UPDATE: Well, that lasted three minutes. Apparently the Manny-Angels thing was bogus. Didn’t see Bill Shaikin’s tweet on it last night. Attention Toronto Star: update your story. Thanks!
10:31: I try to stay 100% on top of everything that’s going on, but sometimes things fall through the cracks. But usually this kind of thing doesn’t. The Toronto Star saying that the Angels and Manny Ramirez have a deal in place:
But while the signing may have helped solidify the Jays’ bullpen, it appears their chances of acquiring slugger Manny Ramirez have dissipated. Ramirez is believed to be on the verge of signing a one-year deal with Anaheim, with the Angels having reportedly agreed to the deal.
I haven’t seen this anywhere, have you? Last I saw was that report from Friday when a bunch of teams had reported interest, none more strongly than any other.
Apologies if I’m just whiffing on a report that, say, the L.A. Times already had, but this is the first time I’ve seen anyone saying that the Angels are about to sign Manny.
(thanks to ProudlyCanadian for the heads up)
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.