Angels 13 Royals 0
Just a few days shy of the two year anniversary of one of the worst days in Tyler Skaggs’ life, the day he first got a soreness in his elbow that would blow up into a sidelining tear that only Tommy John could cure; just a few days off from the anniversary of a scary, scary moment in the life of a young man.
Tyler Skaggs said before today’s start that he was a tad nervous, and nobody can blame him. The culmination of a lot of hard work, and knowing there is still a lot more work to go, can weigh a person down. After watching his return to the mound tonight, though, may we all deal with things that make us nervous and/or scared as amazingly and bad-assedly (I made that word up, I think) as Skaggs did tonight.
Skaggs had all his tools in tow; the fastball that worked anywhere from low 90s to 95, and then the breaking stuff to compliment it. There were no signs of gloom and doom here, just a sterling jump right out of the gate; he missed almost two years exactly, but it took him one game to get locked back in. Unreal.
His final line was 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB and 5 Ks. That, my friends, is a triumph of pure Halos spirit; a masterclass on how to announce yourself to the rest of the league.
With Skaggs putting a muzzle on the Royals’ offense, the Angels were out there running wild on starter Dillon Gee and reliever Chris Young. There were large, healthy doses of Kole Calhoun tonight (2-4, 3 RBIs) and surging catcher Carlos Perez (4-5, 2 R, 1 HR); there was a godly night from 3B firestarter Yunel Escobar (5 for friggin 5!! 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB) and quite the showing from Johnny Giavotella (3-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1BB). These were some possessed Halos; Halos that were exploding punches down on a Kansas City team that began the game curled up in a ball on the floor.
Oh, and Mike Trout had a totally normal Mike Trout game, going 3-5, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB. They had hits coming from all angles, and they had Tyler Skaggs rebounding the Kansas City bats into oblivion. That is a pairing of optimal outcomes that gets you a score which delves into the realm of american football, like 13-0 Angels.
That is a beatdown. That is a revelation. Mr. Tyler Skaggs, endless congrats to you on your first step back in what I know will be a long, fun baseball career. For now, he’s all ours, though. Other teams, hands off!