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  1. The Los Angeles Angels weekend sweep over the Seattle Mariners will be remembered in franchise history as one of the most memorable sweeps ever. In an emotional weekend where the Angels began the series honoring the late Tyler Skaggs, the Angels beat the Mariners three games straight and in the process outscored Seattle 28-5. The Angels meanwhile honored Skaggs on Friday by all wearing his number 45 and having his mother Debbie throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Skaggs died while in his hotel room as the Angels were in Texas to play the Rangers on July 1. In Friday’s game to open the series, the Angels exemplified outstanding offense and pitching in clobbering the Mariners 13-0. On the mound, Tyler Cole and Felix Pena combined for a no-hitter. Cole opened the game by throwing two innings and had two strikeouts and zero walks, while Pena came in and threw seven innings of relief and had six strikeouts and one walk. The only Mariners batter who got on base was designated hitter Omar Narvaez, who walked in the fifth inning. Offensively on Friday, the Angels recorded 13 runs on 13 hits. Mike Trout and Justin Upton each hit a home run, and Trout had six runs batted in. Andrelton Simmons led the Angels with three runs, while Simmons, Trout and David Fletcher each had three hits. On Saturday, the Angels beat the Mariners 9-2 on home runs from Kole Calhoun and Albert Pujols. The home run from Pujols was a three run shot in the seventh inning that put the Angels up 9-2. Angels rookie second baseman Luis Rengifo led the Angels with three hits. Matt Harvey meanwhile was strong on the mound, as he only gave up one earned run in five and two thirds innings. Then on Sunday, the Angels beat the Mariners 6-3. Once again the Angels won with the long ball as Calhoun homered again and rookie third baseman Matt Thaiss hit his first career home run. The Angels bullpen was excellent as Noe Ramirez, Cam Bedrosian, Ty Buttrey and Hansel Robles combined for four and two thirds innings of shutout baseball. With the sweep, the Angels moved above the .500 mark at 48 wins and 46 losses. They are five games back of the Oakland Athletics for the second wildcard spot in the American League. View the full article
  2. The Los Angeles Angels weekend sweep over the Seattle Mariners will be remembered in franchise history as one of the most memorable sweeps ever. In an emotional weekend where the Angels began the series honoring the late Tyler Skaggs, the Angels beat the Mariners three games straight and in the process outscored Seattle 28-5. The Angels meanwhile honored Skaggs on Friday by all wearing his number 45 and having his mother Debbie throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Skaggs died while in his hotel room as the Angels were in Texas to play the Rangers on July 1. In Friday’s game to open the series, the Angels exemplified outstanding offense and pitching in clobbering the Mariners 13-0. On the mound, Tyler Cole and Felix Pena combined for a no-hitter. Cole opened the game by throwing two innings and had two strikeouts and zero walks, while Pena came in and threw seven innings of relief and had six strikeouts and one walk. The only Mariners batter who got on base was designated hitter Omar Narvaez, who walked in the fifth inning. Offensively on Friday, the Angels recorded 13 runs on 13 hits. Mike Trout and Justin Upton each hit a home run, and Trout had six runs batted in. Andrelton Simmons led the Angels with three runs, while Simmons, Trout and David Fletcher each had three hits. On Saturday, the Angels beat the Mariners 9-2 on home runs from Kole Calhoun and Albert Pujols. The home run from Pujols was a three run shot in the seventh inning that put the Angels up 9-2. Angels rookie second baseman Luis Rengifo led the Angels with three hits. Matt Harvey meanwhile was strong on the mound, as he only gave up one earned run in five and two thirds innings. Then on Sunday, the Angels beat the Mariners 6-3. Once again the Angels won with the long ball as Calhoun homered again and rookie third baseman Matt Thaiss hit his first career home run. The Angels bullpen was excellent as Noe Ramirez, Cam Bedrosian, Ty Buttrey and Hansel Robles combined for four and two thirds innings of shutout baseball. With the sweep, the Angels moved above the .500 mark at 48 wins and 46 losses. They are five games back of the Oakland Athletics for the second wildcard spot in the American League. View the full article
  3. ANAHEIM — The Angels placed Jonathan Lucroy on the seven-day Injured List on Friday, five days after the catcher was on the receiving end of a collision with the Houston Astros’ Jake Marisnick. The faded remnant of a dark bruise was still visible under Lucroy’s eye. The collision, which Lucroy said was the third of his career, looked bad but apparently could have been worse. “Obviously I have a broken nose,” Lucroy said. “We’re going to try to get that fixed on Monday. Concussion-wise, I feel pretty good. I thought it’d be a lot worse than it was. In all honesty, the symptoms – I haven’t really had the kind of symptoms I’ve had in the past when I’ve had a real bad concussion. But I’m feeling pretty good from that angle. We’re going to keep an eye on it.” Marisnick was suspended for two games by Major League Baseball, but he chose to appeal the suspension. He is allowed to play until he resolves the appeal with the league. Marisnick explained his decision to slide when and where he did on his Twitter account. Lucroy said he received a text message from Marisnick on Sunday. “I don’t think he was trying to hurt anybody,” Lucroy said of Marisnick. “However, I did give him the whole lane, the whole foul territory to slide. I did tell him that in the text. As a catcher, when a play’s at home, I always try to give the runner some place to slide. That’s what the new rule says, you’re supposed to do that. If you don’t you can get called for interference and then they’ll get the run. “We communicated, and it is what it is.” Lucroy was concussed when his helmet was struck by a foul tip in July 2015, when he played for the Milwaukee Brewers. He did not receive medical clearance to return until late in September of that season. Ultimately, Lucroy didn’t play again until 2016. The immediate impact of this concussion was worse. Lucroy said he blacked out after the collision and didn’t regain consciousness until he was placed on a utility cart on the field. While his concussion symptoms have subsided, the added complication of a broken nose makes it difficult to estimate a timetable for Lucroy to return. “I don’t think it’s going to be too long,” he said. “But then again, I’m not going to put a time frame on it.” Lucroy is batting .237 with seven homers and 30 RBIs in 73 games. The Angels activated Kevan Smith from the injured list. He and Dustin Garneau will serve as the team’s catchers while Lucroy is sidelined. Manager Brad Ausmus said the playing time between Smith and Garneau will be split evenly for now and will allow individual performance to dictate the timeshare. Smith missed 17 games with a sprained metacarpal bone in his left hand. He also missed time earlier in the season with a concussion. Smith was hitting .296 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 27 games at the time of his most recent injury. COZART’S SEASON ENDS Zack Cozart was diagnosed with a torn labrum in his left shoulder and will undergo surgery Wednesday. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who operated on a complete tear in Cozart’s shoulder last year. Angels general manager Billy Eppler said Cozart’s season is over. Penciled in as the team’s starting third baseman when the season began, Cozart’s season hardly began. In 38 games he batted .124 with no home runs and seven RBIs. He missed a total of 49 games because of injuries to his shoulder and neck. While Cozart was optimistic that his recovery period will be quick enough to allow for a normal offseason, he acknowledged this surgery “is not necessarily going to fix that issue. I’m going in for a clean-up right now. There’s a little more going on than just that.” “It’s pretty complicated actually,” Cozart said. “I’ve learned a lot about my anatomy in the past two months that I didn’t really care about until now. Hopefully, this works, it cleans it up, I can get my motion back, and get the strength in there and everything and start swinging.” Coming off six solid seasons in Cincinnati, the Angels signed Cozart to a three-year, $38 million contract as a free agent prior to the 2018 season. He’s played 96 games since, batting .190 with five home runs and 25 RBIs. Cozart will become a free agent again after next season. MINOR TRADE The Angels swung a minor trade with the Dodgers, acquiring catcher Josh Thole and left-handed pitcher Adam McCreery for cash. McCreery joins the Angels’ 40-man roster, and Cozart was transferred to the 60-day injured list in a corresponding roster move. Both players will be assigned to minor league affiliates. McCreery, 26, pitched one inning for the Atlanta Braves last season and was purchased by the Dodgers during the offseason. He was 2-1 with a 4.04 ERA in 30 appearances combined between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City this year with 39 strikeouts in 35⅔ innings. Thole, 32, played 478 games in the major leagues with the Mets and Blue Jays from 2009 to 2016. He signed as a minor-league free agent with the Dodgers in January. Thole hit .245 with one home run in 47 games split between Double-A and Triple-A. Related Articles Dodgers trade minor-leaguers to Angels, clear spot for A.J. Pollock Healing Angels look to make steep climb toward playoffs Angels midseason breakdown Angels stats at the All-Star break Jake Marisnick suspended 2 games following collision with Angels’ Jonathan Lucroy “He’s maintained the bat-missing ability that we tend to value here,” Eppler said of McCreery. “We could also stand to improve our catching depth because we’ve had some adversity there. I think the Dodgers did a solid for Josh by putting him in a situation to maybe have a higher probability of at some point getting back to the big leagues this season. We were able to package that in today’s transaction.” Triple-A catcher Jose Briceño, on the injured list with a strained right shoulder, recently began a throwing program and is not expected back soon. ALSO Pitcher Keynan Middleton is expected to continue his minor league rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake, Ausmus said. Middleton threw a scoreless inning in his second appearance with advanced Class-A Inland Empire on Thursday. … Pitcher JC Ramirez’s next step hasn’t been announced. The right-hander allowed seven runs in five innings Thursday with Salt Lake. … Both pitchers are recovering from Tommy John surgery. UP NEXT Angels (RHP Matt Harvey, 2-4, 7.50 ERA) vs. Mariners (opener for LHP Wade LeBlanc, 5-2, 4.66 ERA), Saturday, 7 p.m., Fox Sports West, 830 AM View the full article
  4. The games aren’t supposed to be as important when a teammate is lost. That is what they all say, whether you’ve lost Tyler Skaggs, Thurman Munson, Hank Gathers, Darryl Kile, Pelle Lindbergh or Jose Fernandez. It would take a sports psychologist like Dr. Ken Ravizza to explain how this really works, and last year Ravizza had a heart attack and passed away, and who do you see about that? In the three weeks since July 1, the Angels have played well. One might have anticipated an emotional relapse after Friday night, their first home game without Skaggs, when Taylor Cole and Felix Pena threw a no-hitter against Seattle and the players decorated the mound with Skaggs 45 shirts.Related Articles Rookie Matt Thaiss hits three-run homer to give Angels sweep of Seattle Mariners Angels’ Jonathan Lucroy expected to miss three weeks after nasal procedure Angels rout Mariners in successful return for Matt Harvey A night after honoring Tyler Skaggs with a no-hitter, Angels still in awe of performance Alexander: A night to honor Angels’ Tyler Skaggs becomes even more special That was also the night of perhaps the bravest pitch ever thrown from that mound, when Debbie Skaggs loosened up her softball arm and honored her son with a strike. One can only imagine how she did that, but then Mike Trout has exceeded his own standards in these weeks, and the Angels also won Saturday and Sunday and they’re a live wire in the wild-card race. You rarely get a chance to play above death. Jeff Fryer runs a basketball academy in Newport Beach. In the spring of 1990 he was part of Loyola Marymount’s futuristic crew that was preparing to win the West Coast Conference tournament when Gathers, a raging power forward who referred to himself as “the strongest man alive,” collapsed and died at Gersten Pavilion. Fryer was not the only Lion who cried, and said he didn’t care if he played anymore. The next week, LMU played in the NCAA sub-regional in Long Beach. It beat New Mexico State. It ripped Michigan, the defending national champs, by the incongruous score of 149-115. Fryer hit 11 of 15 three-pointers and scored 41. Bo Kimble, Gathers’ buddy from Philly who shot free-throws lefthanded in Hank’s honor, scored 37. The Lions had become America’s sweethearts, crusaders so driven that not even the teams they beat could complain. They went to Oakland for the regionals and survived an Alabama slowdown, 62-60. Then UNLV kept them out of the Final Four with a 131-101 reality check. Along the way Fryer was quoted as saying the Lions had become “an emotional hurricane.” “I wish I hadn’t said that,” Fryer said on Sunday. “Somebody else said that and I picked it up and then it got into the media. Honestly it was just a matter of us focusing better. We knew we had lost a great player so we all tried to do a little bit more. I can’t explain it. As a team we just took it up a notch.” The Angels talk about Skaggs the way the Lions talked about Gathers. Hank was the power source in that locker room, an agitator to coaches and players alike, so comfortable around the media that he used to warn sportscasters he was after their jobs. He called the beachy Fryer “Spicoli” and critiqued his ultra-casual wear. Gathers’ death was not quite as stunning as Skaggs’. In December he had collapsed on the court and was taking heart medication. But it was still devastating, as was the timing. With Gathers, the Lions legitimately felt their bewildering style could capture the whole tournament. They were at least 25 years ahead of their time. Michigan players were dumbstruck when Fryer pulled up from the faraway line in the midst of a 3-on-2. The Lions averaged 123 points, and Fryer put up 11 3-pointers per game. “Coach (Paul) Westhead told us not to win for Hank,” Fryer said. “He said just play hard for him and for ourselves. I know I thought about Hank and tried to be tougher, mentally and physically, like he was. It was harder to deal with when it was all over, a few weeks later. I still think about him.” The Yankees and Cardinals didn’t start winning after Munson and Kile were taken. Lindbergh, the Philadelphia Flyers’ goaltender, died in an auto accident in November, 1985. The Flyers won their next game by scoring three goals in the third period. Replacement goalie Bob Froese went 31-10-3. But the Flyers, Eastern Conference champs in ‘85, lost in the first round of the playoffs. Only a psychologist could explain why you play better when the outcome no longer surrounds everything. Maybe it’s more urgent because that fellow on third base, the one waiting for your sacrifice fly, is someone different now. He has shared your hell. In the end, it’s simple. The games had to be important, existentially, because they always were to Skaggs. View the full article
  5. ANAHEIM – Matt Thaiss picked a good time to hit his first major league home run. The Angels and Mariners were tied at 3 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday when Thaiss thumped a Roenis Elias fastball 374 feet to right field for a three-run home run. Thaiss, a 24-year-old rookie playing just his fifth game as an Angel, began the day with one hit in his first 14 at-bats. When Thaiss circled the bases and returned to a jubilant dugout, the annual July “hug watch” ritual took on a new meaning. He was mobbed. After the game, teammates Kole Calhoun and Justin Bour each dumped a bucket full of liquid over Thaiss’ head. An Angels staffer handed the rookie a white towel to dry off. For Thaiss, the spoils of the Angels’ 6-3 victory were wet. The win allowed the Angels (48-46) to sweep the three-game series against the Mariners (39-58) before an announced crowd of 38,560 at Angel Stadium. Thaiss finished 2 for 3, Ty Buttrey (5-4) was credited with the victory for throwing a scoreless eighth inning, and Hansel Robles tossed a scoreless ninth for his 13th save. The only sour note: Mike Trout was removed after two innings with right calf tightness. He is considered day to day. Kole Calhoun’s 21st home run of the season accounted for the Angels’ only run against Mariners starter Yusei Kikuchi – and their only hit – until the fifth inning. Kikuchi walked Dustin Garneau to begin the inning. Matt Thaiss singled to right field, ending a personal 0-for-13 skid, and knocking the left-handed pitcher out of the game. Right-hander Matt Carasiti took over and walked David Fletcher on five pitches, loading the bases. Andrelton Simmons, who replaced Trout in the lineup, followed with a five-pitch walk of his own. It was only the 10th walk Simmons has drawn this season. Garneau trotted home with the Angels’ second run. The bases remained loaded for Shohei Ohtani, whose sacrifice fly to left-center field was plenty deep for Thaiss to tag up and score. The game was tied 3-3. Angels starter Jose Suarez faced the Mariners for the third time in only his seventh major league start. This time, Seattle took a more patient approach against the 21-year-old left-hander. Suarez needed 91 pitches to get through 4 ⅓ innings. Control was not an issue. Suarez walked only one batter. He threw 27 pitches in two-strike counts. The approach worked nonetheless. Three consecutive singles with two outs in the first inning gave the Mariners their first run. A solo home run by Austin Nola in the second inning put the Angels behind 2-0. After Calhoun’s homer found the concrete landing in right field, Domingo Santana answered with a solo home run of his own in the bottom of the third inning, giving Seattle a 3-1 lead. Suarez was tagged for seven hits and three runs, all earned. He struck out seven, matching his most in a single game in his brief career. It could have been worse. Related Articles Angels’ Jonathan Lucroy expected to miss three weeks after nasal procedure Angels rout Mariners in successful return for Matt Harvey A night after honoring Tyler Skaggs with a no-hitter, Angels still in awe of performance Alexander: A night to honor Angels’ Tyler Skaggs becomes even more special Photos: Angels pay emotional tribute to Tyler Skaggs The Mariners ran into two outs at home plate in the fourth inning. With Nola at first base, Dylan Moore doubled to right field. Nola heeded the stop sign of coach Chris Prieto after rounding third base. When Mallex Smith hit a ground ball into a drawn-in infield, Nola broke from third base on contact, and Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons had a fairly easy out at home plate. Moore went to third base on the play. Smith, who was safe at first base, tried to steal second but was picked off by Suarez. When Angels first baseman Albert Pujols saw Moore break for home plate in the middle of the ensuing rundown, he wheeled the ball to catcher Dustin Garneau for the third out. Later, in the seventh inning, Smith broke from third base on a ground ball back to the mound. Angels pitcher Cam Bedrosian threw the ball to third baseman Matt Thaiss, who tagged Smith on the rear end to prevent another run with a couple feet to spare. More to come on this story. View the full article
