Friday, September 30, 2016

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By Jason Sinner, AngelsWin.com Contributor - 

There are only a handful of 5 years stretches in the history of baseball that are on par with what Trout has done in his first five full seasons.  What is truly remarkable is how far ahead of the next player Trout is over that span.  

5 year spans of one player being 10 WAR greater than the next closest:

1902 -1906.  Honus Wagner 45.2 WAR vs. Nap Lajoie 34.0 WAR

1903 -1907.  Wagner 47.0 WAR vs. Lajoie 35.7 WAR

1904 - 1908. Wagner 50.4 vs. Lajoie 35.2

1905 - 1909. Wagner 51.1 vs. Lajoie 32.4

During Cobb's era, there was Eddie Collins, Tris Speaker, Joe Jackson, and Fred Baker

Then Hornsby and Ruth came along.  Along with Sisler.  

1919 - 1923. Ruth 57.9 WAR vs. Hornsby 44.9.  Next closest was Speaker with 35.5

1920 - 1924. Ruth 61.1 v.s Hornsby 51.1.  Next was Speaker at 34.8

1923 - 1927. Ruth 56.1 vs. Hornsby 45.4.  

Then came Foxx, Gehrig and Ott to give Ruth some competition.  

Then Vaughn and Gehringer.  

DiMaggio and Williams  

Then there was WWII.  

Boudreau and Musial were big time but not head and shoulders above the rest.  

During the late 40's/early 50's, there was Robinson, Doby, Kiner, Campanella, Snider all packed together.  There was so Rosen and Berra in there.  

Then the Mick came along with Eddie Matthews and Mays and Hank and Banks and Kaline to get us through the 50's and early 60's.  

Frank Robinson got in the mix in the 60's.

1961 - 1965.  Mays 49.8 WAR vs. Aaron 39.8.

1962 - 1966.  Mays 50.0 vs. Aaron 37.8.  Next Robinson 32.7

Some Ron Santo and Yaz with the others pretty tightly packed.  

In the early 70's, Bench, Morgan, Rose and Stargell took over.  

1971 - 1975. Morgan 43.2 vs  Bench 33.0.  

1972 - 1976. Morgan 47.3 vs. Bench 33.7.   In this stretch and that above, the Reds had 3 of the top 4.  
Mid to late 70's Schmidt and Carew were in there.  Brett, Foster and Carter as well.  

Then in the early 80's it was Rickey with some Murray and Ripken.  

Boggs took over during the mid to late 80's.  

Then in the early 90's, Bonds came on the scene.  

1989 - 1993.  Bonds 44.8 vs. Henderson 32.7

Then Griffey Jr. and Frank Thomas..

1990 - 1994. Bonds 43.7 vs. Griff 32.5.  

The Steroids.  Bagwell, Piazza, Biggio, etc  

Interestingly, the high WAR totals during this era were down into the high 30's for the most part because of roids leveling the playing field.  

Late 90's and early 2000's the roids really kicked in and Bods, Arod and Sosa wen nuts with some Chipper, Giles, Vlad.

Bonds and Arod topped the list for several years with the others a distant 3rd thru .....

2000 - 2004.  Bonds 54.9 vs. Arod 43.1.  Next is Helton at 34.4.  Edmonds, Rolen and Pujols were toward the top.  

Then Pujols took the lead for several stretches but only by a little.  Utley was in there for bit.  

Post steroid era and the top WAR dropped to the low 30's.  Miggy took over in 2009 followed by guys like Votto, Longoria, Zobrist, Cano

Then came Trout with Donaldson and McCutchen

2012 - 2016.  Trout 46.8 vs. Donaldson 32.0.  

So 15 five year stretches of a 10 WAR or greater lead for the top player vs. the rest of the competition.  13 of those stretches at least back to back or in a row.  14 of those stretches by 5 players

Wagner, Ruth, Mays, Morgan, and Bonds.  (didn't expect Morgan to be in with those names)

Trout's 13.8 WAR delta to the next closest player is the highest differential is the highest since Honus Wagner out WAR'd Nap Lajoie by 18.7 WAR from 1905 - 1909.  

