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WeekEnd HaloLinks: An Affair Most Fowl.

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Neither the Angels, nor the Orioles, could recall what it took to win a baseball game.

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry game. Way too long with way too much flailing at the plate and way too much inconsistency with the zone being called. Way too many pitchers used on both sides of the lines. Way too many strikeouts and way too many men left on base. Way too many errors by the Halos. It got to the point where Skipper Brad was scraping the bottom of the pitching staff barrel and I was just praying for Adalberto Mejia to put me out of my misery. I was thinking that maybe this is why Billy Eppler snagged him, to put an end to an interminable slog such as this. And not even that went right. Mejia pitched three strong innings, striking out 4 of the 9 batters and allowing only 1 base-runner, and that was via a walk in his final frame as he tired.

Brian Goodwin homered in the bottom of the 9th to delay the calamity of our bullpen. At the time there was only out. The Angels practically refused to get on base again until the 15th.

It took Griffin Canning to come out to be wasted in that 15th inning before things finally fell apart on both sides. The Angels falling behind was as ugly as it needed to be to bury this mess. I’ll spare the gory details. Angels worked overtime to fall back 8-5 to the worst baseball team since, well since these same Orioles of last year. Maybe the worst since the 2013 Astros.

But they are the worst for a reason. Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde did his best to give back the game and sent out Tanner Scott in the bottom of the inning. Single, K walk walk walk and the score is 8-6 with Mike Trout at the plate and the bases loaded. That’s Mike Trout with a career line of .405/.444/.784/1.228 in those situations. Trout doubles and now that line is even better. 2 runs score. The third baserunner, David Fletcher, is called out at home on a close play. A call goes in to New York for Instant Replay as the Angels challenge, hoping to get it overturned so that we can all go home.

Alas, it’s 4:07 AM in New York and the replay official has passed out. The phone back there rings until a janitor picks it up, but he doesn’t know how to operate the video system. So the call stands and on we must trod, all tied at 8, as Shohei Ohtani strands Trout at second base. (By the way, anybody know what has happened to Shohei Ohtani’s power stroke? We can’t blame it on a Home Run Derby jinx, but he hasn’t hit one since we all came back from the break. No triples, either. One double, his only extra-base hit out of 10 total in 40 ABs. He is slugging a measly .282 in this post-ASG period.)

5 hours in, it is 1:15 AM and the 16th inning begins, with the equipment manager already starting the uniform laundry to prep for tonight’s game, which is now the back end of a July 26th double-header. The game is running so long that there is only 44 minutes left in the regularly scheduled broadcast of what would have been a replay of this game.

So out goes Canning again. Failing to lose the game in the 15th due to the craftiness of his Orioles counterpart Tanner Scott, a 2-out home run to Jonathan Villar with a man on gifts the Orioles back a 2-run lead and once again there is hope for finality.

But the Orioles are refusing to go home with a victory without a fight. Orioles skipper Brandon Hyde pulls a Tampa Bay Rays and scrambles his lineup taking himself right out of having a DH. Guys are shuffled all around. More time is spent staving off sleep.

The Orioles centerfielder, Stevie Wilkerson, moves up to the mound to take over as Closer. Yeah. Closer. The guy is throwing only 54 mph. Little League is 60mph. One would think that the job is just to run off a string if base hits and score 3 easy runs and the game is over. Nope. Can’t be changing one’s approach to hitting!! Not in 2019!!! With a little bit of help from that inconsistent strike zone and a lot of help from Brian Goodwin (fly to CF), Kole Calhoun (dribbler to 2B), and Albert Pujols (fly to CF), Wilkerson shuts down the Halos and wins 10-8. It’s 1:30 AM. The sun rises in Baltimore in less than 2 hours. Glory be.

Distract yourself with these Summer-Heat-Wave-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

We predicted this era, when Mike Trout would get into his prime years.....his production would go from astronomical up to theological.....and the media would not be able to comprehend the result............

Mike Trout’s outfield throwing arm hasn’t been weak for a while now. A few years, at least. But, sure, it looks like he is getting even stronger and that is great news for him. But he didn’t need to be throwing form the outfield at nearly 99mph to have achieved 5-tool status. So this observation is more telling about some author finally waking up............

Mike Trout and Make A Wish. For the rest of us more fortunate than Jake Lojewski, Trout makes our wishes come true daily..........

Immediately after the Wednesday night victory over the Dodgers, the Internet had some trolling fun. Both with Kole Calhoun’s wiki page and with the Dodgers wiki page..........

Since the loss of Tyler Skaggs, the Angels have been a team on fire and the world of baseball is taking notice. Baseball America has a profile piece on the emotional pivot that got them here......($$) - And TheAthletic has a piece that profiles how they are playing so well they cannot afford to sell, even now that Kole Calhoun has turned himself into a valuable trade asset for the first time since about, what, 2016?..........

If the Angels keep winning like this, and they should going up against the Orioles and Tigers, Billy Eppler is going to be induced into becoming a buyer..........

Tonight the Angels wives are hosting their Gold Ball Mystery Bag fundraising event. Be generous..........

