The Houston Astros will end their first half of the season against a grief-stricken Angels team recovering from tragedy. Here’s why emotions will run high.
The Houston Astros end their first half of the season with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. While this is a chance for Houston to get ready for the All-Star break, the Angels will look to continue an emotional roller coaster of a week following the untimely passing of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
Houston Astros fans, we are one series away from the All-Star break. And boy, do we need it? We’ve had an interesting road up to this point. We’ve dealt with injuries, sluggish starts, and even had a masseuse put us in a further hole. But in spite of all of this, we still are holding onto first place by 7.5 games against the second place Oakland A’s in the AL West Division. The Texas Rangers are only a half-game behind.
Now, we end the first half at home against the Angels, who are 44-44 in the division. This is expected to be a good series. You have the game’s best player in Mike Trout going up against his soon-to-be American League All-Star teammates and outfield mates George Springer and Michael Brantley as well as a guy who should be on the team in Jose Altuve.
You also have the final starts of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole before they make their way to Cleveland. Of course, you also have Alex Bregman set to warm up for his home run derby performance while the Angels will look to have Shohei Ohtani continue his season. Even Brad Ausmus will make a return to Minute Maid Park as an opposing manager.
But this series will also be a tough one because of what happened to the Angels organization. For those that might not be aware, the Angels suffered a massive tragedy this past week when pitcher Tyler Skaggs unexpectedly passed away on Monday at the age of 27. The cause of death is yet to be determined although there have been reports of no foul play.
Let me be the first here to extend my condolences to the Angels’ organization. To lose someone this young and still in the midst of having a great career is shocking and at times, unfair. This is also the second passing from a member in the Angels’ organization in eight months following the death of former Astro Luis Valbuena in a car accident.
In addition to playing the Angels, the Houston Astros will also be helping them out as well.
Here’s the latest as reported by Brian McTaggart of MLB.com:
Obviously, from someone who has been a fan of the Astros all his life, this nearly reminds me of another tragedy. Back in 2002, the baseball world grieved over the sudden passing of then-St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile, who was a former Astros pitcher as well.
Ausmus, along with Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, who were also close friends with Kile, didn’t start the game against Seattle that night. But they came in to pinch hit later on and Bagwell got the walk-off single to give the Astros an emotional win.
Of course, the circumstances are different here. Skaggs was never a former Astro. But with the tweets from the Astros players and the rest of the baseball world, you can understand how much baseball can be a family even when you’re playing on different teams.
Jose Altuve via Instagram:
Carlos Correa via Instagram:
As much as I would like to beat the Angels and win the series, I think it’s fair to continue to show our support for the Angels as they continue to grieve and work through whatever emotions and thoughts they go through because it’s going to take time for them to bounce back to the norm. All of us, including myself, have experienced tragedy and we’ve had to grieve over that loss of a loved one.
Whatever happens this weekend, it will show how much we as an organization care for another in a time of grief. I think it’s okay to support both teams throughout this series. We hope the Astros can win the series and enter the All-Star Break in need of much rest. But we also hope that the pain the Angels are dealing with can continue to subside as they play their series against us.
So best of luck to the Angels and Go Astros is all I can say.