BTW, Trout has done this in his first 5 full seasons.  He just turned 25.  ie, he did it from age 20- 24.

The others?

Wagner - ages 28-32, 29-33, 30-34, 31-35.  

Ruth - ages 24-28, 25-29, 28-32

Mays - 30-34 and 31-35

Morgan - 27-31, and 28-32

Bonds - 24-28, 25-29, and 35-39

Trout - 20-24.  

It's difficult to even put that into perspective.  Trout is actually doing something relative to his peers that no one has even come close to.  And to sell it even further, consider this:

Here are the top eleven next closest to him and their age:

1. Trout - 46.8 WAR, age 24 (season.  he just turned 25 in August)

2. Donaldson - 32.0 WAR, Age 30

3. McCutchen - 29.1 WAR, Age 29

4. Miggy Cabrera - 28.1 WAR, Age 33

5. Adrian Beltre - 27.8 WAR, Age 37

6. Buster Posey - 27.5 WAR, Age 29

7. Robinson Cano - 26.4 WAR, Age 33

8. Paul Goldschmidt - 25.6 WAR, Age 28 (just turned 29)

9. Joey Votto - 24.9 WAR, Age 32 (just turned 33)

10.  Manny Machado - 22.9, Age 23 (just turned 24)

11. Bryce Harper - 22.8, Age 23 ( will be 24 in mid october)

So there it is.  Some serious Trout pron. Happy Friday!  

Monday, September 26, 2016

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By Glen McKee, AngelsWin.com Senior Corpse Finder - 

If you are friends with me on Facebook (that’s how old I am, it isn’t even “If you followed me on Twitter” because while I have a Twitter account, I update it about as often as I update my Google + page) you’d already know that on my Saturday morning dog walk, I “discovered” a half-naked corpse.  

It was a dude, and the half that was naked was the half that you don’t want to be naked.  I didn’t think this was connected to the Angels’ season until my exceptional editor said I needed to work it in somehow, and then it became obvious to me.  This year’s Angels team is like a half-naked corpse that you find on an isolated dirt road: surprising but not in a good way, a bit stinky, and a mystery.  You wonder how it happened and then realize there are several possible explanations, but it’s probably the most mundane thing that is the truth (for the Angels, it was injuries) (for the corpse I found, who knows, but it’s probably less fantastical than the half-dozen scenarios I’ve cooked up in my head).  

On to last week…

The Bad.  

This week was a mixed bag.  If we win too many games we’ll lose our protected draft pick.  If we win too few games then it’s a slog through the week.  We straddled that line but still somehow finished ahead of Oakland.  

- The Record.  4-3 doesn’t sound bad, right?  Well, it does when you’re thinking about that protected draft pick.  Anything over .500 is cause for concern.  There’s also some good in the record, more about that shortly.

- Mike Trout.  He hit .261 last week with only one HR, but seven RBI.  Despite being on a half-naked corpse of a team he’s still in the MVP discussion and he’d greatly improve his chances by being a 30-30 guy: 30 HR and 30 SB.  Trout had one SB and one HR last week, and for the season he’s at 27 SB and 28 HR.  There are six games remaining in the season.  It’s possible, as our last two opponents are Oakland (already done for the season) and Houston (currently hanging on to their last straw of a Wild Card hope, thanks in part to what we did to them this weekend).

- Jett Bandy.  His star is fading.  Jett only got one start last week and two other brief appearances, going 1-4 with a double.  Jett was born in West Hills, CA, which is a part of Los Angeles.  You know who else was born in Los Angeles?  Angelina Jolie, who is currently available.  Brush up your resumes, gentlemen.  

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- Nick Buss.  1-10 last week, .205 for the season.  Another dirty peanut.  Not the solution for either LF or the bench.  Next.

- Daniel Wright.  Thus far, he’s been Daniel Wrong, amirite, AO?  Sometimes you gotta pick the low-hanging fruit.  Two starts last week, 10.2 IP, eight ER.  There’s no indication that he’ll be a part of the rotation next year, but he could be another dirty peanut stashed away in SLC.

