Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella both paid tribute to the late Tyler Skaggs by wearing his No. 45 on their jerseys at the All-Star Game at Progressive Field on Tuesday night. All uniformed players and coaches for the American League and National League had black patches with the No.
Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella both paid tribute to the late Tyler Skaggs by wearing his No. 45 on their jerseys at the All-Star Game at Progressive Field on Tuesday night. All uniformed players and coaches for the American League and National League had black patches with the No. 45 on their jerseys. A moment of silence was also held before the game, which the AL won, 4-3.
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Trout said Sunday that he planned to do something to honor Skaggs, who passed away at age 27 on July 1, and settled on donning Skaggs’ No. 45. La Stella, who didn't play in the game because of a fractured right tibia, joined Trout by also wearing No. 45.
“We've got to represent his number,” Trout said in a pregame interview. “He always told me he wanted to be in the All-Star Game. He worked hard. I thought he deserved it last year. But he would always come up and tell me, 'Hey, I want to be with you there one of these times.' Obviously tonight, he's with me for sure.”
Trout, an eight-time All-Star and two-time All-Star Game MVP, also wore a No. 45 pin on his suit to honor Skaggs during the All-Star Red Carpet Show on Tuesday morning. Trout finished the first half with six homers over his last five games and has said he’s been playing in Skaggs’ honor. Trout and Skaggs were both selected by the Angels in the 2009 Draft and were close friends.
“It's been a tough week for the Angels, the Angels family, the fans, obviously [Skaggs’ wife] Carli, [Skaggs’ mom] Debbie and the family of Tyler,” Trout said. “It's been tough. It's good to get back in the swing of things, but when you have a moment to yourself, you think about him. What a great kid he was, a great teammate, a brother of mine. When you lose someone that close to you it's a weird, tough feeling.”
Trout went 0-for-2 in the game, marking the first time he went hitless in a Midsummer Classic in seven games (he missed the 2017 All-Star Game due to injury). His six-game hit streak in All-Star Games was tied for the second longest in Midsummer Classic history. The record is seven games, held by Hall of Famers Dave Winfield, Joe Morgan and Mickey Mantle.
Trout dropped to 7-for-17 (.412) with two homers, two doubles and a triple in 20 career plate appearances in the All-Star Game. He won All-Star Game MVP honors in both 2014 and 2015. He had also previously reached base in his first plate appearance in each of his six previous All-Star Games (single, double, triple, home run, single, walk).
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Trout grounded out sharply to second base in the first inning against Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has held Trout hitless (0-for-10) in his career in the regular season. He popped up to first base to end the third on a 1-0 fastball from Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom. Trout was replaced by Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield in center field in the sixth inning.
"It was special," Trout said. "Obviously, felt [Skaggs] out there with me. If there’s any All-Star Game for me to go 0-fer, this is it because Tyler’s a pitcher -- he would want to go out there and throw some scoreless, hitless innings."
Trout added that he appreciated what MLB did to honor Skaggs with the moment of silence and the No. 45 patches.
"The moment of silence before the game, I was emotional for sure,” Trout said. “To be able to represent him, what he meant to us, days like this, it's unbelievable. I had a couple guys come up to me and say, 'Thanks for doing this.' He made a big impact on my life and on their lives. A lot of guys came up to me and showed their support. This was all for him. He always wanted to be an All-Star and tonight he was, for sure."
Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.