A wild night just concluded in Anaheim, as the Angels trounced the Rays 12-0. The story of the night was Angels’ starter Reid Detmers throwing a masterful no-hitter. Plenty more was in store for baseball fans though, as everyone’s favorite non-pitcher, Brett Phillips, got to toss another frame, and Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon went yard from the wrong side of the plate.
The obvious headlines will go to Detmers, as the 22-year-old was truly magnificent. The only knock against him is that he only managed to punch out two Rays. However, that matters little since he didn’t allow a single hit and only surrendered one walk. The Illinois native has struggled to begin the year, entering tonight’s contest with a rocky 5.32 ERA. However, after tonight’s masterpiece that mark is down to a respectable 3.77 clip. At such a young age and with a first-round pedigree, Detmers is sure to have some more fantastic outings ahead of him.
Rays outfielder Brett Phillips has gained quite a cult following over the years. His first fifteen minutes of fame came when his bizarre laugh went viral. Next was his 2020 World Series walk off heroics. And now, Phillips is becoming the favorite pitcher of fans everywhere. Phillips made headlines last July by having an absolute blast on the mound. Despite getting roughed up by the Blue Jays, Phillips’ million-watt-smile couldn’t be erased from his face. Then, this past April he took the mound again and gave fans even more reason to love him. And tonight, he was thrust into an 8-0 contest and kept his joviality despite surrendering four earned runs in one inning. Whether or not Brett Phillips is actually good at pitching is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that baseball fans love watching him, and that’s what people pay to see.
The most bizarre event in tonight’s wild ride was Anthony Rendon’s eighth inning home run off of Brett Phillips. Despite not meaning much in a blowout game, it’s sure to make its way into baseball lore, as the right-handed Rendon went yard to left-center field while batting left-handed. Every so often players have hit from the opposite side of the plate at the end of meaningless games. Larry Walker famously did so in the 1997 All-Star game, while Javier Báez turned himself around while facing Mets infielder Luis Guillorme. It’s one thing to have a laugh and hit from the wrong side of the plate. It’s another thing to hit a moonshot doing it. This won’t alter the careers of Rendon, Phillips, or anyone else who took the field tonight for the Angels or Rays. However, it gave baseball fans everywhere another timeless memory, and that’s what this game is all about.