There’s no other way to say it: Mike Trout is in Barry Bonds territory. Not merely statistically, as noted by former Deadspinner Emma Baccellieri, who is either dead or at SI now, I forget which. But in the fear he engenders in opponents, who will pitch to him only when they absolutely must.
In the first, with no one on and no one out, the Diamondbacks kept the ball far out of the strike zone, walking him. In the third, with a runner on first and two outs, he walked again. Finally, in the fifth inning, with the bases loaded and nowhere to put him, Trout cleared the bases on the first pitch:
Trout finished 1-for-1 and reached base all four times as the Angels won—finally—beating Arizona 5-4. He is now batting .696 with 11 walks, four HRs, and nine RBIs in his last eight games. He has made seven outs in his last 36 plate appearances! Anaheim is 2-6 in that span. He can’t do it all himself, except for games like last night, when he basically does.
“We have to be more than Mike,” manager Mike Scioscia said, “but believe me, that’s a situation we love to have him swinging the bat.”
If you’re like me, you’re an idiot who needs things put into full-season projections to really grasp them. Buster, thank you:
Despite having the greatest baseball player on the planet (and by a large margin—goggle at this stat for a minute), the Angels are merely a respectable 39-35 and seem bound to miss the postseason again. He’ll turn 27 years old this season—this is his prime, and it’s being wasted. I have no idea how to say this without sounding like an asshole East Coaster and an asshole Yankee fan, but: When he’s a free agent after 2020, I really hope he goes somewhere I can watch him in October.