  6. ANAHEIM – Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy will undergo a closed reduction procedure on his fractured nose Tuesday. Lucroy said he was told the non-invasive procedure will last 30 minutes, and he will need to wear a “butterfly wing”-shaped cast for 3 to 7 days afterward. “Once it starts to get in place, if there’s no bleeding or anything I should be able to start some activities” once the cast is removed, Lucroy said. Lucroy said this was his fourth nasal fracture. Manager Brad Ausmus anticipates the 33-year-old catcher will need three weeks from the time of his procedure before he can return. Sunday, in the Angels’ final game before the All-Star break, Lucroy was on the receiving end of a home plate collision with the Houston Astros’ Jake Marisnick. He was diagnosed with a concussion and a broken nose. Friday, he said his concussion symptoms have subsided to the point where he feels well. How does his nose feel? “It’s a little stuffed up,” Lucroy said. “I feel like I have a cold. But it’s not too bad. I can sleep and breathe. It just feels like I have a cold.” Lucroy is hitting .237 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs in 73 games this season. Marisnick and the Astros visit Anaheim for a four-game series beginning Monday. Marisnick was suspended two games by Major League Baseball, but he appealed the suspension and has been allowed to play in the meantime. INJURY UPDATES Brian Goodwin took batting practice on the field for the first time since he was placed on the injured list with a right wrist contusion. “There will probably be a decision on him soon,” Ausmus said. Sunday, Goodwin missed his eighth game since he sustained the injury. Ausmus does not anticipate the 28-year-old outfielder will need a minor league rehabilitation assignment. Keynan Middleton will make his next minor league rehabilitation appearance Monday with Triple-A Salt Lake, a home game for the bees. The right-hander has made three appearances since he was cleared to pitch following Tommy John surgery last year. He has yet to allow a run. Right-hander JC Ramirez, who is also rehabbing his way back from Tommy John surgery, has a 7.91 earned-run average in eight minor league games. He allowed seven runs in five innings in his most recent appearance Thursday with Salt Lake. However, Ausmus said Ramirez is healthy. “I think generally speaking he’s felt good,” Ausmus said. “I think we just want to make sure he’s ready. I’m sure he wants to be pitching here immediately but we want to be comfortable as well that he’s ready to contribute and help us win. He’s really pretty much with every rehab start, both that night and the next day, he’s said he’s felt really good.” MAKEUP DATE ANNOUNCED The July 1 game in Arlington, Texas that was postponed hours after the death of Tyler Skaggs will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Aug. 20, the Rangers announced. The makeup game is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Pacific Time. The regularly scheduled game between the Rangers and Angels will start at the listed time of 5 p.m. The Tuesday games will fall in the middle of a three-day series against the Rangers. The Angels have a scheduled day off Thursday, Aug. 22, before heading to Houston for a three-game series beginning Friday, Aug. 23. The Rangers weren’t available to make up the game Aug. 22. They begin a four-game series in Chicago against the White Sox that day. UP NEXT Angels (RHP Griffin Canning) vs. Astros (LHP Framber Valdez), Monday, 7 p.m., Fox Sports West, 830-AM View the full article
  7. ANAHEIM — A night of sleep, or without sleep, in some cases, did little to help the Angels to comprehend what they had experienced a night earlier. “It’s beyond what you can write up or ever think about,” Taylor Cole said Saturday. “It’s the single greatest moment I’ve ever had on a baseball field, and I’ve been playing since I was a little kid. It goes beyond just winning a baseball game. It goes beyond all that.” Cole and all the rest of the Angels were wearing new red T-shirts bearing Skaggs’ oft-used phrase: “We’re nasty.” The shirts showed up on Saturday, which was Skaggs birthday. A day earlier, Cole had pitched two perfect innings and then Félix Peña followed with seven hitless innings, the only blemish being a walk, in Angels’ remarkable no-hitter on Friday night. They did it wearing jerseys that all bore the name “Skaggs” and the No. 45, honoring their fallen friend and teammate. On Saturday, as they were asked to dissect, with the perspective of another night, what had happened, most of them still seemed to be in awe of the accomplishment. Each remembered little bits of the night, obvious and subtle, that told them something special was happening. For Cole, his was a 3-and-0 pitch to Domingo Santana in the first inning. He chucked a fastball over the middle, and Santana smoked it, 101.5 mph, but it one-hopped right to shortstop Andrelton Simmons. “I’ve had some balls go the other way as well earlier this year,” Cole said, “but yesterday was our day. It was Skaggs’ day. It’s really really special.” The defensive play of the game came from Matt Thaiss, who didn’t even realize that he was protecting a no-hitter at the time. Thaiss dove to his left and snagged a smash from Mac Williamson, then he scrambled to his feet and made a throw just in time to get to the out. Thaiss has been a third baseman for about two months. In his first couple games at the position, he said he was still “dropping and blocking ground balls,” like a catcher, which is the position he’d played in college.Related Articles Alexander: A night to honor Angels’ Tyler Skaggs becomes even more special Photos: Angels pay emotional tribute to Tyler Skaggs Angels no-hit Mariners on a night of remembrance for Tyler Skaggs Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy healing quickly from concussion, slowly from broken nose Dodgers trade minor-leaguers to Angels, clear spot for A.J. Pollock Yet, in his fourth major league game, at a relatively new position, he had the biggest play to make the unforgettable night possible. “I think it was meant to be last night,” Thaiss shrugged a day later. Despite Thaiss’ great play, he was still pulled for defense in the ninth inning, with David Fletcher going to third and Luís Rengifo entering at second. Manager Brad Ausmus said on Saturday that he actually worried that getting pulled for defense in a 13-0 game might not be great for Thaiss’ confidence. “Going into the ninth, we were three outs away and there were a bunch of fans and a bunch of players that want to see this happen,” Ausmus said. “I just wanted to remove as much chance as possible. My biggest concern was Matt Thaiss thinking he can’t play in a 13-run game. So I talked to him in the dugout before I made the move and told him it was an experience thing because he hadn’t had a lot of experience at third base.” Rengifo ended up making the final play, as a hard ground ball hit him in the chest. He calmly picked the ball up off the ground and threw it to first in time to get speedy Mallex Smith and secure the no-hitter. That ball would wind up sitting at the top of Skaggs’ locker, which has remained as he left it. After that, and after the players had all placed their No. 45 jerseys on the mound, the calls and texts and tweets started streaming in from around the major leagues. Players from other teams, some with no connection to the Angels, all expressed their joy at watching the way the Angels performed on such an emotional night. Ausmus, who said he got texts from several other managers, said it was the “most special” game he’d ever experienced. “It’s kind of tough to put into words,” Ausmus said. “The number of texts and emails that I’ve gotten as a result of the game has been unbelievable to me. We’re on west coast time zone so I think a lot of people were asleep. I’m not sure if they saw it this morning or stayed up late last night. It touched a lot of people outside Anaheim as well.” It was the kind of game that sent Dustin Garneau home unable to sleep, as he tossed and turned all night, replaying the events in his mind. “The jerseys on the mound, I’ll never forget that,” Garneau said. “To be around the mound and everyone join in the moment I won’t forget. It still hasn’t hit me. We understand we had a no-hitter and everything, but how it went down and the day it went down, it still is like a scene from a movie.” ALSO Brian Goodwin, who is out with a right wrist contusion, is scheduled to hit on the field on Sunday. He could be activated soon after that… JC Ramírez is scheduled for at least one more rehab outing, Manager Brad Ausmus said. Ramírez, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, has pitched in eight minor league games so far, including allowing seven runs on Thursday night… Keynan Middleton will move his rehab assignment to Triple-A Salt Lake. Middleton, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, has pitched three games so far. Middleton could be ready to return within a week or two… Shohei Ohtani threw another bullpen session on Saturday. Ohtani said he’s still throwing only fastballs, and everything is going smoothly… The Angels designated Jarrett Parker for assignment to create a spot for Matt Harvey on the roster. Harvey started on Saturday night. UP NEXT Angels (LHP José Suarez, 2-1, 5.40) vs. Mariners (LHP Yusei Kikuchi, 4-6, 4.94), 1:07 p.m., Fox Sports West View the full article
  8. Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols drops his bat as he watches his three-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Wade LeBlanc pauses on the mound during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds Los Angeles Angels starter Matt Harvey throws to a Seattle Mariners batter during the fourth inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout follows through on a two-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Seattle Mariners’ Mallex Smith, left, steals third base before the tag from Los Angeles Angels third baseman David Fletcher during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Seattle Mariners’ Mallex Smith, right, steals second base next to Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons, right, steals second base as Seattle Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon waits for the throw during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Seattle Mariners’ J.P. Crawford slides into second base with a double during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, is tagged out at second base by Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford as he tried to stretch a single into a double during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani smiles in the dugout before the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun signals after hitting a solo home run against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Matt Harvey throws to a Seattle Mariners batter during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols (5) walks in the dugout before the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, stretches next to teammate Mike Trout before the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Show Caption of Expand ANAHEIM — The Angels welcomed Matt Harvey back a day after they said goodbye to Tyler Skaggs. Although the loss of Skaggs is certainly far more important than any impact it has on the Angels’ roster, the relentless season and the team’s slim playoff hopes nonetheless demand that they find quality starting pitching without Skaggs. Harvey took his turn on Saturday night, returning from a seven-week absence to have an encouraging performance in the Angels’ 9-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners, which also included Mike Trout’s eighth homer in his last seven games. Harvey gave up one run in 5-2/3 innings, a dramatic improvement from the type of performances that left him with a 7.50 ERA before he went on the injured list with a back problem. The injury was resolved within a few weeks, so Harvey spent the rest of the time trying to diagnose the issues that had rendered him ineffective as a pitcher. Harvey had lost some velocity from spring training until mid May, which he sought to rediscover by changing his mechanics. On Saturday night, his average fastball was 92.3 mph. In his final start before going on the IL in May, the average was 91.9 mph. He induced just eight swings and misses on his 93 pitches, which is well below the league average of 12 percent. The most important metric, however, is whether he got the hitters out, and he did that well enough.Related Articles A night after honoring Tyler Skaggs with a no-hitter, Angels still in awe of performance Alexander: A night to honor Angels’ Tyler Skaggs becomes even more special Photos: Angels pay emotional tribute to Tyler Skaggs Angels no-hit Mariners on a night of remembrance for Tyler Skaggs Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy healing quickly from concussion, slowly from broken nose Harvey worked around a double and a walk in the first inning. He retired the Mariners in order in the second and fifth. In between, the Angels turned two double plays to help him escape the third and fourth. The Mariners finally got a run against Harvey in the sixth, when Mallex Smith led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly. By then, though, he had a six-run lead thanks an an Angels offense that picked up where it left off after Friday night’s 13-run explosion in a no-hitter dedicated to Skaggs. Kole Calhoun belted a second-inning homer just over the picture of Skaggs on the center field fence, putting the Angels up 2-0. It was the 20th homer of the season for Calhoun, and his career-high ninth against a left-handed pitcher. An inning later, Trout blasted a two-run homer into the Angels bullpen, with Noé Ramírez snagging the baseball in his cap. It was Trout’s 30th homer of the year. Trout hit No. 30 in the Angels’ 93rd game. Trout broke his own club record, having previously hit his 30th homer in the Angels’ 98th game, in 2015. Albert Pujols padded the lead to 9-2 with a three-run homer in the seventh, his 14th of the season. The Angels collected 12 hits, including three from Luís Rengifo and two apiece from David Fletcher, Calhoun and Pujols. More to come on this story. View the full article
  9. Felix Pena #45 of the Los Angeles Angels jumps into the arms of catcher Dustin Garneau #13 as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Felix Pena #64 of the Los Angeles Angels gets the final out as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Felix Pena, right, celebrates with catcher Dustin Garneau after the Angels threw a combined no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners during a baseball game Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. Taylor Cole pitched the first two innings. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Felix Pena #64 of the Los Angeles Angels jumps into the arms of catcher Dustin Garneau #13 as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Angels pitcher Felix Pena jumps into the arms of catcher Dustin Garneau after the final out of the team’s combined no-hitter in a 13-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Teammates wearing #45 mobbed Felix Pena #45 of the Los Angeles Angels after getting the final out as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Teammates wearing #45 mobbed Felix Pena #45 of the Los Angeles Angels after getting the final out as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Teammates wearing #45 mobbed Felix Pena #45 of the Los Angeles Angels after getting the final out as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Felix Pena, second from left, is congratulated by teammates after he finished off a combined no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners during a baseball game Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. Taylor Cole pitched the first two innings. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Angels pitcher Felix Pena, center, looks on after every member of the team places their No. 45 Skaggs jerseys on the mound in honor of their former teammate after their 13-0, no-hit victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Los Angeles Angels placed their jerseys on the mound in honor of Tyler Skaggs as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Felix Pena, right, hugs starter Taylor Cole after they threw a combined-no hitter against the Seattle Mariners during a baseball game Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. The Angels won 13-0. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Taylor Cole, left, and relief pitcher Felix Pena, right, alongside Pena’s interpreter, middle, acknowledge the crowd’s applause after a combined no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners during a baseball game Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. The Angels won 13-0. