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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Halos Take Their White Flag to the White Sox

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Nothing solves deep funk like deep dish

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Yesterday was the day that the Angels were supposed to have good enough pitching AND good enough hitting all in the same game in order to win for a change. I had predicted that. They got the good enough hitting thing by scoring 6 runs through 7 frames. And they had the good enough pitching thing going for them entering the bottom of the 7th. The lead at that time was a pretty solid 6-1. Then Angels pitching happened.

The details are gory, but the final score ended up as 10-6 and there really is nothing positive to say about the county dump site that the LAA pitching staff has become.

And, hey! We got another “long” look at Jared Walsh yesterday. Walsh came in to play defense in the bottom of the 8th. He took over Albert Pujols’ spot after Pujols had GIDP in the 7th and was not due to bat again (sorry Jeff Fletcher, licker of veteran boots). Walsh got to catch a put-out throw from Luis Rengifo to record the 1st out. He then watched Marcus Semien race past him as David Fletcher, his fellow infielder, booted a ground ball (well, the home-town scorer gave Semien a hit so that Marcus could go 4 for 4). His big moment came on the next batter. Matt Chapman popped out to Walsh for out #2. It was a foul ball, but still. Then the fun really began! Noe-Mo-Magic-Pixie-Dust Ramirez walked Matt Olson on purpose so that Walsh had some companionship at the bag. Once Walsh and Olson ran out of things to talk about, Ramirez plunked Mark Canha, sending Olson to 2nd base so that Walsh could chat with Canha. Damned Jurickson Profar messed that all up, though, smacking the very next pitch out to Mike Trout and chasing Canha all the way to 3rd base. And Walsh had barely gotten the time to say “hi”. Profar himself is not much of a talker, but thankfully Khris Davis took the third pitch - and the only one that Ramirez got over the plate - out to Brian Goodwin in left field for the final out. Walsh got to jog back across the infield and sit in the dugout as the Angels closed out the 9th inning, and the game, with 3 quick At Bats and only 8 pitches and safely prevented Walsh from needing to keep himself sharp with his lumber after coming up hot from SLC.

Since defeating the Dodgers concluding July 24th, the Angels have played 38 games and won 11 of them. They are 2 and 11 over the last 13 contests. It’s hard to tell which team is currently the worst competitor in MLB between the Tigers, the Giants and the Angels. But they definitely are playing as bad as the White Sox of late, perfectly timed as these two clubs now wrestle one another for the chance to be 6th-worst team in the American League.

Let’s crawl through some Slink-Outta-State-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Season Status Update: Wild Card Elimination number is now down to 6, which means that things have a mathematical possibility of being over before we meet again on Monday. And there are still just 9 MLB teams with more losses. With 76 losses, the Halos are now only 6 more losses away from a losing season...........(What I have not been covering is the damage that the Angels have been doing at the opposite end of the spectrum. Rolling for 3 games against Oakland ain’t doing any favors for the Rays or Indians in the WC battle ,which includes the battle for the WC home field advantage.)...........

One of the Eppler/Ausmus mind-meld approaches to collaborative in-game management is to pull a pitcher before batters get their 3rd look at him. It’s rare that any Halo is doing so well that they trust themselves to break their own rule. But Dillon Peters, of all people, is one guy who is earning the trust..........

Tommy LaStella did some working out yesterday to test his broken leg.....It did not go well.............

Just so that you know, the Angels care more about Patrick Sandoval NEXT year than they do about trying to win any more games THIS year. Tracking his pitch count is your official notification. So let’s not get all upset with the chronic losing. Let’s just stick to mockery...........

This winter, Arte Moreno is gonna have to deal with Scott Boras one way or another, or maybe even multiple ways. Arte has made it unavoidable at this point..........

Albert doing more good deeds. And Arte has a better swing than I do...............

Some podding around with our very own JeffJoiner.............


Everywhere In Baseball

Home Run Derby Update:.....Mike Trout joined the 45-homer club in the early game tying him with Pete Alonso. Cody Bellinger sticks at 44, Christian Yelich at 43 and Eugenio Suarez is now at 41. Meanwhile, Jose Solar is joining the race, having just smashed his 40th. That’s 6 guys within 6 HRs, giving me something fun to do the next few weeks............

