Angel Pagan hits strike four for a three-run game-winning homer

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Angel Pagan came to the plate in the top of the ninth inning with the Giants down 5-3 to the Reds.  Two outs One out. Two strikes on the batter. And then: heroics!  A three run bomb off closer Sean Marshall that ended up winning the game for San Francisco!

Except … check out the pitch right before the home run:

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That third one was the 0-2 pitch. And it was called a ball.  The fourth one — which was the fourth strike Marshall threw — was the homer.

I know a pitcher has to shake off a bad call and make his pitches — and it’s not like the umpire caused Pagan to hit it over the fence — but man, it’s a lot harder of a game when you have to throw four strikes to a hitter and not just three.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.