The Los Angeles Angels put together a solid game on Tuesday night despite it looking ugly at the start. Pitcher Andrew Heaney gave up five runs to the Cleveland Indians in the first inning, putting manager Joe Maddon in a difficult position. He decided to stick with Heaney for two more innings, and the Angels pitcher rewarded Maddon by pitching two scoreless innings.
The Angels, thanks to home runs by Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton, and Jose Iglesias, stormed all the way back to tie the game at five by the seventh inning, giving them all the momentum they needed to finish the game. Then, Alex Claudio gave up a solo home run to Josh Naylor that hit the out-of-town scoreboard above the yellow line on the right field wall.
Maddon spoke about the home run itself and Claudio’s performance, hinting that he may want to move the line back up to the top of the wall, according to J.P. Hoornstra of The O.C. Register:
“We were all surprised that ball was a pseudo-home run off that wall,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “Love to do something about that (yellow stripe). It was a surprise to him. (Claudio) is such a professional and such a great teammate, I wanted to make sure that he understood to me that was just a pop-up to right, and just really try to move on from it because we really need him.”
The Angels moved the home run line from the top of the right field wall to the middle — below of the out of town scoreboard — prior to the 2018 season. Since then, any ball that has hit that scoreboard is considered a home run rather than just a base hit.
That decision came back to haunt the Angels on Tuesday, prompting that comment from Maddon. It’s completely understandable that he would want to move it back up to the top after a moment like that, especially when Claudio pitched a very good inning outside of the one hit.
It’s unlikely that something will change during the 2021 season. However, Maddon may legitimately look to get it moved before the start of 2022.
Mike Trout out 6-8 weeks
Angels superstar Mike Trout suffered a calf strain on Monday in the Angels win over the Indians. The severity was unknown until the following day, when it was ruled a Grade 2 strain, putting him on a 6-8 week recovery timeline. He now will return some time around the All-Star Break in July.