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On an emotional night in Arlington, Angels down Rangers in series opener

Photo: Alex Plinck

On an emotional night in Arlington, Angels down Rangers in series opener

Tuesday wasn’t any old average day at the ballpark. There was no walk-up music for any Rangers player, agony was on the faces of both sides, and emotions ran high all day long. Countless media outlets were in attendance before and after the game. There was one thing that everyone, player and fans, had in common Tuesday. We all mourned the loss of an individual, Angels pitcher number 45, Tyler Skaggs. Skaggs, 27, passed away on Monday at a hotel in Southlake as the Angels visited to start a four-game series with Texas. After Monday’s game got postponed, both teams made the decision to play on Tuesday and do the one thing they love, and also what Tyler Skaggs loved, play the game of baseball.

The Rangers sent their ace and All-Star pitcher Mike Minor to the hill. The Angels countered with rookie Jose Suarez. It was a grueling night on the field that saw four errors, 86 total foul balls, 14 walks combined, eleven total pitchers, and 409 total pitches thrown. Both clubs finished the night exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Joey Gallo talked before the game about yesterday’s events. “I’ve never been in that situation. But I definitely feel for the Angels, and that organization, and his family.”  Joey added in reference to how the Angels’ players must feel between Monday and Tuesday. “That’s what I said to a few of our guys. Even our clubhouse was really shaken up. I couldn’t imagine what their clubhouse was like, probably a lot of emotion. It’s tough, especially [since] they were just on the plane with him [the previous day]. It’s definitely a tough situation you never want to be in.”

Rangers catcher Jeff Mathis reacted pregame about playing today under the tragedy of yesterday’s news. “It’s weird to go about a regular day, a regular game knowing one of your guys is missing.” Mathis said in a somber tone, “I can’t imagine, or I can, but I feel so bad for [the Angels].” Monday wasn’t the first time Mathis encountered a tragedy like this. Jeff was on the Angels roster in 2009 when the franchise lost pitcher Nick Adenhart in a car accident in Anaheim. Mathis was also on the Miami Marlins roster in 2016 when the baseball world lost pitcher Jose Fernandez to a boating accident in September of that year.

 

Both teams traded runs in the first inning. The Angels scored on a Pujols RBI fielder’s choice in the top of the inning. The Rangers countered with a Nomar Mazara sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first. In the third inning, Delino DeShields ripped a solo laser into the left-field corner that reached the seats for his second home run of the season. The Rangers added another run in the third as the club executed a perfect double steal. Elvis Andrus stole home for the third time this season, breaking a franchise record.

The Angels took advantage of a couple of Minor walks in the fifth inning. Jonathon Lucroy singled home two to right field to even the ballgame at three. The following inning, the Halos regained the lead with a Justin Upton RBI single, a two-run single by Angels pinch hitter Justin Bour, and a sacrifice fly by Lucroy, equaling to a four-run sixth inning. After an Odor sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth, the Angels added two more on a Kole Calhoun home run to right center field to pad the lead to 9-4.

Chris Woodward stated post game about the team’s performance and how the events affected the club. “We knew what they were dealing with on the other side. I can’t even describe the feeling that [the Angels] are feeling there and thinking about there.”It obviously wasn’t our best game, but clearly it affected us in some way. I honestly I don’t really know how to describe that feeling. Obviously [the Angels] deserve to win.”

The Angels showed peskiness at the plate throughout the night. Minor pitched a season-low 4.1 innings allowing only two hits. However, Minor walked four and gave up three runs. The Angels worked Minor to 110 pitches (5.23 pitches per at-bat) and fouled off twenty-one two-strike pitches. Rangers pitchers walked eleven Angels and hit two batters. Mike Minor commented on the overall game, “It was a weird game to be out there competing against another team and from what happened yesterday and how people were feeling. There was a different vibe.”

Both teams are back at it tomorrow evening at 7:05. Texas sends Ariel Jurado to square off against the Angels’ Griffin Canning. All throughout the week and the year, both clubs will have Tyler Skaggs in their hearts.

All-Star footnotes:

Before Tuesday’s game, GM Jon Daniels announced that Mike Minor will pitch on Sunday at Minnesota. Therefore, it would make him not-eligible to pitch in the All-Star game next Tuesday. The Rangers expect Minor to make the trip to Cleveland, for recognition, but won’t pitch in the game.  “He gets it.” Daniels said, “ I didn’t talk to him personally. I know Woody talked to him a little bit. Kind of the timing of it was obviously, a lot of things were unusual yesterday.” JD mentioned that Rangers starter Lance Lynn is under consideration as a replacement.

Joey Gallo will officially not participate in the 2019 Home Run Derby. The league reached out for an invitation, but both Gallo and Daniels agreed due to the recent return from the IL that it probably wouldn’t be the best idea to participate this year. 

 

 

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. My baseball memory bank is dominated by the Texas Rangers with the other 29 franchises sprinkled in. In addition, I enjoy NFL Sunday afternoons and only the first NCAA tournament weekend.

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