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Dallas Keuchel feels “disappointment” that the Astros didn’t do more at the deadline

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The Astros were involved in plenty of trade rumors leading up to Monday’s 4 PM ET non-waiver trade deadline. The only deal the club executed, however, was acquiring struggling lefty pitcher Francisco Liriano from the Blue Jays with the intent to use him out of the bullpen.

Speaking to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, Astros ace Dallas Keuchel said of his team’s action at the deadline, “I’m not going to lie, disappointment is a little bit of an understatement. A bunch of teams really bolstered their rosters for the long haul and for a huge playoff push. Us just standing pat was disappointing to myself. A lot of the guys feel like we can win in here and that’s a pretty accurate statement and that’s why we built such a great lead. I think, when it comes down to it, now it’s going to be we’re going to win for each other and that’s it.”

Keuchel added, “Good teams can always be great and great teams can always be legendary. At the end of the year, we want to be the only ones left. It’s just a little disappointing for sure.”

The Astros enter Tuesday’s action with the best record in the American League at 69-36, putting them on pace to win 106 games. But as we’ve seen plenty of times in years past, the team with the league’s best doesn’t always get to the World Series, let alone win it. So GM Jeff Luhnow may be kicking himself come October if the team doesn’t match up against opponents as well as they appeared to in late July.

Keuchel, 29, is carrying a 9-0 record with a 1.94 ERA and a 72/21 K/BB ratio over 78 2/3 innings.

Clayton Kershaw could return on September 1

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Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.

Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.

Ian Kinsler was fined for ripping umpires publicly. Brad Ausmus says it’s the largest fine he’s seen in 25 years.

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Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.

After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”

Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”

As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.