Lowering the wall pays dividends for LA Angels in home run barrage

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 03: Rene Rivera
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 03: Rene Rivera /

The LA Angels decided in the off-season to ‘lower the right field wall’  from 18 feet to 8 feet.  This would make the wall the same height as the rest of the outfield except for the corners. The result so far is huge.

On Monday night the lowered wall did not figure into play for the LA Angels as both Indians homers cleared the new scoreboard which was the old home run mark. The Angels didn’t score so it was a moot point.

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The wall in right field did not change as the lower part which is eight feet high and cushioned is still there.  Then there is the 10 foot out-of-town scoreboard.  This is brand new, but the same height as the old out-of-town scoreboard.

The difference is the yellow line that separates the two parts of the ‘wall’.  If the ball hits above the yellow line regardless of whether it clears the out-of-town scoreboard, it is ruled a home run.  This happened twice on Tuesday night and both times it benefited the Angels.

In the first inning after Jose Ramirez hit a two-run homer over the out-of-town scoreboard and into the seats above, Mike Trout answered with a deep drive to right-center which hit the scoreboard above the yellow line.  The result was Trout’s second home run of the season.  It would have just been a double or triple last season, but instead it cut the Indians lead in half.

Later in the bottom of the first with the Angels now leading 3-2 on RBI-single by Kole Calhoun and a wild pitch that scored Calhoun, Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani had a chance to aim for the wall for the first time in a regular season game.  Ohtani put a charge into a 2-2 pitch from Josh Tomlin and tattooed the ball over the scoreboard into the crowd for a three-run homer sending the 35,007 fans into a frenzy and giving the Angels a 6-2 lead.

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Later in the game Justin Upton and Luis Valbuena both cleared the wall for home runs making the score 8-2.  Both home runs cleared both parts of the ‘wall’ and went into the stands.

With the Angels leading 11-2 in the bottom of the 8th inning back-up catcher Rene Rivera took am at the right-field monster and hit a ball that was almost caught by the Indians Brandon Guyer.  It was originally ruled on the field as being in play.  However, after an official review it was ruled to have hit above the yellow line making it a home run for Rivera and bringing the score to 13-2 for the Angels.

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That’s the way the game would end and the Angels had finally beaten the Indians after 12 straight defeats to the Tribe.  While the two homers that were the result of the lowered ‘wall’ only accounted for three Angel runs, it is a sign of things to come.

The lowered home run line will come into play multiple times this season both in favor and against the Angels.  Angel pitchers will probably not always be happy with the new right field wall height, but it will definitely make things more interesting and the games will be higher scoring.

Next: Shohei Ohtani treats fans to his first three-hit game

At least for one night the lowered ‘wall’ helped the good guys do something they haven’t done since 2016 and that is beating the Indians.  We will see what happens in the series finale this afternoon.