Jon Heyman tweets that the Yankees, Mets, and other teams have asked to see Freddy Garcia’s medical records. That means that everyone has an unhealthy obsession with Garcia’s personal business or else they’re actually considering signing the guy. Given how few free agent starters are left out there I’m guessing the latter.
Which is kind of scary, because Garcia is by no means someone who is going to make a difference for a contending team. He threw 157 decent innings last year, but it was the first time he had pitched as many as 100 since 2006. His ERA was respectable — 4.64 — but he really can’t strike guys out anymore. He’s also a right-handed flyball pitcher who I really wouldn’t want facing Boston’s big lefties — or anyone else’s big lefties — in Yankee Stadium.
I’d take a chance on him as a potential innings-eater if I wasn’t anticipating a run at the playoffs, but I’m not sure I’d jump at him if I was the Yankees.
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.