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HumpLinks: Split Personality

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The better the Halos looked in the day game, the less better they looked at night.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers - Game One Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images

Normally, a day in which Mike Trout hits a home run and a triple, and narrowly misses a second home run by a couple of feet, adds a walk and collects 7 total bases, setting a new career best for most homers in a season, I would lead with Trout. Especially on Mike Trout Passes Derek OMG! Jeter Day.

But when an Angels starting pitcher goes 8 full innings and holds down the opponent to 1 run on 4 hits and STRIKES OUT 14 BATTERS, well, the lead goes to Andrew Heaney. Keep in mind that Heaney also had ZERO WALKS. In the entire history of this franchise, only Dan Haren and Frank Tanana have matched that.

It’s so rare that an LAA starter puts in a Major League outing that I have forgotten how to respond. I will definitely say WOW! And Rob Manfred would be pleased. Thanks mostly to Heaney, the length of the game was only 2 hours and 48 minutes. A full half hour off the league average.

The day game good. Angels win 5-1.

Then the afternoon came along. The Rangers sent a brand-new thing called Brock Burke to the mound to face the likes of Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Albert Pujols, Justin Upton (and even Max Stassi!). And they sent out another brand-new thing called Blake Solek to play 2B, How did they do? Well, Burke pitched 6 solid innings and limited the vaunted Halo offense to exactly zero runs on only 4 hits. Meanwhile Solek out-homered Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Albert Pujols, Justin Upton (and even Max Stassi!) combined. More important, Solek came to bat in the 11th inning of a tie game with Delino DeShields on 1st and Rougned Odor on 2nd and - YES! AGAIN! - 2 outs. Solek hit a shot right at Albert Pujols defending at 1B, who tried to play it to his side. He missed. The ball ended up in right field. DeShields ended up crossing home plate. The Rangers ended up walking off for the second night in a row.

I guess it matters a little bit that Jaime Barria pitched 5 pretty good innings, and the bullpen pitched another really good 5.2 innings. The offense scored only 7 runs in 20 frames across 2 games, but very very few of those in the evening (lack of) effort.

The night game bad. Angels lose 3-2.

In the end, Mike Trout’s fWAR went UP 0.3 during the day game, and hen went DOWN -0.1 in the night game. But still, overall, Derek Jeter is now in his rear-view window.

And, overall, we saw 45 combined strikeouts between these two teams on August 20th of 2019. Yeegads.

Have some Split-Brain-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

It’s the juiced ball era, so we need to consider the context here. But Trout is on pace to accomplish something else extremely rare in MLB history: hit at least 53 home runs in a single season...............

At this point, the only real question is whether or not Mike Trout will be a unanimous AL MVP...........

Aha! Now we have insight into the Master Plan of Billy Eppler. The 2020 draft class is rumored to be the strongest in years. Never has there been a better time to move up the draft board, and we all know what it takes to move up the MLB draft board..........

Justin Upton has started to warm up, hitting over .280 since August 9. Adjustments were in order, which is not unusual for a guy who missed the first 13 of the season..........

With Jeremiah Jackson threatening to break the single-season home run record of the Pioneer League, how about a list of the current records for all MiLB?..........

Among others, Trevor Cahill talks about his pitch repertoire and how that has evolved over time. His best pitch is a spiked curveball which has lots of spin. It’s what he uses in high leverage situations: “So in any big situation, I’m probably going to go with it.” Hmm. In high-leverage situations the pitchers go with their best stuff. But batters capable to maintaining their production rates in the face of that elevated treatment? Pay no attention............

Southwest Airline itinerary: Jaime Barria called up, Adalberto Mejia DFA’d, Luke Bard named 26th roster player for the double-header yesterday..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Keep in mind that Mike Trout has only just turned 28-years old. And this is only the 9th season he has played in any games, only his 8th full season. So when you read a story about how well Ronald Acuna Jr. is doing (“unbelievable”) and you find a passage that uses Mike Trout as the new benchmark in baseball, it’s kind of jaw-dropping: “He’s also closing in on reaching 30/30 status, and would be just the second player in MLB history to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season prior to turning 22 years old. The other? Perennial MVP Award candidate Mike Trout.”..............

Home runs are easy. The wall does half the work. Hitting baseball that remains in play and getting all the way to second base, though, now THAT is some skill. And this is the season of the hit-for-double derby..........

Houston is doing a better job with their Luis Garcia than we are with our Luis Garcia..........

The Angels are pretty good at drafting WAR. Pretty much middle of the pack if you take out Trout. Kinda explains the middle of the pack results. Look at Seattle, though. Oof...........

The Angels aren’t even good enough to be the average MLB team..........

Carlos Correa is picking a pretty bad time to be revealing that he is injury prone, with chronic back issues. He only played in 109 games in 2017, and only 110 games last year. And he hits arbitration after this season..........

Old guys are raging at the clouds again. Because back in the day, clouds used to be a hell of a lot better. People, please don’t let me turn into an old guy..........Fortunately, the proper path to predict the future is to stop listening to guys like me. It’s all in the data..........

We may have Tim Tebow to kick around next season, after all!..........

Ex MLB’ers Octavio Dotel and Luis Castillo were arrested in a Narcotics sting in the DR. This is utterly confusing to me. I would think that their MLB earnings would have rewarded each of them with a life of a king for the rest of their days back in their home country. Dotel earned more than $40 million and Castillo almost $57 million, whereas the average annual salary in the DR is about the equivalent of $26,000 USD............Going further, this pair were a part of a huge and powerful drug ring involved in drug trafficking and money laundering. Among what was seized were “20 luxury apartments, 15 night clubs, 10 restaurants”..........And going further further, Castillo’s agent has come out and declared that Luis was never arrested, and is demanding retractions all over the Internet. Maybe this agent represents the other Luis Castillo.........

I try real hard to keep up with this stuff, because someday soon it is going to hit MLB hard as mega TV contracts currently funding franchises start to get renewed and the cable market has changed. Tracking cable and video content and delivery technologies and services helps me understand some unknown future state of MLB economics. So I read a lot and link a lot. But that doesn’t mean I understand a lot. This new AT&T TV Over The Top (OTT) streaming service kinda makes sense. It doesn’t make sense for Uverse and DirecTV customers because going ove the top of AT&T with AT&T is just stupid. But it does make sense for AT&T to offer some method to stream their content to home serviced by Verizon or Comcast, etc. The part that doesn’t make sense is the cost. $80 a month not including Internet connection. A basic Internet plan should start at $20 a month and go up from there, based on bandwidth. So we are at $100 a month for the lowest grade of service. But if you want to get serious, you will be going for a 150 Mbps plan or above, and be spending $50 or more. Now we are at $130 a month for a decent Internet plan AND the AT&T TV OTT service. That’s pretty much the same cost as sticking with the local carrier and paying for the bundle anyway, no?..........


The Duffle Bag

So much for “rally squirrel”..............Somebody thought it was a good idea for Roger Clemens to run for political office? And it took Roger Clemens, of all people, to be the one who brought some sanity to the discussion?..........