Shohei Ohtani is cool; there’s no doubting that. Yet there’s nothing in the world that matches Mike Trout when he goes out hunting prey, taking the bad ones until that poor pitcher is forced to come in the zone, and then the result is all but certain. Goodbye, baseball.
And when the two hit back-to-back, like they did Saturday night, there will be some happy Angels fans.
Twice, Trout worked the count full against James Shields, and twice, he demolished the baseball.
The immortal notwithstanding, the mortal parts of the ball game were really, really weird. With the wind swirling in Chicago, fly balls went to left field to die, while the ball carried extremely well out to center field and right-center field. For instance, Andrelton Simmons rocketed a ball out to left, but it was easily snagged near the wall, whereas it might have been gone elsewhere (ahem: Minute Maid). In other weird things, home plate umpire Chris Guccione greatly enjoyed standing behind right-handed hitters to call balls and strikes, which caused some badly missed calls. I’ll be the first to admit the act was funny, but...it wasn’t exactly productive to the anti-robo-umps cause.
Trout, for his part, added three singles to his homers to finish 5-5 (his OPS is 1.088 on the year), and Ohtani singled, walked, stole a bag, and tripled three runs in as “protection” for Trout. Now, I’m not saying protection isn’t a myth, but what I AM saying is that Trout didn’t walk today. Amirite?
This Sho continues to get better and better! pic.twitter.com/2Mu4T3Q7c0— Angels (@Angels) September 9, 2018
Matt Shoemaker added a second win to his collection for 2018, pitching five strong innings, allowing just three runs. He pitched with a lead, and the important thing was to limit the big innings, which he did successfully.
Joe Hudson made his major league debut. He’s 27. He had an RBI.
And...because this is the Angels, and because we can’t have nice things, Shohei Ohtani was scampering home on a wild pitch, and Thyago Vieira, who incidentally was traded by Jerry Dipoto for international bonus pool money in November, accidentally spiked him. Stay tuned on Ohtani-alert.
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