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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Mike Trout is the Four Gone Conclusion

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Trout drives the offense as Andrew Heaney goes 7 strong innings in an 8-7 win.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Angels Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The offense rolled. The starting pitching was solid, with Andrew Heaney going 7 full innings and giving up only FOUR hits. The defense (almost) played a clean game.

And then there was Mike Trout. Mike was the star with FOUR At Bats, where he collected FOUR hits, from which he scored FOUR times. In there was his FOURtieth home run. Oh, and a late pitch-around-the-GOAT Base on Balls. His fWAR jumped from 7.7 to a clean 8.0. (By the way, Mike’s career high in home runs was 2015, when he hit 41. That’s gonna fall.) And combine that with Justin Upton and his FOUR RBI, and we got ourselves an offensive outpouring. (We will ignore both Shohei Ohtani and Wilfredo Tovar stranding FOUR runners on base, each.)

This was going to be sweet. My last linkage effort for the week and I get to mosey off to my weekend with a 2-game winning streak, feeling the glow. Such a nice change of pace. Thanks, guys! Oh, wait. We have to deal with the bullpen.

If only the bullpen had not shown up. Trevor Cahill and Hansel Robles are starting to regain the smell of pumpkin. The 9th inning was a disaster. Trevor started out by Cahilling his mound time. Single + pop out + triple + single = 2 runs in, the lead cut to 8-5, and we still have a runner on with only 1 out. Enter Robles. Home run. Lead cut to 8-7. Single, and tying run is on base and STILL only 1 out. Force play at 2B on an infield grounder - now 2 out - but a hard slide at the bag forced a throwing error to 1B. No double play, and a runner is back on 2B. Tying run within 180 feet in a game that entered the 9th with an 8-3 lead. Thankfully, Robles got Ryan Goins to strike out to end the game, making everybody feel good.

Let’s blow it up with some Numerological-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

We waited all that time for JC Ramirez to come back. And all that time we wanted the 2017 JC Ramirez. We got the 2015 JC Ramirez, instead. He was outrighted to AAA Salt Lake City, and he has the power in his hands to decline the assignment and exit franchise, stage right..........

($$) Mike Trout might have been having a very crappy week before last night. He might be having his annual droll month of August. But he is having a great time exploiting the juiced baseball in his prime.............($$) And in spite of August, Mike remains “AL MVP. It’s the surest thing in baseball.”..........Mike also remains MVP in the hearts of kids, everywhere...........

Mike hits his 40th home run. Every social media outlet in the sporting world participates.....MLB..... The Angels..... TheScore..... SportsIllustrated..... SportingNews..... FOXSports.....

That mashup which backed up the 57 freeway Wednesday afternoon? Albert Pujols got caught in it and was late to the ballpark. Doesn’t appear as if it bothered him all that much..........

Pujols’ record-setting event of most hits by a foreign-born player is the third time this record has been broken over the last three consecutive season. It had stood for 32 years, having been set by Rod Carew when he was with the Angels..........

Who is this Jeremiah Jackson phenom down at Orem who cannot be contained???..........

Who is this Trent Devreaux phenom down in Rookie League who cannot be contained???........

Take you time, Andrelton Simmons. You are not the missing piece here.............Same with you, Tommy LaStella. Both of you guys are a lot of fun to watch, and I don’t want to wait until Spring to watch again, but it ain’t about me...........

I wont’ post the picture here because it’s way too big. But looking at Max Stassi’s heat zone during an At Bat last night (just prior to another K, by the way), and that is a lot of blue. In a shade of blue that I didn’t know came that dark............


Everywhere In Baseball

Well, the Yankees are done with the Orioles for 2019, taking from Baltimore 21% of all their wins so far this year, so we can recap all the silliness......61 total home runs for the Yankees in those 19 games, grossly inflating a lot of MFY power numbers.....Pretty much everything was lob-sided in the favor of the MFY except how Aaron Judge did......Gleyber Torres would have a wRC+ of 282 if he only played them.......

As Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was busy messing up the NYM 2019 roster, he was also sowing the seeds of our future problems with the Seattle Mariners..........

Oakland does keep winning as their schedule gets harder, but a lot of those wins have come in the gaps. They did sneak away with 2 of 3 against the Brewers (one was a walk off) and took both games from the Cardinals, but they dropped 2 of 3 against the Cubs. They then got 3 of 5 against the White Sox and Giants, but now here come the Astros and Yankees for 7 straight...........

Let’s keep watching the Red Sox. Mookie Betts is tracking towards FA soon enough. “Many expect Betts to get “Mike Trout money” if he hits the open market following the 2020 season.” The Franchise officials are saying (currently) that they will pay him. But never forget how the power of the Boston sports media works in that town. Here is one article already having moved on from Betts, focusing on the tandem of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers...........

Remember back before DJ LeMahieu was the Yankee fans’ answer to Mike Trout, when their answer was Aaron Judge? When was the last time you thought about Aaron Judge?..........

