Was FOX actually good last night?

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There’s not a ton of actual news this morning, so let’s talk broadcasting:

As the game ended last night, I said to myself “hmm, I just watched over three hours of a FOX broadcast, and I’m not annoyed.” I was able to mostly ignore Buck, and, in an unlikely twist, McCarver didn’t say too terribly much to angry up my blood.  Maybe more important, it didn’t seem to me like they were constantly cutting to crowd shots like they have in the past (one of my biggest pet peeves). I may have missed some giant gaffe when I put my daughter to bed or went for a beer or something, but on the whole, it was a good broadcast.

There are at least three more opportunities for FOX to remember all of the reasons we hate having to watch postseason baseball on their network, but until they do, I’m going to give them preliminary credit for maybe finally learning a few lessons.  

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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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.