Carlos Perez.  Got six of the seven starts last week at catcher, despite being worse than Bandy.  Thanks, affirmative action!  2-18 for a lovely .111 average.  He’s the new brown Mathis.  He’s from Venezuela, and you know who else is from Venezuela?  Alyz Henrich, Miss Earth 2013.

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The Good.  

Our record was good if you disregard the protected pick BS, but there was also an extra layer of good in our record.  There were also some players that did sorta OK last week.

- Spoilers.  Houston had been kicking our ass all season long, until last weekend.  We went into their bandbox of a stadium and took three out of four games, two of them with late-innings heroics, to put a serious dent in their wild card hopes.  I hope that after this week we can look back on it and say it was worth it.

- Ricky Nolasco.  He’s looking more like a clean peanut with every start.  7 IP last week, 0 ER.  He should be in the rotation next year and given our lack of working arms, that seems like a lock.  

- Jhoulys Chacin.  Welcome back to the good list, Jewels!  Two starts last week, 11 IP, 1 ER.  Another solid possibility for the rotation next year despite being a McDLT.  I hope he’s back next year, because he’s Jewel.

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- Yunel Escobar.  He found his bat again.  .360 average last week with a HR and 3 RBI.  

- Albert Pujols.  He tore it up last week.  .357 average, 1 HR, 2 2B, and a bunch of singles.  

The Rest.  

Juan Graterol, despite having the best BA of our catchers, was invisible last week.  WTF, Scioscia?  

In the all-important protected draft pick standings, there are three teams worse than us in the AL and four teams worse in the NL, which means we’re in eighth place and we can’t go higher than tenth. Philadelphia and Milwaukee are both at 70-86, one game better than us.  The next team after them is the Chicago White Sox at 74-81.  So, even if we surpass Philly and Milwaukee, Chicago is 5.5 games better than us.  They’d have to lose almost all of their remaining games and we’d have to win almost all of ours, to surpass them.  Break out the champagne!  It’s almost a lock.  No whammy.

The Week Ahead.  

Three at home versus the Aths – we could solidify that protected pick status by being swept by them, but we don’t really want that, do we? – and we finish the season with three at home versus the Astros. Only three things matter for this week: one, no more injuries.  Two, Trout getting to 30-30.  Three, the protected draft pick.  Those are all attainable goals, and I predict all three of them will happen.  

No whammy.  

Predictions.  

2-1 versus the Aths and 2-1 versus the Astros, just to kick a bit more sand in their faces.  Last week I predicted 0-3 versus Texas (1-2 actual) and 2-2 versus the Astros (3-1 actual).  This is my last week for predictions!  One more prediction: I predict there will be one more gratuitous picture of a hot babe to close out this penultimate edition of LWIAB 2016.  See you next week.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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MLB Network’s Brian Kenny “Digging Into The Data” on yesterday’s “MLB Now” broke down the MVP candidacy of Mike Trout.
 
In the clip, insider Ken Rosenthal and analyst Dan O’Dowd discuss Trout at length:
 
Rosenthal said, “I don’t have an MVP vote this year, but I have an opinion. My opinion is that I prefer my MVP to come from a contender, prefer, doesn’t have to be an absolute. Yet in this case, I don’t see a clear standout candidate among the others, they’re all good, really good. But none of them except for [Manny] Machado is having a monster September. You look at the overall statistics and Trout is the best.”
 
O’Dowd said, “All things being equal, it’d be great to give it to somebody who has helped his team get into Postseason. But all things aren’t equal. This player is so much better this year than anybody else competing for the award. It would be a crime if he doesn’t get it.”

Check out the MLB Network segment here

Monday, September 19, 2016

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By Glen McKee, Here Until the Bitter End - 

Our elimination date has long since passed and we’re only watching the games for a few reasons now: because we’re masochists, because we still root for our team, because we want to see if we’ll get a protected draft pick so we can sign an overpriced underperforming veteran in the offseason, and because that’s what fans do.  Oh yeah, also because we want to see if we can be spoilers for other teams.  Baseball loves some sour grapes: if we can’t go to the playoffs, we want to knock you out of them if we can.  With the last thought in mind, last week did indeed have a happy ending; more on that shortly.  Let’s go ahead and get the bad out of the way.

