First baseman Mark Trumbo’s superb backhand, diving stop of David Freese’s one-hop smash with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning Tuesday night was not only a game saver but a possible perception changer.
Trumbo, who scrambled to his feet and fired to second base to start an inning-ending double play in the Angels' 5-1 victory over the Cardinals, has always been known more for his power -- he leads the Angels with 18 home runs -- than his defense at first base and in the outfield.
But Tuesday night’s pivotal play, which may have been Trumbo’s best in his three years in the big leagues, made an impression.
“I know I’ve probably been categorized as a below-average defender, but I try to do a good job over there,” Trumbo said. “Some people might change their mind a little bit about me, and if they don’t, no worries. I try to get better every year. I want to be a consistent player. I don’t feel I’m a web gem-type player, but making all the routine plays is huge.”