We noted a minor leaguer committed a Merkle’s Boner play the other day, not realizing that he had to advance to second base safely in order for the winning run to score. Last night a major leaguer committed a mental miscue of his own.Actually, two major leaguers had miscues on the same play: Aramis Ramirez and Rickie Weeks of the Brewers in last night’s game against the Nats.
Weeks was on first base and Ramirez was on third with one out. Teammate Sean Halton hit a long fly ball to the warning track which Denard Span caught for the second out. Weeks, however, assumed there were two outs already and had rounded second base by the time was caught. Ramirez — who did know the number of outs — yelled at Weeks to get back to first base. He did not, however, tag up quickly. By the time he eventually did Weeks had been doubled off first base before Ramirez could cross home plate. If he had crossed home before Weeks was out his run would have counted.
“I thought that double play, automatically the run don’t count,” Ramirez said. “I had no idea. I don’t think anybody knew. I was trying to get Rickie’s attention to get back. It was a weird play.”
Know you know, Aramis. And it only took you 16 years in the major leagues to figure it out.
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.