Rangers' Corey Seager puzzlingly given Barry Bonds treatment by Angels

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Angels puzzlingly give Seager the Barry Bonds treatment originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The look on Mike Trout's face in the bottom of the fourth inning of the Los Angeles Angels' 9-6 win over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field said it all.

Trout and everyone else watching the game in Arlington, Texas was confused when the Angels intentionally walked Rangers shortstop Corey Seager with the bases loaded, forcing in a run.

Yes, one week into the 2022 MLB season, Seager was given the Barry Bonds treatment by the Angels, perplexing just about everyone. The Rangers took a 4-2 lead in the game on the intentional walk and added two more runs in the inning, one coming courtesy of a balk.

Why would the Angels do something like that in that situation?

"The guy is good," Angels manager Joe Maddon told reporters after the win, referring to Seager. "The big thing was the walking of [Marcus] Semien. When that happened, it made it really more difficult. But I thought by walking Seager there, of course just trying to stay out of the big blow and also just to stir the group up, frankly. That's something you don't normally do and I thought just by going out there and doing something like that, the team might respond. Simple as that.

"Seager is that good. I know it was early in the game but I thought it could have changed the momentum of the game. The balk is what really hurt. The balk made it a two-run moment as opposed to a one-run moment, which I was happy with. But nevertheless, I thought it was the right thing to do in that moment for us."

Maddon also told reporters that when he went out to the mound to discuss the situation with reliever Adam Warren, the pitcher was on board with the idea, and so were the infielders who joined the conversation.

Clearly Trout wasn't on the same page.

Per the Rangers, Seager is the seventh known player in MLB history to be walked intentionally with the bases loaded.

Bonds' intentional walk with the bases loaded came on May 28, 1998 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Giants' slugger was one of the most feared hitters in the game and with the D-backs leading by two runs in the ninth inning, manager Buck Showalter decided to walk in a run rather than allow Bonds to hit a homer to win the game.

The move in 1998 worked for Showalter as the D-backs held on for an 8-7 win, and in an odd twist, the Angels rallied to beat the Rangers 24 years later.

Maybe it's not bad strategy after all, even if it stuns everyone watching.