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Fans holds of signs during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Felix Pena #64 of the Los Angeles Angels as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Felix Pena #64 of the Los Angeles Angels gets the final out as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Members of Tyler Skaggs’ family, including wife, Carli, left; mother, Debbie, second from left; and stepfather, Dan Ramos, third from left, join in a moment of silence in Tyler’s honor before the Los Angeles Angels’ baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) The late Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ mother, Debbie, center in red, throws the game’s ceremonial first pitch, at a baseball game between the Angels and the Seattle Mariners on Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Angels manager Brad Ausmus, facing camera, hugs the late pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ mother, Debbie, before the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Debbie Skaggs, center left, mother of the late pitcher Tyler Skaggs, gets a hug from Los Angeles Angels outfielder Andrew Heaney before the Angels’ baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) A moment of silence during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Members of the Los Angeles Angels observe a moment of silence for teammate Tyler Skaggs, before a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Members of the Los Angeles Angels observe a moment of silence for teammate Tyler Skaggs before the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Fans hold of signs during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 12: Tyler Skaggs wife Carli Skaggs, and his mother Debbie Hetman stand next to step father Dan Ramos during the National Anthem before the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) The players of both teams line up during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) The players of both teams line up during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Skaggs, mother of Tyler Skaggs holds Tyler Skaggs wife, Carli as father Dan Ramos, right, wipes his face during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Members of the Los Angeles Angels wear No. 45 in honor of teammate Tyler Skaggs, who died earlier this month, during the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) A framed jersey of Tyler Skaggs on the pitching mound during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) A framed jersey of Tyler Skaggs on the pitching mound during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Hetman, mother of Tyler Skaggs hugs team members during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Hetman, mother of Tyler Skaggs hugs team members during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Hetman, Tyler Skaggs’ mother, hugs Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney as stepfather Dan Ramos, left, and widow of Tyler Skaggs Carli, right look on during a tribute to pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Fans look on during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Danny Hetman (stepfather) , left, with Debbie Skaggs (Mother), second from left, wife Carli Skaggs, catcher Andrew Heaney #45 of the Los Angeles Angels and Garret Hetman, right, during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Hetman, mother of Tyler looks on as stepfather Dan Ramos marks in the dirt before throwing out the ceremonial pitch during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Hetman, mother of Tyler looks mark in the dirt before throwing out the ceremonial pitch during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Skaggs, mother of Tyler throws out the ceremonial pitch during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Hetman, mother of Tyler Skaggs holds Tyler Skaggs wife, Carli as father Danny Hetman, right, wipes his face during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Hetman, mother of Tyler looks to the sky as stepson Garret Hetman reacts after throwing out the ceremonial pitch during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Fans hold of signs during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 12: Mike Trout #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs to the dugout at the end of the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. All the Angels players wore Tyler Skaggs jersey #45 to honor him after his July 1 death. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) Shohei Ohtani #45 of the Los Angeles Angels singles against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Shohei Ohtani #45 of the Los Angeles Angels high fives teammate Mike Trout #45 after scoring against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Shohei Ohtani #45 of the Los Angeles Angels scores on a single by teammate Andrelton Simmons (not pictured) against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Shohei Ohtani #45 of the Los Angeles Angels singles against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Mike Trout #45 of the Los Angeles Angels high fives teammates after hitting a two run home run against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Mike Trout #45 of the Los Angeles Angels looks toward the scoreboard after hitting a two run home run against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Andrelton Simmons #45 of the Los Angeles Angels doubles against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) David Fletcher #45 of the Los Angeles Angels singles against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Mike Leake #8 of the Seattle Mariners throws to the plate against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Taylor Cole #45 of the Los Angeles Angels throws to the plate against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Starting pitcher Taylor Cole #45 of the Los Angeles Angels takes a moment prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Andrelton Simmons #45 of the Los Angeles Angels prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Mike Trout #45 of the Los Angeles Angels prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Players and coaches hug as Tommy La Stella sits on the bench next to a jersey of Tyler Skaggs hangs in the dugout during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Brad Ausmus, center, of the Los Angeles Angels with coaches Mike Gallego, left, and Jesus Feliciano, right, sit next to a framed jersey of Tyler Skaggs during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Angels center fielder Mike Trout stands in front of the sign on the outfield wall that honors former Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who passed away on July 1. Trout kick-started their 13-0 victory over the Mariners on Friday night with a towering home run, then watched two of his teammates combine on the team’s first no-hitter since 2012. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Show Caption of Expand ANAHEIM — Closure can be elusive. For the Angels, who lost teammate Tyler Skaggs a little less than two weeks ago, it will come slowly, haltingly, maybe uneasily, and probably at a different pace for each member of the organization. But there are nights like Friday, the night before Skaggs would have turned 28, when in honoring their teammate the Angels delivered another of those evenings at the ballpark that you just don’t expect. It was the first game after the All-Star break, and their first home game since Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room two Mondays ago, before the subsequently-postponed first game of a road trip in Texas. To commemorate? They scored seven runs in the first inning, 13 for the game, and pitchers Taylor Cole and Felix Peña combined on the franchise’s second combined no-hitter, a 13-0 victory over Seattle. Were there greater forces at work? “You can’t make this stuff up,” All-Star center fielder Mike Trout said. “We scored seven runs in the first, ended with 13. Tyler’s birthday is 7-13. Thirteen runs, thirteen hits. … Tonight was in honor of him. He was looking over us tonight, and he’s probably up there sayin’ we’re nasty.” That phrase, of course, became Skaggs’ trademark. It apparently will be the Angels’ motto going forward. It was a night packed with emotion, from the moments Angels players entered the ballpark – maybe walking past the impromptu shrine, with flowers and caps and signs and candles and baseballs, that fans set up outside the home plate gate – to the moments following the game when the uniformed personnel, all of whom wore “SKAGGS 45” jerseys, took them off and laid them on the pitcher’s mound. The decision to wear the jerseys was made a week ago. Laying them on the mound was more spur of the moment, thought up by hitting coach Jeremy Reed and passed on to Justin Upton and then Trout and from there to the rest of the team. The emotions remain raw. Skaggs’ locker in the Angels clubhouse remains intact, uniforms and sweatshirts, socks and shoes and his glove neatly placed. A sign saying, yes, “We’re Nasty” adorns the wall opposite the long row of cubicles. Skaggs’ influence and memory will be felt in myriad other ways. “I catch myself thinking about him all the time, honestly,” injured infielder Zack Cozart said. “It kind of haunts me because it’s just so sudden and tragic … 45 will always be in my mind. To be honest, I think with all the guys here that’s how it’s gonna be. “He’s the life of the team, honestly. He’s the music guy, he’s pumping everybody up. I went to Ole Miss, and him and (Andrew) Heaney used to have a thing with me where in a country voice they’d go ‘Hotty Toddy,’ because that’s the slogan at Ole Miss. When you’re around guys all the time, you have little things like that. Now every time I hear ‘Hotty Toddy,’ I’ll be thinking about Tyler.” Note that Cozart referred to Skaggs in the present tense. That will happen for a while, too. The pregame ceremony, with a tribute video and an emotional first pitch by his mom, Debbie, a former softball ace – yeah, you’d better believe she threw a perfect strike – was just a prelude. Example: Trout touched off that seven-run first inning (and a 3-for-4, six-RBI night) with a two-run home run, a 454-foot rocket to dead center, on the first pitch from Mike Leake. He rarely swings at the first pitch. “Like I said, he’s watching over everybody,” Trout said. The night was cathartic. But even when the games aren’t as rousing as this one was, the night after night nature of baseball is therapeutic in its own way, normalcy through repetition. “The fact that the game distracts them probably eased the pain a little bit,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “We all went our separate ways at the All-Star break; again, another distraction. We came back here, and I walked into the ballpark today and saw the flowers and the signs out front. That was kind of special.” But true healing will take time, and probably a lot of it, depending on the individual. More than likely, that ache in the heart never really goes away, but over time you learn to manage it. “I think it’s going to be tough this season” to truly get back to normal, Trout said. “Obviously we’re going to remember him always. It just seems like everything we do at the stadium, he always comes up. You walk by his locker every day and you miss that fun. Every time you’d go up to him he had that smirk on his face, either in a sarcastic way, jokingly, or just trying to put a smile on your face. “It’s going to be with us for sure, obviously the rest of the time I play, but more the rest of the season because it’s here. We’re always going to be thinking about it, so it’s always going to be emotional. It doesn’t matter. It’s different for everybody, and it’s just something we’re going to have to get through.” Related Articles Photos: Angels pay emotional tribute to Tyler Skaggs Angels no-hit Mariners on a night of remembrance for Tyler Skaggs Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy healing quickly from concussion, slowly from broken nose Dodgers trade minor-leaguers to Angels, clear spot for A.J. Pollock Healing Angels look to make steep climb toward playoffs This wasn’t just a body blow for players and coaches. General Manager Billy Eppler, who has his own priorities and responsibilities as the July 31 trade deadline approaches, noted that he’s found it hard to maintain focus. “It’s not that easy of a plug-and-play,” he said. “I’ll find myself sometimes in mid-conversation and just kind of drift for a second or two, or 10 seconds, or whatever it is. I mean, this stuff hits people just randomly.” But, he said, if there is a member of the organization who can help people get through this, it is their best player. “I’m going to repeat a line that’s been said a little bit: His shoulders are broad because he carries around a lot,” Eppler said. “This young man has just continued to be there for everybody. He’s an MVP, and he’s also a shoulder to cry on or to cry with. He’s a best friend. He’s a husband, he’s a son, he’s a teammate.” Being the team spokesman, in such trying circumstances, likely has been harder than anything Trout has ever had to deal with on a baseball field. But he has shown us, again, that there are many ways to be an MVP. jalexander@scng.com @Jim_Alexander on Twitter View the full article
  10. Felix Pena #64 of the Los Angeles Angels jumps into the arms of catcher Dustin Garneau #13 as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Felix Pena #64 of the Los Angeles Angels gets the final out as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds Felix Pena #64 of the Los Angeles Angels jumps into the arms of catcher Dustin Garneau #13 as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Felix Pena #64 of the Los Angeles Angels gets the final out as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Teammates wearing #45 mobbed Felix Pena #45 of the Los Angeles Angels after getting the final out as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Teammates wearing #45 mobbed Felix Pena #45 of the Los Angeles Angels after getting the final out as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Felix Pena #64 of the Los Angeles Angels gets the final out as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Angels pitcher Felix Pena, center, looks on after every member of the team places their No. 45 Skaggs jerseys on the mound in honor of their former teammate after their 13-0, no-hit victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Los Angeles Angels placed their jerseys on the mound in honor of Tyler Skaggs as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Felix Pena #64 of the Los Angeles Angels as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Teammates wearing #45 mobbed Felix Pena #45 of the Los Angeles Angels after getting the final out as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Los Angeles Angels placed their jerseys on the mound in honor of Tyler Skaggs as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Felix Pena #45 of the Los Angeles Angels jumps into the arms of catcher Dustin Garneau #13 as the Los Angeles Angels throw a combined no-hitter and defat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 during a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Fans holds of signs during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Members of Tyler Skaggs’ family, including wife, Carli, left; mother, Debbie, second from left; and stepfather, Dan Ramos, third from left, join in a moment of silence in Tyler’s honor before the Los Angeles Angels’ baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Angels manager Brad Ausmus, facing camera, hugs the late pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ mother, Debbie, before the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Debbie Skaggs, center left, mother of the late pitcher Tyler Skaggs, gets a hug from Los Angeles Angels outfielder Andrew Heaney before the Angels’ baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Members of the Los Angeles Angels wear No. 45 in honor of teammate Tyler Skaggs, who died earlier this month, during the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 12: Tyler Skaggs wife Carli Skaggs, his mother Debbie Skaggs stand next to step father Dan Ramos during the National Anthem before the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) Shohei Ohtani #45 of the Los Angeles Angels high fives teammate Mike Trout #45 after scoring against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Shohei Ohtani #45 of the Los Angeles Angels scores on a single by teammate Andrelton Simmons (not pictured) against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Shohei Ohtani #45 of the Los Angeles Angels singles against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Shohei Ohtani #45 of the Los Angeles Angels singles against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Mike Trout #45 of the Los Angeles Angels high fives teammates after hitting a two run home run against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Mike Trout #45 of the Los Angeles Angels looks toward the scoreboard after hitting a two run home run against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout rounds the bases after his two-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Andrelton Simmons #45 of the Los Angeles Angels doubles against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) David Fletcher #45 of the Los Angeles Angels singles against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Mike Leake #8 of the Seattle Mariners throws to the plate against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 12: Mike Trout #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs to the dugout at the end of the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. All the Angels players wore Tyler Skaggs jersey #45 to honor him after his July 1 death. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) Taylor Cole #45 of the Los Angeles Angels throws to the plate against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a MLB baseball game at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Starting pitcher Taylor Cole #45 of the Los Angeles Angels takes a moment prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Andrelton Simmons #45 of the Los Angeles Angels prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Mike Trout #45 of the Los Angeles Angels prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Fans hold of signs during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) A framed jersey of Tyler Skaggs on the pitching mound during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Dan Ramos (stepfather) , left, with Debbie Skaggs (Mother), second from left, wife Carli Skaggs, cather Andrew Heaney #45 of the Los Angeles Angels and family member during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Skaggs, mother of Tyler Skaggs hugs team members during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Skaggs, mother of Tyler Skaggs hugs team members during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Fans look on during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Skaggs, mother of Tyler looks on as stepfather Dan Ramos marks in the dirt before throwing out the ceremonial pitch during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Skaggs, mother of Tyler looks mark in the dirt before throwing out the ceremonial pitch during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Skaggs, mother of Tyler looks to the sky after throwing out the ceremonial pitch with family members by her side during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Skaggs hugs catcher Andrew Heaney #45 of the Los Angeles Angels as stepfather Dan Ramos, left, and wife of Tyler Skaggs Carli, right look on during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Mike Trout #45 of the Los Angeles Angels walks past the outfield wall sign in honor of Skaggs during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) A framed jersey of Tyler Skaggs on the pitching mound during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Fans hold of signs during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Players and coaches hug as Tommy La Stella sits on the bench next to a jersey of Tyler Skaggs hangs in the dugout during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Members of the Los Angeles Angels observe a moment of silence for teammate Tyler Skaggs, before a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Members of the Los Angeles Angels observe a moment of silence for teammate Tyler Skaggs before the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 12: Members of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim stand on the baseline to honor Tyler Skaggs before they played the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. The entire Angels team wore #45 on their jersey to honor Skaggs who died on July 1. