Matt Wieters, who injured his left hamstring a week ago and landed on the DL last Friday, underwent surgery Wednesday and will miss an undisclosed amount of time.
The Nationals’ announcement today came as a surprise, as there hadn’t been anything from the team to suggest that Wieters’ injury was more than a typical strain. No further details regarding the procedure were provided, so there’s no telling when he might return. It’s safe to say it’s going to be quite a while before he’s back, though.
Wieters was off to a solid start this year, hitting .231/.342/.385 with three homers in 65 at-bats before getting hurt. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a big improvement on last year’s .225/.288/.344 line. The Nationals considered trying to move on from Wieters and sign Jonathan Lucroy over the winter. They also talked with the Marlins about J.T. Realmuto. One imagines they’ll start working the phones again now. However, they’re not in terrible shape with Pedro Severino as a starter. Severino has impressed this year, batting .275/.386/.356 in 73 at-bats.
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.