As the week began, Trout was making his first return to his hometown area as a Major League ballplayer as the Angels took on the Philadelphia Phillies. He prompted 30% of the town of Millville, NJ to make a trek to Citizens Bank Park and be his own personal cheering section.
On Thursday night, the Angels returned to Los Angeles to face the Tampa Bay Rays and Trout became the topic of a category he’s never led the big leagues in. The 23-year old phenom is currently the leader of all of Major League Baseball – in strikeouts. Trout has compiled 52 of those, as Pedro Moura notes, and took a 7-for-50 slump into his final at-bat. He has 13 strikeouts in his last 10 games. On the whole, Trout last night was only 1-for-4, with two of those strikeouts.
That “1” though? Let’s set the stage: Tampa Bay took a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth and had given the ball to Grant Balfour. Balfour was most certainly not on his game and issued a back-to-back walks to start the frame and then allowed an RBI single to Collin Cowgill. Joe Maddon saw that his closer didn’t have it and came in before he would have to face the still dangerous Trout. The Rays’ skipper went to Brad Boxberger. Mike Trout stepped to the plate with two on.
The homer was the first walk-off hit in Trout’s career.