Looks like that whole "trade Adrian Gonzalez" thing is never gonna happen

5 Comments

Before the season started, the expectation was that the big name on the market would be Adrian Gonzalez. That changed when the Padres starting winning, of course. Looks like the winning and attendant optimism has gone on so long now that there won’t be any trade at all, even next year, reports Jayson Stark:

“Even if they miss the playoffs now, coming off a year this successful,
it would be difficult for them to move him,” said one team official.
“They’re still scrapping and clawing, trying to get people back into
their park and build back their base. So it would be a precarious
decision to endanger that and trade him. I’d really be surprised if they
did that now.”

In my mind it’s not just the Padres winning that changes the original calculus. The leak of those small-revenue-team financial documents matters too.  Padres fans should not be nearly as credulous of the team crying poor now as they were last winter, and their expectation should be that the Padres can — if they desire to — sign Gonzalez to an extension.

At the very least, Padres fans and the media that covers the team should demand that the Padres lay real numbers on the table before they ship Gonzalez out the door or let him walk as a free agent after next year.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

Getty Images
6 Comments

There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).