Mike Trout who? Los Angeles Angels Eric Young Jr. filling-in nicely.
When the Los Angeles Angels lost Mike Trout to a thumb injury on May 28th many fans were pushing the panic button. The Angels made a roster move calling up Eric Young Jr. to add outfield depth. Little did they know what a difference the veteran outfielder would make.
Eric Young Jr. has been an instant sparkplug for the Los Angeles Angels ever since that day. Last night Young Jr. did it again first hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning off the Yankees Tyler Clippard to tie the game at 2.
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Then in the bottom of the 11th Young Jr. came through again with a two-out infield single to drive Andrelton Simmons giving the Angels another walk-off victory. 3-2 over the Yankees. It snapped a six-game Yankees win streak and brought the Angels back to .500 again. Young Jr. has continued to surprise people with the impact he has had on the Angels.
So far in just 15 games Young Jr. has hit a game-winning home run in his third game with the Angels, launching a solo shot in the eighth inning of a 3-2 win over Atlanta. Then last Friday against the first place Houston Astros Young Jr. launched a three-run homer that capped a six-run 5th inning. The homer broke a 6-6 tie giving the Angels a 9-6 lead in a 12-6 victory.
Young’s numbers so far with the Angels have been sparkling as he is hitting .314 with three homers and nine RBI’s with five stolen bases. He also has not made any errors in the outfield playing in both center and left field. Not bad for a journeyman who has played with five teams in his nine-year career and only had eight home runs in his first 1506 at-bats.
Young Jr. has been the spark that Angels have been looking for and he is providing it. Not to be lost in the shuffle last night was some stellar pitching. First was J.C. Ramirez who went 6.2 innings allowing two runs on five hits and striking out seven Yankees.
What was even more impressive was the work of the bullpen as the Angels three relievers that followed Ramirez were pretty much lights out. Yusmeiro Petit went 1.1 with two strike outs and he was followed by closer Bud Norris who pitched a scoreless inning in the ninth.
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The most impressive however was Mike Morin and Keynan Middleton. Morin pitched the tenth inning and retired the heart of the Yankees order 1-2-3. This included Aaron Hicks on a nasty 3-2 change-up and then Aaron Judge on a nasty 1-2 breaking pitch that darted straight down and he finished it off by getting Matt Holliday to pop-out to end the inning.
Morin got into some trouble in the top of the 11th loading the bases with one out before Mike Scioscia took Morin out in favor of Middleton. All Middleton did is get Chris Carter and Brett Gardner to pop-up to third baseman Yunel Escobar to end the threat.
In the bottom of the 11th Andrelton Simmons got a leadoff single and stole second base. He went to third on a Cliff Pennington ground out setting the stage for E.Y Jr.’s heroics. Trout is now on the mend and will be hopefully in early July.
So what will the Angels do with Young Jr. when Trout comes back is anyone’s guess. Most likely either Ben Revere or Young Jr. could be the odd man out. With the way he has played and the energy he provides Young Jr. should remain with the Angels for the foreseeable future.