ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. A’s and Angels on center stage, gridlocked in a 76-52 tie for first place in the AL West. The Angels are down a Garrett Richards and to be honest the first two games of the series went exactly as we planned with the A’s getting a couple wins to pull even in the division standings. This was even though Mike Trout hit his 28th home run of the season on Friday night off Sonny Gray. This was despite Gray having lights out command and going eight strong for the win.
But last night, the Angels took the game they had to take. You can’t go into the Oakland Coliseum and get swept by your foes; those rotten A’s. And Mike Trout hit a towering home run into the camera well to put the exclamation point on a 9-4 Angels win.
This was obviously one of the more impressive Trout home runs of the season – though it’s hard to pick a favorite. And you guessed it: it was a low pitch. He was also the Sunday conversation on SportsCenter with Buster Olney. He’s all the rage right now for good reason.
It is important to document as much as we can in what might Mike Trout’s first MVP season.
This was a WILD one. I had the game on for much of it, and once again the Angels’ magical season rolls on through an improbable event. It was Albert Pujols’ 19th inning home run – the 514th of his illustrious career – that kept this game from running into some Sunday morning church services.
By the end of the game, Pujols had played five innings at his old position third base. Matt Shoemaker had thrown three scoreless innings as the final arm out of the Angels pen.
Of course I dozed off somewhere in the 16th or 17th inning, at 2:30 AM ET, a time when no normal human should still be up to see how a ballgame concludes.
This was one of the better games of the season and an incredible effort by the Angels.
The Angels turned around today and lost 3-1 in the series finale. Their only run coming on Mike Trout’s 26th home run of the season. These teams were dog tired, and today would have been a great under bet with your local book. Of course, we were out baby crib shopping all day; so we didn’t capitalize.
The Freeway Series between the Angels and the Dodgers kicked off last night in Chavez Ravine. A solid pitching matchup between Zack Greinke and Garrett Richards was on the docket, burgeoning superstars in Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig were in each team’s respective lineup and two teams with a couple of the better records in baseball settling in for regional supremacy. Continue reading →
As a baseball fan(atic), it is difficult being a displaced fan. Sure, there is MLB.tv if you want to fork out $150 for lag and a buffering screen. But it is nothing like being surrounded by the community that fully supports that same team colors that you do. It is nothing like being able to simply turn on the TV at game time, sit back with family members or friends, grab some snack food and enjoy the game on the boob tube. It is nothing like being at the ballpark of your hometown team and basking in it’s surroundings. Last week, I was able to make the pilgrimage back into friendly territory, and I got to expose my two young children to the place where my love of this game began. Continue reading →
The Angels – if you watch them each day – they’re that team this year that is high on character. That team that never seems to be out of a game. They are a gritty, grimy bunch (not without their fine items) that just seems to hang around and never actually be dead.
Today they did it again. Another day in which Mike Trout filled the stat sheet and hit an incredible home run, his 23rd of the year. Trout literally willed his team to a win today. He added a single, and a walk at a critical juncture, scoring three runs.
Josh Hamilton had three hits, Kole Calhoun added three more including a home run.
But the memorable part of this game will be when Fernando Rodney blew the save – and possibly shot his arrow a bit too early on the Angels. This isn’t a team to be declaring that you shot Jesse James on until you’re certain that he’s dead.
And the Angels had a little fun with it. We’re so glad that they did. If you’re a baseball fan, and you’re not taking the time to stop and smell the roses and enjoy what the Angels are doing this year for their fans and for all of us that follow baseball, you’re missing out.
It was their league leading 30th come-from-behind win in baseball. That says a lot about the group.
I saw most of it – and I have to give the Angels bullpen credit. The last three pitchers who appeared; Fernando Salas, Cory Rasmus, and Hector Santiago all got out of jams where I said to myself ‘they’re going to blow it right here’. As a whole, the Angels pen threw ten innings of shutout baseball after Jered Weaver left the game.
Mike Trout had three hits and scored the winning run. At almost 3:00 AM EST, I woke up to see good old Efren Navarro hit his seeing eye single back up the box to score Trout from second.