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 12: Members of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim stand on the baseline to honor Tyler Skaggs before they played the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. The entire Angels team wore #45 on their jersey to honor Skaggs who died on July 1. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) The players of both teams line up during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) The players of both teams line up during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Brad Ausmus, center, of the Los Angeles Angels with coaches Mike Gallego, left, and Jesus Feliciano, right, sit next to a framed jersey of Tyler Skaggs during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Skaggs, mother of Tyler Skaggs holds Tyler Skaggs wife, Carli as father Dan Ramos, right, wipes his face during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Debbie Skaggs, mother of Tyler throws out the ceremonial pitch during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) The late Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ mother, Debbie, center in red, throws the game’s ceremonial first pitch, at a baseball game between the Angels and the Seattle Mariners on Friday, July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Debbie Skaggs, mother of Tyler looks to the sky after throwing out the ceremonial pitch during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) A moment of silence during a tribute for pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away on On July 1, 2019 prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners at Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Show Caption of Expand ANAHEIM — Angels general manager Billy Eppler has a depth chart displaying current and future seasons in his office. He said he hasn’t looked at it since Tyler Skaggs died. He isn’t ready. There is no universal method for grieving tragedy. Another way is to look at the tragedy square in the eyes, to match its intensity. Every Angels player wore a jersey with Skaggs’ name and number 45 in Friday’s game against the Seattle Mariners, their first home game since Skaggs died July 1, threw a combined no-hitter and won 13-0. Taylor Cole started and threw two perfect innings. Felix Peña relieved him and threw seven innings, allowing only one baserunner on a walk. It was the 11th no-hitter in franchise history. READ ABOUT THE ANGELS’ 10 PREVIOUS NO-HITTERS An evening that began somber and scripted ended in spontaneous joy. After Mallex Smith grounded out to second baseman Luis Rengifo to end the game, the Angels’ dugout and bullpen emptied onto the field to embrace Peña. When the celebration ended, every player removed his jersey and placed it on the mound. Credit Skaggs with the save. Skaggs was everywhere Friday. The announced crowd of 43,140 was greeted with a makeshift memorial in front of the entrance to Angel Stadium. An image of Skaggs was affixed to the wall in center field. In the home clubhouse, Skaggs’ locker stood unchanged. A hat, a Coca-Cola bottle, and a baseball filled the top shelf. A warm-up jacket, nine shirts, four pairs of white pants, and two red jersey tops hung from the center rack. Two gloves and four pairs of cleats filled the bottom shelves. A white jersey top hung from a hanger on the left side; three pairs of socks hung from a hook on the right. First pitch was delayed until 7:18 p.m. for a pregame ceremony in Skaggs’ honor. Former Angels pitcher Garrett Richards stood with Skaggs’ family as a tribute video played, followed by 45 seconds of silence. Skaggs’ mother, Debbie Hetman, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney. It sailed down the middle of the plate, the same location as Skaggs’ final pitch of his final game on June 30. Just when it seemed like the game to follow couldn’t matter less, the Angels unleashed an unforgettable slaughter. Mike Trout went 3 for 5 with six RBIs. David Fletcher and Andrelton Simmons also finished 3 for 5. Cole struck out two and Peña struck out six, completing the Angels’ first no-hitter since Jered Weaver blanked the Minnesota Twins on May 2, 2012. The Angels scored seven runs in the first inning against the Mariners. Trout batted twice, hitting a two-run home run in his first at-bat, and a two-run double with the bases loaded in his second at-bat. Seattle’s starting pitcher, Mike Leake, threw 47 pitches to 12 batters and recorded two outs. His last pitch was ball four to Shohei Ohtani. Matt Festa replaced Leake and struck out Justin Upton, but immediately the outcome of the game was sealed. As tributes go, a 7-0 win over a division rival would have been more than sufficient. As it happened, the Angels were just getting started. Related Articles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy healing quickly from concussion, slowly from broken nose Dodgers trade minor-leaguers to Angels, clear spot for A.J. Pollock Healing Angels look to make steep climb toward playoffs Angels midseason breakdown Angels stats at the All-Star break Cole threw a 1-2-3 second inning, pointing skyward after he retired Kyle Seager on a fly ball for the third out. In the bottom of the inning, the Angels scored twice more. Festa walked Matt Thaiss with the bases loaded. Trout batted with the bases loaded again and was hit on the left arm. By the end of the inning, he’d batted twice and driven in five runs. Peña relieved Cole as scheduled and picked up where his “opener” left off. He did not allow a baserunner until Omar Narvaez walked in the fifth inning. He did not come close to allowing a hit until the sixth inning, when Matt Williamson hit a hard grounder between Thaiss, the Angels’ third baseman, and shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Thaiss, a catcher in college and a first baseman for most of his minor league career, found the ball in the webbing of his glove after diving to his left. He threw to first base in time to retire Williamson by a half-step, the Angels’ most photogenic play in the field since the ceremonial first pitch. The Angels kept scoring against the hapless Mariners (39-56), the last-place team in the American League West. In the fifth inning, Trout drove in David Fletcher with a double. In the sixth inning, Simmons scored on a groundout. In the seventh inning, Justin Upton’s fourth home run of the season cleared the fence in left-center field. The Angels led 13-0. The only suspense that remained was the potential for a no-hitter. Much more to come on this story. View the full article
  11. BOSTON – The Dodgers and Angels made a trade Friday, clearing space on the 40-man roster for the Dodgers. They sent left-hander Adam McCreery and catcher Josh Thole to the Angels for cash considerations. Both McCreery and Thole have major-league experience in their past but have spent this season in Double-A and Triple-A. The move clears a 40-man roster spot (Thole was not on the 40-man) for the Dodgers, who activated outfielder A.J. Pollock from the 60-day Injured List. McCreery, 26, pitched one inning for the Atlanta Braves last season and was purchased by the Dodgers during the offseason. He was 2-1 with a 4.04 ERA in 30 appearances combined between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City this year with 39 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings. Thole, 32, has played 478 games in the major leagues with the Mets and Blue Jays from 2009 to 2016. He signed as a minor-league free agent with the Dodgers in January. Thole hit .245 with one home run in 47 games split between Double-A and Triple-A. View the full article
  12. Houston Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick was suspended for two games because of his collision with catcher Jonathan Lucroy on Sunday, breaking Lucroy’s nose and giving him a concussion. Marisnick still has the right to appeal the suspension, which Major League Baseball announced Thursday. “After thoroughly reviewing the play from all angles, I have concluded that Jake’s actions warrant discipline,” MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre said in the announcement. “While I do not believe that Jake intended to injure Jonathan, the contact he initiated in his attempt to score violated Official Baseball Rule 6.01(i), which is designed to protect catchers from precisely this type of collision.” Marisnick bowled over Lucroy while trying to score the go-ahead run in the eighth-inning of the Angels’ game in Houston, prompting Angels Manager Brad Ausmus to suggest the play warranted a suspension. Marisnick was called out on the play because he violated baseball’s rules on home plate collisions. Runners are not permitted to deviate from their direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate a collision. Marisnick said he believed Lucroy was moving toward foul territory, so he was changing his path to try to avoid him. Lucroy remained in fair territory, though. After the collision, several players from around the majors commented on the collision, with opinions split on whether Marisnick should be suspended. The Astros play the Angels at Angel Stadium for a four-game series starting Monday. Related Articles Whicker’s 60 for 30: Two fun facts on each MLB team at the All-Star break In the culture war over the New Baseball, what can we learn from New Coke? Dodgers come up short for NL in All-Star Game loss; Laguna Hills’ Shane Bieber is named MVP 2019 MLB All-Star Game: Rosters, TV information, fun facts Angels’ Mike Trout, Tommy La Stella wear 45 to honor Tyler Skaggs at All-Star Game View the full article
  13. By Tres Hefter, AngelsWin.com Columnist Many new names dot the hotlist this week, especially among the hitters. Notably, the top three are all former top prospects from other organizations that the Angels have pilfered away through various means recently, further evidence of the strong efforts to rebuild the farm and find under-the-radar, high-upside talent. The lower levels continue to show promise for the next offensive wave, and our A/A+ pitching continues to produce well, with a few starting to graduate to AA. 1) Gareth Morgan – OF, Inland Empire A+: Plucked from the Mariners organization a few weeks ago, the 6’4″, 220 pound right-handed hitting 2nd Rounder from the 2014 draft has demonstrated absurd power, even for the hitting-friendly California League. Playing all three outfield positions, Morgan has been on an 82-HR pace over 162 since joining the Angels org. 25 games ago, hitting seven homers in the last two weeks alone. Plate discipline, however, continues to elude Morgan – as he drew only two walks against 25 strikeouts in that time. Still, his .333/350/.719/1.069 slash since June 24th is good enough to earn him the top spot on this hotlist. It’s unlikely Morgan ever becomes more than a Jabari Blash-type (Japan and Korea could hone in on him) but he’s still worth keeping an eye on, if only for the fun HR rates. 2019 hitting (IE, A+): .301/.333/.660/.994 with 1 double, 12 HR, 29 RBI, 4 BB, 52 K in 25 G/111 PA 2) Adrian Rondon – 3B, Orem Rookie: Rondon was the #1 ranked international prospect by Baseball America in the 2014 class when the Rays signed him for ~$3m, but he never produced with Tampa, with his best season producing a mere .731 OPS in Rookie ball in 2016. The Angels swung a deal for Rondon this winter, sending cash to Tampa, and the early returns are promising. Only 20 years old, Rondon is still a bit younger than the average Pioneer League player, and he’s starting to demonstrate the offense many had dreamed on, slashing .378/.385/.676/1.060 over the last two weeks, collecting three doubles, a triple, and two home runs along the way, as well as a couple stolen bases. Playing primarily 3B now, Rondon could become what the Angels had hoped for when they signed Kevin Maitan. 2019 (Orem Rk.): .325/398/.506/.904 with 6 doubles, 1 triples, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 10 BB, 15 K in 21 G/88 PA 3) Jhoan Urena – 1B, Mobile AA: Urena does not come with the same prospect pedigree of Adrian Rondon, but he was once a highlight of the Mets international spending. Only 24, Urena has turned in a solid AA campaign, recently slashing .375/.444/.604/1/049 over the last two weeks, demonstrating a blend of contact, power (6 extra-base hits), and discipline (6 walks, 13 strikeouts) in 54 plate appearances. Playing primarily first base in that span, Urena has mostly seen time at the corners. He’s unlikely to impact Anaheim, but should the Angels wind up buyers and offer names like Thaiss, Ward, and Rojas, Urena could find his way to the PCL and produce some intriguing numbers, perhaps earning a Cesar Puello-type audition for some MLB team in the near future. 2019 (AA): .273/.347/.410/.756 with 16 doubles, 3 triples, 6 HR, 38 BB, 33 BB, 87 K in 80 G/326 PA 4) Jose Rojas – DH/1B/2B,Salt Lake AAA: Rojas continues to let up in his ever-relentless quest to beat the odds and reach the big leagues with the team he grew up rooting for. While his defense has led to increasing use as a DH, Rojas recently saw time back at 2B, a position he’s played sparingly, as well as first base. Offensively, though, Rojas refuses to let up, as he powered through the last two weeks with a .283/.353/.630/.983 slash, with 5 doubles, a triple, and three more home runs. Rojas might not have the prospect shine to come up substantially in trade talks, but it’s not hard to imagine some teams taking notice, and he may yet wind up on the MLB depth charts if the Angels are forced to deal away Ward or Thaiss for pitching help. Rojas will be eligible in the Rule 5 draft this offseason if he is not added to the 40-man. He is now sixth in the PCL in total bases with 177. 2019 (AAA): .289/.357/.562/.919 with 25 doubles, 5 triples, 17 HR, 68 RBI, 36 BB, 82 K in 78 G/356 PA 5) Raider Uceta – RF, Arizona Rookie: Jumping stateside this year, Uceta was one of the Angels international signees in the 2017 class, drawing interest due to his offensive-ceiling with above-average raw power. Only 18, the power has yet to take root, but recent weeks has started to hint at that potential. Uceta has slashed .368/.455/.526/.981 with four doubles and a triple, while maintaining strong contact and discipline (6 BB, 10 K) skills. Paired up with other young outfielders like Rainier Rivas, Trent Deveaux, D’Shawn Knowles, and Alexander Ramirez, the Angels could have a whole new generation of outfield talent soon ranking behind Trout, Adell, and Marsh. 2019 hitting (AZL Rk.): .300/.373/.417/.790 with 5 doubles, 1 triple, 9 RBI, 7 BB, 17 K in 16 G/67 PA Honorable mention, hitters: Rainier Rivas (RF, DSL Rk.): .455/.556/.636/1.192 with 2 3B, 3 BB, 5 K – not enough PA to qualify, but a great start for the 18-year old D’Shawn Knowles (OF, Orem Rk.): .424/.474/.545/1.019 with 4 2B, 4 BB, 7 K – also not enough PA to qualify, but he continues to impress Jared Walsh (1B/LHP, AAA): .286/.446/.524/.970 with 4 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 12 BB, 13 K – solid discipline, also one scoreless inning pitched Taylor Ward (LF, AAA): .316/.400/.561/.961 with 5 2B, 3 HR but only 8 BB, 15 K Kaleb Cowart (IF, AAA): .326/.360/.565/.925 with 5 2B, 2 HR, 2 BB, 10 K, 2.2 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, K Connor Fitzsimmons (1B, A): .222/.317/.528/.845 with 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 4 BB, 16 K Michael Hermosillo (OF, AAA): .261/.370/.478/.849 with 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 7 BB, 17 K – playing mostly RF Will Wilson (SS/2B, Orem Rk.): .263/.317/.500/.817 with 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 BB, 9 K 6) Kyle Tyler – RHP, Burlington A: This 20th Round pick from the 2018 draft has not come with much attention, but Kyle Tyler has turned in a solid sophomore campaign, one in which he’s been converted to the rotation like many Angels low-level pitchers. Recently, he’s been boosted by three straight solid starts, allowing only one earned run in 17 IP (0.53 ERA) with only 11 hits and four walks (.88 WHIP). Tyler doesn’t boast big strikeout numbers, but he’s kept walks and hits in check, and could find himself following a Jesus Castillo-type path in the minors. 2019 (A): 3.41 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, .209 BAA, 23 BB, 62 K across 71.1 IP in 15 G/12 GS 7) Andrew Wantz – RHP, Mobile AA: Recently promoted to AA Mobile, Wantz is another 2019 convert to the rotation, and he’s been consistent throughout, enough so that he is probably starting to slot in behind Sandoval, Castillo, and Madero as the next-closest Angel SP prospect, perhaps even being in-line for action in 2020. Like Tyler, Wantz has delivered three straight solid starts, going five innings in each, allowing a 3.60 ERA and .214 BAA, striking out 18, and walking only 5. His prior success in relief roles could turn Wantz back towards the bullpen in the long-term, but he’s quickly becoming one of the better SP prospects in the org. 2019 (A+/AA): 3.73 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, .226 BAA, 25 BB, 86 K across 72.1 IP in 16 G/11 GS 8 ) Oliver Ortega – RHP, Inland Empire A+: An electric performance in the A+ All-Star Game brought some attention to Ortega, who is quickly opening eyes and showing promise as, at worst, a future reliever. His 90 strikeouts on the year rank second across the entire organization – majors and minors – and in the last two weeks, his two appearances have continued to trend in the right direction, as he pitched 11.2 IP with a 1.54 ERA, .175 BAA, allowing only 2 walks against 16 strikeouts. Ortega will need to be added to the Angels 40-man this winter in order to be protected in the Rule 5 draft, so the Angels might promote him to AA Mobile sooner rather than later, or, Ortega could follow a trajectory similar to that of Luis Madero, joining the 40-man while in A+ as a one-year-from-MLB-readiness multi-inning RP or SP option. 2019 (A+): 3.21 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, .207 BAA, 37 BB, 90 K, across 75 IP in 16 G/12 GS 9) Hector Yan – LHP, Burlington A: The strikeouts continue to rack up for Yan – 20 in three starts and 13.2 IP – who now leads the entire organization – MLB and minors – with 98 on the year. Walks continue to be a bit of an issue for Yan, who allowed 7 over the past two weeks along with 7 hits (.240 BAA) and a 4.61 ERA, but the 20-year old’s upside is apparent. While his control might limit him to a future in the bullpen, he is no doubt the Angels third-best LHP SP prospect at this time, behind Suarez and Sandoval. 2019 (A): 3.38 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, .194 BAA, 38 BB, 98 K, only 2 HR allowed across 69.1 IP in 17 G/13 GS 10) Isaac Mattson – RHP, Mobile AA: Promoted to AA in mid-May, Mattson hasn’t skipped a beat, and has been dominant over the last two weeks, making 4 scoreless appearances, allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out 12 in 11.1 IP. He is undoubtedly pitching himself into the MLB relief depth charts, and could even be in the mix later this year – a 5 hits per 9 innings, 0.4 HR per 9 innings, and a 2.7 BB/9 paired with a 13.6 K/9 will do that for you. 2019 (A+/AA.): 1.72 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, .160 BAA, 14 BB, 71 K across 47 IP in 22 G Honorable mention, pitchers: Alejandro Duran (RHP, DSL Rk.): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 12 K, 0.00 ERA in 2 games – 17-years old with 4 BB, 32 K, 2.16 ERA in 25 IP Tyler Smith (RHP, A): 7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 11 K, 3.52 ERA in 5 games Jeremy Beasley (RHP, AA): 10 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 12 K, 3.60 ERA in 2 GS Cristopher Molina (RHP, A+): 16 IP, 15 H, 3 BB, 10 K, 4.50 ERA in 3 GS Tyler Carpenter (RHP, AA): 14.1 IP, 14 H, 4 BB, 13 K, 2.51 ERA in 3 GS View the full article
