UPDATE: Despite what Nikkan Sports is reporting, many are now saying that there is no deal in place between Ichiro and the Yankees. Joel Sherman just went so far as to say that a deal has not yet been seriously discussed.
So, yeah, stand by for further updates.
9:20 AM: It’s “sign old guys day” in the Bronx. First was Andy Pettitte and now it’s Ichiro:
It felt weird to see Ichiro in anything but a Seattle Mariners’ uniform, but he took to Yankee pinstripes quite nicely after last season’s trade, hitting .322 with five home runs and a .794 OPS after coming over from the Mariners in July.
Ichiro is a mere three months younger than your creaky, grumpy and bald blogger here, but he still has game. Not the $17 million worth of game he was paid for in 2012, but at $5 million keeping him in New York makes a heck of a lot of sense.
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.