Dan Shaughnessy has a Hall of Fame vote. Every year he uses his Hall of Fame column to trot out his latest pejorative terms for bloggers or even just younger baseball writers. Last year he called us “stat geeks, those get-a-lifers who are sucking all the joy out of our national pastime.” He’s not as creative this year, but he’s still great fun. Here’s the latest:
Morris is a tougher vote. He’s not going to make it. His 3.90 ERA is high. The silly stat shut-ins don’t like him. Morris is more of a “you had to be there’’ candidate. I was at the 1991 World Series when he won Game 7, 1-0, in 10 innings.
Know what’s fun about this? I mean, apart from the “you had to be there” line and the fact that he premises Jack Morris’ case on a single game? It’s the fact that his own Boston Globe colleague, Pete Abraham, doesn’t like Morris’ case and didn’t vote for him.
Query, Mr. Shaughnessy: is Pete Abraham a “silly stat shut-in?” Better ask him now, Dan! Because you won’t be able to find him come February when he begins eight solid months of covering baseball from press boxes all over the country while you write from whatever bitter cloister you call home.
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.