ANAHEIM -- Some things just make you say, "wow." It could be an illusionist that dazzles you with a mind trick, or, an acrobat doing flips in the air, or, it could be Mike Trout.
Monday night, Trout once again made the baseball world say, "wow," with a three-for-four performance in a 4-2 loss for the Los Angeles Angels. What he did in the fourth inning though was nothing short of astonishing.
One ball, two strikes, a curve ball fell out of the right hand Astros' starter, Collin McHugh. The pitch broke as expected, the catcher was ready for a ball to bound in the dirt, and see strike three be swung on and missed. That was not the case, Trout put a swing on it. He lowered his back shoulder and sent his bat downward to the diving ball, making contact.
The contact was abrupt with a quick stroke that sent the ball off at 102 miles per hour towards left field. It carried, and landed 415 feet over the fences. The ball, less than a foot off the ground, was the lowest hit for a home run since April of 2013, according to Darren Willman of MLB.com
"Yeah, that was kinda low," laughed Trout after the game.
It was the third straight day in which the 24-year-old star-outfielder had hit a home run, the second time that he'd done so in his career. Trout wrapped up his night with doubles in each of his last two at bats, giving him five-straight multiple hit games. The result though, did not land in the Angels' favor, seeing a 4-2 loss.
"We're battling," he said. "We come in every day with a positive mentality."
There were some laughs from Trout throughout the night, as his third at bat saw a ball hit to shallow right field. The ball fell, and Trout was on his way to third after rounding second, when he tripped at full speed, right in front of Houston second-baseman, Jose Altuve.
"There was some karma involved," Trout said with a laugh. "I was messing with him before the game and I just fell."
Just a few days prior, Altuve took a tumble when rounding second base. The slip did not go unnoticed by Trout, who joked with Altuve prior to the game, and then suddenly, saw the tables turn.
"After he fell down, he looked straight at me and said, 'sorry,'" said Altuve with a chuckle.
The Angels are now 13 games under .500 following Monday's loss, 18 games back of the Texas Rangers in the division race. They hold the fifth worst record in baseball, all with Trout still on the lineup card every day.
"We have to be more than Mike," proclaimed Angels' manager, Mike Scioscia.
Even with the team struggles, baseball still consistently says, "wow," about their star player. Trout's three extra-base hit performance on Monday was what most would call astonishing. His last three games have seen three-hits in each, something that hasn't been done by a Halos' outfielder since Torii Hunter in 2012.
Hunter and Trout shared time together before Monday's game, throwing a football around in the clubhouse, joking with other teammates. The mood is light, and the threat is constant when Trout is on the lineup card.
"He's probably the best player on the planet, so that usually helps," said Astros' manager, A.J. Hinch. "He always factors in, one way or another."