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The top ten team hit parades of the Mike Trout Era (part II, 5-1)

The top 5 enemy heart-breakers and gut punches of the last 8 years.

MLB: Spring Training-Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Angels Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Part I, 10-6

The last 7 years have been dotted with fantastic Angels routs and comebacks. Here is part one of the most important hit parades since the Greatest of All Time received his cup of coffee. Below are the box scores, links to the Halos Heaven post-game articles from that day, and summaries of the awesomeness that transpired. Take a visit down memory lane and relive our most glorious victories.

[Clicking the date hyperlinks will redirect you to the Baseball-Reference page for that game.]

5. April 3, 2018 - Ohtani Breaks the Internet in His Home Debut

Halos Heaven Post-Game

My first ever post-game was a doozy. Garrett Richards and the bullpen allowed just one hit in the first inning, five home runs were blasted by five separate players in Halo red, and the Angels put up double digits in runs to banish Josh Tomlin’s ERA to the Shadow Realm for eternity. There was a good deal of stuff to work with, but everyone had a one-track mind.

This was Ohtani’s signature game, the day that he announced himself to the world as your impending Rookie of the Year. In his first at-bat, he launched his first career home run to a cacophanous, packed Big A. His second and fourth plate appearances were solid singles to cement the fact that that this wasn’t just a “high school hitter,” as some scouts proclaimed. This game was the shot heard ‘round the MLB. Ohtani had arrived, and he was everything we dreamed of and more.

Even after the game was over, Ohtani further endeared himself to fans with one of the most adorable Gatorade baths you will ever see in your life.

4. October 3, 2015 - A Late Season Playoff Push Miracle

Halos Heaven Post-Game

Okay, so it didn’t end up mattering as the Angels would fall just one game short of a second consecutive playoff berth. However, considering the stakes at the time (It was the second-to-last game of the season) and the fact that we stuck it to a Rangers team that was re-featuring an Angel-killing Josh Hamilton (who hit two home runs this game), the comeback is both memorable and the wave of euphoria that swept Halo Nation was something to behold.

Maybe we should have expected it. Erick Aybar immediately sent a pitch from Shawn Tolleson over the wall and that just never happens. Then Calhoun blasted another one to the exact same location, but up about 2 decks.

Tolleson was then pulled and the fun was basically over. Ross Ohlendorf came in, Mike Trout grounded out, Pujols popped up, and David Murphy struck out. Except, Pujols’ pop up fell just inside the first base line in Right Field, giving the guy a double that he really had no business risking. Bad luck struck Ohlendorf hard as he then allowed four consecutive singles, the last of which was to good old Johnny Giavotella, who gave the Angels a lead they would not relinquish.

It was the latest in a stretch of lucky wins for the Angels, shortly following up the most insane Mike Trout home run robbery you will ever see against the Mariners. Had things broken right just one more game, had Huston Street not given up a 5 run lead with the flu, had Barry Zito not somehow beaten us in that bizarre game against the A’s, we might have remembered that 2015 season as one of the most magical and lucky teams of the modern Angels era.

3. April 9, 2017 - The Angels Cap Off Deadgar Weekend

Halos Heaven Post-Game

It wasn’t enough that the Angels had to go and sweep the Mariners during Edgar Martinez Appreciation Weekend. They couldn’t be satisfied to just convincingly and efficiently shut down a division rival. Matt Shoemaker meticulously gift wrapped the game and surprised Seattle with the present before his buddies in the lineup gutted him. It was such a cruel blow and it was freakin’ sweet.

While this team ended up an 80-82 disappointment, they would also come to be known as comeback kids. Despite an injury to Mike Trout that sidelined him for a month and a half, the season never felt out of reach up until the very end. 4-0 deficits quickly became 4-4 tie ballgames. It was something else and this game was that season’s pinnacle moment.

It isn’t just the divisional devastation that made this the top 3 moment it is. It wasn’t the number of runs scored. It wasn’t that it was a walk-off. It certainly wasn’t the time of the year. What set this apart was the pitcher they did it to.

Edwin Diaz is a known dream-curbstomper. Maybe this made him into the closer he is today and I should see the 2018 season as his retribution. But to do this to such a young, upstart, impressive arm is just downright criminal... and beautiful.

I could put the short version below or list off the events, but why wouldn’t you want to watch the full, brutal 30 minutes?

2. June 7, 2014 - Mike Trout Murders Chris Sale

Halos Heaven Post-Game

So I’m a bit biased toward this game. Sue me.

Yes, I know there is a legitimate argument for the comeback against Edwin Diaz at second. Mike Trout’s grand slam off of Chris Sale was not a walk-off, not a game-winner, not even in the 9th inning. I know, I know, and contrary to popular belief, I know!

But come on!

Can you really rewatch this gif for the hundred-thousandth time and tell me that you don’t feel that ecstasy all over again?

And if the second greatest gif of all time doesn’t tickle your fancy, how about reading a fantastic article from Jeff Sullivan?

Let’s rewind. The count was full. The bases were loaded with no outs. As long as Trout didn’t strike out here the Angels would probably have a legitimate shot at winning, to be quite honest. The problem is that Trout should have struck out.

The pitch was a down and away changeup, located perfectly, with a near-zero percent chance of being slugged out of the park. Any and all doubters who saw this moment live were forever silenced. I don’t really care what the circumstances of the game were. In my opinion, this game sealed Mike Trout as one of the greatest players of all time, and it should be remembered as such.

1. July 20, 2014 - The Bow and Arrow Game

Halos Heaven Post-Game

You all knew this one was coming.

In terms of comebacks and routs, this was arguably one of the least impressive on the rankings from an objective standpoint. It was off an old closer who was pitching a second inning while the Angels were only down by one run. The Mariners were certainly a decent team, but nothing too terribly scary, and the Angels seemed destined for the Wild Card at this point in time. And yet, the game is almost the undisputed champion of the list (I go back and forth between this and number 2, personally).

That is because, as the post-game so boldly proclaimed, this wound up being a statement. In fact, it was the statement. It was the turning point of the season. It was the morale boost that made every single wide-eyed Halo-loving child believe that the A’s would be surpassed and Mike Trout would see the playoffs. And this time, it actually happened.

But before all of that, Rodney shot his signature arrow into the Angels dugout following an okay showing in the 8th inning. Many people didn’t take too kindly to the showboatery, including those who had just been attacked by the extremely personal celebration.

The 9th came around. Then Mike Trout walked, Albert Pujols doubled, and the game was tied. In an act that would be immortalized forever, The Machine would then give fans his signature Angels moment and Trout would respond in kind:

The Angels would go on to have the best record in baseball thanks to Rodney, who would then lay down on the mound and pass out from blood loss. Arrows to the chest and back will do that to you.