The Nationals lost Bryce Harper to the Phillies, and they might have gotten better?...........

Most definitely. Ronald Acuna, Jr. will be getting some serious MVP votes.........

In 2011 Mike Trout came up for a cup of coffee. He played in 40 games. His slash line was .220/.281/.390 and an OPS of .672. He had 5 home runs in 123 At Bats. This year Yordan Álvarez, over his first 40 games, had a slash line of .338/.420/.689 and an OPS of 1.109. He had 13 home runs in 148 At Bats. He has hit 4 home runs in 35 At Bats since then. Officially, with more than 130 AB’s, he can not come back in 2020 as a rookie so this is his rookie year. No, Alvarez’ rookie season in 2019 pales in caparison to Trout’s rookie season in 2012, but across his first 40-50 games Alvarez is genuinely well beyond what Trout did..........

Yesterday I linked to a review of RoboUmps ($$). I left out a couple of data point takeaways from that article. First is that, for maybe the first time ever, nobody will get to call the black a part of the strike zone. The system is calibrated against that. The other data point is that the entire system, which include the human umpire’s ability to override, means that this technology does not protect Joey Votto from Angel Hernandez. Hernandez can easily continue to make his own calls, robo or no robo......I bring this back up because we have a video pimping the Trackman AI tech involved. Which makes me wonder a bit. I have sat in stadiums during high-energy games. I have been in the upper decks then, too. I have felt how the crowd can get the decks moving. If the stadium is in motion, is the Trackman AI smart enough to know that the doppler radar it is using to observe the ball is swaying to and fro during each pitch?? My guess is that I am the first outside observer to pose this possibility in public..........

Do you remember how I linked to an article that revealed that ballplayers no longer care very much about Batting Average? And how that reflects the change in the industry, driven by Front Office analytics? And how that is sure make the heads of old-time writers and fans explode? Well, here is more (and ample) logical reasoning as to why that is. In short, “...you don’t even need batting average — two hitters with identical OBP and SLG are probably going to be very similar, regardless of whether they get there mostly with walks and extra bases, or mostly with singles. That’s a neat little fact.”...........

One of the things I always wonder about people who bag on the notion of “clutch”, is why they always assume the player who is attempting to rise to the occasion is only the guy with a bat in his hand? A moment of high leverage is equally important to everybody else on the field, and we should assume that they all participate in the event at a heightened level of play. Therefore, a player who is capable of sustaining his normal level of production, if not improving on it, when competing against 9 guys playing at heightened productivity levels should equate to a batter that is, indeed, “clutch”..........

The 2019 Detroit Tigers, the “opposite of web gem. But 3 and 3 against your Angels..........

Mickey Callaway cannot be long for the world of managing the New York Mets. Can’t. ust cannot. Just this week he rolled through a mind-blowing sequence where he completely hosed his role as an NL manager. He allowed his pitcher to bat in a critical situation, then got lucky and his pitcher came through with a clutch hit and a run scored to gain the lead, THEN decided to not let his very effective pitcher take the mound and relieve him anyway only to watch the reliever immediately blow that lead. Not only was his defense of his judgement mind-blowingly dense, but he dog-piled on it by calling out how stupid are analytics. Are we done? We are not done.....Last night he entered the bottom of the 8th with a 10-3 lead over the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta. In comes Drew Gagnon and his 7.29 ERA, 1.571 WHIP and 58 ERA+. Hey, a 7-run lead. Give Drew some work and some elbow room with which to deal. Deal he did. He gave up a home run and a single in the 8th before rolling back out in the 9th to finish the game. Now he had a 6-run lead. 6 batters, 3 homers and 4 runs later Gagnon was yanked. Callaway’s review of Gagnon’s performance? “Gagnon did a great job, he saved us probably 2 innings...that’s what you want him to do.”............

Competitive Wiffle Ball is stupidly intense. But you don’t have to play stupidly intense Wiffle Ball to have fun playing Wiffle Ball. Much the same as you don’t have to play stupidly intense Over The Line while stupidly drunk in order to enjoy Over The Line (Just plain old friendly fun Over The Line while stupidly drunk is at least as fun.)...........

The LLBWS has yet another Profar in the Williamsport lineup..........And more on Maddy Freking, also in Williamsport.........And Hawaii remains the Princes of Little League Baseball, West region..........I’m an old fart. I need to try this new-fangled VR Home Run Derby..........


The Duffle Bag

What happens when you have underpaid, over-worked interns scrambling to do the job of two full-time employees.............Maybe I need to add going to all the ballparks in Japan to my retirement bucket list?..........And when I do retire, and write my autobiography, I should do it as baseball cards...........A new game! 6 degrees of separation played with Babe Ruth as the target...........This is Dave Veres. You have never heard of him before but he had a 10-year MLB career. 12.7 career bWAR (Jeff Mathis has played in 15 seasons now and has a career bWAR of -0.1). Well, Veres was the key to this trivia tid-bit. Read the comments and watch how Veres himself pops up..........The universe is a very strange place...........