The Bad

There were quite a few things that were bad last week, but they were mostly the same things, if that makes any sense.  The offense let us down the most last week so we’re gonna see some putrid performances at the plate in this list.

- The record.  But first, the overall performance.  2-4 for the week, which is bad but consistent with our season record.  We got swept by the hot Dipotos (Hot Dipoto is the new name of my band) and managed a split with the slumping Blue Jays.  Take that, Canada!  Bastards.  This is good news for our protected draft pick status, though, and again, more on that shortly.

- Mike Trout.  A blah week for the Troutster.  .250 average, no HR, 1 RBI, 3 R.  He was having a solid September and then this.  There’s not much incentive for him to be MIKE TROUT! other than pride at this point, but you still want better from the one shining star on the team.

- Deolis Guerra.  3 innings pitched, 3 earned runs.  He might be getting gassed, even though he’s only at 55.2 IP this year between AAA and the big leagues.

- Yunel Escobar.  His only purpose is to be a leadoff hitter and get on base.  His glove and arm are questionable but at least he’s a table-setter at the top of the order.  Well, he was until last week.  2-27, .074 average.  That’s turrible!  The good news is, Escobar is from Cuba and other than great cigars, Cuba has in a way given us Rosario Dawson (she’s part Cuban).  So we have that going for us.

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- Jett Bandy.  Jett hasn’t been playing much because his bat just disappeared.  0-6 last week.  He’s like the 2015 Carlos Perez of 2016.  Why can’t we have a catcher that hits well?  Speaking of which…

- Carlos Perez.  0-8 last week.  That’s a combined 0-14 from our primary catchers.  Doesn’t give ya much hope for next year, does it?  Unless we find another early 2015 Carlos Perez or early 2016 Jett Bandy.  More on that in the next section, but I’m also not digging the grave for either of these catchers.  I have a shovel in my hand but I haven’t broken the earth yet.

The McDLT

Last week’s McDLT is Albert Pujols.  He came into the week in a slump and continued it with a 1-11 run versus Seattle.  He finished the week going 7-16 versus Toronto.  Way to turn it around, Pujols!  Credit where it is due, even if it’s only for four games.

The Good

There’s always some good, so let’s have some fun looking at it

- AJ Achter.  He’s here because I love his last name – it makes me think of “Team America” and the puppet that hated actors – and because he got it together last week.  3.2 IP, 0 ER.  Nice job, actor!  Like many great people, including myself, Achter was born in Ohio.  You know who else was born in Ohio?  The first goddamned man on the moon, Neil Armstrong!  Also, Carmen Electra.

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- Juan Graterol.  Remember when I mentioned catchers earlier?  Well, a few weeks ago I brought up Juan Gatorade, who had an outstanding performance in an extremely small sample size.  Well, guess what, buckeroos?  He went 2-7 last week, which, for an Angels ‘catcher, is out-effing-standing.  He’s still carrying a .375 average on the season.

- Cliff Pennington.  He’s been on the bad list many times, so  let’s give him a break.  .313 average last week.

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- Angels’ starting pitchers.  In his last start Alex Meyer went five scoreless innings with 7 SO against the Jays.  Jered Weaver had another QS, against the Jays (you know he’ll be back on a one-year deal next year).  Ricky Nolasco went 12 inning and gave up 4 ER for a solid 3.00 ERA.  Considering the scrap heap we’re picking our starters from, that’s reason for optimism.

The Rest

And now, for the all-important Protected Draft Pick standings.  A 2-4 record last week helped the Angels a bit.  The Angels have the seventh-worst record in baseball.  Oakland is 1 game better than us, Philly is 1.5 games better, and the Brewers are 2.5 games ahead.  So you’re saying…there’s a chance!  Indeed there is.  The only teams we have left to play are the Rangers, Aths, and Astros.

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The Week Ahead 

Seven days in Hell, otherwise known as Texas.  Three in Arlington, four in Houston.  The Angels have a good chance to solidify their Protected Draft Pick status while still not looking too unexpectedly awful.

