Mike Trout vs. Yu Darvish.
That's every bit as enticing as it sounds. The best young player in baseball, and arguably the best player in the game, period, against the AL Cy Young runner-up with the nastiest, filthiest arsenal of stuff in the game. It's about as good of a chess match at the plate as you could possibly imagine. And it's comforting for baseball fans to know that, as division rivals, they'll likely face each other in at least three or four games in 2014.
They gave a preview on Tuesday in the Angels' 7-4 Cactus League win over the Texas Rangers, as Trout went 1-for-2 against Darvish with a single. There's a bit of a caveat though, and that's the fact Trout saw absolutely nothing from Darvish except straight fastballs, and it wasn't by accident.
"I didn't want to show him anything else," Darvish said through a translator. "My approach toward Trout is going to be a little different this year."
Darvish is 6-1 in his career against Trout and the Angels with a 3.77 ERA in 10 starts, but Trout has hit the Rangers ace well, going 9-for-28 with four homers — the most by any player in baseball against Darvish — and six RBIs.
Trout told the Los Angeles Times he's looking forward to seeing what the creative Darvish has in store for him in 2014.
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"It's going to be interesting," Trout said. "I'm curious to see what he does, to see what happens. We've had a little rivalry going, and it's pretty cool. He's throwing his best stuff, and I'm trying to hit his best stuff. We're having fun out there, and that's how it should be."