Coming off of a disappointing loss to the Houston Astros in which Mike Trout homered in his fifth consecutive game, the Los Angeles Angels were determined to get a Game 2 victory. With Shohei Ohtani on the mound, this felt like a doable task.
Ohtani was not his his usual flawless self on the mound, as he allowed plenty of traffic before being removed early due to a blister. But he limited runs, the bullpen was remarkbale, and Trout did the unthinkable.
The Angels superstar hit yet another home run — this time a three-run shot in the second inning — to break the Angels franchise record previously held by Bobby Bonds in 1977. Trout came up the plate in the second frame to face Jose Urquidy with two runners on base.
There, Trout took an 0-1 fastball to deep left field and hit a home run into the Crawford Boxed for his sixth consecutive game. Astros manager Dusty Baker summed things up nicely when discussing Trout’s feat after the game, according to Edwin Perez of MLB.com:
“He’s the hottest man around,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “He is Mike Trout. The greats, you pitch them differently, and then they adjust, and [you] pitch them differently, and they readjust. He’s a great player. It’s not a sin, really, when Mike Trout gets you.
“… He’s going to get everybody sooner or later. You just hope when he gets you, it’s not a game-winner or there’s not two men on base like there were today.”
Trout now sits just two games behind Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly, and Dale Long, who are tied in MLB history for eight straight games with a homer. Trout spoke about becoming the Angels all-time leader in consecutive games with a home run in the meantime.
“It’s pretty cool to accomplish that,” Trout said. “I was just trying to prepare myself to make the right swing and time it. I have to take this momentum and keep it going the rest of the year.”
With this feat, Trout continues to be absolutely dominant at the plate since returning from injury. In his last 20 games — dating back to Aug. 19 — Trout is batting .317 with an 1.106 OPS, to go along with 10 home runs and 16 RBIs.
When one of the greatest players of all time shows exactly why he’s considered in that way, it makes for exciting baseball, even for opponents like Baker.
MLB implementing major rule changes in 2023
On Friday, MLB voted on a series of rule changes to take effect next season. Among these include wider bases, a pitch clock, and essentially a ban on significant defensive shifts. Players were against the rule changes, but MLB had enough votes otherwise to pass them regardless.