Predictions.  Last week I predicted 1-2 and 1-3 for the Angels against Seattle and Toronto; actual results 0-3 and 2-2.  I got the totals correct!  This week, wow.  0-3 versus Texas and 2-2 versus the Astros.  See you next Monday, which will be the penultimate edition of LWIAB (not counting a possible LSIAB a week or so after the regular season is done).

Monday, September 12, 2016

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By Glen McKee, Mr. Equal Opportunity - 

On Friday night I went to my first Angels game in a few years.  (I live many hours away from Orange County.)  It was Star Wars night, I had a blast and got a few extra Stormtrooper Rally Monkeys (they’re already spoken for, sorry), and the Angels lost to the Rangers.  Something else happened, though.  A female of the opposite sex who used to post on the AngelsWin board was proposed to (as in marriage) by her handsome boyfriend and she accepted.  (Congratulations Katie and Nick!)

In attendance for the proposal was yet another woman who used to post a lot more frequently on the board, as well as a few dudes who sporadically post.  It got me thinking about how much of a sausage party the board is (and by the way, I do recommend the movie Sausage Party) and how my previous LWIB columns catered to that demographic.  I figured it was time to do a column for the ladies who occasionally stumble across this board and then leave in disgust.  

On their great album Live At The Roxy, Social Distortion does a cover of the “Ring of Fire” and frontman Mike Ness introduces it by saying (I’m paraphrasing here) “Fellas, I think it’s time we did something for the ladies, don’t you?”  Somebody in the crowd responds by flipping the bird to Mike and he replies with “You got nine more of those fingers?  Why don’t you take all ten and stick ‘em up your ass!”  

Fellas, one of the ladies!

The Bad.  

Hoo boy, there was a lot of bad this week.  As good as the previous two weeks were, this week was bad.  We went to Oakland where we should have dominated but we fell apart.  Same thing at home against Texas.  Let’s get the bad out of the way.

- The Record.  2-4 for the week, more about that below.  We should have at least been 3-3.  Our record was like Johnny Depp’s record, recently: nowhere near as good as it used to be.

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- Albert Pujols.  He went from hot to cold, just like a Katy Perry song.  Last week he went 4-22, .182 average, 2 RBI.  It looks like he’s gonna take the rest of the season off and get that average back below .250, where we expected it to be (only 0.15 away from that milestone!).  Speaking of Katy Perry, she’s been linked with Orlando Bloom, who recently got some publicity for surfing with his elvish sword hanging out.  I can’t show you that picture, but here’s one of him non in flagrante delicto:

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- Just about anybody in the bullpen.  Yes, there is one notable exception to that and more on him below, but a few people took turns blowing games.  Jose Valdez had a blown save on Saturday.  JC Ramirez came into the game Friday night and promptly gave up the game-winning HR to Adrian Beltre.  Mike Morin still hasn’t gotten a brain, 5.40 ERA last week.  Our bullpen is mostly a shambles.

- Cliff Pennington.  As a nod to Bruce Nye I’ll bring him up again.  Still getting sporadic AB but this week he hit at a .250 clip, which is 0.43 above his season average.  He’s getting less sucky!

- Jett Bandy.  His bat has fallen off a Cliff Pennington lately.  1-14 in his last seven days.  Eventually, the league catches up with rookies and they need to adjust accordingly.  If only we had some sort of managerial person on this team whose job was to help hitters make said adjustments.

- Kaleb Cowart.  Speaking of one-fers, 1-12 last week with 4 K.  Again, if only we had some sort of hitting coach or something…

The McDLT.  The weekly hot-and-cold or cold-and-hot award.  

- Deolis Guerra.  He only appeared in two games (because you want your current best reliever to have a lot of time off) and he was spotless in one, and gave up one run in 1 IP in the other.  That’s the life of a reliever.  He’s still one of our best options.

The Good.  

As always, there was some good mixed in with the bad, and a few surprises.

