In game one of the Mike Trout vs. Bryce Harper match-up both players hit towering home runs and Harper came within a reversed call of a cycle, to help lead the Nationals to a 4-3 victory what would have in game two…
After the Nationals rallied from behind thanks to Harper in game one, Mike Trout vs. Bryce part two would have to wait til the middle of August when the two teams play in the nation’s capitol. Trout did play and he again hit a tape-measure home run over 430 feet to left-center, but the story for the Angels was rookie pitch Alex Meyer.
Meyer, who was sent down to the minors before the all-star break, was called up Wednesday to face the Nationals and pitched a gem. Meyer was in control throughout the game only walking one batter in seven innings while striking out nine Nationals hitters in seven shutout innings. Meyer had a no-hitter through 5.2 innings until a Brian Goodwin double broke up the bid with two outs in the sixth inning.
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Meyer came right back and struck out Ryan Rayburn to end the sixth. For Meyer it was a coming out party of sorts especially his last start on July 3rd against the Twins when Meyer pitched five innings allowing five earned runs, two homers, and walking four batters. What a difference two weeks makes.
The shutout which Meyer along with David Hernandez and Jose Alvarez combined to throw was the first time the Nationals have been shutout since 2013. The Angels who have been struggling to find offense got plenty on Wednesday night scoring seven runs for the first time since scoring 8 and 10 runs in a three-game series against the Yankees in New York back on June 20th and 22nd.
The Angels got things going right away as Albert Pujols drove in Yunel Escobar for a 1-0 lead. Escobar, who was forced back into the lead-off role due to Cameron Maybin’s knee injurywent 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Maybin went on the disabled list Wednesday for the second time this season with a grade one MCL sprain in his right knee. Andrelton Simmons drove in Mike Trout with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the sixth when C.J. Cron hit his second home run in three games as he crushed a Gio Gonzalez pitch 461 feet to left center just missing the Sherman Williams paint can that if Cron hit it would have earned $1,000,000 for the Angels Foundation. This brought the score to 4-0.
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One inning later Escobar drove in Ben Revere with a single and Trout followed with his second homer in as many days to drive in Escobar and make the score 7-0. The first four batters in the Angels line-up were a total of 6-for-15 with six runs batted in and six runs scored to split the two-game series against the Nationals. Now the Boston Red Sox come calling this weekend for a three-game series.
Just like they have done so many times this season when the Angels have faced adversity this season they have attacked it head on to gain a little momentum in their quest to catch the wild-card leaders the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees.
As for Harper he took a scheduled off day much to the chagrin of the 41,065 fans in attendance. In the much celebrate match-up of two of baseball’s best players Trout finished 2-for-7 with three runs scored and three RBI’s. Harper went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
So with that being said the two will get a chance to settle the score next month in Washington. To be continued…