He’ll finally return Saturday to a mound on which he made a memory he still holds dear, even though his career abruptly and painfully stopped that day.
Tyler Skaggs will pitch at Camden Yards for just the second time, the first time being the occasion that saw his prized elbow come apart.
“I knew instantly that I had completely smashed it,” the Angels left-hander said. “I threw like six more pitches and went from 94 [mph] to like 84. I tried to get through it. I thought maybe I was cramping a little bit.”
Instead, Skaggs had damaged his ulnar collateral ligament. He would undergo replacement surgery, develop a shoulder problem and not pitch again for the Angels for nearly two years.
That was July 31, 2014, a night Skaggs also was no-hitting Baltimore in the fifth inning at the time he was injured.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” he said. “I walked the first guy of the game and after that I was nails. It’s still one of those things that I cherish. I thought that could have been a pretty special day.”
Skaggs walked Nick Markakis, the first batter he faced, and Steve Pearce, the last batter he faced. In between, he retired 14 Orioles hitters in a row.
That was no minor development. Baltimore’s lineup that day also featured Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz.
Shohei Ohtani’s first two days of batting practice back in Southern California were a success.
Manager Mike Scioscia and the rookie “felt great” and the Angels are “very happy” with the early results.
Ohtani, who was cleared to resume hitting Thursday despite a grade 2 sprain of his right ulnar collateral ligament, could face live pitching in batting practice as early as today and rejoin the Angels next week.
Ohtani will be reevaluated again next month as he attempts to recover through injections of platelet-rich plasma and stem cells and avoid ligament replacement surgery.
Until that checkup, the Angels won’t know more about Ohtani’s possible return as a pitcher.
Looking to shake awake a lineup that had produced two or fewer runs in five of its past seven games, Scioscia put Kole Calhoun on top and dropped Ian Kinsler to seventh.
The new order did result in the Angels scoring more runs than they had in a week. Calhoun and Kinsler, however, combined to contribute just a sacrifice fly.