- Mike Trout.  No all-caps this week because he didn’t hit any HR, but he still managed a .333 clip (although it was all singles) and 3 SB.  Mike Trout is the Channing Tatum of our team: even when he’s bad he’s still at least good to look at.  Amirite, ladies?

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- Andrelton Simmons.  His defense alone should qualify him for this list every week but I’m a buffoon when it comes to defensive stats.  However, his bat won the game Sunday with 2 HR (for the record, last week Simmons hit 2 HR more than did Mike Trout), giving him three on the year.  Did you know that Simmons was born in Curacao, a Dutch Caribbean island?  That makes him a foreigner to the US, and you know who else is a foreigner to the US?  My wife’s favorite, Jason Statham.

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- Andrew Bailey.  He’s been the cleanest of peanuts ever since we picked him up from the rubbish heap.  Last week was no exception.  He’s our closer now, and he went 2-2 in close situations last week, 2 IP, 0 runs, 0 hit, 0 BB, 3 K.  It’s nice to have a pleasant surprise from our bullpen, instead of the usual unpleasant reality.  Maybe this kid can stick around.

The Forgotten.  While looking at stats for this article, I discovered that we have somebody named Juan Graterol (who henceforth and forevermore shall be known as Gatorade) on our team.  Evidently, he came from the Yankees because his ESPN stat page has a picture of him in a Yankees cap.  He’s appeared in one game for us, with exactly one AB.  In that AB he hit a double.  His line for the season: 1.000 average, 1.000 OBP, 2.000 SLG, 3.000 OPS.  Thanks for keeping this dude on the bench, Sosh!  Free Gatorade!

The Rest.  We had a few SP make their debut with the Angels last week and their performances would have qualified them for the bad list but I ran out of space and interest.  Tyler Skaggs had a good start last week, hopefully he can build on that.  Jered Weaver had a good start Sunday, and you just know he’ll be back on a one-year deal next year and continue to give us a quality start sandwich with two terrible-start buns.  

The Week Ahead.  Three at home versus the Dipotos, and four at home versus the Blue Jays.  The Dipotos are 7-3 in their last ten and still have a slight chance at a wild card spot.  The Blue Jays are 3-7 in their last 10 and in the thick of a division race in which I hope they beat Boston but lose to the Orioles.  It could be another brutal week.

Predictions.  Last week I predicted 3-0 versus the Aths and 2-1 versus the Rangers.  Hoo boy.  Actual results: 1-2 and 1-2.  This week, I’m more realistic.  1-2 verus the Dipotos and 1-3 versus the Jays.

Updated Protected Draft Pick Standings.  Because some of you care about this, I’ll keep you updated, although I’m sure you already know what I’m about to say.  The Angels currently have the ninth-worst record in baseball, which gives them a protected pick.  There’s only a half-game difference between the Angels and Milwaukee, the team with the tenth-worst record.  After that, you have to go to the Chicago White Sox who are five games better than the Angels in both the win and loss columns.  So, even if the Angels switch places with the Brewers (which is quite possible) they’d have to play six games better than the White Sox over the last three weeks of the season to lose a protected pick. It could happen, but it isn’t likely.  Rejoice!  

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

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By Glen McKee, AngelsWin.com Gritologist - 

I’m sure the main thing on the minds of Angels baseball fans right now is the status of Matt Shoemaker and concurrent with that, how horrible of a season it has been with injuries.  We also might be thinking about encasing Mike Trout in carbonite a la Han Solo until the end of the season.  

You’d think we’d have reached or even far surpassed our annual quota for injuries already, but apparently not.  The good thing about yesterday was that Shoemaker walked off the field, assisted.  

The bad thing, though, well…

The Bad.

- Matt Shoemaker.  We all know what happened by now.  According to rotoworld.com Shoemaker sustained a small skull fracture and a hematoma.  Of course, our main concern is that Matt recovers with as little lasting damage as possible; baseball is secondary.  Having said that, though, baseball is still important.  We know about Matt and his story because of baseball and we’re rooting for him because a) he’s a genuinely good guy, 2) he’s a baseball player on our favorite team, and iii) he’s demonstrated the favorite immeasurable characteristic that Angels fan love, grit.  He’s an Erstad on the mound.  Best wishes to Matt and his family for a speedy and full recovery from everyone on this board.  

