has pitched a Complete Game in 2019 so far. Only Andrew Heaney pitched a single CG in 2018. Ricky Nolasco pitched one in 2017. We had 4 total in 2016, Eppler’s first season with LAA. That means that under Eppler the LAA staff has only achieved 6 CG’s total. It’s just not done. (All that research is why I didn’t do the lookup above!)

Skipper Brad was on his way to pull Skaggs before Tellez was even out of the batter’s box. Ty Buttrey and Hansel Robles came in the seal the Win for Skaggs, protecting the offensive (and defensive) contributions of Kole Calhoun and Brian Goodwin. Angels win the one I was certain was the road trip loss, 3 to 1. They are 4-2 on this trip, 6- across the last 8 games and 7-3 across the last 10.

And, yes, for the first time since Game 16, the Halos are back at .500.

Reap the reward of these Officially-Average-Again-HaloLinks:

(As an aside, I am sitting here monitoring the Red Sox/Twins game, currently in the 17th inning. Wickedly, I am praying for a 20th so that JD Martinez, already at 0 for 8, can reach 6 strikeouts in a single game. Unfortunately Max Kepler of the Twins, who has been demonizing the Red Sox pitchers for a while tonight, hits the walk-off win to put Martinez out of his misery...)


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Billy Eppler offered up Cody Allen to every team in MLB. Nobody wanted Cody Allen. Cody Allen is a free man.............

Trout Porn: Mike Trout had himself a pretty good game on Monday..........Mike Trout catches up with Ty Cobb..........Mike Trout dusts Joe Dimaggio..........And Mike Trout dusts Jimmie Foxx..........But Mike Trout is still chasing the legendary Albert Pujols..........(And Trout is now only 0.7 bWAR away from cracking the Career Top 100.)..........

And the result of all this is that it’s only June, Mike had a real shitty 4-week run, and he is still already considered a lock for AL MVP. I cannot count all the idiot sportswriters and idiot sports fans out there who whined incessantly in past years and who have now crawled back into the safe obscurity of some hole in the Internet..........

And the TrOhtani love-fest is only just starting to percolate in the pot. Over the next 5 years this could become the #1 duo in MLB when it comes to media love............

Andrelton Simmons needs a couple of rehab starts before re-joining the roster.....So he made his first rehab start last night.....Because Andrelton Simmons is some kind of robot.....Expect a Simmons sighting as early as this weekend in St. Louis..........

Shohei Ohtani is an equal opportunity hitter of home run souvenirs............

LAA still working hard at the Matt Thaiss 3B experiment. Why draft for 3B power when you can corner the market on shortstops and then invent your own 3B power?.........


Everywhere In Baseball

Manny Machado was suspended one game for his actions versus a called 3rd strike over the weekend (the call was a good one, IMHO, as the ball painted the corner just fine).....But ONLY ONE GAME? OMG!! CIVILIZATION IS AT AN END!!!.....MLB itself responded like the school librarian in a John Hughes movie..........But NOW let’s add some context to all of this. Digging deeper into the event itself, and into comparable events by players elsewhere, and by comparable bad behavior by umpires themselves, leads us to realize that - !GASP! - the Umpires Union is practically begging for us to take Machado’s side on this..........Machado, by the way, refutes the notion that he made contact with Welke.........

Hitting for The Cycle needs to become something that all the cool kids are doing again. Because it means more triples, and I love that triples shit..........

SeatGeek has launched a fan-driven feedback site to review all the MLB stadiums facilities. Angel Stadium is not very popular..........

The White Sox are taking their netting all the way to the foul poles. I haven’t seen the designs, so I am left wondering how umpires will now judge balls hitting the pole? Will they be able to tell without having to go to replay whether it hit the pole versus the netting? Just askin’..........The Rangers will be next..........

Good news. MLB and MLBPA are starting new CBA talks already. It’s gonna be a tough one so the sooner they start the more time they have to stamp their feet and hold their breath until they pass out...........

Read your trade rumors right here. Not because we are active in trade season, but because none other than Howie Kendrick is tagged as a very juicy trade acquisition for a playoff contender, due to his productivity and versatility. A 36-year old position player in demand. Amazing............

No, Edwin Jackson. Your performance Monday night was not “horses—-”. It was “MattHarveys—-”..........

Max Scherzer sees that whole bunting things as a vital tool that goes underutilized. So it’s worthy of practice. Practice until he bleeds..........

Christian Yelich is ascendant. And to think he was once in the stable of Derek Jeter. Before the season is out, Yelich might already have achieved 50% of what Jeter did in bWAR for Jeter’s entire career.............

Mookie Betts is the opposite of ascendant. Which I have found to be the most shocking story of 2019 so far...........

Yep. the prognosticators got a little too far out over their skiis in the preseason in favor of their east coast NL Division..........But that’s OK, because they still have the Yankees to thank for being interested in returning to the glory days of buying their way into juggernaut status..........

Some day the world is going to lose Lenny Dykstra. Sure, what with Dykstra’s history it will probably be a better place. But I am going to miss being able to link to some annual Dykstra does another stupid thing article..........

This is bad. Stadium Wars have now reached down to pollute Minor League Baseball. Since we are mostly talking about smaller cities and towns here, we are talking about a significantly larger hit on the taxpaying citizens.........

Just trying to keep you people up to date on The College World Series, which is great TV watching if you don’t have anything to do..........But Vanderbilt may be without their whistler for the rest of the tourney..........


The Duffle Bag

I don’t have to like the Oakland A’s. I don’t have to like the A’s fans. But I fee that I do have to show mad respect for the great plays consistently made by their ballboys, their ballgirls, and especially their fans.............Things we do NOT need in our world...........Kole Calhoun gets his moment on social media, and it turns out he’s a foodie..........Angels fans have always been the very best, without being the rabidly stupid.............If you are an adult, and fighting for a foul ball that might otherwise make some kid happy for life, the rule is catch and chug..........(from UniWatch) New Era selling out to oversees is not resulting in a good look..........Canadian fans are so damned polite, they struggle to out-polite each other over their Ohtani respect............