Washington Nationals pitcher Patrick Corbin wore No. 45 on Tuesday night in honor of his late friend, Tyler Skaggs, who died suddenly at a Texas hotel hours before his Los Angeles Angels were set to play the Rangers on Monday.
Corbin and Skaggs were both drafted by the Angels in 2009, traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010 (in separate deals) and made their professional debuts in 2012 with the Diamondbacks.
“Yeah, it’s been hard. I’ve just been thinking of Tyler, his wife Carli, his family. You can’t believe he’s gone,” Corbin told reporters after the game.
Skaggs was one of Corbin’s groomsmen at his wedding in the offseason.
On Tuesday, Corbin wore Skaggs’ number rather than his own No. 46 and declined manager Dave Martinez’s offer to push back his start.
“I think when you have a loss you want to keep things as normal as you can. You just try to go out there and do what you have to do,” Corbin said. “I saw the Angels played today so, I don’t know, I think it’s best to go out there and play the game of baseball.”
Corbin allowed one run on six hits and struck out seven without walking a batter in seven innings. He didn’t earn the decision, but the Nationals defeated the Miami Marlins, 3-2.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.