In front of an announced crowd of 42,643, Skaggs fired scoreless sixth, seventh and eighth innings during the Angels' 8-1 win over the Dodgers in the Freeway Series finale. He gave up one hit, struck out four, retired his final seven hitters, threw his fastball 92-94 mph and displayed a changeup of which he has become quite fond.
It was still only an exhibition game, but it meant a lot more.
Skaggs' first game back came at Camelback Ranch, a two-inning outing in front of a sparse crowd at a much smaller ballpark. This was a night game, in front of 30 family members and friends, against the rival Dodgers.
"This is a big league game," Skaggs said. "This is a big league stadium. You add that third tier, and the lights come on, it's a lot different than pitching in a Spring Training game. It's really humbling. I'm just taking it day by day, pitch by pitch. I'm excited."
Skaggs will now report to Triple-A Salt Lake, where he will continue his progression in hopes of joining the Angels' rotation before the end of April.
"I feel I could pitch right now, to be real with you," Skaggs said. "But you have to trust the process."
The 24-year-old left-hander entered camp 18 months removed from elbow-ligament replacement surgery, then momentarily shut himself down when his arm felt uncommonly sore from being on a mound every other day. He built his way back up, faced the White Sox on March 24, got scratched from his scheduled outing five days later because of a stomach virus and made his second appearance on Saturday, his first game at Angel Stadium since July 25, 2014.
It was his first time jogging into a game directly from the bullpen mound.
It felt "weird," Skaggs said, but the good kind.
"I kind of took my time jogging out there," Skaggs said. "I was really nervous; happy to be back. Actually, I'm kind of speechless about it because I went in with one goal in mind, and that was just to throw strikes and have fun. I had a … ton of fun today."