The Angels have some serious magic going this year. On Sirius MLB Network Radio this morning the host – and forgive me for not knowing his name – said if the Angels could just add one more starting pitcher he would pick them to be a World Series team out of the American League. I don’t know about that, but they’ve caught my interest this year.
When I saw the pitching match-up last night was Hector Santiago versus Colby Lewis in that July heat at the Ballpark in Arlington, I knew it was going to be a fun night for someone and possibly both teams. I look back on it and ask myself why the Hell wouldn’t I just bet the over total in this game and make some money. It was a safe bet.
My suspicion was correct, as Colby Lewis surrendered an astounding 13 hits, 13 runs, 11 of which were earned in just 2 and 1/3 innings. Nice assist by his manager Ron Washington in deciding it was a good night just to leave Colby to the wolves of the Angels lineup.
Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout each had four hits, and it seemed that they had them before the first half of the game was over. Trout moved his OPS to 1.003 with the monster game, and got a low pitch off Colby Lewis that landed on that pretty lawn in center out in the heart of Texas.
When it was over, the Angels had compiled a 15-6 win. In the loss, future (maybe) Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre had three hits including a home run. It was the Angels 54th win of the season and the first credited to Hector Santiago.
Here’s Mike Trout’s 21st home run of the season, off poor Colby Lewis:
We had just returned home from our local fireworks display when the Angels gridlocked the Astros at 6-6 on a Howie Kendrick double. As the game headed to the bottom of the ninth inning, we saw that Mike Trout would lead off the inning, and said to ourselves wouldn’t it be just like Trout to do something huge on July 4th to win the game for his team, less than an hour that the news broke that their division rivals had acquired two arms in a big trade (including Jeff Samardzija) that probably puts them out of reach of being caught.
Tony Sipp dealt Trout a low 0-2 pitch, a sin that he would never survive. As the ball went flying into the dark night air, the man that some are calling the runaway AL MVP won another game for his team.
Here it is, forever for your enjoyment. Even though forever isn’t enough time to appreciate how good Mike Trout is right now in the year 2014; at the summer’s highest point.
There is almost nothing better than when you get a doubleheader of a team you really want to watch. The Angels and White Sox were rained out last night and baseball did everyone a solid by starting game one at 5:05 ET, with game two getting underway at 8:40 ET, basically right now.
It was one of those weird things where you aren’t sure why these teams didn’t play in the afternoon for game one and then at night for game two, with plenty of rest in between. But we’re not complaining, it’s 18 innings of Mike Trout and the surging Angels. Trout didn’t disappoint, getting Anaheim off and running with a three-run home run that tied the game at three after Jose Abreu hit his 26th. Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols added their own solo shots, and Garrett Richards improved to 9-2, going eight innings and striking out nine.
I would say more, but the Angels hot bats have a date with Scott Carroll. Shit could get out of hand. There’s nothing better than a full day of baseball in a city like Chicago with the holiday weekend looming. Life is good.
UPDATE (Wednesday): Video of the Trout homer, and box scores from game one and game two. The Angels swept the doubleheader, and enter play today at 47-35.
When I was a kid, I remember picking up one of the old RBI Baseball games at the video rental shop (I think it was R.B.I. Baseball 3) and seeing some of the cool things on the game on the back. Of course this was the early 90′s, and they couldn’t include things in the game like they do present-day. There was no franchise play, no downloads. What they loaded on the cartridge for your Sega Genesis was all you got. But the one thing that they got me with was saying ‘Sink a Pearl in the Fountains of Kansas City like Bo Jackson!’ and the genius who designed the game showed a baseball heading into the video game 8-bit fountain off a home run. From there, I told mom I had to rent it.
Mike Trout went Bo Jackson tonight, with one of the more memorable home runs of his entire career. It was a beauty. I wasn’t watching it live, I was driving home from dinner and listening on the radio and the announcers didn’t get too excited when the ball left the bat but they quickly knew it was out. I started to get texts about the home run. Then I saw the damn thing.
Mike Trout hit his 17th home run of the season, and the Angels beat Kyle Gibson and the Twins 8-6 to move to 42-33 on the season in winning their fourth straight game. The nine games over .500 represents their high-water mark on the season.
