Holding a 7-2 lead heading into the ninth inning on Saturday, the New York Mets still weren't feeling safe, as Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout was looming in the visitor's dugout.
That worry proved to be warranted, as the Angels quickly loaded the bases and cut the Mets' lead to 7-4, bringing Trout to the plate with the bases still loaded and no outs.
In that situation, New York manager Terry Collins said he almost considered a drastic measure to prevent Trout from hitting a grand slam that would have erased the Mets' lead.
Collins told reporters after the game (via ESPN.com) that he seriously considered intentionally walking Trout, which would have given the Angels one run, rather than take his chances letting pitcher Addison Reed give Trout a chance to hit a grand slam:
"The first thought is, I'd almost try to walk this guy [rather] than pitch to him," Collins told reporters. "Those are the kind of situations where you look back at the time when Buck Showalter walked [Barry] Bonds with the bases loaded rather than pitch to him. It was the same feeling - 'I might want to walk, pitch around this guy, [rather] than give him a chance to hit.' But fortunately [Reed] made some good pitches."
When Barry Bonds - the MLB career home-run king - was at the height of his powers, teams would sometimes intentionally walk him with the bases loaded to try to prevent him from doing even more damage with his bat.
Trout came through with a sacrifice fly in his at-bat, cutting the Mets' lead to 7-5, but New York ended the Angels' rally shortly thereafter to preserve the victory.
The Mets did decide to intentionally walk Trout in his first at-bat on Sunday, leading to the New York fans booing the choice. Trout made the first-inning intentional walk look like a good idea, though, as he hit a home run when he came up in the second inning and finished the game 2-for-3 with a homer, a double, three RBI and two runs scored.
Trout told ESPN.com after the game that he and his teammates were finally clicking on Sunday in the 12-5 victory, carrying over the ninth-inning momentum from Saturday:
"We weren't missing pitches," Trout said.
With the win, the Angels improved to 23-23 on the season and trail the Houston Astros by seven games in the AL West race. Trout is hitting .350 with 14 home runs and 34 RBI.
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