So sayeth Dayton Moore:
If there was any doubt before, there is none now. Trey Hillman will return next year for a third season as the Royals’ manager. For weeks, as the club foundered, general manager Dayton Moore voiced strong support for his increasingly beleaguered manager . . .
. . . “When you evaluate any coach or manager,” Moore said, “you have to put it in a perspective of where we are as an organization and who our players are. I just believe Trey is the right leader for our baseball team, and I’m not going to waver in that at all.”
I agree with Moore totally on this. Evil scientists could have harvested the DNA of Casey Stengel, John McGraw, Sparky Anderson and Bobby Cox and built an uber-manager, Serpentor-style, and he still wouldn’t have won anything with this team.
The real culprit, as Moore says, is the guy who got the Royals “where they are as an organization” and decided “who the players are.” THAT guy should be out on his ass, my friends.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.