Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers
When and Where: Tuesday, July 2, Globe Life Park at Arlington, Texas, 8:05 p.m. EDT.
A game of baseball can be many things over the course of a 162-game season.
On Tuesday night, the actual game between the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers will be secondary. But the game may also provide a space for the grieving process and perhaps offer some catharsis following the shocking passing of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
Angels statement on the passing of Tyler Skaggs. pic.twitter.com/6XA2Vu1uWV
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) July 1, 2019
The Southlake Police Department responded to a call of an unconscious man in a hotel room Monday afternoon and pronounced Skaggs dead at the scene. The 27-year-old, an outgoing clubhouse favorite, started Saturday’s game against Oakland. He leaves behind a wife Carli whom he married in the offseason.
“He had a long life ahead of him, and now that’s gone,” general manager Brian Eppler told reporters while fighting back tears. “Everybody grieves in their own way, and everybody has to find peace through this eventually, but it’s just a tragic day for everybody, especially his family.”
Sad to hear that another one of our brothers has left us. RIP Tyler Skaggs. Gone too soon. pic.twitter.com/Zrb68VPdqf
— Nelson Cruz (@ncboomstick23) July 1, 2019
MLB released a statement via Twitter that read,“All of us at Major League Baseball extend our deepest condolences to Tyler’s wife, Carli, their family, their friends and all of his Angels’ teammates and colleagues. We will support the Angels’ organization through this most difficult period, and we will make a variety of resources available to Tyler’s teammates and other members of the baseball family.”
Words cannot express the deep sadness we feel right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with Carli and their families. Remembering him as a great teammate, friend, and person who will forever remain in our hearts… we love you, 45. pic.twitter.com/zCO8Ne01Gy
— Mike Trout (@MikeTrout) July 2, 2019
Skaggs was drafted in 2009 — the year the Angels also drafted Mike Trout — and was traded to Arizona in August 2010. The Diamondbacks dealt him back to Los Angeles before the 2014 season and had gone 25-32 over parts of five seasons. Skaggs was 7-7 with a 4.29 ERA in 15 starts this year.
Led by general manager Jeff Daniels, the Rangers and MLB agreed on postponing at least Monday’s contest while leaving option the possibility this contest may also be postponed.
“Real life takes precedence here,” Daniels said. “Some things are a lot bigger than baseball.”
Angels rookie Suarez gets start in challenging circumstances
The Angels have opted to stick with their Monday scheduled pitcher for this game, rookieJose Suarez(2-1, 5.57 ERA).
I’m still in shock. Just yesterday, Tyler Skaggs was talking about how badly he wanted to pitch at Dodger Stadium in an Angels uniform. One of the kindest, most straightforward people I’ve met in baseball. I’m devastated for his family and teammates.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) July 1, 2019
Suarez did not pitch all that badly in four starts after being promoted last month, and the schedule worked out for the Angels that the left-hander was able to get a tune-up start with Triple-A Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
There, the 21-year-old yielded a pair of unearned runs and struck out eight in 5 1-3 innings, throwing 57 of his 87 pitches for strikes in the Bees’ eventual 6-4 defeat.
The hope is the quick trip to Salt Lake City allowed Suarez to regain some command. The lefty served up three homers in his last start with the Angels, taking the loss in a 7-5 loss at Toronto on June 20. Suarez has given up at least one gopher ball in all four starts with Los Angeles and also has walked nine in 21 innings, which has contributed to his 1.48 WHIP.
This will be his fourth road start, and Suarez has gone 2-0 in three starts despite a 6.06 ERA in those games.
The Angels (42-43) are opening a seven-game road trip that takes them to the All-Star break and are currently in a stretch of 20 consecutive games versus AL West opponents. They dropped the final three of their four-game series versus the Oakland A’s, including a 12-3 pasting Sunday.
All-Star Minor looks to win fourth straight start
The Rangers have also opted to hold over Monday’s scheduled starter for this contest, which means newly minted All-Star Mike Minor(8-4, 2.40) gets the ball.
The left-hander earned his first career All-Star nod Sunday and will be part of the AL squad in Cleveland on July 9. Minor leads the American League in earned run average and trails only Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) July 1, 2019
His recent surge has helped him climb the leaderboard in that category. Minor has conceded five runs in 23 1-3 innings for a 1.93 ERA in his three wins, with four of those runs scoring on three homers. The lefty tossed his second complete game of the season Wednesday, finishing with a five-hitter and seven strikeouts in a 4-1 victory over Detroit.
“It’s a lot of fun — to be out there, to give the bullpen a day off,” Minor told The Associated Press after his 108-pitch effort in a game that took just 2 hours, 19 minutes. “It’s a long season. Quick game, get it on and off the field, and give the bullpen a break.”
Minor’s strong current run could serve as an omen for the Angels. The southpaw has not lost to Los Angeles since joining Texas last year, going 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in four starts. Minor recorded his first career shutout in the last matchup between the teams in Texas, firing a three-hitter with seven strikeouts in a 5-0 victory April 16.
In the most recent matchup May 25, Minor did not factor in the decision of Texas’ 3-2 loss despite limiting the Angels to a solo homer byKole Calhounand four other hits over six innings.
Texas (46-38) wrapped up a six-game road swing 4-2, but the two losses came in the final two contests after dropping back-to-back games at Tampa Bay.Joey Gallo, who accounted for the offense in Sunday’s 6-2 defeat with a mammoth blast and will join Minor in Cleveland, is 9 for 24 with five homers in his last eight games.
The Angels are:
- 1-4 in their last five road games vs. the Rangers.
- 14-38 in their last 52 road games vs. above-.500 teams.
- 8-23 in their last 31 road games vs. teams with an above-.600 home record.
The Rangers are:
- 12-4 in their last 16 home games vs. sub-.500 teams.
- 18-8 in their last 26 home games.
- 7-1 in their last eight home games vs. left-handed starters.