Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? You decide.
Baseball fans were provided with a heaping slice of awesomeness in this afternoon’s Cactus League matchup between the Dodgers and Angels, as Mike Trout’s attempt at an inside-the-park home run was dashed thanks in part to a throw from Yasiel Puig.
In the bottom of the first inning, Trout scorched a line drive to center field off Dan Haren which landed beyond the reach of a diving Puig and bounced toward the outfield wall. After tracking the ball down, Puig made a strong throw to cut-off man Hanley Ramirez, who turned and threw to catcher A.J. Ellis just in time to nail a diving Trout at home plate.
Watch the video in all its glory below:
Angels manager Mike Scioscia immediately came out to challenge the play. However, while it was originally assumed that he was arguing that Trout’s hand touched home plate before Ellis’ tag, he was actually contesting whether the new home-plate collisions rule was being followed properly. Trout would have been awarded home plate if Ellis was found to be in violation of the rule, but the umpires found no wrong-doing after looking at the replay. According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, the play at home was reviewed as a “crew-chief challenge,” so Scioscia didn’t use his challenge in the situation. Yes, this new system is going to take some getting used to.
Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.
Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.
The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.
Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.
Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.
According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.