Angels’ Mike Trout and Albert Pujols share a laugh about new intentional walk rule
Mike Trout became confused in last night’s eighth inning at the Oakland Coliseum.
The Angels’ star center fielder had just turned a single into a double with his speed and his effort, and now he stood at second base as the Angels’ potential tying run. They were down, 3-2 with two outs in the inning, four left before their night was up.
And then, under Major League Baseball’s new rules intended to speed up play a bit, the Athletics intentionally walked Albert Pujols with a mere signal.
“I called timeout, got back to the bag, and when I looked up, he was on first base,” Trout said afterward. “It was different. He was laughing. I was laughing. It took me a little bit to figure out what happened. But that’s the way it’s going, I guess.”
Pujols was not the first batter to be intentionally walked under the new rules. St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina earned that distinction Sunday night against the Chicago Cubs. The Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig and Minnesota’s Brian Dozier were also issued the new intentional walk on Monday.
But Pujols was the first Angel, and surprisingly so. Teams walked Trout on purpose twice as often as they did Pujols last season.
After Pujols strolled to first and shared a laugh with Trout, C.J. Cron grounded out to shortstop, and the Angels’ half of the eighth was over. They lost, 4-2, for their fourth consecutive opening-day defeat.
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