I guess you don’t get anything without asking for it. But some things you kinda figure aren’t worth the breath you had to take to ask. Rosenthal:
The Rangers’ search for offensive help is so extensive, they recently contacted the Atlanta Bravesabout a trade for McCann, according to major-league sources. The Braves, leading the NL East by 8.5 games, had no interest in trading their starting catcher, who will be a free agent at the end of the season.
As Rosenthal notes, it makes a lot of sense for the Rangers to be interested in McCann when he hits free agency this fall. But to expect the Braves to even entertain trade talk when they’re likely playoff bound and McCann is basically the biggest offensive threat on the team.
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.