Chris Archer Got Mike Trout This Time

by Brandon Jopko | Posted on Saturday, June 6th, 2015
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On June 2nd, Tampa Bay Rays’ pitcher, Chris Archer, set a career-high with 15 strikeouts in his 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. What’s interesting is not so much that Archer struck out 15, it’s that he struck out Angels’ slugger, Mike Trout, three times! Let’s have a look below.

First strikeout by a nasty slider down and away:
archer trout first K gif

 

 

 

 

 

Second strikeout by high fastball which Trout has been prone to chasing:
archer trout second K gif

 

 

 

 

 

Third strikeout was just heat middle away:
archer trout third K gif

 

 

 

 

 

Still before that game, Trout was 4 for 9 off Archer with 1 strikeout, 3 walks, and 4 singles. Afterwards, he’s still hitting .308 against him, but obviously Archer made an adjustment in his game plan towards him and had an outstanding game with everything he was throwing.

I was intrigued though as to how many times Trout has whiffed three times in a game versus the same pitcher, and I discovered (and was a little bit shocked) that he’s actually done it seven times prior to this game against Archer. Table below:

Pitcher Date
Tommy Milone Sept-23-13
Max Scherzer April-19-14
Jon Danks July-02-14
Jon Lester Aug-23-14
Phil Hughes Sept-06-14
James Paxton Sept-09-14
Sonny Gray Sept-23-14
Chris Archer June-02-15

There are some illustrious names there. On a side note, I wonder what Tommy Milone ate that day, and I’m curious as to what will happen to Trout this year on September 23rd?

That many 3-strikeout games against one pitcher seemed alarming to me and I know that Trout led the AL last season with 184 K’s, but so far in 2015, he’s shown some improvement in this area. He’s decreased his strikeout percentage nearly 5 percent from 26.1% to 21.6% which is more in line with his career average of 22.2 percent. Plus this has come with more power (6 percent HR%) and more line drives (39 percent LD%) this season, the highest rates so far in his young career.

Meanwhile, Archer is having some kind of season. He became the first pitcher in team history to strike out at least 12 in back-to-back games, and became only the second pitcher since 1900 to do that with zero walks.

Archer also tied the club record for most strikeouts in a game which was previously held by James Shields. He’s currently second in the AL in strikeouts with 97 K’s in 76 innings and is third in the league in ERA, WHIP and opponents batting average just behind Sonny Gray and Dallas Keuchel. If it’s not too early to look at the Cy Young Award, it could come down to these three young studs.

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Brandon Jopko
About the Author

Senior Writer for Baseball Hot Corner and die-hard Blue Jays fan longing for another chance to experience his team in playoff glory. You can visit his blog at pumpedupjays.com or follow him on Twitter @pumpedupjays







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