While Trout was the main story as he so often is, he wasn’t the only story. Josh Hamilton, Kole Calhoun, and Howie Kendrick also logged solid nights at the plate and the Angels overcame a tumultuous start by C.J. Wilson.
Another story that emerged was Ernesto Freri throwing a scoreless frame in the 8th inning for the hold and Joe Smith earned his sixth save. After the game Mike Scioscia (it’s so hard to spell without checking) said that Smith would “remain in the back end for now”.
The Angels are a fun team and they’re going to continue to hang around, we believe.
Mike Trout typically saves his huge performances and moments for weekend nights when you can stay up late and enjoy them with the comfort of knowing you don’t have to work the next day. Tonight, on a work night; he decided to abuse the Cleveland Indians’ pitching staff.
Lets have a look.
First home run, on a pitch down of course to right field:
Absolute bomb to left-center on a pitch, once again down in the zone:
He also doubled off the wall in the first inning, but we’ve become so accustomed to him hitting rockets that MLB.com does not list it as a highlight for the man. The Angels won the game big 9-3, and we’re proud to say we’re making the drive to Cleveland tomorrow to see Trout play live for the first time. This was the type of game that tempts a fan if you’re considering it – we’ve waited long enough to buy a ticket and see the kid from Millville.
Matt Shoemaker also added ten strikeouts in eight innings of work, he’s kind of sneaky good.
Last night – another big Saturday night in Mike Trout’s illustrious young career – turned out to be possibly his monster game on the young season. Sure, there was the grand-slam game against Chris Sale a week ago. There was the Saturday afternoon in the Bronx where he made the jungle his playground. But last night he really looked smooth and helped the Anaheim Angels earn a signature win 11-6 in 13 innings down in Atlanta over a first-place club.
Probably the easiest way to do the Trout highlight pack from last night is just straightforward, so here goes:
Then I see here on the game today that he’s already crushed home run number 14 into the left field seats again on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN (that video to come when it’s available), added a single and was robbed of extra bases in deep right field by Jason Heyward.
As I’m wrapping up this post, John Kruk asks when people are going ‘drop the argument that he’s the best player in baseball and just go with it’. I have to say, Kruk is right. It looks as if Trout has overcame the worst slump of his young career and the numbers are returning to career norms (.300/.400/.500 with a .900+ OPS).
My first quasi-father’s day belongs to Mike Trout. He showcased every skill he has this weekend in Atlanta, and it looks like it will give the upstart Angels the series victory.
Mike Trout’s grand slam Saturday night off Chris Sale will probably go down as our favorite moment of the 2014 season. It was everything you love about baseball, all rolled into a moment you can keep in your memory bank forever. It was a moment that could serve as a catalyst in swinging the Angels’ entire season.
We take Mike Trout for granted. It’s not a thing that’s unique to Mike Trout. We take all consistently great baseball players for granted. We take all consistently great anythings for granted. That’s why we’re always trying to figure out the next big thing — it doesn’t take long to get used to the current big thing. Mike Trout, right now, beats the hell out of Gregory Polanco, but Polanco might be of greater current interest, because he’s fresh and he could become a star. Trout’s already been a star for years. This is just part of having a human brain — we acclimate. We’re incredible at it. It has its upsides.
Once you start taking a player for granted, though, it’s that much more difficult to really appreciate what the player’s able to do. The best players aren’t guys regularly doing amazing things — the best players are guys regularly doing good things, some percentage more often than the inferior players. Usually those are standard good things. We get to the point where, in order to feel an appreciation, we need something extraordinary. So let’s seize a chance. Feel like you’ve been taking Mike Trout for granted? You’re not alone. Let’s watch him do something extraordinary, to remember that he is extraordinary.
And he’s right. He’s completely and totally right. We have all been so spoiled by Mike Trout for so long that it’s become somewhat of diminished returns and we’re looking for the next big thing. The fact of the matter is that a Trout comes along once every 25 years, and we should appreciate these huge moments that dot the large grid of a career so very far and few in between as they happen. Cherish them. Cherish them very much folks. This post will help you do just that.