Hat tip to Chris Jaffe for tweeting this around, but get a load of the Rays’ lineup today:
Those of you around my age or older will recognize those position numbers as the title and chorus to a particularly annoying pop song from the early 80s. At least if you count the DH as “0” for position purposes. For Joe Maddon’s sake here’s hoping that lineup isn’t a one-hit-wonder too.
In other news, seeing this led me to look up Tommy Tutone on Wikipedia. Things I learned: (1) Tommy Tutone was the name of the band, not the singer; and (2) someone from Tommy Tutone clearly wrote the band’s Wikipedia page because no one on Earth knows that much about Tommy Tutone other than the dudes from the band.
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.