A correction from my entries earlier this week. BBR published a Play Index result of all the LAA-LAD interleague series, and the CORRECT results are that the Angels have won 11 series, tied 7 others, and lost 5 (I had posted 3 before). They have outscored the Dodgers 70 runs to 54 across all that time.


Everywhere In Baseball

Troy Tulowitzki announced his retirement from MLB as a player......His interest now lies in possibly becoming an MLB coach......He will learn the craft at the NCAA level, first.....Maybe he could get a spot in the LAA dugout, where he could coach Mike Trout. Because, you know, shortstop!..........

With Blake Snell off to surgery and out for at least a month, the Rays are going to be forced deeper into their bullpenning expertise. This means something to us. Tampa is one of the teams between the Angels and a WC slot. Lucky for TBR, they don’t hit a tough part of their schedule again until September 13...........

The update on Joey Gallo is surgery and out at least a month, also...........

I wonder what it would be like to be a ballplayer in The Atlantic League and trying to get yourself noticed versus guys already in some franchise’s MILB system, only to have MLB toying with the rules of your league in order to serve MLB’s own curiosity?. The answer is that “they don’t want to be a circus act”, so they are watching, but nothing yet has happened to trigger any protest. Their problem, though, is that as an independent league they are basically within an institution that is begging for MLB attention. They cannot afford to tell MLB to go fly a kite. And MLB knows that, which is why they are experimenting there..............By the way, here we go. I asked just yesterday why no media outlet was looking into the current experiences with RoboUmps in The Atlantic League. Deadspin does a tiny bit the very next day..........

Baseball game protests are rare. Protests that are upheld are more rare than unicorns. But the system still exists for the purpose of serving something. (By the time MLB announces their decision on Alex Cora’s protest, it will be too late for this guy to link to.)..........

Just to prove how poor is the support for women in baseball, it’s not until Thursday that I trip over any news anywhere that this entire week has been the annual Women In Baseball Week.......The Mothership gives us an important story that proves the importance of role models..........

In this era of home runs, being a pitcher who surrenders lots of home runs is no longer a meaningful indicator of fail. Justin Verlander is living proof.............

Father Time is undefeated. The aging curve is real, and declines are quantifiable......Clayton Kershaw is no longer the best pitcher of our time. Still good, but on the downslope......In a few years it will be possible to measure how Mike Trout has peaked. It might be kinda sad, but in reality it will merely be that is has turned into the more pedestrian level of “exceptionally great”..........

Here is part 2 of coding your own baseball stats apps using the new language, Rust. Just offering up my PSA for the day (although, as an IT guy who loves baseball and is curious about stats and information, it does look intriguing).........


Trade Rumors

Same old riff, but to a much lesser scale. The media is so ADHD that waiting for the trade deadline has become interminable. They would have rather all the trades been made already so they could have spent time writing about things. Because it’s all about them, of course................

We are close enough now to the deadline that things are not “rumors”, but “reports”.

Our first “report” is that Madison Bumgarner is not going anywhere and the Giants could become buyers..........

Next, Whit Merrifield is staying in KC. That would mean that the market is pivoting away from being in favor of sellers, and the Royals were asking too much............

Noah Syndergaard is a prime asset that the Mets are working hard to move. Step one is to convince the Wilpons (tweedledumb and tweedledumber) to let them do so......The asking price is a Top 30 guy PLUS pieces...........So, yeah, Jo Adell..........

Tyler White played in 3 of the Astros recent 4 games against the Angels, going 4 for 12 with 3 RBI, 1 walk and 2 K’s. That is more thorn-in-the-side stuff rather than Halo killer, but it is credible enough that had he gifted that kind of production to the Dodgers this week, it might have made a difference in 1 or both of those 1-run outcomes. The Dodgers only got 2 hits out of their 1B spot across both games. So maybe we should count our blessings that the Dodgers waited until AFTER we came back home to make a trade with Houston and add White. (White had been DFA’d to make roster room.) This, certainly, will be a top of mind story throughout the World Series this year should LAD face off against Houston..........

Dave Dombrowski is whistling in the dark over there in Boston. He took his shot at 2018 and won, but now he is out of ammo as his team has plummeted. When there is nothing that he can do about it, all he has left is to pretend that there is nothing to be done about it..........


The Duffle Bag

Edwin Encarnacion and his parrot meme just took wing to another level.................Maybe the Cards have a 7-run lead, but the game has only completed 3 innings by then. Unwritten rules be damned. Don’t let up just because the opponent has quit. (The scorer should rule “uncontested”, however.)..............These new UniWatch lapel pins would look great on my cap, if only they were not Oakland A’s colors. So, never.........This is cute. Max Scherzer is teaching Howie Kendrick’s son how to pitch. And then you stop because you just read that Howie Kendrick is old enough to have a son who is old enough to take lessons from Max Scherzer..........Have you used FanGraphs new Farm System ranking board yet?..........I won’t even bother to improve upon this brilliant caption: Julio Teheran and Freddie Freeman hatch foolproof plan to trick umps..........