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MondoLinks: Astros Boom. Broom Halos Right Out of Texas

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Angels lose 6 of 7 to the Texas ball clubs, not return home for more Texas beatings?

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

There is a reason that I am an IT guy and news roundup blogger and tikiphile and animatronic hobbyist and lots of other things that are not professional MLB manager. Because it’s clear that I don’t know squat about how bullpens work. Nope. Not at all. Not a single thing.

See, my my perch of ignorance I see that the entire bullpen got the day off on a Thursday. On Friday 3 guys worked 3.1 innings. On Saturday 2 other guys went 3.1 innings. So on Sunday Taylor Cole comes in to start the bottom of the 8th with the Halos trailing 4-1. Without an offensive rally in the 9th, this would be the only inning of work that Skipper Brad would need for the afternoon. And the next day is another off day, where the entire bullpen gets another break. Now Cole has 3 dumpster outings in August going into yesterday, 5 good ones and 1 middling. He should be good, but if things start going bad, you know it’s one of those dumpster days. Well, you should know. I knew.

Apparently, Skipper Brad never realized. By the time the frame was over, the Astros had scored 7 times and the score was 11-1. We were floor lint in the dustpan, and as irrelevant as we have been since, well, last September.

It’s that time of the year when we aren’t going anywhere, and our opponents aren’t going anywhere, and if it were not for stat mavens the games would be just as meaningless as Spring Training. From here on out we have 29 total games left, but there are 5 with Oakland, 3 with Cleveland and 3 with Tampa Bay. Maybe we can mess with those guys in those games but the other 18 aren’t gonna make any difference to anything. You may be thinking that we can also be messing with Houston, but Houston has turned the entire AL West into nothing more than a tuning fork. The LA Angels Elimination number to officially be terminated from the AL West race is a meager “8”, and the e-number for the entire season is only “17”. We have finished the last 3 seasons 21, 21 and then 23 games behind Houston. Right now we are at 21.5 and falling like Bognor Regis Birdman.

Well, we’re just swimming in days off this month, with another one today and one coming up on Thursday.

It’s an offering of Let’s-Not-Lose-Today-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Shohei Ohtani is almost ready to pitch a simulated 6-pitch outing. That means we are good for 2 real-life starters for 2019. But it also means that we need a total of 6. I wonder if Gerrit Cole would be good working in a 6-man rotation?............

Max Stassi agrees. He is a shit-show with a bat in his hand. Fortunately for Stassi and all of us, he can quickly turn to those LAA hitting coaches who have become famous for fixing batter horror shows over the years. Everything will be all better before the season is out. I am sure of it............

Skipper Brad has a quick hook on his starters. Maybe because half of them are Openers? Great timing for the article, though, since Jaime Barria was allowed to pitch 5 strong innings against Houston yesterday before being lifted in the 6th...........

Tommy LaStella resuming “baseball activities”. But this is the Angels, we are talking about. “Baseball activities” might include giving up 7 runs in relief, or going 2 for 20.............

Anthony Bemboom and his 3 for 22 baseball activities have been optioned to Salt Lake............

Jo Adell is gonna be great. He’s only 20, though, people. Keep calm.............

Mike Clevinger hurts. Especially when Mike Clevinger is a starting pitcher..............

Weekly Mike Trout Career WAR Perp Walk. It’s August, the first of the two annual months where Trout slides off his lofty performance pinnacles and reverts to mere human as football season starts to take over the national consciousness. This August he is dragging his career August split down. There are still a few games left, so things could turn around, But last week, Mike had a pretty shitty week by anybody’s standard. 7 for 30 with 3 walks against 8 strikeouts, and only 2 extra-base hits (a triple and a home run), and his slash line since last Sunday was .233/.324/.400 with an OPS of .724. As a reward, bWAR actually had Mike tracking backwards. He threw is overall career number into reverse, and he is back behind Derek Jeter AND Harry Hellmann. Maybe he picks up 0.1 yesterday, but as of this moment his bWAR sits at 72.1...............


Everywhere In Baseball

I try to be extremely open-minded when it comes to special uniforms, because I understand that there is a huge diversity among the fan base and there is plenty of room for other people’s fashion preferences. But this black & white weekend was a bust. The derision...was...pretty...broad. Even the players (well, the Dodgers) didn’t want “Players” uniforms. MLB was too all-in with their merchandising campaign and told the Dodgers to shut it and wear the uglies...........Some pitchers did get to make a cap exception.....Except for cleats. Cleats were fun...........When the average fan loses the ability to distinguish the players from the umpires, or browses the highlight reels and not know what team or what game they are looking at, you have a problem. IMHO, the only saving grace was that every single uniform on every single team in both leagues had a Tyler Skaggs 45” patch. Please MLB, admit your mistake and promise to never do this again............

Trevor Bauer is really determined to make a lot of friends back in Cleveland: “Sometimes you don’t realize how unhappy you are in a situation until you’re out of it. Just kind of the day-to-day life. I miss some of my teammates and stuff, but overall I don’t really miss a whole lot about Cleveland.”...........

Here is a deep dive into the history behind Justin Verlander and the Detroit Free Press sports reporter Anthony Fenech. I was wondering what Verlander was trying to mean when he was bandying about the “ethics” accusation. In this review we learn of it. It’s nothing. A tiny moment lost in the vast depths of Verlander showing just how large of a jerk he actually is............

Josh Donaldson trolls hecklers before exacting his revenge, one-upping Bryce Harper anti-heckler home runs................

The Oakland A’s are going to retire the uniform number of Dave Stewart? Uh, yeah, duh. You can’t retire a number...when that number is already retired............Aaron Judge calls his shot............

The Yankees are now convinced that MLB umpires are out to get them.............

As I warned on Friday, the flaw in the way that the Little League World Series is bracketed it matters less that a team loses and it matters more when a team loses. Hawaii and Japan went into their US and International Finals undefeated and each matched up against a team that had already lost once and survived the fatal second elimination. Hawaii was facing the same Louisiana team that they had bested earlier in the tourney, and Japan was facing Curacao. Sure enough, Louisiana won, giving Hawaii a single defeat and Curacao won, giving Japan a single defeat. But those single defeats took both Hawaii and Japan and booted them into the consolation game (Japan would win that 5-0). That boosted Louisiana into the Grand Finale as the US Champ, and Curacao into the Finale as the International Champ. One game loser Louisiana bested one game loser Curacao 8-0 and claimed the overall World title for 2019...........

Little League Baseball is going to expand the tourney tarting in 2021, adding 2 more US regions and also adding Cuba.............

Youth baseball participation is on the rise!!!............

Victor and Gubi now officially work for Sinclair broadcasting...............The Orioles have lost their $$$ battle with the encroachment of the Nationals, are the money is going to really really hurt. Watch for the relocation threats to resurface now..............


The Duffle Bag

Petco Park video board staff might actually be better than the awesome Petco Park ballpark itself...............Manuel Margot wants out of his ugly-ass uniform, too............Stephen Piscotty refuses to walk into the light, makes an immortal catch, anyway..........Chunichi Dragons pitcher Hiroshi Suzuki playing snooker...........Lenny Dykstra should not be allowed out in public............