Opening Day (April 1, 2013) is 95 days away. We are counting down the 100 Walk Off Home Runs in Angels franchise history. Today we look at #95, one of the more ironic walk off home runs in club lore.
May 30, 2010 - The Angels began this Sunday afternoon game with the devastating news that Kendrys Morales had severely injured himself as he leapt onto home plate celebrating a walk-off grand slam the day before (more on that tomorrow). The edict from Mike Scioscia was swift and certain: there would be no frenzied celebrations of walk off home runs at home plate.
Of course, considering that the Angels have gone whole seasons without hitting a walk off HR, the speculation that nobody on the club would be a member of the team the next time such a hit took place was understandable.
And so the irony was ripe when Howie Kendrick hit a three-run bomb into the right field seats off Mariners closer David Aardsma in the bottom of the ninth inning to turn a 7-6 Mariners lead into a 9-7 Angels victory.
Hideki Matsui had lead off the inning with a walk. He was replaced by pinch runner Kevin Frandsen, who advanced to 2B when Mike Napoli got a one out hit. With runners on 1B and 2B, Kendrick worked a full count and sent a souvenir into the seats.
At home plate the celebration was muted, with Kendrick stepping on the plate a good ten feet away from the circle of teammates nervously hoping to reverse the bad energy of yesterday.
It was Howie's first (and to date, only) walk off home run. It came in his 408th major league game. It was the 95th time an Angel had done it. and probably the first time a guy did it unscathed.