As I wrote last week, baseball can’t promote its stars in a game-specific manner. It can’t — like the NBA can with LeBron James and Steph Curry or the NFL can in the battle of two marquee quarterbacks — guarantee you that two superstars facing off in an upcoming game will shine in said game. Sometimes the greatest player goes 0-for-4. Sometimes a reliever and a utility infielder are the most important dudes in a game.
In the first inning, Bryce Harper hit a homer. And not only did he hit it, he hit it directly over Mike Trout’s head in center field. Then, in the bottom half of the first, Trout hit a homer of his own. Watch:
Harper didn’t stop with his homer, though. He had two singles and a triple on top of that to finish his night 4-for-4. Trout’s homer would be his only hit of the night, though he did knock in a second run with a ninth inning grounder.
This is only the second series in which baseball’s two best players have faced off. The first time took place in April 2014. In that series Trout went 5-for-14 while Harper went 1-for-11. They only have one more game in this short, two-game series. Though there are no guarantees in any given game, it feels like one we should tune into tonight.