Mike Scioscia’s job is safe. Probably.

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I said on HBT Extra today that the Angels performance — poor, despite all of the new talent there this year — is the sort of thing that gets managers fired.  Which it is. Just not Mike Scioscia, says Arte Moreno.

Or at least he sorta says it. He was asked by Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com about Mike Scioscia’s status, and he said:

I signed Mike long-term, and I’m invested in Mike long-term … We try not to make impulsive decisions. … Let’s put it this way: Right now, that is not in our thought process.

In between the first part of that passage and the first ellipsis was a ramble about how things change and the team will make changes when needed.  Take from that what you will.  My take is that while that is something less than a full-throated vote of confidence,  Moreno hasn’t really thought about Mike Scioscia’s job status yet and is going to wait until the end of the season to do so.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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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.