Yesterday the Marlins and the Reds played a double header in order to get out ahead of Hurricane Irene’s impact. As of a few minutes ago we have our first official rejiggering of the schedule for this weekend: the Phillies have moved Sunday’s game to Saturday, making it part of a day-night doubleheader with the Marlins.
Of course, there’s a decent chance that rain will already be falling on Philly by Saturday, but I suppose that the Phils are counting on the combined awesomeness of Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay to keep the atmospheric forces at bay.
There are many other series that are bound to be impacted by Irene, including the Yankees-Orioles in Baltimore, Braves-Mets in New York and the Athletics-Red Sox in Boston. No word on those, but there’s a non-trivial chance that we’ll have as many as 19 games on Saturday as a result. And if some of those get rained out the last few weeks of the season are likely to be a scheduling nightmare.
In the HBT video today I cursed James Bond for screwing up Martinis. I doubly curse him now for vanquishing villains who had perfectly good weather control systems at their disposal. Sure, they’re mostly used for evil, but I bet we could have persuaded them to have this storm pushed off the east coast in the name of baseball, right?
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.