  14. ANGELS FIRST-HALF REVIEW HOW THEY GOT HERE: Before the season began, the Angels figured to be around a .500 team, or perhaps a little better. So, arriving at the All-Star break with a 45-46 record is not a surprise. However, the way they’ve done it has been a little surprising. Aside from Mike Trout being Mike Trout, little has gone as expected. Free-agent pitchers Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill and Cody Allen all underperformed, and Allen was released. Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons spent significant time on the injured list, taking chunks out of the middle of the lineup. On the positive side, Tommy La Stella and Brian Goodwin came from nowhere to provide solid offensive production. The bullpen, most notably Hansel Robles, Ty Buttrey and Cam Bedrosian, has mostly been good enough to hold the leads they’ve built. For the season, the Angels are 3-13 against the three division leaders – the Astros, Twins and Yankees – and 42-33 against everyone else. SECOND-HALF PREVIEW KEY TO THE SECOND HALF: Starting pitching was the Angels’ weakness before the tragic loss of Tyler Skaggs, and now the issue has been magnified from a baseball perspective and, more importantly, an emotional one. The pitchers are going to need to improve their performance, which would be tough enough even without also dealing with the grief. Harvey is going to get another shot to be in the rotation. JC Ramírez also figures to be back from Tommy John surgery soon. If one or both of them could perform as even a league average starter, providing five to six innings an outing, the Angels have a chance. The starters need to pitch more innings to keep the bullpen from being overworked, as it was for much of the first half. TRADE POSSIBILITIES: If the Angels can get on a hot streak in the next couple weeks, they could encourage GM Billy Eppler to get them some help for the rotation. It is unlikely the Angels would go after one of the top rental pitchers (Madison Bumgarner, Zack Wheeler) because they’d be risking a lot for a shot at a one-game playoff. They could go after someone like Marcus Stroman or Noah Syndergaard, who would remain under control beyond this year, but that would cost a chunk of the farm system. They could try for someone like Tanner Roark or Andrew Cashner, each of whom would cost less in prospects than those others, but still be an upgrade. If they decide to sell, they don’t have much to offer. The best would be Kole Calhoun, who could be attractive because he’s had a solid year and he has an option for next year. The Angels, however, need to clear room for Jo Adell, so they may be willing to move Calhoun if they deem the 2019 season to be over. BIGGEST CONCERN: The bullpen has kept the Angels competitive for most of the season, but Robles, Buttrey and Bedrosian have all been worked hard. The Angels need to have their starters pitch deeper, and they need the offense to produce some more comfortable leads to take the stress off the bullpen. SCHEDULE: The Angels have 14 games remaining against the division-leading Astros. They also have plenty of games against each of the top wild-card contenders: the Rays (three), Indians (six), Red Sox (seven), A’s (five) and Rangers (six). That’s 41 of 71 remaining games against teams they are trying to catch. That is a blessing and a curse. They have enough games to control their destiny, but they will need to play well to beat those teams. The most important stretch is obviously between now and the July 31 trading deadline. Fortunately for the Angels, 13 of those 19 games are against the Mariners, Tigers and Orioles. If they play well enough then, they may get some help before a three-city trip that includes seven games against the Indians and Red Sox in early August. Related Articles Healing Angels look to make steep climb toward playoffs Angels stats at the All-Star break Jake Marisnick suspended 2 games following collision with Angels’ Jonathan Lucroy Whicker’s 60 for 30: Two fun facts on each MLB team at the All-Star break In the culture war over the New Baseball, what can we learn from New Coke? View the full article
  15. ANAHEIM — After enduring one of the toughest weeks that likely any of their players have endured, the Angels return to action Friday following a badly needed four-day break. It’s not going to be any easier. As time passes, slowly relieving the grief felt from the tragic loss of Tyler Skaggs, they will also be facing the increasingly difficult task of ending the franchise’s four-year playoff drought. The first part of that job is simply having the emotional strength to perform at the highest level every day, even when they’ll face daily reminders of a loss more important than any on the field. If last week is any indication, the Angels seem prepared to put their grief aside for three hours a day. After losing Skaggs, the Angels split six games on the road against the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros, teams ahead of them in the standings. They had a chance to win four of six, but blew a five-run lead Sunday. “With what’s happened around here, watching everybody come together, watching the men in here pull for one another and be there for one another has been pretty special,” Kole Calhoun said. Jonathan Lucroy, who suffered a broken nose and a concussion in a frightening home-plate collision at the end of the week, had said earlier that he had been encouraged by watching his teammates in the aftermath of the tragedy. “I think that we’re a tight-knit group,” Lucroy said. “Going through something like that made us tighter. I hate that is what made us tighter, but it did. It’s been a different feeling in here after that happened.” Lucroy also has another feeling about his team: “I think we’re going to do something. I really do. I have a feeling that we’re going to sneak up on some people.” They will start with long odds. The Angels are 45-46, in fourth place in the American League West. They trail the Astros by 12 1/2 games. A wild card is more realistic, but still a tall order. The Tampa Bay Rays (52-39) and Cleveland Indians (50-38) are currently holding the two wild-card spots. The Angels trail the Indians, the second wild card, by 6 1/2 games, including eight games in the loss column. The Angels also need to leapfrog the Oakland A’s (50-41), Boston Red Sox (49-41) and Rangers (48-42). “I believe we can definitely make a run,” Lucroy said. “Every team goes through struggles throughout the year. I’m hoping our biggest struggles were at the beginning of the year.” Lucroy simply needs to look to his team from last year for proof that a turnaround is possible. Lucroy was with the A’s in 2018. They were still under .500 in mid-June, but they got hot in the second half and cruised into a wild-card spot with 97 victories. The A’s had a patchwork starting rotation – after losing Sean Manaea to injury, their best starters were Mike Fiers, Trevor Cahill and Edwin Jackson – but they had a dominating bullpen and a strong lineup. The Angels’ best shot at replicating that starts with the offense. Even though they didn’t have Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons for extended stretches in the first half, the team still hit the All-Star break exactly in the middle of the league in runs. Although they will be without surprising Tommy La Stella for much of the second half, if they can simply keep Ohtani, Upton and Simmons around Mike Trout every day, the Angels can have a dangerous offense. They also have Calhoun and David Fletcher offering solid production around that core. “When we’re hitting on all cylinders, and we got all our guys, it’s a very long lineup,” Upton said. “It’s tough to navigate through. We put the ball in play as a team and put pressure on the defense.” An improvement in the offense can also help the pitching. Comfortable leads can help Angels pitchers throw strikes more aggressively, which will help them be efficient with their pitch count. Related Articles Angels midseason breakdown Angels stats at the All-Star break Jake Marisnick suspended 2 games following collision with Angels’ Jonathan Lucroy Whicker’s 60 for 30: Two fun facts on each MLB team at the All-Star break In the culture war over the New Baseball, what can we learn from New Coke? “With the kind of weapons we have offensively, it should give the pitchers comfort,” Lucroy said. “I know it gives me as a catcher comfort. But it should give the pitchers some comfort that if you give up a run here or there, there’s a pretty good chance we’re going to get that back. So that should hopefully help them relax and make them more efficient.” The Angels’ top relievers, who have all performed well for most of the season, may also get a little more rest if they have comfortable leads more often. In the first game of the season the Angels played with Trout, Upton, Ohtani and Simmons in the lineup, on June 27, they scored seven runs in the first three innings and won 8-3, without using Hansel Robles, Ty Buttrey or Cam Bedrosian. The bullpen also could get a boost from the return of Keynan Middleton, who is expected back from Tommy John surgery by the end of the month. Add Justin Anderson to that mix, and the Angels could have five solid relievers to protect leads, shortening games and spreading the workload. A better offense and a fresher bullpen can help, but the Angels will still need the starters to pitch better. “In order for us to compete for a playoff spot, that’s what has to happen,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “I think we’re in a position to do it, but we’re going to have to do it. We have two and a half months to do it.” View the full article
  16. The Angels (45-46) have been within two games of .500 for a month, as their middling pitching staff and injury-ravaged lineup have prevented them from the sort of extending winning streak needed to get back into contention. Then have a run differential of negative-3, which means their record is perfectly fitting for the way they’ve played. The offense, though, figures to improve, because Justin Upton, Shohei Ohtani and Andrelton Simmons all missed significant chunks of time, yet the Angels were still ninth in the majors with a .775 OPS. How else do they measure up with the rest of MLB, statistically? Statistical category (MLB ranking) ANGELS OFFENSE On-base pct. – .336 (eighth) Slugging pct. – .439 (14th) OPS – .775 (ninth) Batting average – .260 (ninth) ANGELS PITCHING Team ERA – 4.94 (24th) Bullpen ERA – 4.59 (19th) WHIP – 1.36 (17th) Strikeouts per 9 inns – 9.0 (11th) Opponent OPS – .776 (20th) Opponent batting avg. – .248 (11th) Related Articles Healing Angels look to make steep climb toward playoffs Angels midseason breakdown Jake Marisnick suspended 2 games following collision with Angels’ Jonathan Lucroy Whicker’s 60 for 30: Two fun facts on each MLB team at the All-Star break In the culture war over the New Baseball, what can we learn from New Coke? View the full article
  17. The latest season of the Netflix series “Stranger Things” transports us to the year 1985. In one episode, two characters debate the merits of New Coke. The controversy swirling around the soft drink, which was discontinued in 2002, is unfamiliar enough to 2019 audiences that it deserves refreshment. For the teenage characters, their debate centered around taste. For older generations of the time, something greater was at stake: tradition. The Coca-Cola Company was incorporated in Georgia in 1892. Any change to its signature product was sure to touch a nerve in America at large, and the South in particular. Sure enough, despite empirical taste tests demonstrating a broader preference for the New Coke, fans of the Old Coke complained to an eager press. They wanted their soft drink back. Moreover, they wanted to champion this particular soft drink as a token of a culture war. Let Pepsi be the “choice of a new generation” – Coca-Cola’s old formula was the drink of their generation, taste tests be damned. So it was that the Old Coke quickly returned and New Coke was quietly phased out. A corporation thought it had built a better mousetrap, stumbled into a culture war spearheaded by a vocal minority, and quietly retreated from the battle lines. Stranger things have happened. This is the story we tell about New Coke now, 34 years after it entered our lives. Baseball’s signature product, the home run, is in the midst of a similar conversation in 2019. It’s a cultural conversation, yes, but also some very specific, smaller conversations in which powerful people are questioning how we like our home runs. In the second inning of the All-Star Game on Tuesday night, Fox Sports split the screen on its television broadcast. The game played out on the left side. On the right, we saw a dugout interview between reporter Ken Rosenthal and pitcher Justin Verlander. “The commissioner today said that MLB has not ordered the balls to be altered, and the owners do not want more home runs,” Rosenthal told Verlander. The pitcher chuckled. A day earlier, Verlander told reporters that the preponderance of home runs had turned baseball into a “joke.” The current rate of 1.37 home runs per game would be an all-time record over a full season. Verlander believed “100 percent” that the league was intentionally tweaking the composition of the baseballs to allow for more home runs. It’s telling that Fox and Major League Baseball chose an in-game interview to address this issue in the most direct manner possible. Consider that a 30-second commercial during the All-Star Game has been variably reported to cost between $500,000 and $590,000. Someone with power believed Verlander’s supplicant take on the home-run spike – MLB is “trying to do the same thing we are, they’re saying,” he said, “if that’s the case then we can all figure this thing out” – was a valuable message to disseminate. It is certainly no coincidence that this came after Verlander was reportedly “chewed out” by two MLB executives, Joe Torre and Jim Leyland, following his conspiracy theory comments. MLB cares how we talk about home runs, now and 34 years from now. It wants to get its side of the story out quickly, lest New Baseball stumble into the same trap as New Coke. “You know, the biggest flaw in that logic is that baseball somehow wants more home runs,” Manfred told reporters Tuesday. “If you sat in an owner’s meeting and listened to people talk about the way our game’s being played, that is not the sentiment among the owners for whom I work. There is no desire on the part of ownership to increase the number of home runs in the game. To the contrary, they’re concerned about how many we have.” Verlander’s skepticism comes from a good place. We’ve seen this play before. This week, commissioner emeritus Bud Selig released a memoir, co-authored with journalist Phil Rogers, titled “FOR THE GOOD OF THE GAME: The Inside Story of the Surprising and Dramatic Transformation of Major League Baseball.” Selig describes watching Barry Bonds’ pursuit of Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record with none of the public-facing ceremony and pageantry we saw in the summer of 2007. Selig called it an “unpleasant” experience. He considered his presence at every Giants game perfunctory. Because he “didn’t want to be conspicuous by my absence,” Selig wrote, he found himself “hopscotching around the country to be in attendance when the self-absorbed slugger hit the record homer.” Sometimes, commissioners do things because they have to. They make the necessary proclamations while trying not to say the quiet part out loud. The quiet part about home runs today is that it took a literal astrophysicist to determine all the physical factors that might be affecting the soaring baseballs. The physics Manfred has publicly asserted, to this point in the conversation, draws from an MLB-commissioned study of 2017 baseballs. Today’s baseballs are different. In the meantime, the league has purchased Rawlings, which manufactures the baseballs at its plant in Costa Rica, and pledged more stringent oversight of the manufacturing process. Time is MLB’s biggest obstacle to conducting a thorough study of the new baseballs. And time can be vital. Related Articles Corey Seager, David Freese activated by Dodgers, A.J. Pollock next Blistering start has Dodgers focused on next October opportunity Dodgers midseason breakdown Dodgers stats at the All-Star break Dodgers come up short for NL in All-Star Game loss; Laguna Hills’ Shane Bieber is named MVP The conversation about home runs in 1998 focused on Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s pursuit of Roger Maris’ single-season record. At the time, their heroics boosted the popularity of a sport still reeling from the 1994 strike and the cancellation of that year’s World Series. By 2007 the conversation was different. “By then we knew what was going on,” Selig wrote. “This was an age when sluggers found extra power through chemistry, and, of course, Barry was one of the leading men in baseball’s steroids narrative. There is plenty of blame to spread around in this sad chapter, and I’ll accept my share of the responsibility.” In nine short years, hitting a home run had morphed from a cherished accomplishment to a scarlet letter of suspicion. McGwire, Sosa and Bonds have yet to be inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Decades from now, what will the conversation about home runs in the late 2010s sound like? The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger and the Brewers’ Christian Yelich each have a fighting chance of hitting 60 home runs, something no one has done since 2001 – the heart of the “steroid era.” We know now that’s partially a function of physics. Whether that’s good or bad might be a matter of taste, which can always change. Selig notes in his memoir that implementing MLB’s drug testing program required collective bargaining with the MLB Players’ Association. To a degree, it even required Congressional intervention – an unusually large stage for a culture war over home runs. This time, the conversation around homers will be different. Some players, like Verlander, might want to rein in the lack of air resistance around the baseball. Perhaps the majority of owners do too, as Manfred said. But if the culture war around New Coke holds any lesson for Baseball (and the baseball) in 2019, it’s that the majority doesn’t always rule. View the full article
