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.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.
Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez made his debut with his new team on Thursday night after a brief stint with Triple-A Round Rock. He started in left field and was inserted into the number eight spot in the Rangers’ batting order.
The Rangers made two quick outs in the bottom of the second inning, with Adrian Beltre grounding out and Rougned Odor striking out. But the inning was kept alive as Jonathan Lucroy singled and advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and then Mitch Moreland walked to bring up Gomez.
Gomez took a first-pitch cutter from Josh Tomlin for a ball, then jumped on another cut fastball, drilling it for a no-doubt three-run home run into the seats in left field at Globe Life Park in Arlington (#29 out of 30 in Craig’s ballpark name rankings).
Here’s the video.