Red Sox Recap: Mike Trout’s Homer Stops Boston’s Good Start


The Boston Red Sox began the second half of their 2015 campaign by being on the road in Anaheim, California playing the Los Angeles Angels. Yes, the L.A. Angels play in the Angels Stadium of Anaheim. Don’t ask, just get over it. The Red Sox and any of Red Sox Nation on the east coast, watching the game late on television, will want to get over it quickly. The great start by lefty pitcher Wade Miley was squandered by Mike Trout‘s late-inning heroics.

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Over 43 000 people watched in attendance as Miley continuously shut down the Angels’ bats for five innings straight. Even in the bottom of the sixth inning Miley only gave up a walk while sitting the rest of the opposing hitters. The same thing happened in the seventh, with the Red Sox starter suffering only a lead-off double for his trouble.

Part of the reason for Miley’s success was finding the low part of the strike zone, which plate umpire Bob Davidson gave him all night. To be fair, Davidson made the same calls for both teams, so, even if the Angels thought the pitches were low, their own pitchers got them, too.

Part of Miley’s success was also the amount of groundballs he earned off of Angels’ bats. That, and the incredible defense he was getting from his teammates:

In the bottom of the eighth inning, after allowing a lead-off walk, a coach’s visit to the mound brought Junichi Tazawa into the game. The Japanese reliever made quick work of the Angels, as well, bringing the Red Sox to the ninth inning. Were they in a position to win the game? No. Despite having the occasional walk or single, Angels starter C.J. Wilson also had a fairly easy go of it. Even though Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli seems to only be able to hit against his former team, apparently he can only do it in Boston:

None of those hits were last night, as Napoli went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. His season batting average stands at .191. Mookie Betts and returning Red Sox hero Dustin Pedroia didn’t fare much better. After Betts flied out to left field in his first two at-bats Pedroia did the same:

Some of the at-bats were brutal to watch from the other Boston ball-bashers, as well. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval was swinging at pitches so low that they looked like they were in the dirt before they reached the plate. Only designated hitter David Ortiz and shortstop Xander Bogaerts had multiple hits, each after having good at-bats.

Wilson ended up pitching eight innings, allowing no runs on five hits, three walks, and four strikeouts. He earned five groundouts to nine flyouts, showing where the Red Sox bats went wrong. Joe Smith came into the top of the ninth inning to relieve Wilson and proceeded to get three straight Boston players out.

But all was not lost, yet.

Koji Uehara, the Red Sox closer, came into the bottom of the ninth to blank the Angels for a shot at winning the game in extra innings. Or so Red Sox Nation thought. With two men out, the second pitch to Trout, an 88-mph fastball, dipped right into his wheelhouse at the end of the plate. The Angels’ center fielder, and 2015 All-Star Game MVP, drilled the pitch over the fence in deep left center field to win the game 1-0.

Game Notes:

  •  Bogaerts and Ortiz went 2-for-4, but were not able to hit anyone home with nobody on base in front of them.
  • The Red Sox went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. The Angels went 0-for-3.
  • The home run meant it was Uehara’s second loss of the season (2-4).
  • Pedroia and Bogaerts are the only two men from last night’s starting lineup to be above .300. Shane Victorino got a hit (1-for-3), but sits at a .244 batting average.


A. . Game Ball. <strong>Wade Miley</strong>. STARTING PITCHING

What more do you want from him? Miley threw 101 pitches, 57 for strikes, and only allowed one hit on two walks and six strikeouts in seven innings of work. Miley’s strategy of keeping the pitches low, risking calls being low or outside, was the right one. He earned nine groundouts and five popouts to make easy work of the Angels’ lineup. If Boston would have shown any form of offense last night, we would have been praising Miley in the winner’s circle.

D. . Game Ball. <b>Junichi Tazawa</b>. RELIEF PITCHING

Tazawa did his job. Uehara just had one bad pitch; however, that pitch blew up in the faces of the Red Sox, like a missile coming off of Trout’s bat. The only reason why it wasn’t a failing grade for the bullpen was because of Tazawa and the first two batters Koji got out.

<b>Xander Bogaerts &amp; David Ortiz</b>. OFFENSE . D+. .

Is this a mirror effect? The pitching comes through only to find the offense inept? The two bright spots of Ortiz and Bogaerts were mere glimmers of sun on the dark waters of the Red Sox incompetency at the plate. Between all of the popups, flyouts, and groundouts in pretty terrible at-bats, the team never looked like they were threatening to score. Even with seven runners on base, five of them in scoring position, it was hard to have any hope that they would score. When the offense is playing like that, a home run may be their only chance. Oh, but wait, the Angels beat them to that.

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