- Brett Oberholtzer.  Another pickup from Operation Clean Peanut, Oberholtzer hasn’t panned out at all.  In his last start, the only one last week, he went 1+ inning and gave up five earned runs.  His ERA for the year is 5.82.  There’s a reason (perhaps several reasons, but I digress) that the Astros released him, and that reason is that he’s not that good.  He’s not even good enough to stick on the Angels rotation.  Yeesh.

- Cliff Pennington.  How this dude is still getting playing time is beyond me.  He hit a robust .083 last week and his average for the year is at .205.  If he was a toolsy catcher with intangibles I could see why he was still playing, but he ain’t so I don’t.  Did you know Cliff Pennington was born in Texas?  I didn’t and I don’t really care, but you know who else was born in Texas?  Anna Nicole Smith.  It’s easy to forget her early days but here’s a reminder.  Apparently, she used to hang out with Barack Obama:

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- The backups and platoons.  Carlos Perez, Nick Buss, and Gregorio Petit each got 5 AB last week and they each got one hit, for a collective BA of .200.  I guess that’s what you can expect from AAAA players.

The McDLT.  

You might think think this category exists solely so I can talk about Jhoulys Chacin and then post pictures of Jewel.  You’d be partially correct.

- Jhoulys Chacin.  In his appearance in Detroit (which was technically speaking the week before last, but shut up) he went four innings and gave up zero ER.  In Seattle, he pooped the bed and gave up 5 ER in four innings.  Jhoulys, why do you play these foolish games?

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The Good.  

Matt Shoemaker aside, there was a lot of good last week.  A lot.  Now that the season is as dead as Donald Trump’s hair and the pressure is off, the players are more relaxed and performing to their abilities.  Yay, meaningless stats!  It’s all we have to look forward to for the rest of the season.

- Albert Pujols.  Dude was on a tear last week.  4 HR, 7 RBI, .429 average.  At this rate he’s gonna have his BA around .275 by the end of the year.  

- MIKE TROUT!  3 HR, 6 RBI, and a ridiculous .556 BA.  MIKE TROUT!  What more can you say about him?  Well, he was born in New Jersey, and you know who else was born in New Jersey?  The Jeets!  You know who the Jeets dated?  Tons of hot women, including Jessica Biel:

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- C.J. Cron.  Finally, somebody on this team named “C.J.” is kicking some serious ass.  4 HR, 8 RBI, and a .400 average last week.  Trout, Pujols, and Cron has suddenly turned into a very potent 3-4-5. 

 Let’s hope they can build on that.

- Andrew Bailey.  We picked him up off the scrap heap and in a very small sample size, he’s been aces.  2 IP, 0 ER, and one save.  It was his first save since 2013.  In 2013, several magazines said Scarlett Johansson was the sexiest woman alive.  Who am I to argue with several magazines?

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The Rest.

The Angels went 5-1 last week.  Hurray!  Unfortunately, that will piss some of you off that care about a protected draft pick.  For the record, the Angels are now the 10th-worst team in baseball and getting better.  As I mentioned last week, this team isn’t going to tank and there’s no way they’ll finish the season with a protected draft pick.  Get over it, and enjoy the rest of the ride.

The Week Ahead.  

Three in that hellhole up in Oakland (against one of the nine teams that is worse than us) and three at home versus Texas.  I’ll be at the home game on Friday so I can get a Star Wars Rally Monkey.  Hit me up if you want to say hello and get my autograph or something.

Predictions. 

Even while I was predicting this team to play the spoiler, I wasn’t optimistic enough.  I predicted 2-1 versus the Reds (they’re now worse than us, by the way) and 2-1 versus the Dipotos.  Actual results: 3-0 and 2-1.  For this week, I’m going to say we sweep Oakland in their miserable stadium and continue to be the spoiler by taking two from Texas.  See you next week, which by my calculations, will be my third-to-last column this season.

Listen to "A Fish Like This" Tribute song to Mike Trout's Greatness

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