The World Baseball Classic wasn't something I was planning on covering too much seeing how it is kind of lame and features almost no Angels. Well, Erick Aybar has forced my hand because in the course of two pitches, he made himself very relevant.
First and foremost, Aybar got to be at the plate when umpire Angel Hernandez, who is just awful, made the worst strike call in the history of history. I'm not even going to tell you what second mark it is at because it is that obvious. The pitch is a foot off the plate, ends up in the right-handed batter's box and J.P. Arencibia doesn't even bother to frame it because it is such a bad pitcher (although Arencibia generally doesn't frame anything, at least not well). How Aybar didn't go ballistic is beyond me.
The truly amazing part though is what he does on the very next pitch against Craig Kimbrel, no less. See for yourself:
Yup, Aybar turned around a Kimbrel heater and won the game for the Dominican Republic, putting Team USA on the brink of elimination. So, yay, for the Angels starting shortstop get the team some indirect glory, but boo for him doing it at the expense of Team 'Merica.
We'll have a more comprehensive review of Aybar and the other Angels players in the WBC next week, but this highlight and that awful stike call were just too much to gloss over.