Angels youth is not served in 2-1 loss to White Sox
Seeing Angels youngsters Mark Trumbo and Andrew Romine make their first big league starts Friday night stirred some memories for veteran right fielder Torii Hunter, who went 0 for 3 with a strikeout in his first major league start for Minnesota on April 29, 1998. The Twins beat Tampa Bay and left-hander Wilson Alvarez, 2-0, in the Metrodome that day.
“I was excited, pumped up, anxious … I wanted to get that first home run out of the way and swung so hard at the first pitch I missed it by about 20 feet,” Hunter said. “I was the leadoff hitter that day. I was 20 pounds lighter. Young Torii could fly.”
Young Torii wasn’t quite as sure of himself then. Four days later, in his third start, Hunter was overmatched in a 2-0 loss to Baltimore ace Mike Mussina.
“I looked at Mussina and I was like, ‘Wow,’ ” Hunter said. “I was star-struck, and before you know it, I was 0 for 3.”
Trumbo and Romine know how Hunter must have felt back in 1998. Trumbo went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, and Romine went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox that officially eliminated the Angels from playoff contention.
Photo: Angels shortstop Andrew Romine tags out the White Sox's Omar Vizquel as he dives back to second base in the ninth inning Friday night. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times