Howard Megdal takes a look at Mets fan’ relationship with their expensive closer:
Francisco Rodriguez has held up his end of the bargain with the New York Mets and their fans.
He’s been a good closer, by any reasonable measure: the Mets have
called on him again and again to finish off the other guys, and the vast
majority of the time, that’s exactly what he’s done.
But the fans don’t generally like him all that much. They boo him
when he comes into games, or at least some of them do–enough to make
You know how I feel about the booing. I think booing is uncalled for unless a guy just dogs it or rips his teammates or does something other than merely fail on the field despite his best efforts to succeed.
But I get it. I think Howard has a good take here and I think you should read it, but I’d quibble with the “K-Rod has held up his end of the bargain” statement. He has tried — I don’t know anyone who has suggested that he hasn’t — but he has been a less successful closer in New York than he was in Anaheim, and that, I think, is what people are reacting too. I wouldn’t boo that, but I’m also in the minority on booing etiquette.
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.