Tonight on A Bat Flippin’ Good Time Podcast, I was joined by Mike Hllywa and M.J. Lloyd. I thought we had a great little show here tonight, one of our better efforts; but then again I am the same guy who thought it was a good idea to bet my hard earned, real-life wages against Matt Harvey today when he faced off with C.C. Sabathia.
That said, we talked about a lot of great topics tonight:
Josh Hamilton traded to the Texas Rangers
The debt of MLB Statcast
Surprises in baseball: the New York Mets, the Kansas City Royals, Nelson Cruz, and others.
Our usual Mike Trout mention
The Royals want to fight everybody
Kris Bryant, Giancarlo Stanton chatter
Clint tells a story on the Yips
Media markets in baseball – where is great, and where is a pressure cooker?
And as always, there’s a lot of golden stuff in between. Like Hllywa’s one-liners. Or me getting his last name right finally after eight tries. Or M.J.’s goat. If you have an hour at lunch and you’re allowed to put your headphones on, eat your lunch, zone out and listen to some great baseball talk; you should enjoy this installment.
Texting with my buddy M.J. Lloyd before tonight’s ballgame, he brought up a good point. In today’s sport world, everyone is always searching for the ‘next Trout’ or ‘next Kershaw’. It leads to diminished returns and not really appreciating what is in front of us. As M.J. (wise man in the ways of the Trout) pointed out, he’s essentially ruined being a prospect for the next 20 years. There won’t be another Trout in our lifetime. Just like there’s only been one Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams and the Darryl Strawberry’s who came along after them did not reach the lofty expectations set by the legend.
Tonight, the legend of Mike Trout grows.
So Mike Trout’s 100th career home run will go into the record books, a textbook Trout blast into the Crawford Boxes in Houston off Roberto Hernandez (he’ll always be Fausto Carmona to us). It of course comes in an Angels win, because that’s what big games from Mike Trout usually result in for his franchise. Mike Trout is now the youngest member of the 100 home run/100 stolen base club in baseball history.
Feather in his cap of all the other insane things he’s done. I am sitting here currently debating whether or not he’s the best talent that I’ve ever seen. Some would want to bring Bonds into the conversation; for me in terms of the eye test and pound for pound clean talent; it’s between him and Junior Griffey. That’s the only thing I can relate what I’m seeing from Trout to.
Finally, M.J. added: “The worst thing a prospect could be called now is the next Mike Trout”. Yes. Yes Mr. Lloyd you are correct.
Mike Trout is the best player on the planet, and he’s doing everything in his power to prove that he’s maybe the best of my lifetime. I made sure I didn’t miss his first at-bat of the season against Felix Hernandez, remembering well what he did one year ago to him on Opening Day.
Trout didn’t disappoint. He had an absolutely incredible at-bat which seemed to leave Felix appearing flustered while the Kings Court in Seattle cheered for the putaway pitch Hernandez simply didn’t have in his arsenal.
And then Trout finally subdued and forced the American league’s best pitcher into a ‘mistake’ that got hit over the center field wall and gave the Angels a 1-0 lead. I couldn’t believe it, and then yes I could. It’s Mike Trout. He’s not human. He’s once in a lifetime.
Before that homer Trout was a career .367 hitter with a 1.022 OPS in 54 plate appearances against King Felix. He owns the man. Felix checks under his bed at night for Mike Trout boogeymen.
The Marlins sure did squander a chance to win and will have a hard time reaching the 106-win season the MLB The Show predicted them to have if they play often like they did today. They also had a rain delay despite having a retractable roof. Jeffrey Loria hasn’t figured out how to operate his billion dollar toy yet.
Really well played game in Houston tonight, and it went by quickly. The Astros got themselves a nice 2-0 win and slipped by a lights-out Corey Kluber because Dallas Kuechel was equally dominant.
It seems like every April, the Rockies show up and beat the Cowboy Hell out of their opponents. For those of you that chose to roster Kyle Lohse in fantasy baseball, no amount of my sorrow can fix your ratios. That shit is going to take months.
If you had JD Martinez in the ‘first player to homer in the 2015 season’ pool, you are a damn Nostradamus. The Tigers got things kicked off today with a 4-0 win in which David Price made the Twins look just as hapless as they will be against southpaws.
