Just a few days ago LA Angels 2nd baseman Tommy La Stella got a long-awaited call telling him that he would be an All-Star. No one was happier than teammate Tyler Skaggs who had been promoting him.
Flash-forward to Monday afternoon and the tragic news that La Stella’s biggest cheerleader LA Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs had passed away. The emotions of the day were overwhelming. No one was thinking about All-Star games or anything baseball related. The Angels team and staff rallied around each other and comforted each other in what had to be one of the toughest days in the players and coaches career.
Nothing can prepare you for such a tragedy like this. A young man cut down in his prime in Tyler Skaggs. On Tuesday the Angel players got together with the front office staff of Billy Eppler, John Carpino, and owner Arte Moreno and decided to play Tuesday’s game against the Texas Rangers. Saying it would be what Tyler would have wanted them to do.
The Angels took the field and carried a jersey of Tyler Skaggs on the field to remember their fallen teammate during a pre-game moment of silence and the National Anthem. When the game began it was a back and forth affair with the Angels scoring the games first run, only to see Texas tie the game in the bottom of the first and then take the lead 3-1 after three innings.
Another chilling reminder of just a few days ago when Tyler Skaggs and Shohei Ohtani were promoting La Stella’s All-Star selection.
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The Angels rallied in the top of the fifth inning to tie the score at three on a two-run single by catcher Jonathan Lucroy. The Angels then took the lead in the top of the sixth inning on an RBI-single by Justin Upton to make it 4-3. After Albert Pujols walked to load the bases, La Stella came up against Jose Leclerc with a chance to extend the Angels lead.
La Stella worked the count to 3-2 and then swung hard fouling a 97 MPH fastball from Leclerc and fouled it off his right shin and he immediately crumpled to ground in obvious pain. The Angels training staff and manager Brad Ausmus came out to attend to La Stella. La Stella was helped off the field putting no weight on his right leg. Justin Bour came in for La Stella and delivered a two-run single to extend the Angels lead to 6-3.
The Angels would go on to score three more times and finish off a 9-4 victory over Texas which may have eased the Angels pain slightly. However, with La Stella going down what looks like could be a severe leg injury it was like a sucker punch to the gut after you’ve already been punched in the face and knocked down.
The Angels do have the depth to cover for La Stella if he is out for an extended period, but it is not what you want to see happen after Monday’s events. If that wasn’t enough Brian Goodwin got hit in the hand/wrist by a pitch and eventually had to leave the game followed by Albert Pujols fouling a ball off his foot. Pujols would stay in the game.
So we will have to see how La Stella and Goodwin will be after they are evaluated and get X-Rays on Wednesday. Hopefully La Stella and Goodwin will not miss much time if any, the Angels don’t need anymore bad news. They have had their fair share and then some in the past couple of days. The Angels will keep on keeping on