Tag: Mike Trout

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Mike Trout was unreal last night


I know I put this in the recaps this morning, but this kind of amazingness deserves its own post.

Maybe “amazingness” is the wrong word. Because at this point are we really amazed when Mike Trout shows that he’s better at baseball than any single person on the planet? Now it’s just the status quo. What would be amazing is if he didn’t run down these balls in the gaps — two off the bat of Chris Young — to turn what would’ve been extra bases against a good 25 other center fielders into outs.

And of course the other small handful of center fielders who would’ve run these down don’t have the power to take a pitch that is in a bit on the hands and still muscle it out to center like Trout did on his homer. Seriously, watch that dinger: he has to bring his hands in a bit. Good hitter muscle that ball into a base hit to center. The number of guys who muscle that ball 400 feet can be counted on one hand, I reckon.

Oh, and as I mentioned, two of those gappers that Trout snagged came off the bat of Chris Young. Check out his reaction to the second one. He’s totally over it:

CC Sabathia looks like a reliever

sabathia getty

Last night was not a terrible CC Sabathia start. He made it into the eighth inning. He gave up a homer to Mike Trout, but there’s no shame in that. The much bigger problem for the Yankees was the fact that they only managed one run off of C.J. Wilson and company, thanks in part to Mike Trout running down three balls that should’ve been gappers. Again, no shame in having Mike Trout beat you. Still, he was not particularly sharp, and if this game counts as the best start you get out of Sabathia every couple of months, it’s a problem.

Are there any solutions to this problem? If you’re Joe Girardi and the Yankees your solution is just to say that he looked pretty good out there compared to how he’s been lately, say he’s your horse and that he’ll come around. Which makes sense given who Sabathia is and that he makes $23 million a year to start games.

But if you look at his numbers and divorce them from his paycheck and reputation, you realize that the big lefty in the Yankees uniform is basically a relief pitcher at this point. Check out his splits per number of pitches in a game:

  • Pitches 1-15: .234/.294/.404
  • Pitches 16-30: .317/.339/.426
  • Pitches 31-45: .318/.333/.523
  • Pitches 46-60: .333/.357/.718

Put differently, once Sabathia gets past 45 pitches, everyone he faces turns into Lou Gehrig who gets on base a bit less but hits for more power than the Iron Horse did. And that’ before you look at his righty-lefty splits, in which he allows a stingy .458 OPS vs. lefthanded hitters but a fat .954 OPS vs. righties.

Politics — and, to be fair, Sabathia’s comfort level, which could be detrimental how he pitches even in his first couple of innings — will likely prevent it from happening, but maybe the best thing for the Yankees is for Sabathia to go to the pen. Or to not go too deeply into games in the first place, by either pairing him up with a young starter who has stamina concerns himself for a two-headed approach to games.

That’s rather radical and it’s totally understandable if no changes are pursued, but at this point Sabathia is death once he gets into the part of games where most front line starters have shifted into cruise control. It’s a problem the Yankees and Sabathia need to solve if they want to stay in the thick of things this year.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Mike Trout

Angels 4, Yankees 1: Everyone in the New York press corps is busy this morning changing their “when can we get Bryce Harper” or “we could’ve had Makiel Franco” templates to “Mike Trout — from New Jersey! — would look good in pinstripes” articles. The best player in baseball hit a homer and put on a clinic in the outfield last night, running down balls like Willie Freakin’ Mays. Meanwhile, CC Sabathia continued to not get the job done, allowing four runs in seven and a third. Everyone with the Yankees will say things today about how he’s still their big guy and that he’ll come around, but he’s killing the Yankees every time he takes the hill.

Said Trout Clinic:

Brewers 7, Phillies 4: I’m not gonna say my Monday evening sucked, but two things happened. First, Rush played someplace in New York. I know this because I know many, many people in New York, and approximately all (all) of them texted me pictures from the concert, taunting me and trying to get me to admit that I secretly and truly love Rush deep, deep down inside and closer to the heart. To this I say “nonsense!” and now have to spend a good part of today unfriending these people across various social media platforms. You may think this is sad, but the greater tragedy is that I was friends with these people for so long without realizing that they’re the sorts of people who would spend hundreds of dollars to go see a Rush show.

The second thing is that one of the three new kittens I got on Sunday decided that falling down the stairs and breaking the ulna bone in her right leg was a great idea. This led me to be at the kitty ER until 1am this morning in order to get her tiny little 10-week-old foot put in a big ugly splint. That cost $500 AND has the little kitty in a foul mood today.

But perspective matters here, folks. Things could be way, way worse. I could be a Phillies fan.

Last night they, the worst team in baseball, battled the Brewers, who are the second worse, for . . . supremacy? That word doesn’t seem right. Ignomy, maybe? That sounds more like it. Anyway, the “best” team won, with Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun each having a big game. Which makes sense given that they’re two of the only, like, six guys who were on the field last night who belong at the adult table at the Major League Baseball dinner party.

Why yes, I am a tad loopy and sleep-deprived this morning. How are you?

Astros 6, Royals 1: Let’s transition from the battle-of-the-worsts to the battle-of-the-bests. At least the bests in the American League. Which, man, if someone asked you a year ago at this time who the best two teams in the AL would be in late June 2015, you would’ve bet your kidneys that it wouldn’t be these guys. But it was, and on this night the Astros prevailed, with Jose Altuve hitting a homer and Lance McCullers allowing only one run over seven. The guy Altuve is trailing in the All-Star vote, Omar Infante, went 0-for-4. Please, good people, go vote for Altuve. Or even Kipnis.

Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1: Don’t tell anybody, but Clay Buchholz has been pitching really, really well lately. He won his third straight decision, allowing only the one run in eight innings. He’s allowed only two earned runs over his last 22 frames. The Sox have won six of ten. The AL East is already sorta bonkers. It’d be hilarious if Boston snuck back into the thick of things to make it a five-team battle royal.

Reds 11, Twins 7: Well that was an outburst of offense.Tucker Barnhart had four hits and drove in two. Eugenio Suarez had three hits and drove in three. But speed was the takeaway here, as in the speed of Billy Hamilton, who reached base four times and stole four bases and scored three times in the first three innings. The Reds had a 9-1 lead after three and then let the Twins back in it with a six-run fourth, but that’s all they’d get. The only loss here was a bit of a loss in Mike Leake’s trade value as he was responsible for letting the Twins back into it.

Indians 7, Rays 1: Cody Anderson had a perfect game into the seventh which was broken up by a Grady Sizemore home run. That entire sentence makes no sense, but that’s baseball for you. Anderson ended up pitching eight and allowing only the one run.

Diamondbacks 10, Dodgers 6: Mike Bolsinger pitched four shutout innings but had to be pulled for a pinch hitter in the fifth due to vomiting and cramping, which he thinks was the result of food poisoning or something. Either way, that brought the Dodgers’ bullpen in which blew leads of 4-0 and 6-4 as the Diamondbacks just poured it on in the mid and late innings. Part of the pouring it on was a Yasmany Tomas homer that was subject to a video review when it appeared that a fan interfered with the ball. Judge for yourself:


I feel like it hit high enough on the guy’s arm to where it would’ve been over anyway.

Athletics 7, Rockies 1: Josh Reddick and Ike Davis hit two-run homers in the first inning and Kendall Graveman tossed seven scoreless. That’s about as ideal a game in Coors Field as any team can have. Billy Butler homered too and fell a triple short of the cycle. Good thing he didn’t hit that triple, though. Our nation has seen enough tragedy recently. The last thing we need is to have a major league baseball player drop dead of a coronary between second and third base in the middle of a ballgame.

Rangers 8, Orioles 1: Mitch Moreland homered twice as the Rangers blasted four in all as they rattled off 14 hits. Baltimore’s four-game winning streak ends. The Rangers win for just the second time in nine games.

Settling the Score: Friday’s results

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 26: Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker #32 of the Seattle Mariners reacts as he returns to the dugout after getting the final out of the seventh inning to complete his appearance on his way to the win against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 26, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Taijuan Walker’s promising spring training didn’t translate to the early part of the regular season, but he’s starting to look like the pitcher the Mariners have been waiting on.

Walker tossed seven innings of one-run ball last night as part of a 7-1 win over the Angels. The 22-year-old right-hander gave up a solo homer to Mike Trout in the first inning, but that ended up being the only damage against him all night. He scattered seven hits while walking none and striking out six. Charlie Furbush and Carson Smith combined for a scoreless eighth inning before Fernando Rodney got his first save in nearly a month.

As for the offense, Brad Miller and Nelson Cruz each had RBI doubles while Robinson Cano hit a solo home run. Could Cano finally be heating up? He has two homers over his last four games after hitting just two of his first 67 games combined.

Walker struggled to the tune of a 7.33 ERA and 39/23 K/BB ratio in 43 innings over his first nine starts this season, but he has made massive strides of late, especially with his control. He has 1.91 ERA over his last six starts to go with 44 strikeouts and just three walks in 42 1/3 innings. That’ll work.

Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:

Indians 3, Orioles 4

Nationals 5, Phillies 2

Rangers 2, Blue Jays 12

Braves 2, Pirates 3 (10 innings)

White Sox 4, Tigers 5

Reds 1, Mets 2

Red Sox 4, Rays 3 (10 innings)

Dodgers 7, Marlins 1

Cubs 2, Cardinals 3 (10 innings)

Yankees 3, Astros 2

Twins 4, Brewers 10

Mariners 3, Angels 1

Diamondbacks 2, Padres 4

Mariners 3, Angels 1

Rockies 8, Giants 6

Royals 5, Athletics 2

“OMG, [player who just did well against the Yankees] could’ve been a Yankee!”

Maikel Franco

As I mentioned in the recaps the other day, one of my favorite things is when a player beats up on the Yankees and then Yankees fans and/or the press that covers them begins to covet them.

Maybe they start talking up implausible trade rumors, such as they did a few years ago with respect to Felix Hernandez. Maybe they start talking about the player’s free agency clock and how long until they can be a Yankee, which they will inevitably be. If we’re extra lucky one of the tabloids will photoshop the player into Yankee pinstripes. Bryce Harper has gotten this treatment an awful lot lately.

I predicted that Maikel Franco would get such treatment after notching 10 RBI in two games in Yankee Stadium. He hasn’t quite gotten that yet, but he has gotten the next best thing. A trope that I neglected to mention the other day but one that is just as fun: tabloids talking about how such-and-such could’ve been a Yankee, except the Yankees were too dumb or too cheap or whatever to snag him. Mike Trout got this treatment recently. Franco got it yesterday:

The sight of Maikel Franco coming to the plate Wednesday at Yankee Stadium will strike fear in the hearts of Yankees fans.

The fact that he was almost a Yankee will break their hearts.

The Phillies rookie, who has tormented Yankee pitching in the first two games of their series to the tune of 10 RBI and three homers, nearly signed with the Yankees as an international free agent, but, according to one report, signed with the Phillies because they offered — wait for it — $5,000 more.

Brian Cashman has no recollection of this but doesn’t deny that it was possible, as anything is possible with Dominican free agents. But of course anything is possible with drafts and international signings and going back over them to see who could’ve gone where is an odd pursuit given the randomness and uncertainty of talent development in baseball.

You tend not to see this in markets besides New York. It’s an odd thing.