Jason Bay decided to make Larchmont, New York his in-season home. According to this sweet story in Sunday’s New York Times, he’s the talk of the village. The author’s young son decided to reach out to the superstar slugger:
For his part, Gabriel decided to write Mr. Bay a letter and wrap it
around a baseball. I quote in part: “I am a huge Mets fan (like die-hard
even in the years when they weren’t so good!) Here is a baseball. Can
you sign it and return it to your mailbox this week between 2:25 and
3:15 (so I can retrieve it).” He was going to put it in the Bays’
mailbox, but it was locked, so he stuck the letter and baseball between
boards in their white picket fence.
Yep, you guessed it: a couple of days later the ball was placed back in the fence, signed by Bay. My warm fuzzies over this story will probably last a good while.
Indeed, I like the story so much that I’ll do everything in my power to pretend that sad-sack grownup memorabilia hounds won’t ruin it all by staking out Bay’s home, sticking balls and photos in his fence accompanied by fake letters from “kids” in the hopes that they’ll have new stuff to place on the shelf of their seedy collectibles shops next to their very rare Mary Worth comics.
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.