File this under one of those things that should have been obvious but wasn’t. Or at least wasn’t because I never thought about it: researchers did a study of baseball players and found that players who classify themselves as morning people do better in day games and night owls do better in night games. There’s more subtlety and detail to that in the article, but that’s the gist.
To be honest, though, I’m not certain that being a “night person” or a “morning person” is as bright distinction as most people make it out to be. I was most definitely a night person until I became a father, after which staying up until 2AM and sleeping late wasn’t an option. Sure, you change habits — I started drinking coffee when I was 33-years-old and I force myself go to bed earlier now — but I’d easily have to classify myself a morning person when it comes to effectiveness these days, even if I still long for the time when I could stay up late and sleep late. I think that in this people act like they act with a lot of things: they choose what they like and then claim that was the only option available to them.
Neat study anyway.
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.