He had four swings with the bases loaded and the game on the line, which is about four more swings than usual for Mike Trout.
During a season in which he remains on a record pace for walking, Trout eventually did walk in the eighth inning Tuesday against Chicago White Sox reliever Juan Minaya.
But those four swings — a miss and three foul balls — represented opportunities the likes of which Trout hasn’t often received in season where the Angels offense has struggled with consistency.
“The amount of walks he’s gotten with guys in scoring position is staggering,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “The amount of intentional walks he’s gotten with guys in scoring position is quite unusual.”
Entering Wednesday, Trout had been intentionally walked 18 times. Since Manny Machado is now in the National League with the Dodgers, no other AL player had more than eight intentional walks.
Of those 18, 16 had come with runners in scoring position. Then there’s all the times Trout has been walked unintentionally under the same circumstances.
“Mike’s going to play his game,” Scioscia said. “He’s good for a reason. Part of that is incredible plate discipline.”
Trout began the day easily leading baseball with 93 walks, 13 more than the player closest to him, Washington’s Bryce Harper. Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees was second in the American League with 68.
At this pace, Trout would walk 148 times, a total that would crush the franchise record of 116 he set in 2016.
He also is well ahead of the record .442 on-base percentage he established last season. Trout was at .457 before Wednesday’s game.
“There are going to be natural, organic walks that are going to happen when he’s not getting pitched in the zone,” Scioscia said. “That, coupled with the delicate nature with which some guys are treating Mike … has added to an unbelievable amount of walks.”
It also underscored the problems the Angels have had this season providing offensive help for Trout.
Over the weekend against Seattle, the Angels are scheduled to face left-handers Wade LeBlanc (Friday) and Marco Gonzales (Sunday), sandwiched around Felix Hernandez (Saturday). They are 9-20 this season when the opposition starter is left-handed. …Right-hander Garrett Richards underwent his scheduled elbow ligament replacement surgery this week.