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Terry Collins considered intentionally walking Mike Trout with the bases loaded on Saturday

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The Mets escaped with a 7-5 victory over the Angels on Saturday. The Angels scored three times in the top of the ninth to cut the deficit from five to two runs. Reigning AL MVP Mike Trout even came to the plate with the bases loaded and a chance to tie the game or give his team the lead with a grand slam. Fortunately for the Mets, Addison Reed was able to limit Trout to a sacrifice fly.

Mets manager Terry Collins told the media after the game he briefly considered intentionally walking Trout with the bases loaded. Via Newsday’s Anthony Rieber:

The first thought is, ‘I’d rather almost walk this guy than give him a pitch to hit.’ Fortunately, Addy made some good pitches on him. That’s the kind of situation where you look back on the time when Buck Showalter walked [Barry] Bonds with the bases loaded rather than pitch to him and I had . . . the same feeling.

Indeed, the Diamondbacks intentionally walked Barry Bonds with the bases loaded in 1998.

On Sunday, Trout showed the Mets why they should fear him. He hit a two-run home run in the second inning and an RBI double in the third, helping the Angels jump out to a 9-0 lead. Entering Sunday’s action, Trout was hitting .343/.456/.730 with 13 home runs, 31 RBI, 29 runs scored, and eight stolen bases. FanGraphs once again lists him as the major league leader in Wins Above Replacement (2.9) just past the first-quarter mark of the season.

How Yu Darvish tipped his pitches during the World Series

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You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.

Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.

Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.

Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.