Perhaps someday, after years of painstaking trial and error, MLB will finally solve Mike Trout. Friday was not that day.
The Angels outfielder and reigning American League MVP celebrated his 29th trip around the sun in style, launching his fifth round-tripper of 2020 and his fourth since becoming a father last week. Trout’s first-inning bomb was a no-doubter, a 444-foot scud missile to deep center off Rangers hurler Jordan Lyles. That accounted for two of Los Angeles’ three runs in the loss to Texas, dropping the Halos five back of the division-leading A’s in the AL West.
Trout hasn’t shown an ounce of rust, going yard in three of four games (that includes a two-homer outburst Wednesday at Seattle) since returning from paternity leave. Even with four absences already on his 2020 ledger, only Aaron Judge and Nicholas Castellanos (seven each) have belted more homers than Trout (five) this year. Now in his ninth season, Trout already has five birthday blasts on his major-league resume, trailing only Alex Rodriguez and Mark Reynolds for the most all-time (hat tip to Jon Heyman for that knowledge bomb).
Calling attention to a Trout home run is like pointing out a Dunkin’ Donuts in Boston—they’re everywhere. But that shouldn’t make us appreciate them any less. I’m referring to Trout, not Dunkin’, though I could definitely go for iced coffee and a glazed donut right now.