Bill Madden of the Daily News reports that the Blue Jays, off to an awful start, held a players-only, closed-door meeting yesterday
DeRosa would later call a players-only meeting to reiterate a lot of what beleaguered Blue Jay manager John Gibbons said to the media the day before … “There’s just a bad vibe creeping in here and we need to address it,” DeRosa said. “It’s just weird after spring training when we had a swagger about us.”
Maybe coming in to the season with “swagger” before you accomplished anything has something to do with the problems. Who knows!
In other news, Andy Martino catches up with R.A. Dickey who has a lot to say about the weird fascination the Mets and some of their fans still seem to have with him. He’s out the door and long gone, but for some reason he’s still a divisive figure in Queens. This is what happens to baseball players when they have the gall to have opinions about things I suppose.
One opinion Dickey shared with Martino is questionable, however:
“It has obviously been incredibly disappointing for everybody,” Dickey said. “The beauty of baseball is that it’s just one month and we’ve got five left. So there’s still time.
Go ask Jay Jaffe about that. He looks at teams who have started as poorly as the Jays have in the wild card era. And the results are something less than encouraging.
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.