On Tuesday night, Angels manager implied that San Francisco Giants’ reliever Shaun Anderson didn’t belong in the major leagues if he couldn’t control his wild fastball, nearly hitting Angels superstar Mike Trout twice in the head with errant pitches.
On Thursday, Anderson was summoned in relief again leading off the seventh inning to face Trout, and Maddon admitted he was on high alert.
“My antennae were up,” Maddon said.
Sure enough, an Anderson four-seam fastball sailed close enough to Trout’s head that Maddon exploded from the dugout and had heated words with the umpiring crew.
After matters calmed, Trout got the last laugh. He drilled Anderson’s fourth pitch off the wall, inches from clearing the home-run stripe.
Trout ended up with a triple after a replay review and scored on a bases-loaded walk.
But that didn’t stop Maddon from seething in his post-game Zoom interview.
“Enough is enough,” Maddon said. “This is the major leagues, there’s a level of accountability here.
“I don’t want to use the word ‘irresponsible’ too loosely, but in that situation, you pretty much knew it was going to happen again. I’m not accusing the guy of doing anything on purpose … I’m just saying (Anderson) doesn’t command his fastball well enough in order to know where it’s going.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler defended Anderson, saying his reliever was “a little jumpy” during his appearance and denied any intentional targeting of Trout.
Maddon countered: “You just can’t permit that. You just cannot permit that to happen. You can’t. You cannot. … Players get hurt like that.”
On Tuesday Anderson pitched twice closely in the direction of Trout’s head — one 95-mph fastball actually sailing behind Trout’s head. It was only Anderson’s 39th appearance in the major leagues.
That at-bat came after Giants’ third baseman Evan Longoria had been hit in the back by Angels reliever Jacob Barnes.
After Tuesday’s game, both managers agreed Anderson’s wildness was unintentional. But Maddon chalked that up to Anderson’s inexperience, saying bluntly that: “That’s just a young man that’s not ready to be here … it could have even been that he was intimidated by Mike being in the batter’s box.”
After Thursday’s beef, the teams don’t have to worry about another encounter as they are through playing each other in 2020.
But if the MLB schedule for 2021 holds, which was released on July 6, the Giants and Angels will play each other an additional four times as the AL West faces the NL West in interleague — coronavirus permitting.