Let’s put this at the top, before I lose you to your social media obliterated lack of attention span. Considering the game situation, and the defensive positioning, and the throw, this might be the best outfield play you see all year..........

Welcome to the Stephen Strasburg see-saw!..............Stephen Strasburg increasingly likely to opt out of Nationals contract..........Yes, Strasburg can opt out. But he won’t..........But if Jon Morosi said it (Scott Boras shure likes to leak via writers named ‘Jon’), then it must be true so add Strasburg to the list..........

But who needs to wait for Strasburg to take his shot when you have Madison Bumgarner as the best available..........

Oh Craig Kimbrel, I would have expected you, among all ballplayers, to be certain of your health in this ultra-shortened showcase tour with the Cubs. But back on the IL again? That is not the way to con GM’s into a 6-year deal north of $100 million.........And it looks like Houston did not ‘fix’ Aaron Sanchez.............

Yeah, only like 6,000 people paid for the Marlins at the Pirates, and maybe 14 of those showed up. But the Marlins host the Royals this weekend, which is a bad attendance team hosting a team with fans that don’t travel in a state that is still recovering from Hurricane Dorian. 6,000 might be the high-water mark (pun intended)..........

($$) - Remember Grant Brisbee? He visits The Shed. Maybe one of America’s premier private baseball museums. Assembled pretty much ad hoc. Built pretty much the same way.............

I’m not sure about this one. Carlos Correa is flipping agencies just before he hits his first year of arb. Sucks to be his old agency, for sure. Correa hits FA as early as 2022 should Houston not choose to extend him. This is a guy who has shown to be able to throw out +20 HR and +6 WAR seasons from the shortstop position. We are talking the 4th-most fWAR SS since he came into the league in 2015, and that is with about 60 games of lost time to back injury. There is bank in his future, and bank for the agent representing him when Correa starts cashing in. So it’s kinda sour to be dumping his agent right when that agent is on the brink of meeting Brinks, after baby-sitting Carlos for 7 years. But the bigger part that has me flummoxed is that Correa is flipping on the advice of Alex Rodriguez. Not only is Rodriguez getting Correa to flip to the same agency that is his own, and hiring on with a guy who has never repped baseball and only just got the MLBPA certs, but he is doing it while also working as what we fans and viewers would expect to be an unbiased baseball analyst for ESPN............

Baseball players tend not to be rocket scientists for a reason. Take this test and see if you can pick out which of the listed superstitions are real and which are not............

Most people will say that the triple is the most exciting play in baseball. I say that the most exciting thing is the prolonged battle between pitcher and a batter. Batting is tough enough, where minimizing failure is seen as godly. The pitcher has that much of an advantage. But as the batter hangs tough in the box and sees more of the pitcher, the tables turn. Partly for the same reason that hitters catch up to a pitcher the 3rd time around across innings, but even more compressed because the pitcher rarely tries the same tricks in the same AB. After about 7 or 8 pitches everyone in the stadium starts to get into it. It’s a special moment where both sides have risk/reward that will get settled on any upcoming pitch. So imagine a 13-pitch At Bat. Wow. Imagine a 13-pitch At Bat to the very lead-off batter of a baseball game! Imagine a 13-pitch At Bat to the very lead-off batter of a baseball game where the batter is a rookie phenom!! And then imagine that wunderkind finishing that AB with a home run!!! The only way that this could have been better is if Bo Bichette had hit a triple...............


The Duffle Bag

Every million home runs or so, somebody misses home plate and gets called out, reminding the next 999,999 guys not to screw it up. Here is our guy...........This is rare: a baseball player clapping back on a football player as to which has the most athletic body..........Can this guy play left field?..........Another Matrix Slide, this time from Baby Vlad............TIL: In Japan, baseball can be BYOB............Kind of a boring AMA with Mike Oz, Yahoo! sports writer. Until I got down to the part where he is asked about his favorite MiLB team. Then he’s turns into my hero..............