Mike Trout's Cycle and MLB's Top 5 Individual Performances of the 2013 Season
The 2013 MLB season is less than two months old, but there have already been some fantastic individual performances.
The most recent memorable performance came last night, when Angels star Mike Trout became the first player to hit for the cycle this season.
In honor of that accomplishment, here is a look at the top five individual performances of 2013.
Anibal Sanchez Strikes Out 17 (vs. Atlanta Braves)
Date: April 26
Full Stat Line: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 17 K, W
Signed to a five-year, $80 million deal this offseason after a strong showing down the stretch and in the playoffs last year, Anibal Sanchez has gotten off to a great start this season.
Entering his fifth start, the right-hander was 2-1 with a 1.75 ERA, but he took his game to another level against the Atlanta Braves when he struck out a whopping 17 batters.
Granted, the Braves have struck out an NL-high 411 times through their first 45 games this season, but the feat is impressive nonetheless.
The mark set a single-game record for the Tigers, eclipsing the previous record of 16 that Mickey Lolich achieved twice during the 1969 season.
Matt Harvey One-Hitter (vs. Chicago White Sox)
Date: May 7
Full Stat Line: 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 12 K, 105 Pitches
One of the biggest stories of 2013 so far has been the performance of 24-year-old Matt Harvey, who is 5-0 with a 1.55 ERA and an NL-best 0.723 WHIP through his first nine starts.
His best outing to date was a start against the White Sox earlier this month, where he retired the first 20 batters of the game before allowing an infield single in the hole to Alex Rios.
David Wright made a great backhanded play on a grounder down the line to take a hit away from Jeff Keppinger in the fourth, but that was the only other time the White Sox came close to getting a hit.
Unfortunately, Harvey came away with a no-decision in this one, as both teams were scoreless through the first nine innings. Closer Bobby Parnell came on and threw a 1-2-3 top of the 10th, and Mike Baxter drove in Ike Davis with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning to win the game for the Mets.
Shelby Miller One-Hitter (vs. Colorado Rockies)
Date: May 10
Full Stat Line: 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 13 K, 113 Pitches
Off to a fantastic start in his rookie season, 22-year-old Shelby Miller is 5-3 with a 1.74 ERA and 9.8 K/9 through his first nine starts of the season.
His best start to date came against Colorado, when he dominated a potent Rockies offense by striking out a career-high 13 and recording his first career shutout.
Things got off to a tough start when he allowed a leadoff single to Eric Young Jr. to start the game, but that would be all the Rockies could muster.
Young stole second, but Miller induced a pop-up from Dexter Fowler and then struck out Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki to get out of the jam. He breezed through the Rockies' lineup from there, as he retired 27 straight following the single to Young.
Miguel Cabrera Hits Three Home Runs (at Texas Rangers)
Date: May 19
Full Stat Line: 4-for-4, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 1 BB
A year after winning the Triple Crown, Miguel Cabrera is off to another torrid start this season, as he currently leads the AL with a .384 average and 49 RBI while ranking third in home runs with 12.
Entering last weekend, he had just eight home runs, but a three-homer game against the Rangers shot him up the leaderboard.
Cabrera singled in his first at-bat against Rangers starter Derek Holland, then homered off of him in the third and fifth innings. Reliever Jason Frasor intentionally walked him in the sixth before Cabrera hit his third home run against Tanner Scheppers in the eighth.
Despite his big game, the Tigers fell to the Rangers 11-8. It was the second three-homer game of Cabrera's career, as he also accomplished the feat against Oakland back in 2010.
Mike Trout Hits for Cycle (vs. Seattle Mariners)
Date: May 21
Full Stat Line: 4-for-5, 2B, 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 2 R, SB
Given his elite combination of power and speed, it comes as no surprise that Mike Trout hit for the cycle on Tuesday night.
After striking out in his first at-bat against starter Aaron Harang, Trout hit an infield single off of him in the third and then stroked an RBI triple off of him in the fourth.
He then hit a three-run double off of reliever Lucas Luetge in the sixth and took him deep to right center for a solo home run in the eighth to complete the cycle.
It was the first cycle of the season, after Scott Hairston, Aaron Hill (twice) and Adrian Beltre each achieved the feat last season.
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