My seasonal fantasy teams started off on the right foot – I think Sonny Gray is firing me a no hitter as we speak. I got destroyed on DraftKings Daily Fantasy, just as I expected. Not that any of this matters to you.
Any time you can spend a solid twelve hours watching baseball with just your dog, it’s a damn good day of living. And the best part of Opening Day is there are six-plus more months of this stuff to come. We don’t have to even worry about any of that ‘the season is really flying by’ talk for quite a while.
Ready to assume Derek Jeter’s place as the face of the sport (guy can hit like Jeter never could), Mike Trout outlined his 2015 season goals today. Headlining the talk was not only making the playoffs again but avoiding a quick exit that bothered him all off-season.
“It was a terrible feeling,” Trout said Wednesday at Tempe Diablo Stadium. “A lot of the guys who were here last year know they don’t want to have that same feeling. To have that be my first [postseason] experience, it was definitely tough. You see your friends over the winter, and they sometimes bring it up. The first thing that comes to your mind is ‘We lost.'”
That really did suck beyond all belief, and we could see the Angels going into that opening round and getting rolled from a mile away. Predictably they went in after winning the most games in the American League last season and got swept by the Royals who went to the World Series.
It seemed hard to believe for some but so often in the sport – in a short best of five series especially – you can just get your legs taken out from you pretty quickly. It felt like the Angels were never really in it and it certainly didn’t feel like much more than an experience of them getting their feet wet.
We would absolutely love to see Mike Trout get another shot at the postseason in 2015. We’re betting he gets more than one hit the next time around.
In tonight’s version of Betting on Baseball, we attempt to dig ourselves out of a little hole using an elite team against a middling left-handed starting pitcher.
Baseball can be a game of emotion and adrenaline runs on a limited supply. If you watched that Royals victory the other day that put them in this game tonight, you know that they’ve used up about eight of their nine lives; and they could be feeling a bit of a hangover tonight after a highly emotional win in Kansas City in 12 innings.
Mike Trout is a Hall of Fame player, and I think he’ll do something to swing the pendulum in Anaheim’s favor at the Big A in his first career postseason game. It might be a phenomenal catch, or a clutch hit, or stealing a bag at a crucial point in the game.
The Angels know with a weak three man rotation of Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, and Matt Shoemaker, they need this game out of their ace tonight because what follows is uncertainty.
I am going to side with SportsBookupdate.com and pick the Anaheim Angels -175 to win the game straight up. And as my boy Dave Cokin adds – this is not a bad spot to try manufacturing a -1 line, playing half the wager on the Angels money line and the other half gambling on the -1.5.
One thing was for sure all season long, when we got the alert texts from the @TroutAtBat twitter account this season, we stopped what we were doing and tuned into the at-bat on our iPhone. He’s the only guy in baseball who can command that or who ever has commanded that. We feel like we’ve paused to take notice of what we’re seeing. And even we can’t do him justice, as good as he is.
In an odd turn of events, the Anaheim Angels have won six games in a row; including a four-game sweep of the team that was supposed to win the American League West after acquiring the two biggest arms on the trade market. In yesterday’s 8-1 win in Anaheim, Mike Trout drove in three runs and set a new career high for home runs in a season with his 31st of the year off Jesse Chavez on a pitch that was in a zone that should never be sniffed to Mike Trout:
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.
Last night, Mike Hllywa (Gammons Daily, Halo Hangout) and M.J. Lloyd (Baseball Prospectus, Off-Base Percentage) and I hung out in our virtual bar and talked some baseball for an hour. We rolled out the new name of the podcast, A Bat Flippin’ Good Time; and that’s what we had damnit!
Topics discussed include:
Our usual Mike Trout segment
Angels playoff odds
The David Price trade.
The Cubs’ young nucleus and bright future (and MJ’s bromance for Kris Bryant).
Thoughts on Bryce Harper’s present, future, and the Washington Nationals.
Mike H’s trip to Anaheim for a perfect day of baseball for his son’s first game.
Pop Culture Segment: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie, Breaking Bad, and more.
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.
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.