Angels baseball now 64 percent less annoying

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Sure, they still have the Rally Monkey and Thunderstix, but the Angels got rid of their TV duo of Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler on Tuesday, turning chores over to play-by-play man Rory Markas and color commentator Mark Gubicza.
I’m not going to pretend to know much about Markas, who had been paired with Gubicza doing radio. Gubicza, though, while rather dry at times, seems to be far more in touch with reality than Hudler, who was becoming more of a parody of himself with every passing year.
In Hudler’s defense, his enthusiasm always seemed to be genuine. There are plenty of fakes out there in broadcast booths, but the Wonder Dog was simply being himself. It’s just that his own special brand of obnoxiousness would have worked a lot better in the sideline reporter role, and the Angels might want to bring him back in that capacity down the line.
Physioc, though, brought nothing to the table. When he wasn’t inducing Hudler to repeat a spiel about Angels baseball&#0174, he was getting a play wrong or botching a fact about a player from whatever lesser team happened to be playing the Angels that night.
The amazing thing about Physioc is that there wasn’t even any nepotism involved in his placement. He somehow got his job on merit.
Now, I know it’s not nice to root for people to be fired, but Physioc still has his college basketball duties and I’m sure Hudler won’t be out of work for long. He did play for six teams, after all, and if one of them no longer exists, well, that still leaves four possibilities for future employment.

Albert Pujols passes Mark McGwire with 584th career home run

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 11: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs out a double during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 11, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Angels 14-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.

Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.

Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.

Zach Britton allowed an earned run for the first time since April 30

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 22:  Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches for his 38th save in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 22, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Oriole won 4-3.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.

The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.

Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.