OH MY GAWD! TROUT VS. HARPER! IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING!
Sure, the media has been pitting Trout against Harper since before either was in the majors, but this is the first time that they have, you know, actually played against each other. There is going to be so much forced narrative in this series that it might set new records. I don’t know that there are actual records for that sort of thing, but I’m sure the MSM will find a way to set them, regardless.
The Angels and Nationals have barely played each other in history. In fact, three of these games came when the Nats were still the Expos (but playing in Puerto Rico, at the time). So, really, who cares. Nonetheless, I’m sure the Angels “owning” the Nationals historically will somehow be factored into this manufactured Trout-Harper debate.
MONDAY, 4/21: Garrett Richards vs. Tanner Roark
Due to the lack of history here, there is almost no point in any of these graphs. For Richards, just know that he has faced Jose Lobaton four times and somehow walked him three times. Jose Lobaton!
The only Angel Roark has faced is David Freese who has one single and one GIDP in three plate appearances. And that was against Freese when he could remember how to hit.
Finally, the big payoff! The whole reason I even included this is because of the Trout-Gonzalez history. Gio has faced Trout nine times and fanned him six times without him ever reach base. Oh, sure, Aybar and Kendrick have a decent history against Gonzalez, but I will definitely be watching the Gio-Trout showdown intently to see if Gonzalez might be the one guy to unlock the secret of shutting down Mike Trout. He probably doesn’t, but it should be a fun watch nonetheless.
Once again, the Angels luck out in pitching match-ups and managed to avoid both Strasburg and Zimmerman. Sooner or later they need to take advantage of that luck. I don’t think that will happen this series simply because they have this patchwork lineup. I think they’ll come away with two wins, but just don’t have the goods to sweep anyone right now.
UNOFFICIAL PREDICTION (so don’t hold me to it)
I’ll play the media’s game and predict the Trout vs. Harper match-up. My call is Trout (with half of Millville in attendance) goes 5-for-12 with two homers, three walks and a stolen base while Harper goes 3-for-12 with a walk, a double and four strikeouts. Many an Angel fan will declare victory in this meaningless match-up that nobody actually cares about.