  18. Sixty fun facts for 30 major league teams at the All-Star break: DODGERS: Despite his .218 average, Kiké Hernadez is fourth on the team with 43 RBIs. Since July 11, 2018, Max Muncy has 36 home runs and 100 RBIs. ANGELS: Mike Trout’s OPS is 1.098. Carlos Santana is next highest A.L. hitter, at .958. From 2001-08, the Angels never ranked outside the top six in runs allowed. Since 2011 they haven’t been sixth or higher. NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST ARIZONA: Christian Walker has 17 home runs and 45 RBIs. The departed Paul Goldschmidt has 16 home runs and 37 RBIs for St. Louis. Ketel Marte leads the league with 110 hits. He had 135 last year. SAN DIEGO: Over the last season and a half, closer Kirby Yates has 150 strikeouts and 26 walks. The Padres are 19-9 in one-run games. COLORADO: Charlie Blackmon is hitting .419 with men in scoring position and the Rockies are hitting .298, both league highs. Rockies’ opponents are slugging .510 at Coors Field. SAN FRANCISCO: Pablo Sandoval has an .895 OPS, his best since 2011. The Giants’ bullpen has 24 saves in 28 opportunities. AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST HOUSTON: In 126⅔ innings, Justin Verlander has given up 50 hits that weren’t home runs. At 36 he has a career-low and league-leading OPS (0.83). Yuli Gurriel grounded into a league-high 22 double plays last year, only six this year. OAKLAND: The Athletics are 2-7 in extra-inning games, 48-34 when they play nine. Khris Davis had 123 RBIs last year but has only 43 this year. TEXAS: Joey Gallo had never hit over .206 for a season. Now he’s hitting .275 and his OPS is up from .810 to 1.060 (in 61 games). Rangers pitchers have coaxed 83 ground-ball double plays, leading the league. SEATTLE: The Mariners have made 92 errors. No other A.L. team has made 70. Dee Gordon led the NL with 60 steals two years ago in Miami. In a year-and-a-half in Seattle he has only 59 stolen base attempts. NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL: CHICAGO: The Cubs are 12-4 against division rivals Milwaukee and St. Louis. Their bullpen has a walk rate of 11.4 percent, the worst in MLB. MILWAUKEE: The Brewers have the worst average with men in scoring position (.237) in baseball. Christian Yelich has 52 home runs in his past 503 at-bats. ST. LOUIS: The Cardinals rank 12th in the NL in OPS. They haven’t been that low since 1995. Last year Miles Mikolas was 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA and was sixth in Cy Young voting. This year he’s 5-9, 4.53. PITTSBURGH: Former All-Star Chris Archer has given up 20 home runs in 78 innings. Josh Bell’s .648 slugging percentage would rank second in Bucs’ history for a single season behind Ralph Kiner (.658, 1949). CINCINNATI: Yasiel Puig had a .950 OPS in June and now has 20 home runs and 51 RBIs. The Reds have improved from 14th to second in NL ERA this year. AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL MINNESOTA: The Twins lead the league in runs, slugging and home runs in Rocco Baldelli’s first year as manager. Byron Buxton has 37 extra-base hits, already a career high. CLEVELAND: The Indians have won 20 of 29 to cut six games off the Twins’ lead since June 1. With three starters on the injured list, they’re still No. 2 in quality-start percentage. CHICAGO: Alex Colome has 20 saves in 21 chances with 15 hits allowed in 35⅔ innings. Jose Abreu, whose streak of four consecutive 100-RBI seasons was snapped in 2018, has 66 after 86 games. DETROIT: The Tigers are the only A.L. team that isn’t getting on base at least 30 percent of the time (.293). Shane Greene, a possible trade deadline target, has saved 22 of Detroit’s 28 victories. KANSAS CITY: Adalberto Mondesi, son of Raul, leads the A.L. with 28 steals. At 34, Ian Kennedy has become a closer, with 11 saves in 14 chances. NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST ATLANTA: The Braves were 21-21 when Austin Riley was called up. He has 16 home runs and 41 RBIs and Atlanta is 17 games over .500. The Braves are 7-3 in extra-inning games, 17-10 in one-run games. WASHINGTON: Howie Kendrick, who turns 36 on Friday, has a career-high OPS of .940. The Nationals were 20-31 on May 24. At the break, they held the top wild-card spot in the NL. PHILADELPHIA: Bryce Harper is hitting .405 with men in scoring position, third in the league. The Phillies’ OPS has been 10th or worse in the league for the past six years and is 10th this year. NEW YORK: Only Rudy York and Mark McGwire have hit more homers in their first 89 big-league games than Pete Alonso has (30). Related Articles In the culture war over the New Baseball, what can we learn from New Coke? Corey Seager, David Freese activated by Dodgers, A.J. Pollock next Blistering start has Dodgers focused on next October opportunity Dodgers midseason breakdown Dodgers stats at the All-Star break Long Beach State alum Jeff McNeil has the NL batting lead, at .348. MIAMI: The Marlins have 68 home runs and four triples and a league-low 358 slugging percentage. They have drawn fewer than 10,000 fans at home 31 times. AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST NEW YORK: The Yankees have gotten 86 total games from Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, Didi Gregorius and Greg Bird and have 57 victories. D.J. LeMahieu is hitting .462 with men in scoring position. TAMPA BAY: Rays pitchers give up a batting average of .224 at home, .224 on the road. They are 16-9 when Ryan Stanek, the most frequent “opener,” starts a game. BOSTON: Reigning MVP Mookie Betts slugged .640 last year, is slugging .467 now. The Red Sox are 10 games over .500 on the road, two under .500 at Fenway Park. TORONTO: Blue Jays pitchers have given up 340 walks, most in the A.L. Eric Sogard had a .406 OPS in 55 games with Milwaukee last year. He’s at .842 in 60 games this year. BALTIMORE: Orioles have given up 170 home runs. They allowed 151 the entire 2014 season. John Means and Andrew Cashner are a combined 16-7 for a 27-62 team. View the full article
  19. National League starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, of the Dodgers, throws to the plate during the first inning of the All-Star Game on Tuesday night in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) A flag is unfurled over the field before the start of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds New York Yankees’ CC Sabathia throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the start of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) New York Yankees’ CC Sabathia smiles as he prepares to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) Baseball great Sandy Alomar, left, shakes hands with New York Yankees’ CC Sabathia after catching a ceremonial first pitch from Sabathia before the start of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) Baseball great Sandy Alomar acknowledges the fans after catching a ceremonial first pitch before the start of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) National League starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, throws during the first inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) National League pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, handles a grounder by American League’s DJ LeMahieu, of the New York Yankees, before throwing out LeMahieu at first during the first inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) CLEVELAND, OHIO – JULY 09: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros and the American League bats against the National League during the 2019 MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard at Progressive Field on July 09, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) National League manager Dave Roberts (30), of the Los Angeles Dodgers, talks with National League Kris Bryant (17), of the Chicago Cubs, during the fifth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League center fielder Mike Trout, of the Los Angeles Angels, warms up while wearing the number 45 of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who passed away last Monday, before the start of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) American League starting pitcher Justin Verlander, of the Houston Astros, throws during the first inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League starting pitcher Justin Verlander, of the Houston Astros, throws during the first inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League Javier Baez, of the Chicago Cubs, swings during the first inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League’s Mike Trout, of the Los Angeles Angels, grounds out during the first inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. Trout is wearing the number of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs who recently passed away. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) National League starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, throws during the first inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, of the New York Yankees, throws during the second inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) American League Masahiro Tanaka, of the New York Yankees, throws during the second inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, of the New York Yankees, throws during the second inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) National League’s Josh Bell, of the Pittsburgh Pirates, singles during the second inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League pitcher Clayton Kershaw, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, throws during the second inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) National League pitcher Clayton Kershaw, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, throws during the second inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League’s George Springer, of the Houston Astros, singles during the first inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) American League’s Michael Brantley, of the Houston Astros, hits an RBI double during the second inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) National League’s Josh Bell, left, of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is safe at first for a single as American League first baseman Carlos Santana, of the Cleveland Indians, handles the throw during the second inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) American League’s Michael Brantley, of the Houston Astros, follows through on an RBI double during the second inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr., of the Atlanta Braves, throws as National League left fielder Christian Yelich, of the Milwaukee Brewers, watches during the second inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League Alex Bregman (2), of the Houston Astros, scores past National League catcher Willson Contreras, of the Chicago Cubs, during the second inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) CLEVELAND, OHIO – JULY 09: Manager Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the National League looks on during the 2019 MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard at Progressive Field on July 09, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) National League’s Ketel Marte, of the Arizona Diamondbacks, reacts after hitting a double during the third inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) American League pitcher Jose Berrios, of the Minnesota Twins, throws during the third inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League’s Ketel Marte (4), of the Arizona Diamondbacks, doubles off American League pitcher Jose Berrios (17), of the Minnesota Twins, during the third inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) American League pitcher Jose Berrios, of the Minnesota Twins, prepares to take the mound during the third inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League’s Alex Bregman (2), of the Houston Astros, scores past National League catcher Willson Contreras, of the Chicago Cubs, during the second inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) American League’s Gary Sanchez, of the New York Yankees, shoes are seen as he bats during the second inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) National League pitcher Jacob deGrom, of the New York Mets, throws during the third inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League pitcher Jacob deGrom, of the New York Mets, throws during the third inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League’s Mike Trout, of the Los Angeles Angels, hands the baseball to American League teammate Michael Brantley, left, of the Houston Astros, during the third inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League’s Ketel Marte, of the Arizona Diamondbacks, shoes are seen during the third inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) American League pitcher Lucas Giolito, of the Chicago White Sox, throws during the fourth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League pitcher Luis Castillo, of the Cincinnati Reds, throws during the fourth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League pitcher Luis Castillo, of the Cincinnati Reds, throws during the fourth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League pitcher Shane Bieber, of the Cleveland Indians, throws during the fifth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) CLEVELAND, OHIO – JULY 09: Shane Bieber #57 of the Cleveland Indians and the American League pitches against the National League during the 2019 MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard at Progressive Field on July 09, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) American League pitcher Shane Bieber, of the Cleveland Indians, reacts after striking out National League’s Ronald Acuna Jr., of the Atlanta Braves, to strike out the side in the top of the fifth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League’s Ketel Marte, of the Arizona Diamondbacks, reacts after striking out during the fifth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League pitcher Shane Bieber (57), of the Cleveland Indians, is congratulated by teammate Francisco Lindor, of the Cleveland Indians, after Bieber struck out the side during the fifth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) National League pitcher Walker Buehler, of the Dodgers, throws to the plate during the fifth inning of the All-Star Game on Tuesday night in Cleveland. Buehler was one of three Dodgers pitchers to appear in the NL’s 4-3 loss. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League’s Gary Sanchez, of the New York Yankees, watches his double during the fifth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League’s Jorge Polanco, of the Minnesota Twins, watches his RBI single during the fifth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona, left, hugs Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco during the middle of the fifth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. The Indians’ right-hander, who was recently diagnosed with a form of leukemia, was saluted in the fifth inning of the game as part of Major League Baseball’s “Stand Up to Cancer” campaign. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona, left, hugs Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco during the middle of the fifth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. The Indians’ right-hander, who was recently diagnosed with a form of leukemia, was saluted in the fifth inning of the game as part of Major League Baseball’s “Stand Up to Cancer” campaign. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) National League pitcher Mike Soroka, of the Atlanta Braves, throws during the sixth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League pitcher Liam Hendriks, of the Oakland Athletics, throws during the sixth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League’s Charlie Blackmon (19), of the Colorado Rockies, celebrates with National League teammate Mike Moustakas (11), of the Milwaukee Brewers, after hitting a solo home run during the sixth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League’s Charlie Blackmon, of the Colorado Rockies, watches his solo home run during the sixth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco, stands with Indians teammates during the fifth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. Carrasco, the Indians’ right-hander, who was recently diagnosed with a form of leukemia, was saluted in the fifth inning of the game as part of Major League Baseball’s “Stand Up to Cancer” campaign. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) CLEVELAND, OHIO – JULY 09: Fans and players hold Stand Up to Cancer signs during the 2019 MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard at Progressive Field on July 09, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) American League pitcher Liam Hendriks, of the Oakland Athletics, reacts after giving up a solo home run to National League Charlie Blackmon, of the Colorado Rockies, during the sixth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) American League pitcher Shane Greene, of the Detroit Tigers, throws during the seventh inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League’s Charlie Blackmon, of the Colorado Rockies, watches his solo home run during the sixth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) National League’s Charlie Blackmon, of the Colorado Rockies, watches his solo home run during the sixth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) American League’s Carlos Santana, of the Cleveland Indians, is forced out by National League first baseman Pete Alonso (20), of the New York Mets, during the sixth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) American League James McCann, of the Chicago White Sox, singles, during the seventh inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) National League pitcher Brandon Woodruff, of the Milwaukee Brewers, throws during the seventh inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League’s Joey Gallo, of the Texas Rangers, hits a solo home run off National League pitcher Will Smith (13), of the San Francisco Giants, during the seventh inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) National League Will Smith, of the San Francisco Giants, waits for a new baseball after giving up a solo home run to American League Joey Gallo, right, of the Texas Rangers, during the seventh inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League Matt Chapman, of the Oakland Athletics, rounds to second on his way to third on a single by American League teammate James McCann, of the Chicago White Sox, during the seventh inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) American League’s Xander Bogaerts, of the Boston Red Sox, hits into a double play during the seventh inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. American League’s Matt Chapman, of the Oakland Athletics, scored from third on the play. