Cainer’s Corner: A Special Night in Anaheim

By Eric Cain / @_Cainer

Sometimes divine intervention is the only explanation.

What happened on July 1 – when Angels 27-year-old starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room – was truly a tragedy. There are no words to describe, to comfort or to try and understand the sudden loss of a young and talented young man.

Skaggs was thought of as more than just a baseball player. He was widely considered by many, including Angels skipper Brad Ausmus, to be the spotlight in each room, a leader and a great human being. The autopsy results will not be back until October, and with no foul play or suicide suspected-  we are left with only questions.

But that really doesn’t matter. What does matter is the family, the friends, the Angels organization and everyone else affected by this tragedy.

Mike Trout – Angels OF / ESPN Images / Credit: Allen Kee

In the midst of coping over the past week, Major League Baseball has done their part. The Angels organization did their part. Friday night, the team did their part in more ways than one.

Just hours before Skaggs would have turned 28-years-old, LA shutout Seattle 13-0. Good win, right? There’s more.

The team welcomed Skaggs’s mother, Debbie, on to the field for a pregame ceremony where she threw out the first pitch. In the first inning, the Angels batted around to score seven runs. The team went on to score 13 runs altogether.

July 13. 7-13. July is the seventh month of the calendar year. Saturday morning at midnight – just about 90 minutes after the conclusion of the game – a new day dawned. It was the 13th day of July. 7-13. July 13. Seven runs in the first inning. 13 runs altogether on the night they honor their late teammate.

Oh, and on the night each player donned the No. 45 on their back – Skaggs’s number – fellow pitchers Taylor Cole and Felix Pena combined to toss the second no-hitter of the season. You just can’t make this stuff up.

None of this will bring back Tyler Skaggs. None of this will make loved ones miss him any less. But sometimes sports can ease the heartache – even if it’s just for one night.

Hats off to the Angels on an incredible night. My prayers remain for the family, friends and organization.

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