Great night for Angel Pagan, but he did have a little help out there

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Nyjer Morgan leaps.jpgAngel Pagan hit an inside-the-park homer in the fourth inning of last night’s Mets-Nats game, which you can see here. Then, in the fifth, he started off a triple play, which you can see here.

Before I say anything else, let me say this: great job by Pagan for (a) running like a mofo out of the box on the inside-the-parker; and (b) making a great catch on the triple play. What I’m about to say isn’t meant to take anything away from him.

But I’ll say it anyway: boo to Nyjer Morgan for misjudging the fly that turned into the home run. If he hadn’t and, if instead, he had played the carom, then Pagan would have had a double.  I’ve written before that I don’t, like many people, find inside-the-park home runs to be the most exciting play in baseball because they are so often the product of mistakes by the outfielders and many times aren’t even close plays (give me a clean triple any day). This one was still exciting — there was a play at the plate at least — but if Nyjer doesn’t misplay that ball, there’s no homer.

Also, boo to second base umpire Bob Davidson for not making anything close to a definitive call on Pagan’s catch that kicked off the triple play, thereby confusing the base runners. Yes, it’s the runners’ responsibility to make double damn sure that the ball drops before advancing, but on plays that close the ump has to make a better call than that.

And Mets fans: please, hold your “stop hating on the Mets” rebop. I’m not hating on them. Like I said, great plays by Pagan. But that doesn’t mean that Morgan and Davidson didn’t screw up.

Watch: Mike Trout ties MLB record with his 25th home run

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It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:

In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.

Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.

Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.

Blue Jays acquire Tom Koehler from Marlins

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The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.

The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.

Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.