Trout's streak invoked MVP thoughts

September 14th, 2022

This story was excerpted from Rhett Bollinger’s Angels Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

CLEVELAND -- Angels superstar has had some incredible stretches in his illustrious career, but nothing like his recent power display, during which he homered in seven straight games. 

With his two-run homer off lefty Konnor Pilkington on Monday, Trout became just the ninth player in AL/NL history to homer in seven consecutive games. On Tuesday, he fell short of the record of eight straight held by Dale Long (1956), Don Mattingly ('87) and Ken Griffey Jr. ('93). Joey Votto, Kendrys Morales, Kevin Mench, Barry Bonds and Jim Thome are the only other players to homer in seven consecutive games. Trout also already surpassed the previous club record of five straight games with a homer set by Bobby Bonds from Aug. 2-7, 1977. 

“It’s special, for sure,” said interim manager Phil Nevin. “We certainly missed him for the time he was out. Mike makes a huge difference when he’s in the lineup. And as far as what he’s doing now, it’s just another a little tidbit to throw on his [Hall of Fame] plaque down the line, whenever that is.” 

Trout’s 35th homer also came in just his 100th game of the season, as he missed a little more than a month with his back/rib cage injury. But as Nevin noted, if Trout hadn't missed that time, he could be approaching 50 homers. It would have made the AL MVP race with two-way star Shohei Ohtani and Aaron Judge even more interesting. 

“I would make the argument he’d be close to 50 now, and the whole discussion about the MVP would be different,” Nevin said. “I’ve been on record that [Ohtani] is the best player and the most valuable player in our game right now. I’m going to stay with that. I love Judgey like a son, but until someone else does something like Shohei, I just don’t see it. And if Trout was healthy, he’d be approaching Judge in home runs. I know the facts are that he hasn’t played all year, I get it, but I think it would be a different discussion about Shohei right now.”