I’m wondering if when the Biogenesis suspensions come out if they’ll be released in little emails just after 5pm. And I wonder if I’ll still use the Rachel Leigh Cook pic. Probably not and probably not, respectively, but I’ll consider it. Anyway:
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that free agent Minor League left-handed pitcher Michael O’Connor has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for metabolites of Trenbolone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
O’Connor — assuming this is the same Michael O’Connor — had three stints with the Nationals, starting 20 games for them in 2006 and last appearing in the bigs in 2011 with the Mets. A veteran of 12 minor league seasons, O’Connor turns 33 in August and was last seen on the Twins’ Triple-A roster. He was released in May.
Now he roams the Earth, presumably.
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.