Mike Trout
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Video: Mike Trout becomes youngest player to enter the 200-200 club

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Saturday’s 10-4 route of the Red Sox marked an auspicious moment for Angels’ superstar Mike Trout. The 28-year-old center fielder became the youngest player to reach the 200-200 club, a milestone he passed with his 200th career steal in the second inning.

With Brian Goodwin up to bat against Boston right-hander Marcus Walden, Trout seized the opportunity to nab second base as Goodwin swung through an 86-m.p.h. slider. He eventually struck out swinging, rendering the stolen base useless, but it still marked a significant moment for Trout.

Following the stolen base, Trout now has a staggering 283 career home runs and 200 stolen bases under his belt. Per MLB Stats, he’s managed double digits in both categories every season since 2012. He’s joined by Willie Mays (279 HR; 204 SB) and Darryl Strawberry (280 HR; 204 SB) as the only Major League players to produce at least 275 home runs and 200 stolen bases in nine straight seasons.

According to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger and Elias Sports, Trout also surpassed Barry Bonds to become the youngest MLB player to enter the 200-200 club. Bonds entered the club with his 200th home run at 28 years and 394 days old, while Trout did so with his 200th stolen base at 28 years and 24 days old. And though Trout’s stolen base totals have fluctuated much more than his home runs — hitting a high of 49 in 2012 and a low of 11 in 2015 and 2019 (while he managed just four in 2011, he only played 40 games) — his caught stealing rate has remained impressively low as well, usually hovering somewhere around the 8-23% mark.

It might be a while before Trout summons the stolen bases necessary to enter the 300-300 club, but he’s doing just fine: Through Saturday’s game, he’s batting .292/.438/.644 with a league-best 43 home runs, 11 stolen bases, a 1.082 OPS, and 8.5 fWAR through 580 plate appearances.

Astros, Nationals set to face off in the World Series starting Tuesday

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Saturday night’s wild ALCS finale will live in the mind of Astros and Yankees fans for a long, long time, but the Astros only have two days to bask in it because they have other business to attend to: the Washington Nationals, who they will host Tuesday evening in Game 1 of the World Series.

For the Astros, this year’s World Series presents the chance to forge a dynasty. To carry on a journey in which they’ve risen from a three-time 100-loss club to a three-years-straight 100-win club with not just one, but two World Series titles in the space of those three seasons.

For the Nationals, the World Series presents an opportunity to complete a pretty compelling narrative in which they’ve grown stronger as the year has gone on: from a near disastrous 19-31 start, to a late, come-from-behind victory in the Wild Card Game, to beating the favored Dodgers in the NLDS to simply dominating the Cardinals in the NLCS. The Nats are nobody’s Cinderella, but a win over the Astros would certainly make them one of the more notable giant-killers in recent memory. And, of course, would give them their first World Series title in franchise history and the city of Washington its first World Series winner since the Senators won it in 1924.

We’ll break down this Series in greater detail over the next couple of days, but for now it’s worth noting that this matchup presents us with, arguably, the best possible group of starting pitchers in the game. Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Zack Greinke, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin are six of the top — what? — 15 starting pitchers going right now? And Aníbal Sanchez has been pitching pretty dang good for Washington of late as well. Bullpenning is all the rage these days — and Houston’s Game 6 win was a bullpen affair — but there is something classic and compelling about a handful of aces facing off in October.

The difference-maker could very well be an Astros offense that — last night’s José Altuve walkoff blast notwithstanding — has, somehow, gone relatively quiet this postseason. Postseason pitching is always tough — and in beating the Rays and Yankees they faced two of the best bullpens going — but their collective 3.7 runs per game and .645 team OPS is very un-Astro-like. To beat the Nats, they’ll definitely want to see those numbers go higher.

For Washington, it’ll be about figuring out how to beat Gerrit Cole, Game 1’s starter, and Justin Verlander, who will likely go in Game 2. They’ll have to face each of those 20-game winners/Cy Young contenders twice if this series goes long. That seems daunting, but so too did climbing out of the hole they found themselves in in late May and beating the Dodgers in a five-game series. The Nats have dealt pretty well with “daunting” thus year and, at the moment, they’re playing their best baseball of the season.

So the stage is set. Washington vs. Houston in the 115th edition of the Fall Classic. Things get underway just after 8PM Eastern on Tuesday evening when Gerrit Cole fires in a near-100 m.p.h. fastball to Trea Turner. Stay with us over the next three days for our breakdown of what looks to be an epic matchup.