Hit 'em where they ain't -- it's a saying nearly as old as Major League Baseball itself, and a lesson Michael Trout and the Angels learned in the hardest of ways Friday night in Anaheim.The superstar center fielder came to bat as the potential winning run with a man on
Hit 'em where they ain't -- it's a saying nearly as old as Major League Baseball itself, and a lesson Michael Trout and the Angels learned in the hardest of ways Friday night in Anaheim.
The superstar center fielder came to bat as the potential winning run with a man on first and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, facing Twins closer Fernando Rodney with the Halos trailing, 5-4. Trout absolutely scorched a 118.0 mph line drive -- the third-hardest batted ball in MLB this season. It should have been a hit. If Trout had hit it nearly anywhere else, it would have been. But he hit it directly at Minnesota shortstop Gregorio Petit for a game-ending lineout.
Just how unlucky was Trout? First of all, the hit probability on his line drive was 80 percent, based on its 118 mph exit velocity and eight-degree launch angle. But not only that, it was the Angels' hardest batted ball of any kind since Statcast™ started tracking in 2015. Trout's liner was also just the 18th ball hit in the air with an exit velocity of 118-plus mph since Statcast™ debuted. It was the first one that went for an out.
Here's a look at some other notable Statcast™ feats from Friday.
Aaron Judge, Yankees
Judge cut what was a four-run A's lead down to one in the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium when he crushed a Kendall Graveman sinker into the right-field bleachers. The 111.1 mph opposite-field missile was Judge's 29th home run of at least 110 mph since the start of last season, which trails only teammate Giancarlo Stanton, who has 37. (Another fun piece of Statcast™ trivia from the game: Judge fired a 99.9 mph throw from the outfield in an attempt to catch Marcus Semien going first to third on a Matt Joyce single in the third inning, his hardest throw tracked by Statcast™.)
Travis Jankowski, Padres
Jankowski made a terrific grab in the third inning of San Diego's loss to the Cardinals at Petco Park. The right fielder had to cover 100 feet in just 5.1 seconds to get to a long fly ball down the line from St. Louis' Jose Martinez. But Jankowski was up to the challenge. Ramping up to a 31.0 ft/sec Sprint Speed -- well above the threshold of 30-plus ft/sec for elite speed -- Jankowski got there just in time and made a sliding catch. With a catch probability of just 35 percent, it was a 4-Star play for Jankowski. That's the second-highest grade of difficulty Statcast™ assigns, covering plays with catch probabilities of 26 to 50 percent.
Chris Sale, Red Sox
Although the Sox fell in extras, Sale struck out 15 Blue Jays in nine brilliant innings, tying his career high and becoming the latest pitcher to reach at least the 15-strikeout mark this season along with Max Scherzer, Gerrit Cole and James Paxton. Seven of Sale's strikeouts came on his four-seam fastball, and the other eight came on his slider. That might be the most dynamic one-two punch owned by any pitcher in the game right now. Sale has 71 combined strikeouts on his four-seamer and slider, the most K's of anyone in the Majors with that pitch combination.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.