The Los Angeles Angels won their fifth game in a row on Monday night, and Albert Pujols led the way offensively with a pair of home runs. Mike Trout also homered, so he was a topic of discussion during postgame interviews once again.
Did that annoy Pujols?
With the Angels leading 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth, the Tampa Bay Rays decided to intentionally walk Trout to get to Pujols. Albert validated the decision by flying out, and a reporter asked him about that after the game.
“I don’t think about that, dude,” he said, per Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register. “It’s part of the game. They can do that 100 more times. That doesn’t matter to me. … Whether I’m hitting .500, you don’t want the best player on the team (Trout) to beat you. That happened (to me) early in my career. … Most of the time, I’m going to make them pay. Other times, I don’t get the hits that I should.”
Pujols was then asked how much he enjoys watching Trout play.
“I have fun watching all 25 guys on this ballclub,” he said. “This is not the Mike Trout show. This is the Angels’ organization, 25 guys, and our mission is to try to win.”
Pujols then went on to shower Trout in praise, calling him “one of the best players in the game” and lauding his eagerness to learn and improve. Still, you can’t help but wonder if there is a little jealousy at play when Pujols — once considered by many to be the best hitter in the game — has to answer questions about a young teammate amid a stretch where Albert has five homers in his past five games.
If not for the comments Pujols made about Trout last year, we wouldn’t read into this as much. While I don’t doubt that Pujols is a big Trout fan and loves playing with him, it seems like there is some bitterness there.
No player in baseball has come out of the gate hotter than Bryce Harper this season. The Washington Nationals outfielder is hitting .333 with 16 home runs and 41 RBI. He leads the major leagues with 39 runs, 26 extra-base hits, 40 walks and an OPS of 1.198. Could Harper soon overtake Mike Trout as the best player in the league?
The 22-year-old isn’t quite ready to compare himself to Trout.
“Baseball is always, ‘What have you done for me lately?'” Harper recently told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. “That’s just how the game works. I still believe Trout is the best player in the game, hands down.
“It’s not about taking a backseat to anybody. I love seeing Stanton hit homers or Kris Bryant do the things he does. I love watching Matt Harvey or Gerrit Cole or Noah Syndergaard come up and throw 100 mph. I cheer for guys. I’ve always been that way.”
If Trout and Harper continue along their current career paths, it won’t matter who the better player is. Trout is 23 and Harper is 22. For the next 10-plus years, Major League baseball will be leaning on both young men.
There isn’t a phase of the game at which Mike Trout does not excel. The guy is a great hitter and defender, and as we can see, he’s also a stellar baserunner. Just take a look at the awesome slide he used to steal third base against the Red Sox on Friday night.
Trout was beat so badly by the throw that he was initially called out. Knowing he got his hand around the tag, he asked the Angels to challenge the call, which they did successfully.
Having the call overturned helped open the floodgates for the Angels. They exploded for nine runs in the inning and ran the score up to 11-3 before eventually winning 12-5.
This deke by Trout is so slick we have to watch it in GIF form:
Many refer to Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout as the superstar Major League Baseball needs. Trout is already one of the best players in the game at age 23, and he has no known issues with performance-enhancing drugs or in his personal life. Despite that, Trout learned last week how quickly the social media police can come down on you.
In the days leading up to the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight, Trout showed his support for Mayweather by simply tweeting “#TMT.” He was immediately blasted for rooting for someone who has a long history with domestic violence.
“It’s the biggest fight of the year,” Trout said on Sunday, via MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez. “I was just rooting for somebody. I wasn’t trying to start an argument over it. When I tweeted it, I didn’t think anything of it until people started talking about it.”
Torii Hunter, trouts mentor and former teammate, found himself in a similar situation. He later had to clarify that he likes Mayweather as a fighter but does not condone domestic violence.
“Like Torii said, I just root for him in the ring,” Trout said. “You have to be a good role model, obviously. I try to stay out of trouble as much as I can. The things off the [ring] with [Mayweather], I don’t really know anything about it. I’m just a fan of him in the ring.”
Mayweather has been accused of domestic violence multiple times in the past, and it became a story again when he reportedly banned two prominent reporters who have called him out over it in the past. Even if Trout knew all that, you can understand why he wouldn’t think tweeting “#TMT” would be a big deal. He’s probably glad he learned the lesson the way he did. No harm done.
Yordano Ventura got in Mike Trout’s face after the outfielder score a run during Sunday’s game, perhaps because he was upset with the MVP getting a line drive hit off of him.
Trout hit a line drive at Ventura’s head in the sixth after seeing a brushback pitch from the Royals pitcher earlier in the at-bat. Ventura stared Trout down on the outfielder’s way to first, perhaps feeling the slugger was targeting him. When Trout scored on an Albert Pujols double, the two exchanged words and glances.
Trout clapped after scoring, and he noticed Ventura looking at him again. A little contact was exchanged before Sal Perez pulled Ventura away. Ironically, Ventura left the game with a calf strain a batter later.
Angels outfielder Matt Joyce, who was on deck when Pujols delivered the RBI double, gave his account of what happened.
Matt Joyce, the on-deck hitter when benches cleared, on what happened between Yordano Ventura and Mike Trout today. pic.twitter.com/BJxc0Xcua5
I’m not sure what Ventura’s deal was. He only gave up four hits and two runs over 5.2 innings and got the win, so he should have been happy about the way the game went rather than bothered with Trout. And though Trout may be a humble player, we’ve learned that he won’t hesitate to respond to trash talking.
