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Mets' Collins considered intentionally walking Trout with bases loaded

Anthony Gruppuso / USA TODAY Sports

Terry Collins nearly bestowed Mike Trout with the highest form of respect you can give a hitter.

Down 7-4 in the ninth inning Saturday, the Los Angeles Angels began to threaten the New York Mets late by loading the bases with just one out in the final frame. To make matters worse for New York, Trout, the last player you'd ever want to face in that situation, was getting ready in the batter's box.

Rather than allow a living, breathing baseball machine the chance to give the Angels the lead with one Trout-like swing, Collins contemplated giving Los Angeles a free run in exchange for not having closer Addison Reed deal with Trout.

"The first thought is, 'I'd rather almost walk this guy than give him a pitch to hit,'" Collins said postgame, according to Newsday's Anthony Rieber. "Fortunately, Addy made some good pitches on him.

"That's the kind of situation where you look back on the time when Buck Showalter walked (Barry) Bonds with the bases loaded rather than pitch to him and I had ... the same feeling."

In baseball's vast history, only six different players have ever received a free pass with the bases loaded, according to Baseball Almanac, though none are perhaps more infamous than Collins' example of Bonds facing the Arizona Diamondbacks with two outs in the ninth in May 1998.

Had Collins actually walked Trout, the numbers would have backed his decision. No team that has intentionally walked in a free run has ever gone on to lose that game.

Collins, however, chose instead to live dangerously and it paid off, as Trout was limited to a sacrifice fly and the Mets would hold on to win 7-5.

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