And Bundy, 30, showed why he was worth holding onto as the Angels held onto the faintest of playoff hopes with a 6-2 victory over the host Texas Rangers in the finale of a three-game series at Globe Life Field outside of Dallas.
The Angels are 18-27 in this shortened season so far, and pretty much need to finish with a 13-3 record finishing up in order to make the 2020 postseason, part of which may be held at Angels Stadium in this COVID-19 shortened season.
The odds are long — but so was Trout’s 16th home run of the season. The 449-foot blast was the longest for Trout of a short/long season against the longest of odds.
Bundy as well was a longshot. Traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the Angels in the winter for four low-level prospects, Bundy has paid off into what Angels manager Joe Maddon has begun to call “The Legend of Dylan Bundy.”
“That is the legend of Dylan Bundy,” Maddon told reporters via Zoom after the game. “He pitches, he’s a really good pitcher. … he really gives the hitter a lot to think about. And that’s also why he can pitch more deeply into the game.”
Bundy struck out 12 Rangers over 7.3 solid innings — showing why Eppler didn’t deal him at the trade deadline with a year left on his contract.
After giving up a leadoff triple in the first inning, Bundy settled down to retire 21 out of 23 Rangers through the seventh.
Bundy has whiffed 67 batters in 57 innings this season with a 2.48 earned run average over nine starts.
“There’s no breeze in this stadium at all,” said the Oklahoman Bundy. “But there was no sweat at all.
“This is a short season so I didn’t know what to expect this year. I don’t try to get to high or get too low. … just stay the same, good or bad, just go out there every five days and compete.”
“He knows how to pitch in the zone and get people out,” Maddon said.
Trout hit his 16th home run of the season — which was also the superstar’s longest homer of the year and leads the major leagues in a short season full of power hitters.
First baseman Jared Walsh, fighting for a spot on the major league roster, hit hits third home run in as many games and drove in three runs.
Japanese star Shohei Ohtani — in a cold streak at the plate and no longer pitching due to a forearm injury — did not play.
Fifteen games to go, very precious games left to lose.