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) American League’s Joey Gallo (13), of the Texas Rangers, is congratulated by American League teammates after hitting a solo home run during the seventh inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) American League’s Whit Merrifield, of the Kansas City Royals, takes a video from the outfield before the start of the eighth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) National League pitcher Will Smith, of the San Francisco Giants, throws during the seventh inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) American League pitcher Brad Hand, of the Cleveland Indians, shoes are seen during the eighth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League pitcher Will Smith, of the San Francisco Giants, reacts after giving up a solo home run to American League’s Joey Gallo, of the Texas Rangers, during the seventh inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) National League’s David Dahl, of the Colorado Rockies, singles during the eighth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) American League pitcher Brad Hand, of the Cleveland Indians, throws during the eighth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) National League manager Dave Roberts, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, laughs as talks with the players during a pitching change in the seventh inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League’s Gleyber Torres, of the New York Yankees, is out at second as National League second baseman Max Muncy, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, turns the double play during the eighth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League’s David Dahl, of the Colorado Rockies, singles during the eighth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) American League’s Joey Gallo, left, of the Texas Rangers, is congratulated by American League teammate Francisco Lindor, of the Cleveland Indians, after Gallo hit a solo home run during the seventh inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League’s Pete Alonso, of the New York Mets, hits a two run single during the eighth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) National League’s Yasmani Grandal, left, of the Milwaukee Brewers, and teammate David Dahl, of the Colorado Rockies, celebrate after scoring during the eighth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) National League pitcher Sandy Alcantara, of the Miami Marlins, throws during the eighth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) National League’s Pete Alonso, of the New York Mets, hits a two run single during the eighth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) American League catcher James McCann, of the Chicago White Sox, catches pop up in foul territory by National League Mike Moustakas, of the Milwaukee Brewers, to end the top of the eighth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) CLEVELAND, OHIO – JULY 09: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the New York Yankees and the American League pitches against the National League during the 2019 MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard at Progressive Field on July 09, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Show Caption of Expand CLEVELAND — The good news for the Dodgers is that the All-Star Game no longer determines home-field advantage in the World Series. The Dodgers have bolted to the best record in the National League, largely on the strength of their starting pitching, but two of the three Dodgers starters who pitched in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night allowed runs. Although starter Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched a scoreless first, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler each gave up single runs in the American League’s 4-3 victory. Indians right-hander Shane Bieber, a Laguna Hills High graduate who struck out all three hitters he faced, won the MVP on a night when none of the hitters had multiple hits and none of the pitchers worked multiple innings. Cody Bellinger, the starting right fielder and cleanup hitter, struck out in both of his plate appearances. Max Muncy, who came in to play second base, grounded out and struck out. Muncy mishandled one grounder but he nearly made a spectacular play on another, with a diving stop up the middle and a throw from his knees. Mike Trout, the Angels’ only representative in the game, grounded out and popped out in his two trips. It was the only time in his seven All-Star appearances that Trout did not reach safely. The AL took the lead on Michael Brantley’s RBI double against Kershaw in the second inning, and the NL never tied it. “I wish I hadn’t given up a run, but it’s a lot of fun,” Kershaw said. “I am thankful for the experience every time.” The AL doubled its lead against Buehler in the fifth, when Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez doubled and came home on an infield single. The AL had pushed its lead to 4-1 by the top of the eighth, when the NL had a shot to get back in the game, loading the bases with one out. Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, fresh off winning the Home Run Derby the night before, scalded a two-run single up the middle, cutting the deficit to 4-3. The Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman struck out the side to close out the AL’s seventh consecutive victory. The AL has won 19 of the last 23 All-Star Games. More to come on this story. View the full article
  20. 2019 MLB All-Star Game Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland When: Today, 5 p.m. PT TV: Fox/Ch. 11 Broadcasters: Joe Buck, John Smoltz, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci STARTING LINEUPS AMERICAN LEAGUE 1. George Springer, Astros, RF 2. DJ LeMahieu, Yankees, 2B 3. Mike Trout, Angels, CF 4. Carlos Santana, Indians, 1B 5. J.D. Martinez, Red Sox, DH 6. Alex Bregman, Astros, 3B 7. Gary Sánchez, Yankees, C 8. Michael Brantley, Astros, LF 9. Jorge Polanco, Twins, SS Justin Verlander, Astros, P NATIONAL LEAGUE 1. Christian Yelich, Brewers, LF 2. Javier Báez, Cubs, SS 3. Freddie Freeman, Braves, 1B 4. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers, RF 5. Nolan Arenado, Rockies, 3B 6. Josh Bell, Pirates, DH 7. Willson Contreras, Cubs, C 8. Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks, 2B 9. Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves, CF Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers P *Note: All of the starting position players were elected by the fans, with the exception of the designated hitters. With the Rangers’ Hunter Pence injured, he was replaced by Martinez in the lineup, and Roberts selected Bell to start at DH for the NL. AL RESERVES C: James McCann, White Sox 1B: José Abreu, White Sox 1B: Daniel Vogelbach, Mariners 2B: Gleyber Torres, Yankees 3B: Matt Chapman, A’s SS: Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox SS Francisco Lindor, Indians OF: Mookie Betts, Red Sox OF: Joey Gallo, Rangers OF: Austin Meadows, Rays OF: Whit Merrifield, Royals NL RESERVES C: Yasmani Grandal, Brewers C: J.T. Realmuto, Phillies 1B: Pete Alonso, Mets 1B: Max Muncy, Dodgers 2B: Mike Moustakas, Brewers 3B: Kris Bryant, Cubs 3B: Paul DeJong, Cardinals SS: Trevor Story, Rockies OF: Charlie Blackmon, Rockies OF: David Dahl, Rockies OF: Jeff McNeil, Mets AL BULLPEN RHP: José Berríos, Twins RHP: Shane Bieber, Indians LHP: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees RHP: Gerrit Cole, Astros RHP: Lucas Giolito, White Sox RHP: Shane Greene, Tigers LHP: Brad Hand, Indians RHP: Liam Hendriks, A’s LHP: John Means, Orioles RHP: Ryan Pressly, Astros RHP: Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees NL BULLPEN RHP: Sandy Alcantara, Marlins RHP: Walker Buehler, Dodgers RHP: Luis Castillo, Reds RHP: Jacob deGrom, Mets RHP: Sonny Gray, Reds LHP: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers LHP: Will Smith, Giants RHP: Mike Soroka, Braves LHP: Felipe Vázquez, Pirates RHP: Brandon Woodruff, Brewers RHP: Kirby Yates, Padres EXTRA INNINGS For the first time, if the game requires extra innings, the 10th inning – and any subsequent inning – will begin with a runner on second base each time, in order to expedite scoring. ALL-STAR GAME HISTORY Through 89 Midsummer Classics, the American League has won 44 and the National League 43, with two ties. The scores of those previous 89 games add up to 369 runs for the AL and 367 for the NL. … The AL has dominated in recent years, though, winning the last six games and 18 of the last 22 since 1997. DID YOU KNOW? The Angels’ Mike Trout has the longest active All-Star Game streak, having been selected to eight straight (though he did not participate in 2017, due to injury). He’s the first All-Star to be voted in by the fans in seven straight seasons since Derek Jeter (2006-12) and is looking to become the first three-time winner of the game’s MVP Award. … Trout, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and the Astros’ Justin Verlander are in a three-way tie for most All-Star selections, with eight apiece. … The Astros have the most All-Stars of any team this year, with six. The Dodgers have five. FIRST-TIMERS There are 36 first-time All-Stars: John Means (Orioles), Carlos Santana (Indians), Lucas Giolito (White Sox), James McCann (White Sox), Shane Greene (Tigers), Ryan Pressly (Astros), Whit Merrifield (Royals), Tommy La Stella (Angels), Jake Odorizzi (Twins), Jorge Polanco (Twins), Matt Chapman (A’s), Daniel Vogelbach (Mariners), Austin Meadows (Rays), Joey Gallo (Rangers), Mike Minor (Rangers), Marcus Stroman (Blue Jays), Brandon Lowe (Rays), Shane Bieber (Indians), Liam Hendriks (A’s), Max Muncy (Dodgers), Brandon Woodruff (Brewers), Ronad Acuña Jr. (Braves), Mike Soroka (Braves), Ketel Marte (Diamondbacks), Luis Castillo (Reds), David Dahl (Rockies), Walker Buehler (Dodgers), Hyun-Jin Ryu (Dodgers), Sandy Alcantara (Marlins), Pete Alonso (Mets), Jeff McNeil (Mets), Josh Bell (Pirates), Kirby Yates (Padres), Will Smith (Giants), Paul DeJong (Cardinals) and Anthony Rendon (Nationals). View the full article
  21. CLEVELAND — Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella settled on the best way to bring Tyler Skaggs with them to the All-Star Game. Trout and La Stella will both wear Skaggs’ No. 45 for the game on Tuesday night. “We thought it would be a good way to show some love and respect for Tyler,” Trout said before the game. “That’s going to be fun for me. It’s going to be good for him, good for his family. And I know he is looking over us tonight.” Trout said he and La Stella began discussing the idea in the days following Skaggs’ death last week. Major League Baseball gave them permission for the number change. “It’s going to be, I’m sure, a very emotional night for all of us,” La Stella said. “I don’t know what to expect. It’s one of those things that’s not going to be easy, but it’ll be right to have him with us in that way.” All of the All-Stars on both teams will also wear No. 45 patches during the pregame introductions. It will be up to each player whether he continues to wear the patch during the game. Skaggs’ presence at the All-Star Game comes a year after had the best first half of his career, posting a 2.57 ERA. Despite his numbers, Skaggs was one of the notable omissions from the 2018 All-Star roster. Skaggs was open about his disappointment in not making the team. “I think he was the best pitcher in the major leagues in June, or something like that (last year),” Trout said. “Obviously, we thought he deserved to be here. So that’s another reason we’re going to represent him. … He was working hard to become the pitcher he was. I know ultimately one of his goals was to make an All-Star team.” One of the pitchers Skaggs worked with is an All-Star. Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox also grew up in Santa Monica and worked out regularly with Skaggs in the offseason. Giolito, who has been wearing Skaggs’ number on his cap, said he’s still having trouble coming to grips with the loss. Related Articles Joc Pederson, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. steal Home Run Derby show with epic duel After Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy suffers violent collision, MLB catchers and All-Stars react Mike Trout, Tommy La Stella bring mixed emotions to All-Star Game Shohei Ohtani finishes first half on a high note Angels drop marathon slugfest to Astros despite two Mike Trout homers “When I first heard the news, I couldn’t believe it,” said Giolito, a product of Harvard-Westlake High. “I learned a lot from Tyler as soon as I got drafted. I looked up to him so much. It’s tough. It’s really tough.” Earlier in the day, when Players’ Association head Tony Clark was holding his annual session with baseball writers, he made a point of addressing the impact Skaggs’ death had on him and his wife. “When that news came through, it took us back to where I was and she was at 27,” said Clark, a former player. “The idea that I was likely on the road at some point in time. I had likely just told her I loved her and good night. When you think about Tyler. You think that was the last time it happened. It was tough.” View the full article
  22. CLEVELAND — Joc Pederson was on the wrong end of a duel that will go down as one of the classics in Home Run Derby history. The Dodgers outfielder/first baseman and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. engaged in a heavyweight slugfest, requiring three extra rounds before the Toronto Blue Jays rookie third baseman won the semifinal match by a single homer on Monday night. Guerrero, perhaps exhausted on a night when he finished with 91 homers, then lost to New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso in the final 22-21. “It’s pretty exhausting but it’s all worth it,” Pederson said moments after his 39-homer performance came up one short of Guerrero. “It was a lot of fun. It’s exciting. That’s why you sign up for it. It was fun to compete out there.” Although Alonso won, he still tipped his cap to the show put on by Pederson and Guerrero: “That was elite hitting. That was some of the best BP I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if we’re ever going to see that again.” This year’s Home Run Derby has the added incentive of a $1 million prize for the winner, and Guerrero and Pederson clearly were giving it their best shot, and electrifying the Progressive Field crowd along the way. Guerrero had set a Derby record with 29 homers in his first-round victory over Matt Chapman, while Peterson outhomered Alex Bregman 21-18 to advance. Then, it got really entertaining. Guerrero went first, blasting another 29 homers in the 4-minute time limit, plus 30-second bonus time for sending two balls more than 440 feet, once again surpassing the record of 28 set by Josh Hamilton in 2008. Hamilton set the mark during the old “10 outs” format, so he had 38 swings, compared to Guerrero’s 48. Pederson then stepped into the box and began steadily ripping pitches from Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel into the right field seats. He closed in on Guerrero, finally tying him with seconds to go. Pederson had time for one last swing to win it, but he came up just short. In the first 60-second tie-breaker round, Guerrero hit eight more homers. Peterson tied him, dropping his a drive into the first row with his last swing, as the crowd erupted. The competition then moved to three-swing tie-breakers. Each player hit one homer with his first three swings, with Pederson pulling one just foul with his final swing. In the next round, Guerrero hit homers with his first two swings before coming up short. Pederson then homered on his first swing to stay alive, but his next swing was a foul down the line. Down his last swing and needing to hit one out, Pederson grounded to first base before both players shared an exhausted embrace near home plate as the fellow All-Stars stood and applauded like regular fans. “It was special,” Pederson said. “He’s got a beautiful swing obviously. It’s fun.” Before this year’s Derby, only six players had hit 40 home runs in an entire event, much less a single round. “I feel bad for him,” an exhausted Pederson said after his final swing. “He’s gotta keep hitting; I’m toast.” While this was Guerrero’s first time competing in a big league Home Run Derby, he had attended the 2007 competition, when his father won as a member of the Angels. Coincidentally, the man who pitched to Guerrero in that event was Ebel, who was then an Angels coach. “That was kind of fun for me,” Ebel said. “I went over earlier and gave (Guerrero Jr.) a big hug. I remember him on the sideline jumping up and down and tonight he put on a good show. He’s pretty good. He had the swing back in the day when I saw him in the cages with his dad.” Pederson was taking his second crack at the event, after finishing as the runner-up to hometown favorite Todd Frazier in 2015 in Cincinnati. Pederson’s 99 combined homers between his two Derby appearances are an all-time record. Related Articles Hyun-Jin Ryu 2.0: Health and ‘pitchability’ have raised Dodgers pitcher to All-Star status Dodgers’ Dave Roberts plans to use Clayton Kershaw after Hyun-Jin Ryu in All-Star Game Alexander: Take a deep breath, Dodger fans Dodgers’ Dave Roberts voices concerns about lack of pitchers at All-Star Game Dodgers fall to Padres, enter All-Star break with 3-game home skid Chapman, a product of El Toro High and Cal State Fullerton, was knocked out in the first round in his inaugural attempt at the Derby. He watched helplessly as Guerrero hit 29 homers before he even had a chance to swing. “I wish they would have told me,” said Chapman, a late replacement for Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich. “They set me up. I wish they would have told me ‘You’ll be in the Home Run Derby, but you’ll have to hit 30 bombs.” Alonso, making the major league minimum of $555,000 this season, is the second rookie to win outright, following Yankees star Aaron Judge in 2017. Guerrero did hit the longest homer of the night, a 488-foot blast in the second round. News services contributed to this story. View the full article
