Cliff Lee rebuts Dirk Hayhurst’s cheating accusation

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Amidst all the clamor of Clay Buchholz’s alleged indiscretion, former pitcher and current Toronto radio host Dirk Hayhurst accused Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee of using his hat to gain an unfair advantage:

Now I’m getting lambasted for calling this cheating; cheating when there is solid video evidence to support it.

Pitchers break the law, folks. Some do it in the accepted “it’s only five miles over the limit, officer,” way. Some have big enough names that they can get away with it even when it’s plain for all to see – Cliff Lee’s hat, anyone?

Asked to comment on the accusation, Lee responded, “Who’s Dirk Hayhurst?”

More, via High Cheese:

“That’s nothing,” Lee said of tugging on his hat bill in between pitches.

“That’s a completely inaccurate statement,” Lee said of Hayhurst’s accusation. “I’ll go get you my hat right now. I’ve been wearing the same hat for three years. It’s sweat and rosin.”

Sweat, of course, builds up on hats. Pitchers are permitted to use a rosin bag, of course, since it’s located behind the mound for their usage.

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.