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Thor’sLinks: Angels Walk Off a Loss Again

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It turns out that the Halo pitchers are more determined at manufacturing runs via small ball than the Halo batters.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

That guy we faced last night, Mike Minor? Yeah, he’s pretty good. And when he gets a little help he is extremely good.

Minor got a lot of help from plate umpire Adam Hamari (all the red squares outside the zone are handcuffs that Hamari used to shackle the Halo batters)...

...and he got a tiny bit of help from Albert Pujols (Pujols managed to move his body all of 90 feet on this long shot off the top of the wall, costing the Angels a run 4 pitches later when Brian Goodwin would double and Pujols could only reach 3B)...

...but he got even more help from the LAA pitching staff which could just not abode a 7-4 lead. Taylor Cole handed over 2 runs in the 7th inning. Luis Garcia handed over a run in the 8th inning. And Trevor Cahill hilariously pulled out all the stops in the 9th to gift the Rangers their 3rd walk-off in the 4-game series. On his 6th pitch he gave up a single to Elvis Andrus. Then we got a wild pitch to move Andrus to 2B. A foul ball. Another wild pitch to advance Andrus to 3B, and a single to Hunter Pence to earn the bag-ass “L”. Because everything is bigger in Texas.

I’d like to spend some Internet photons wondering what the hell Skipper Brad was doing, but what the hell are his choices, anyway?

The Angels lost 8-7 and are on a roll to invent new methods of self-immolation. The good news is that we get to go to Houston now, and the Astros won’t be allowing things to be so close as to need final inning walk-offs and break our hearts.

By the way, “7” happens to be a pretty shitty number of runs for the Angels to score. This season the offense has rolled a “7” a total of 13 times now. They have lost 7 of those. They are 9-0 every game they scored 11 or more, 6-0 every time they have scored 9, and 13-0 when scoring 6 runs. They are 2-2 when scoring 10 runs and 4-1 when scoring 8. But it’s that 6-7 record when “7” runs are scored that really sucks.

But on we go with Do-We-Really-Need-An-Off-Day-To-Travel-256-miles-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Griffin Canning to the IL with elbow inflammation. As if that is any kind of news with this franchise..........

Some players around MLB will be taking advantage of Players Weekend to conduct a tribute to Tyler Skaggs..............

Who are these people that are advocating Shohei Ohtani stick to being a position player?? I was unaware that this was a thing! Thankfully, Ben Lindberg over at TheRinger names them: Zach Rymer of Bleacher Report, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, Joe Sheehan in his own newsletter (he writes for ESPN, SI, NYT, BaseballProspectus), and Frank Thomas of FOX Sports. Damn, people!!! What kind of small-minded short-memoried AD-stricken basbeall minds are you?? Have you forgotten how Ohtani was one of MLB’s most effective pitchers before he got hurt just last year??? His WHIP was 1.161 and his K/9 a whopping 11! His ERA would have been good for 8th-best in the AL had he been qualified. He faced 211 batters and gave up only 38 hits. His BA against was just over .200. Ohtani’s amazement is that he is good enough to achieve All-Star levels as a pitcher, and STILL hit well enough that he can compete as a position player.............

($$) - That bit about how Andrew Ball went from SBN blogging to LAA Front Office, to which I linked the other day? The one that a lot of you can’t read because you don’t subscribe? Sorry about that. And this. Here is another one that focuses on Ball............

Let’s see, what do we have going on? Well, Andrelton Simmons might show up after we conclude this road trip to that hell more commonly known as Texas..........And Keynan Middleton might be over that last setback, having only 1 more rehab outing before planned activation..........


Everywhere In Baseball

We just learned the other week that we now live in a world where Joe Torre punishes players for transgressions that were not declared by the umpires actually managing the game in real time. If Torre is going to choose to have that power, why the hell does he not use it to browbeat the Marlins for their ongoing antics of throwing at Ronald Acuna Jr.?. It’s inane that the Braves manager is the one who gets booted as a result of the Marlins plunking Acuna for the umpteenth time, and blatantly doing so with the very first pitch of the game. If Torre is going to ignore the umpires in other cases, he should ignore the umpires in this case and, pre-emptively, ignore the umpires in upcoming cases. Fine and suspend Marlins’ manager Don Mattingly for 5 games, and every pitcher on the Marlins who has beaned some Atlanta Braves player at least 3 games each. All at once. Such a thing might also stop the nonsense between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates, too..............

