If Mike Trout was starting to bore you with all of his home runs and homer-stealing catches, the defending AL Most Valuable Player gave you another reason to admire his athletic prowess in Friday night’s game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
In the top of the fifth inning, Trout hit an RBI single to shallow left field past a diving Brock Holt to tie the game at 3-3. He moved to second base on an Albert Pujols ground out, then attempted to steal third base. The throw from catcher Blake Swihart appeared to be good enough to nab Trout, but he made an unbelievable slide to avoid the tag from Holt. Diving head-first, Trout tucked his left arm (the arm closest to Holt) back, while reaching with his other hand for the corner of the third base bag around and behind Holt’s left foot. Trout’s momentum took him past the bag, so he deftly turned on his back, hooked his right foot on the base, and stayed on the bag to continue avoiding the tag.
Trout was initially ruled out by third base umpire John Tumpane. Trout immediately shouted to the Angels’ dugout to challenge the ruling, and so manager Mike Scioscia did. Trout was ultimately ruled safe after review, and the Angels went on to put up a nine-spot against the Red Sox in the fifth inning.
The stolen base is Trout’s eighth of the season in 10 attempts. He entered Friday’s action batting .295/.394/.564 with 11 home runs and 22 RBI.
Update (11:57 PM ET): And it’s over. Angel Pagan led off the bottom of the seventh with a line drive double down the left field line off of Stroman, ending the no-hitter. Manager Jim Leyland immediately removed Stroman from the game.
U.S. starter Marcus Stroman has held Puerto Rico hitless through six innings thus far in the World Baseball Classic final. The Blue Jays’ right-hander has held the opposition to just one base runner — a walk — with three strikeouts on 68 pitches.
WBC rules limit a pitcher to throwing a maximum of 95 pitches in the Championship Round, so Stroman has 27 pitches left with which to play. If he hits the limit during the at-bat, he can continue throwing to the completion of that at-bat. Needless to say, though, Stroman won’t be finishing his potential no-no.
The U.S. has given four runs of support to Stroman. Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer in the third inning. Then, in the fifth, Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen both provided RBI singles. Update: The U.S. tacked on three more in the top of the seventh when Brandon Crawford drove in two with a bases-loaded single and Giancarlo Stanton followed up with an RBI single.
We’ll keep you updated as Stroman and any pitchers that follow him attempt to complete the no-hitter. Shairon Martis is the only player to throw a no-hitter in WBC history. However, the game ended after seven innings due to the mercy rule, or as it’s known now, the “early termination” rule.
Ian Kinsler found himself in hot water on Wednesday evening when he criticized the way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play baseball. It is his hope that kids watching the World Baseball Classic decide to emulate the emotionless way players from the U.S. play baseball as opposed to the exciting, cheerful way players from other countries tend to play the game.
Needless to say, Kinsler’s comments didn’t sit well with many people, but he has the most recent laugh. Kinsler broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning of Wednesday night’s WBC final against Puerto Rico, slugging a two-run home run to left-center field at Dodger Stadium off of Seth Lugo.
Kinsler, of course, rounded the bases solemnly which is sure to highlight just how cool and exciting the game of baseball is to international viewers.