During the first few weeks of the 2021 season, Mike Trout looked as dominant as he once was and Jacob deGrom was dominant on the mound.
It would have been nice to see what they could have accomplished over a full season, but that won’t happen: Both are being sidelined with injuries.
Playing time may well be decisive when it comes to awarding individual honors at the end of the calendar. Trout is hitting for .333 with eight home runs and an attendance / power average of 1.090. However, his name was added to the injured list last Tuesday due to a strained calf muscle.
DeGrom had an earned run average of 0.68 after six starts, but he only pitched once in May due to stiff side muscles. He should be back this Tuesday.
Aside from Trout, several recent MVP recipients have been sidelined with injuries this season, including Jose Altuve, Cody Bellinger, Christian Yellich and Giancarlo Stanton. Young stars Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto also had to be absent.
The good news is that these players usually don’t need too much time to regain their rhythm. In four games since his name was removed from the list of unavailable players due to COVID-19, Tatis has hit 11 hits, including four homers, and produced 12 points.
The young San Diego Padres star, who also suffered from shoulder problems earlier this season, has 13 home runs, two fewer than Majors point guard Ronald Acuna Jr.
The Padres have just won the nine games of their most recent stay at home and are ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers – winners in their last seven outings – by a game at the top of the West National.
Missing games doesn’t mean, however, that you won’t be considered for MVP titles in one league or the other. After all, Trout had only played 134 games when he was elected in 2018, while Mookie Betts had only played 139 the year before.
You have to go back to 2007 to find the last player par excellence to have played 162 games: Jimmy Rollins, of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Where are the dominant pitchers?
We’re talking – and rightly – about the dominant performances on the mound and the lack of hits, but there were still a few noteworthy offensive performances over the past week.
The Chicago White Sox first defeated the Minnesota Twins 16-4 on Monday; the Tampa Bay Rays beat up the Baltimore Orioles 13-6 the next day; the San Francisco Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds 19-4; while on Friday, the Atlanta Braves humiliated the Pittsburgh Pirates 20-1 and the Padres knocked down the Seattle Mariners 16-1.
In a week marked by two other scoring and hitting games – Spencer Turnbull of the Detroit Tigers and Corey Kluber of the New York Yankees – two batters had games on three homers, either Miguel Sano (Twins) and Jesse Winker (Reds).
In that game, won 9-4 by the Reds over the Milwaukee Brewers, Winker hit four hits in as many at-bat on and walked out a walk.
Triple games are extremely rare. They are even more so when the outcome of the match is at stake.
The Yankees and White Sox were tied 1-1 early in the ninth on Friday when the Chicago club placed runners in first and second with no outs. Andrew Vaughn came up at bat but he hit a ground ball in the third sack. The Yankees scored a 5-4-3 triple play to end the threat.
The locals scored a point in the next half inning to put the victory on their record.