What can't he do? A first for Mike Trout

3-0 count? No hesitation from the three-time AL MVP

July 27th, 2020

’s first homer of the 2020 season was an unusual one for him, as it was the first time he’d ever homered on a 3-0 pitch in his 10-year career.

Trout, a three-time AL MVP, jumped all over an 88-mph fastball from A’s right-hander Mike Fiers for a three-run blast to left on Sunday, cutting Oakland’s lead to two runs in the third. Trout added a sacrifice fly in the fifth, but it wasn't enough in a 6-4 loss at the Coliseum. Angels manager Joe Maddon didn’t know Trout’s history with 3-0 counts but heard all about it in the dugout after the homer.

"The guys brought it to my attention immediately,” Maddon said. “He's had a really good history against that pitcher. It was the right thing to do on his part. So I'm glad he did it. But everybody brought that to my attention, and I had no idea about it."

It was the 286th career homer for Trout, who rarely swings at 3-0 pitches. In fact, it was only the sixth time Trout had ever put a ball in play on a 3-0 pitch and just his second hit in 211 plate appearances (203 walks). The last time he had a hit on a 3-0 pitch was a single off former Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma on April 8, 2015. Sunday's three-run shot was a no-doubt moonshot that left the bat at 107.2 mph and went a projected 376 feet. Trout offered a glimpse at his approach during 3-0 counts when speaking to the Los Angeles Times last season.

"I can’t tell you all my secrets,” Trout said with a grin. “There’s a time when I’ll [swing]. My mindset just has to be right that day. Some days I feel good doing it. Some days I don’t.”

It was yet another hit for Trout off Fiers, as he’s had great success against him throughout his career. After a single in the first and the homer in the third, Trout is hitting .387 (12-for-31) with five homers, four doubles and 13 RBIs against the right-hander. The only pitchers he’s hit more homers against are Félix Hernández (eight) and James Shields (six).