I don’t mean to jinx anything, but the LA Angels are on a winning streak, and that is due in large part to two dominant pitching performances.
The first was from Felix Peña, who guided the LA Angels to a win on Friday. It was arguably his best start since he joined the Halos last season, and was good to see after his season debut.
However, the performance that really caught attention was from Tyler Skaggs on Saturday. After a so-so debut last weekend, the lefty was able to come out and show why he has that makings of a potential ace.
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While Skaggs’ final line of 6.1 innings pitched, five hits, one earned run, and five strikeouts doesn’t exactly jump off the page, this kind of start is just the former first round pick scratching the surface.
Throughout his start, Skaggs never seemed to lose control. From his first pitch all the way to his 101st, Skaggs was dominant against a Rangers lineup that had scored 5.75 runs per game up until Saturday.
He had all of his pitches working, and consistently made hitters look foolish with his defeat sting curveball. Just asked Rougned Odor.
He also ended the sixth inning seemingly done for the day with 96 pitches, only to enter again in the seventh for a lefty-lefty matchup. He retired his final bather and handed the game over to the bullpen with eight outs to go.
A huge part of going so deep into the game was his utilization of the strike zone. In his first start, and in seasons past, Skaggs has very often used a high amount of pitches to get through at-bats. This restricted how deep he could go into games, but that wasn’t a problem Saturday. 70 of his 101 pitches were strikes, and he created a good amounts of swinging strikes.
Skaggs, a devout hip hop fan and operator of the clubhouse aux cord, mentioned that his performance was dedicated to Nipsey Hussle, who was shot and killed earlier this week in LA. Oklahoma City Thunder star and former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook recorded 20 points, 20 rebounds, and 20 assists in a game the day after the death and dedicated the performance to Hussle as well.
As Hussle once said,
“Dedication, hard work plus patience
The sum of all my sacrifice, I’m done waitin’
I’m done waitin’, told you that I wasn’t playin’
Now you hear what I been sayin’, dedication
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Tyler Skaggs was patient enough to get through multiple injuries. He sacrificed years rehabbing his elbow. He was dedicated enough to find his way back to the top of an MLB rotation with the Angels.
Now, Tyler Skaggs is about to put the rest of the MLB on notice. He is one of the game’s best southpaws, and he’s about to be real big in Anaheim.