Bob Levey/Getty Images

Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney threw Tyler Skaggs' signature slow curveball for his first pitch in Saturday night's game.

By Jenna West
July 06, 2019

Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney honored Tyler Skaggs on Saturday night in his first start since his late teammate's death.

Before the matchup against Houston, Heaney wrote something in the dirt on the pitcher's mound. While it was hard for cameras to capture the exact message in the dirt, many on Twitter speculated that Heaney spelled out "T.S."

The southpaw paid tribute to his best friend by throwing a slow curveball to George Springer for his first pitch of the game. The looping, get-me-over curveball was Skaggs' signature pitch.

Heaney and Skaggs became friends when a trade from the Marlins sent Heaney to Los Angeles in 2014. Skaggs was recovering from Tommy John surgery at the time, and Heaney would undergo the same procedure two years later.

"[Skaggs] was definitely my best friend," Heaney told reporters on Tuesday. "There's probably about 100 other people out there that would say he was their best friend, too. Because he treated everybody like that.

"He just had such an infectious personality. He always lived life to the fullest and always wanted to pump everybody else up. Never wanted a dull moment. Was never the type to let a room be silent. You're going to miss that. All of us are going to miss that."

Heaney also paid tribute to Skaggs in an Instagram post on Thursday, where he shared a series of photos with his late friend he called "Skiggles."

Heaney pitched five innings against the Astros on Saturday and was greeted in the dugout with a hug from teammate Griffin Canning after his final out. He gave up two runs and five hits and threw five strike outs in the 4–0 loss to the Astros.

Skaggs died on Monday when he was found unresponsive in his hotel room in Texas. Police announced no foul play is suspected and the investigation is ongoing. The Angels have gone 3–2 since Skaggs' passing.

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