Baseball fans know California Angels pitcher Tyler Scaggs died a couple of weeks ago at the age of 27. On Friday, in their first home game since Scaggs’ death, the Angels threw a combined no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners after Skaggs’ mother threw out the first pitch.
The no-hitter is eerie enough, but then look at some other facts unearthed by The Atlantic and see if this does not give you pause.
• This was the 11th no-hitter in Angels history. Skaggs wore No. 11 at Santa Monica High.
* The Angels scored seven runs in the first inning and finished with 13. Skaggs’ birthday was 7/13.
• The second combined no-hitter in Angels history was the first thrown in California since July 13, 1991 — the day Skaggs was born.
• Mike Trout, one of Skaggs’ best friends, swings at the first pitch just 3.1 percent of the time. Since his debut in 2011, only nine players have done it less (and only four are still active). On Friday, with Skaggs’ No. 45 on his back, Trout smashed a first-pitch fastball 454 feet with an exit velocity of 111 mph. Wearing his friend’s jersey, he took 28 seconds to round the bases, the longest he ever has after hitting a home run.
• Dee Gordon, the Mariners second baseman on Friday, played for the Florida Marlins in 2016 and hit a home run on the first pitch in the team’s first game after pitcher Jose Fernandez died in a tragic boating accident.
“I got one thing to say, and I said it three years ago, and I’m going to be done with it,” Gordon said. “If you don’t believe in God, you might want to start. I said it three years ago when I hit the homer for José. They had a no-hitter today. Y’all better start. That’s all I got.”
Works for me.