  23. By Tres Hefter, AngelsWin.com Columnist Many new names dot the hotlist this week, especially among the hitters. Notably, the top three are all former top prospects from other organizations that the Angels have pilfered away through various means recently, further evidence of the strong efforts to rebuild the farm and find under-the-radar, high-upside talent. The lower levels continue to show promise for the next offensive wave, and our A/A+ pitching continues to produce well, with a few starting to graduate to AA. 1) Gareth Morgan – OF, Inland Empire A+: Plucked from the Mariners organization a few weeks ago, the 6’4″, 220 pound right-handed hitting 2nd Rounder from the 2014 draft has demonstrated absurd power, even for the hitting-friendly California League. Playing all three outfield positions, Morgan has been on an 82-HR pace over 162 since joining the Angels org. 25 games ago, hitting seven homers in the last two weeks alone. Plate discipline, however, continues to elude Morgan – as he drew only two walks against 25 strikeouts in that time. Still, his .333/350/.719/1.069 slash since June 24th is good enough to earn him the top spot on this hotlist. It’s unlikely Morgan ever becomes more than a Jabari Blash-type (Japan and Korea could hone in on him) but he’s still worth keeping an eye on, if only for the fun HR rates. 2019 hitting (IE, A+): .301/.333/.660/.994 with 1 double, 12 HR, 29 RBI, 4 BB, 52 K in 25 G/111 PA 2) Adrian Rondon – 3B, Orem Rookie: Rondon was the #1 ranked international prospect by Baseball America in the 2014 class when the Rays signed him for ~$3m, but he never produced with Tampa, with his best season producing a mere .731 OPS in Rookie ball in 2016. The Angels swung a deal for Rondon this winter, sending cash to Tampa, and the early returns are promising. Only 20 years old, Rondon is still a bit younger than the average Pioneer League player, and he’s starting to demonstrate the offense many had dreamed on, slashing .378/.385/.676/1.060 over the last two weeks, collecting three doubles, a triple, and two home runs along the way, as well as a couple stolen bases. Playing primarily 3B now, Rondon could become what the Angels had hoped for when they signed Kevin Maitan. 2019 (Orem Rk.): .325/398/.506/.904 with 6 doubles, 1 triples, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 10 BB, 15 K in 21 G/88 PA 3) Jhoan Urena – 1B, Mobile AA: Urena does not come with the same prospect pedigree of Adrian Rondon, but he was once a highlight of the Mets international spending. Only 24, Urena has turned in a solid AA campaign, recently slashing .375/.444/.604/1/049 over the last two weeks, demonstrating a blend of contact, power (6 extra-base hits), and discipline (6 walks, 13 strikeouts) in 54 plate appearances. Playing primarily first base in that span, Urena has mostly seen time at the corners. He’s unlikely to impact Anaheim, but should the Angels wind up buyers and offer names like Thaiss, Ward, and Rojas, Urena could find his way to the PCL and produce some intriguing numbers, perhaps earning a Cesar Puello-type audition for some MLB team in the near future. 2019 (AA): .273/.347/.410/.756 with 16 doubles, 3 triples, 6 HR, 38 BB, 33 BB, 87 K in 80 G/326 PA 4) Jose Rojas – DH/1B/2B,Salt Lake AAA: Rojas continues to let up in his ever-relentless quest to beat the odds and reach the big leagues with the team he grew up rooting for. While his defense has led to increasing use as a DH, Rojas recently saw time back at 2B, a position he’s played sparingly, as well as first base. Offensively, though, Rojas refuses to let up, as he powered through the last two weeks with a .283/.353/.630/.983 slash, with 5 doubles, a triple, and three more home runs. Rojas might not have the prospect shine to come up substantially in trade talks, but it’s not hard to imagine some teams taking notice, and he may yet wind up on the MLB depth charts if the Angels are forced to deal away Ward or Thaiss for pitching help. Rojas will be eligible in the Rule 5 draft this offseason if he is not added to the 40-man. He is now sixth in the PCL in total bases with 177. 2019 (AAA): .289/.357/.562/.919 with 25 doubles, 5 triples, 17 HR, 68 RBI, 36 BB, 82 K in 78 G/356 PA 5) Raider Uceta – RF, Arizona Rookie: Jumping stateside this year, Uceta was one of the Angels international signees in the 2017 class, drawing interest due to his offensive-ceiling with above-average raw power. Only 18, the power has yet to take root, but recent weeks has started to hint at that potential. Uceta has slashed .368/.455/.526/.981 with four doubles and a triple, while maintaining strong contact and discipline (6 BB, 10 K) skills. Paired up with other young outfielders like Rainier Rivas, Trent Deveaux, D’Shawn Knowles, and Alexander Ramirez, the Angels could have a whole new generation of outfield talent soon ranking behind Trout, Adell, and Marsh. 2019 hitting (AZL Rk.): .300/.373/.417/.790 with 5 doubles, 1 triple, 9 RBI, 7 BB, 17 K in 16 G/67 PA Honorable mention, hitters: Rainier Rivas (RF, DSL Rk.): .455/.556/.636/1.192 with 2 3B, 3 BB, 5 K – not enough PA to qualify, but a great start for the 18-year old D’Shawn Knowles (OF, Orem Rk.): .424/.474/.545/1.019 with 4 2B, 4 BB, 7 K – also not enough PA to qualify, but he continues to impress Jared Walsh (1B/LHP, AAA): .286/.446/.524/.970 with 4 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 12 BB, 13 K – solid discipline, also one scoreless inning pitched Taylor Ward (LF, AAA): .316/.400/.561/.961 with 5 2B, 3 HR but only 8 BB, 15 K Kaleb Cowart (IF, AAA): .326/.360/.565/.925 with 5 2B, 2 HR, 2 BB, 10 K, 2.2 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, K Connor Fitzsimmons (1B, A): .222/.317/.528/.845 with 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 4 BB, 16 K Michael Hermosillo (OF, AAA): .261/.370/.478/.849 with 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 7 BB, 17 K – playing mostly RF Will Wilson (SS/2B, Orem Rk.): .263/.317/.500/.817 with 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 BB, 9 K 6) Kyle Tyler – RHP, Burlington A: This 20th Round pick from the 2018 draft has not come with much attention, but Kyle Tyler has turned in a solid sophomore campaign, one in which he’s been converted to the rotation like many Angels low-level pitchers. Recently, he’s been boosted by three straight solid starts, allowing only one earned run in 17 IP (0.53 ERA) with only 11 hits and four walks (.88 WHIP). Tyler doesn’t boast big strikeout numbers, but he’s kept walks and hits in check, and could find himself following a Jesus Castillo-type path in the minors. 2019 (A): 3.41 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, .209 BAA, 23 BB, 62 K across 71.1 IP in 15 G/12 GS 7) Andrew Wantz – RHP, Mobile AA: Recently promoted to AA Mobile, Wantz is another 2019 convert to the rotation, and he’s been consistent throughout, enough so that he is probably starting to slot in behind Sandoval, Castillo, and Madero as the next-closest Angel SP prospect, perhaps even being in-line for action in 2020. Like Tyler, Wantz has delivered three straight solid starts, going five innings in each, allowing a 3.60 ERA and .214 BAA, striking out 18, and walking only 5. His prior success in relief roles could turn Wantz back towards the bullpen in the long-term, but he’s quickly becoming one of the better SP prospects in the org. 2019 (A+/AA): 3.73 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, .226 BAA, 25 BB, 86 K across 72.1 IP in 16 G/11 GS 8 ) Oliver Ortega – RHP, Inland Empire A+: An electric performance in the A+ All-Star Game brought some attention to Ortega, who is quickly opening eyes and showing promise as, at worst, a future reliever. His 90 strikeouts on the year rank second across the entire organization – majors and minors – and in the last two weeks, his two appearances have continued to trend in the right direction, as he pitched 11.2 IP with a 1.54 ERA, .175 BAA, allowing only 2 walks against 16 strikeouts. Ortega will need to be added to the Angels 40-man this winter in order to be protected in the Rule 5 draft, so the Angels might promote him to AA Mobile sooner rather than later, or, Ortega could follow a trajectory similar to that of Luis Madero, joining the 40-man while in A+ as a one-year-from-MLB-readiness multi-inning RP or SP option. 2019 (A+): 3.21 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, .207 BAA, 37 BB, 90 K, across 75 IP in 16 G/12 GS 9) Hector Yan – LHP, Burlington A: The strikeouts continue to rack up for Yan – 20 in three starts and 13.2 IP – who now leads the entire organization – MLB and minors – with 98 on the year. Walks continue to be a bit of an issue for Yan, who allowed 7 over the past two weeks along with 7 hits (.240 BAA) and a 4.61 ERA, but the 20-year old’s upside is apparent. While his control might limit him to a future in the bullpen, he is no doubt the Angels third-best LHP SP prospect at this time, behind Suarez and Sandoval. 2019 (A): 3.38 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, .194 BAA, 38 BB, 98 K, only 2 HR allowed across 69.1 IP in 17 G/13 GS 10) Isaac Mattson – RHP, Mobile AA: Promoted to AA in mid-May, Mattson hasn’t skipped a beat, and has been dominant over the last two weeks, making 4 scoreless appearances, allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out 12 in 11.1 IP. He is undoubtedly pitching himself into the MLB relief depth charts, and could even be in the mix later this year – a 5 hits per 9 innings, 0.4 HR per 9 innings, and a 2.7 BB/9 paired with a 13.6 K/9 will do that for you. 2019 (A+/AA.): 1.72 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, .160 BAA, 14 BB, 71 K across 47 IP in 22 G Honorable mention, pitchers: Alejandro Duran (RHP, DSL Rk.): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 12 K, 0.00 ERA in 2 games – 17-years old with 4 BB, 32 K, 2.16 ERA in 25 IP Tyler Smith (RHP, A): 7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 11 K, 3.52 ERA in 5 games Jeremy Beasley (RHP, AA): 10 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 12 K, 3.60 ERA in 2 GS Cristopher Molina (RHP, A+): 16 IP, 15 H, 3 BB, 10 K, 4.50 ERA in 3 GS Tyler Carpenter (RHP, AA): 14.1 IP, 14 H, 4 BB, 13 K, 2.51 ERA in 3 GS View the full article
  24. CLEVELAND — Mike Trout is a regular at the All-Star Game, which is the biggest party of the baseball season. He has figured out all the do’s and don’ts and how to get the most out of the two days. This time, though, the party won’t be quite the same. For Trout, this normally festive event comes as he’s still in the early stages of coming to grips with the shocking loss of Tyler Skaggs, who he’d known since they were drafted together 10 years ago. “Getting selected to the All-Star Game means a lot but what we’ve been going through the last couple days, it’s been tough,” Trout said just before packing up for Cleveland. Trout said it helped to have teammate Tommy La Stella join him. Although La Stella suffered a broken leg just two days after he was selected to the All-Star team, he still made the trip. La Stella and Trout sat at adjacent tables in a hotel ballroom during the players’ media availability and tried to describe the jumble of mixed emotions that they brought here. La Stella learned he made the All-Star team on a Sunday, learned of Skaggs’ death on Monday and then broke his leg on Tuesday. “It’s been pretty chaotic,” La Stella said. “It’s been confusing. But we’ll stick together. We’ll band together like brothers that we are, and we’ll find a way to get through it.” Despite the difficulty of the week, Trout said he never considered skipping the All-Star Game. “Tyler would want me to be here, representing the Angels,” he said. “I think it was good for me to get my mind off it and to be able to spend some time with family and friends, to be here for them.” Trout and La Stella said they have a few ideas of how they’ll bring Skaggs with them for the game on Tuesday. Although only Trout will be able to play in the game, La Stella will also be introduced during the pregame. The chance to stand on the foul line, even with crutches, was one of the activities that La Stella didn’t want to miss. He sat in a folding chair next to the cage during the American League’s batting practice on Monday. “It’s just a unique opportunity, whether or not I can play,” he said. “I might wish I was here under different circumstances. I wanted to come here with my friends and family and all the people who supported me to get me to this point, and enjoy it with them.” The All-Star game, after all, is fun. This is Trout’s eighth time as an All-Star, and his seventh time actually participating in the festivities. He was in the final stages of rehabbing from thumb surgery in 2017. During his 45 minutes with the media on Monday, Trout laughed and smiled and handled all manner of random questions. He was asked to sing a song, to say something in Spanish and to say hello fans in Japan and South Korea. He did it all on the day that Major League Baseball released a new video promoting Trout, essentially, for not promoting himself. The 60-second video shows clips of him as a boy and his New Jersey hometown. “Maybe I’m not what everyone wants me to be, but I’m exactly who I’ve always been,” Trout says in the video. “I don’t play for the fame, the money or the endorsements. I’m still that same kid with a big dream and a decent swing.” It is likely no coincidence that the video came out on the anniversary of Commissioner Rob Manfred’s controversial comments at last year’s All-Star Game. Manfred discussed Trout’s reluctance to market himself. This spot struck just the right tone with Trout. “They came to me and I thought it would be a great idea,” Trout said. “I had fun with it. I thought it would be pretty cool.” The spot captured Trout as someone who cares simply about his family and baseball. Which brings us back to why this week has been so difficult for Trout, having lost a member of his baseball family. The way he has handled that — on and off the field — has further added to the legend of Trout. “He’s a special player, and an even more special person,” La Stella said. “We look to him all the time, but especially at a time like to pick us up. He’s certainly done that.” On the night the Angels played their first game after the tragedy, Trout took the lead as the first player to speak at a press conference. He hugged his teammates as they struggled to find the right words. The next day, Trout began a rampage that included six homers in five games. During the week, the Angels went 3-3 in road series against the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros, both teams they are chasing in the division. Related Articles Shohei Ohtani finishes first half on a high note Angels drop marathon slugfest to Astros despite two Mike Trout homers Angels’ Andrew Heaney outdueled in first outing since loss of Tyler Skaggs Angels’ Justin Upton to rest tight quad through the All-Star break Waldner: Tyler Skaggs’ high school coach remembers the ‘heart of a lion’ “I couldn’t imagine that locker room, but they came out and played hard, with a little fire, especially Mike,” said Rangers All-Star Joey Gallo. “Whatever Mike does doesn’t surprise me any more. I think he’s the best player to ever live. It’s a privilege to play against the guy.” Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who put Trout in the No. 3 spot in the American League starting lineup for Tuesday’s game, said: “What he’s done the last week, with everything that’s happened with that organization, has been amazing.” Milwaukee Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal said that Trout is beyond the point of impressing him further. “It doesn’t surprise me he’s hit six homers in a week,” Grandal said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he hit 10 homers in a week. I don’t think the sky is the limit. I think if you say the sky is the limit, then you are kind of playing him short. I feel like he can do whatever he wants.” View the full article
  25. CLEVELAND — When Jake Marisnick violently collided with Jonathan Lucroy, it was felt by catchers all over the majors. As the players gathered for the All-Star Game on Monday, there was much much discussion about what had happened to the Angels catcher during Sunday’s final game before the break. “There’s definitely a brotherhood behind the plate,” said Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto. “It’s hard to see that. We’ve all been in situations like that where you’ve gotten hit or just missed getting hit. It’s scary.” Lucroy remained in Houston on Sunday night to be evaluated. He was diagnosed with a concussion and a fractured nose. After the swelling has subsided after the All-Star break, he will see a specialist further asses his condition. “My prayers go out to him,” Milwaukee Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal said. “I had him in my prayers last night after I saw it.” To Angels manager Brad Ausmus, it was not merely an unfortunate play, though. A former catcher, Ausmus said that Major League Baseball should consider suspending Marisnick for the hit on Lucroy. Joe Torre, Major League Baseball’s chief baseball officer, told the Houston Chronicle on Monday that his office is “still having conversations” about discipline. At least one catcher came out strongly in favor of disciplining Marisnick. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina wrote in a profanity-laced Instagram post that baseball “need(s) to take action.” Molina’s opinion, however, was not shared by the players asked about it during the All-Star media day on Monday. “If your question is whether it’s a dirty play or not, I don’t think so,” Grandal said. Realmuto, who knows Marisnick from their days together in the Miami Marlins farm system, said he didn’t believe there was any malicious intent. Related Articles Shohei Ohtani finishes first half on a high note Angels drop marathon slugfest to Astros despite two Mike Trout homers Angels’ Andrew Heaney outdueled in first outing since loss of Tyler Skaggs Angels’ Justin Upton to rest tight quad through the All-Star break Waldner: Tyler Skaggs’ high school coach remembers the ‘heart of a lion’ “I’ve known Jake for a long time,” Realmuto said. “He’s a great guy. I know he wasn’t trying to do any harm. It was just an unfortunate play that happens. It’s tough to watch. I’ve been there, where you’re going full speed, it happens so fast there’s no way you can avoid it.” Alex Bregman, who is obviously biased as Marisnick’s teammate, said the Astros are hoping that Lucroy will be OK. “We love competing against Lucroy,” Bregman said. “He’s a great player. We hope he recovers ASAP. In no way, shape or form did Jake try to make a dirty play. Would he ever try to make a dirty play? That’s a no. At the end of the day, there should be zero suspension.” View the full article