Last night, I was fighting common sense to fall asleep and get as much rest as I possibly could but standing in the way of that was this patriotic display of urgent baseball – the United States vs Japan. All the pageantry and tension that you could ever want in a sporting event. Top notch talent across both sides of the field…it wasn’t the best game…but it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat…and come on, the way it ended, are you kidding? Shohei Ohtani striking out Mike Trout to end the game. It was poetry. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a title for the united states, but, I’m not ashamed of the loss…Japan is incredibly good at this sport. They have stars up and down their roster and they play as a collective. I don’t think this is out of bounds to say, but it probably means more to them too. We saw it all throughout the tournament, there’s just more national pride in these other countries, for better or for worse, that’s just kind of the way it is.
So, this is an interesting angle, and it was brought up by our Action Network baseball analyst, Sean Zerillo. He said on this show yesterday that last night’s game was a “legacy game” for Mike Trout. He made the point that this is the biggest game he’s ever played in, and if he stays in LA with the Angels, it might always be the biggest game he’s played in. And how did he perform? He went 1 for 5 with 3 strikeouts. One of those strikeouts was to end the game with a chance to tie. If that was his legacy game, it was a flop. It sucks to say that, because on paper, Mike Trout is one of the best baseball players of all time, but we just don’t have the big game evidence to put him in that conversation for generations to come.
Mike Trout will be the old baseball nerds story he tells to his grand kids in 30 years, but they’ll be like “Ok, shut up Grandpa, tell me about Shohei Ohtani and Derek Jeter”.
It’s a shame. A great day for baseball and a bad day for Mike Trout.