Cardinals nix response to the Brewers’ humorous political attack ad against Yadier Molina

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The Brewers released a political attack ad spoof Tuesday against Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina as part of a campaign to get Jonathan Lucroy more votes for the National League All-Star team. You can probably guess how that went over in St. Louis.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny addressed the video Wednesday with reporters and Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gathered some quotes:

“I saw it and, you know, it caught me a little by surprise,” Matheny said. “I get that a lot of it was trying to be maybe tongue in cheek a little bit, but … it caught me by surprise. I think you have to take it in the nature that it was meant, and it was … obviously geared toward their fan base. It’s just amazing that it was that much directed at our organization. I think that caught me off guard the most.”

Jim Hayes, a reporter for the Cardinals’ regional television network FOX Sports Midwest, said Wednesday morning on a St. Louis radio show that a rebuttal to the attack ad was in the works featuring “sound from Cardinals players,” but Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the club requested they nix the idea.

This should only grow the reputation that the Cardinals and their fans take themselves far too seriously.

Winning is important — and the Cards win a whole lot — but this is pro baseball, not moral jousting.

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.