Laugh Out Loud, Boner’s Ain’t Hilarious to the MLB...............

This is an interesting observation over at FanGraphs. Bullpens are not in some kind of decline because we have an insufficient amount of quality players to stock 30 bullpens. They are in decline only numerically, and the declining numbers are only lower because more teams are using the pens in lower-leverage innings, which are occurring at a greater rate because of the growing disparity between competitive teams and non-competitive teams..........

Mike Trout might be the greatest current player in the MLB playing in California, but he isn’t the greatest from California...........

Trout and Cody Bellinger (along with Christian Yelich and Pete Alonso) are in an LB home run race. But if you could roll back time to the standards of 2015, Bellinger would lose about 7 13 of his home runs..........

Dallas Keuchel might come pretty cheap in the next FA market, for reasons. Another way of saying that sentence would be that MLB Front Offices might have known better about Dallas Keuchel than the hand-wringing baseball writers around the country whining about collusion..........

($$) - Take a ride with the Philly Phanatic and his hot dog launching cart..........

It’s a fun coincidence that the very day XFL annouces their new list of soon-to-be defunct team names and logos, TheHardballTimes rolls out a list of fantastically defunct baseball team names............

We should have gotten Corey Kluber somehow, too. His sudden injury is right up our alley. it’s kind of Billy Eppler’s thing to corner the market on guys like this.........

Minnesota has a squirrel problem..........People tend to forget that squirrels are rodents, too. I blame cartoons for that..........But after the Twins having to deal with rodents on consecutive nights as fall approaches and northern squirrels start stocking up for winter, the lineup card gets pulled into the act of nature............

Well, forget about the why. It doesn’t matter why. Whatever the cause, legit or not, when increasing numbers of players start doing what was once rare, it is no longer as rare. Therefore, it is no longer as special. So it is with what used to be a legendary benchmark of 40 home runs in a single season..........

Position players pitching is becoming a real thing. FanGraphs notices that we are at a new peak. MLB managers (the culprits here, ironically) are now fighting back, but with boneheaded ideas. Alex Cora suggests odd requirements such as the team that uses a position player on the mound has to use one the next game, too. Or, as another idea, that team cannot take an At-Bat for the rest of the game. (However the hell that would work. What, the one side that is allowed to take AB’s has to clear all bases after every three outs?)..........Aaron Boone suggested a mercy rule, which I think is just as dumb. (What is it with Yankee and Boston managers that make them think they can influence changes on behalf of the entire sport?) But the mercy rule idea has gotten as far as to be debated. Still dumb.........

You say burst appendix kills you. Bo Bichette, Jr. eats burst appendix for breakfast..........And do you know what else he eats? (h/t reddit) He eats Clayton Kershaw curveballs............

This is what happens when you fail to break 90 wins but a single time over 9 seasons. It doesn’t matter that you were stuck in a division polluted with an artificially inflated hyper-team. It doesn’t matter that you lost your starting rotation to injury for 4 of those seasons. You are Mike Scioscia, retired. You are forgotten. Not even a Top 10 skipper out of how many that didn’t even last that many seasons?...........

My older brothers were truly into baseball cards. I never was. But if I ever got bit by the bug, it would be limited to baseball cards of hilarity. Like balls to the bag.....or secret messages on the bats..........

The Little League World Series is a big enough thing now that even the groundskeeping crew gets some sexy coverage.............And when the pressure and expectations get lowered, and the kids are unleashed to just play competitive baseball, the game is infinitely more fun..............Certainly a lot more fun than not getting to play in the LLBWS at all and, instead, forced to sit and watch a Pirates game in Pittsburgh..........By the way, Hawaii (West) is still rolling, having just defeated Virginia (Southeast) 12-9. Virginia now plays Louisiana (Southwest) in an elimination game, with the winner facing back off against Hawaii for the US Championship on Saturday. Hawaii is the team that put both Southwest and Southeast into the elimination bracket. The Grand Finale will take place on Sunday...........

RSN’s, still without a boss, have to work their own carriage deals..........


The Duffle Bag

When, as a fan, you get away with fan interference..............FiveThirtyEight is hiring a Copy Editor. With my typo proficiency I am utterly unqualified. redfloyd, however..........Anybody who has ever bench pressed has had this fear of breaking their nose, as Hunter Strickland realized...........The era of home runs is so prolific, one does not even need to hit the ball to the pitcher’s mound anymore..........