With Clayton Kershaw on the mound and Mike Trout in the lineup, Saturday’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim marked the first time in Major League Baseball history reigning MVPs went head-to-head.
It turned out to be a rather one-sided affair as Kershaw struck out seven and scattered two hits over eight shutout frames, extending his scoreless streak to 37 consecutive innings. Included in that was Trout going 0-for-3 against Kershaw with one strikeout.
Trout came to the plate representing the tying run and went down swinging against Kenley Jansen to finish hitless on the day. After the loss the dynamic center fielder offered his analysis on facing Kershaw, via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Trout on Kershaw: "Everything was moving, cutting, sinking, sliding, curving. The whole bit."
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) August 1, 2015
An intriguing subplot in Saturday’s game was the Dodgers getting their first look at Andrew Heaney. The rookie pitcher was part of the offseason trade with the Miami Marlins, though barely had time for a cup of coffee with the Dodgers as he was quickly flipped to the Angels in exchange for Howie Kendrick.
Heaney entered the start 5-0 with a 1.79 ERA in six starts this season. Additionally, he’d gone at least six innings without giving up more than two earned runs in each of his starts. The 24-year-old left-hander held the Dodgers in check and exited after giving up a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.
As for stepping in batter’s box to face Kershaw, Heaney wasn’t nearly as analytical as Trout, via Jill Painter Lopez of Fox Sports West:
Andrew Heaney on having to face Kershaw at plate. "F—, I had no chance…."
— Jill Painter Lopez (@jillpainter) August 1, 2015
Heaney went 0-for-2 against Kershaw with one strikeout and saw a total of six pitches. If the Angels rookie can take any solace from the second game of the Freeway Series opener it’s he put forth a strong showing and was simply outdueled by who many believe is the best pitcher in baseball.
Heaney also returned the favor by keeping Kershaw without a hit in two at-bats, including striking him out once.