Due to the vagaries of geography and time zones and stuff, we easterners don’t get to hear a lot about what happens in Seattle. Oh, we get the big stories: Ichiro is good, Steve Largent has sure hands, the Denny Party has found a new place to settle — but the little stuff often escapes our attention. Stuff like just how bad Carlos Silva is and just how much Mariners fans hate him.
How much do they hate him? The Mariners just traded for baseball’s problem child, and as of 3PM this afternoon, Seattle Times readers are 91%-9% in favor of the deal. Granted, this is not a scientific sampling, but if anything, the sorts of people who click on Internet polls should skew more in favor of the “Milton-Bradley-is-a-bum” talk radio crowd than it does towards people who analyze baseball objectively and thus might realize that Bradley has some basic value. Heck, I’d at least expect this to be a 60-40 thing.
At some point, some Cubs fans are going to try and talk themselves into believing that having Carlos Silva on the team is a good thing. Before they do, they might want to talk to some Mariners fans first, because they prefer Bradley at a ten-to-one clip.
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.