Astros clinch home field for ALDS

Getty Images
8 Comments

The Astros win over the Rangers last night clinched home-field advantage in the ALDS. They will host Game 1 of the ALDS on Oct. 5 and Game 2 on Oct. 6.

Who they play will be determined by who has the best overall record in the AL, as that team gets to face the winner of the Wild Card game while the division winner with the second best winner hosts the division winner with the third best record. At the moment Houston (97-60) trails Cleveland (98-59) for the top AL seed by one game.

If that holds, it means Houston will host the Boston Red Sox (91-66) in the ALDS. Which would be pretty interesting because the final series of the regular season features the Astros playing the Red Sox in Boston Thursday through Sunday. If they also meet in the playoffs, that means anywhere between seven and nine games against one another in a row.

And, given that the whole Houston-Cleveland thing will not be settled by the time that series begins tomorrow, it’s not like Houston can just mail in the weekend series.

 

 

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
Getty Images
2 Comments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.