Giants tie NLDS Game 2 in the ninth, go-ahead run denied on reviewed play at the plate

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Jordan Zimmermann was nearly untouchable deep into the ninth inning. The right-hander, who no-hit the Marlins to end his regular season, limited the Giants to just three singles and was on his way to tossing a “Maddux” — a complete game shutout on fewer than 100 pitches (hat tip to @JasonLukehart for coining the term).

One out away from the shutout, Zimmermann walked Giants second baseman Joe Panik on five pitches, his first walk of the evening. Rather than let his starter finish the job, Nationals manager Matt Williams decided to bring in closer Drew Storen. Storen was lights out in the final month of the season after usurping the closer’s role from the struggling Rafael Soriano. Storen, however, last pitched in the post-season in Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS, when he allowed four runs in an inning of work against the Cardinals.

Storen was greeted with a single to left-center by Buster Posey, moving the tying run into scoring position. Shortly thereafter, Pablo Sandoval sliced a line drive down the left field line, easily allowing Panik to score. Posey was in overdrive, so third base coach Tim Flannery decided to send Posey home. Left fielder Bryce Harper relayed the throw into shortstop Ian Desmond, who fired home to catcher Wilson Ramos. Ramos applied the tag to Posey, it appeared, just before his foot touched the plate. Home plate umpire Vic Carapazza ruled Posey out, ending the inning.

The play, however, was reviewed. It was very, very close, but the tag did indeed appear to have been applied to Posey just in the nick of time. Further, the umpires need to see overwhelming evidence in order to overturn the initial ruling, and there wasn’t any, it was that close.

Sergio Romo took the hill for the Giants in the bottom half of the ninth. He set Desmond, Harper, and Ramos down in order to send Game 2 of the NLDS into extra innings, which is incredible considering the Nationals were one out away from evening up the series.

The 2014 post-season is crazy, folks.

Mike Trout voted 2019 American League Most Valuable Player

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The Baseball Writers Association of America voted Angels outfielder Mike Trout the Most Valuable Player in the American League for the 2019 season. He received 17 of 30 first-place votes, earning the third AL MVP Award of his career.

Trout, 28, missed the final three weeks of the season due to a foot injury, but his numbers were still strong enough to overcome the competition. He led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and a 185 adjusted OPS, and led the AL with a .645 slugging percentage and 1.083 OPS. He also slugged 45 home runs, knocked in 104 runs, scored 110 runs, and stole 11 bases in 600 plate appearances. FanGraphs also gave him an edge over the competition in WAR at 8.6.

Trout, who also won the award in 2014 and ’16, is the third Angel to snag the hardware, joining Don Baylor (1979) and Vladimir Guerrero Sr. (2004). He is the 11th player to win three MVP awards, joining Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Álex Rodríguez, Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, Mike Schmidt, Albert Pujols, and Barry Bonds. Bonds is the only player to have won the award more than three times, winning a whopping seven MVP awards.

Alex Bregman finished in a close second place followed by Marcus  Semien, DJ LeMahieu, and Xander Bogaerts. Also receiving votes were Matt Chapman, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Rafael Devers, Jorge Polanco, Austin Meadows, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Gleyber Torres, Eddie Rosario, José Abreu, Max Kepler, J.D. Martinez, Yoán Moncada, Charlie Morton, Matt Olson, and Jorge Soler.