Last year, Mike Trout took home the first of what will likely be multiple MVP awards he will collect during his major league career. On Monday, Trout got his 2015 season off to a mighty fine start.
His first time at the plate, all Trout did was hit a home run off of Felix Hernandez, one of the best pitchers in baseball, after battling through an eight-pitch at-bat. It would end up being the only run the Angels would score on the afternoon and was one of just two hits Hernandez allowed over seven innings.
Then, in the eighth inning, Trout showed off his glove.
A drive off the bat of Logan Morrison looked destined to increase the Mariners’ lead to 5-1, but Trout had other ideas. Trout tracked the ball to the wall, timed his leap perfectly, and took a would-be home run away from Seattle’s first baseman.
The season may only be a couple of days old, but that’s more than long enough for Mike Trout to remind us he’s one of the best talent’s the sport has to offer.
There’s a little bit of a beef brewing between the Angels and the Mariners this year.
The teams have been two of the best in the AL this season and are competing for a playoff spot from the AL West. They also had a great 3-game series in Anaheim over the weekend, with the teams splitting 3-2 extra-innings wins the first two games, and the Angels getting a walk-off 6-5 win on Sunday.
During their comeback in the 9th inning Sunday, Angels stars Albert Pujols and Mike Trout even mocked Mariners closer Fernando Rodney, who blew the save and took the loss.
Rodney walked Trout to start the 9th, and Pujols inside-outed a fastball down the right field line for a tying double to make the score 5-5. After Trout scored the tying run, he and Pujols exchanged arrows to mock Rodney, who fires a bow and arrow as his save celebration. Keep in mind that after escaping a jam in the 8th inning, Rodney did his arrow celebration and pointed it towards the Angels dugout.
After allowing the tying run, Rodney gave up a single, intentional walk and got a double play. Following another intentional walk, Grant Green hit a walk-off RBI single to give the Angels their 59th win of the season.
There will be other days for Rodney, but you know this had to hurt. And he has no room to get mad at the Angels for mocking him when he started things by pretending to fire one of his arrows at the Angels dugout.
“Fernando’s animated. Our guys noticed it,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after the game.
Angels starter Tyler Skaggs, who took a no decision, had even better quotes.
“I did not,” Skaggs said when asked if he saw Rodney fire the arrow at the Angels dugout, “but I heard about it and I’m glad we scored and won because that’s ridiculous. Just goes to show you — don’t rile up our team because we have a lot of good players. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. I’m looking forward to the next time we play them.”
What goes around comes around. Also keep in mind that Rodney pitched for the Angels in 2010 and 2011 and was not happy by the end of his stint with the team. After losing the closer job in 2011, Rodney complained about his lack of a role and said the team should trade him. Maybe some of that beef with the coaches still lingers for him.
Here’s another angle for Pujols doing the bow and arrow:
Derek Jeter scored the first run for the American League on Tuesday night in his final MLB All-Star Game. After doubling off Adam Wainwright in the first, Jeter scored on a Mike Trout triple. One MLB Network analyst predicted that exact series of events before the game, and we have the video to prove it.
Trout spoke about how special the 2014 All-Star Game was going to be for Derek Jeter just hours before it started. Here’s what Greg Amsinger said would happen.
“It’s gonna be awesome man,” Amsinger said. “When you drive in Derek Jeter tonight in his final All-Star Game, it’s gonna be so cool. He’s gonna be at second base, you’ll hit a rope down the line, you’ll end up at third. He’s gonna tip his cap to you — it’s gonna be great.”
So the triple went over Yasiel Puig’s head instead of down the line — big freakin’ deal. Amsinger absolutely nailed that. Even if he said Jeter would hit a single and Trout would drive him in with a triple, we would still give credit. He called the entire thing perfectly.
Whether Wainwright grooved a pitch to Jeter or not, baseball is almost impossible to predict like that. Props to Amsinger even if he was guessing.
Mike Trout was hearing it from many of his fellow All-Stars on Monday in Minnesota about not being a part of the Home Run Derby, and the guy had to pass the buck onto his manager.
Trout is one of the biggest stars in the game and, with 22 home runs on the season (fourth in MLB), he certainly has the power to challenge for the crown. So why isn’t one of the fan favorites in the Derby? Trout says you can blame Mike Scioscia for that.
Trout says Scioscia didn’t want him to participate in the Derby because the manager felt it could wear out the All-Star candidate, make him prone to injury, and possibly mess up his swing.
But that won’t stop Trouty from doing it next season.
“If I get another chance, and if I said I wanted to do it,” Trout said via the Los Angeles Times. “Scioscia would be against it, but he would support it.
“I don’t think it will mess up my swing,” Trout said.
Does the Home Run Derby mess up a player? Nobody really knows the answer to that. There is a lot of conjecture but logic would tell you it doesn’t.
As a fan of the game, it would be nice to see Trouty in the derby. As an Angels fan, it’s just as well that he’s not. Bottom line? Trout should do what he wants.
Angels fans probably could not have envisioned a better ending to Friday night’s July 4th contest against the Houston Astros.
After falling behind 6-3 in the fourth, the Angels rallied to tie the game. Then in the 9th, Mike Trout took an 0-2 pitch at the ankles from Tony Sipp and blasted it out to left-center for a walk-off home run, giving the Angels a 7-6 win.
Trouty gave the fans a little treat by setting off the fireworks before the actual fireworks show following the game. It was his second walk-off home run of the season and 20th dinger overall. The celebration at the plate was pure madness as Trout’s jersey was ripped off by his teammates and he received congratulations from his coaches.
How do you even pitch to this guy? He took a pitch at the shins out for a walk-off home run.