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Peter Moylan retires from Major League Baseball

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David O’Brien of The Athletic reports that reliever Peter Moylan is retiring from Major League Baseball. The 40-year-old side-arming right-hander still plans to play baseball in Italy this summer and for the Australian Olympic team.

Moylan had been hoping to get a major league contract offer this winter, but he unfortunately did not. He spoke with me last month about the issues free agents are dealing with, saying that he faced “anxiety and uncertainty, especially at my age.” He added, “I know I can still pitch but that doesn’t guarantee you a job.”

Moylan expressed similar sentiment to O’Brien. He said, “The game is trending younger; I’m certainly not that. It’s time for me to let the kids play, so I’m done.”

Across parts of 12 seasons in the majors with the Braves, Royals, and Dodgers, Moylan accrued a 3.10 ERA with 324 strikeouts and 180 walks across 418 2/3 innings. His best season came in 2007 with the Braves, when he pitched 90 innings with a 1.80 ERA. Unfortunately, Moylan battled injuries throught much of his career, but not many people get to say they pitched all the way into their late-30’s.

Best of luck to Moylan as he puts Major League Baseball in the rear-view mirror.

Yankees keep ALCS hopes alive with 4-1 win over Astros

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The Yankees defeated the Astros 4-1 during Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night, staving off a potential postseason elimination and forcing the series to at least six games.

In just the third playoff appearance of his career, Yankees southpaw James Paxton turned in another impressive performance, limiting the Astros to four hits and four walks over six innings of one-run ball. According to MLB Stats, his nine strikeouts made him the second Yankees lefty to record multiple starts of 8+ strikeouts in the same postseason campaign, two decades after David Wells did so for the 1998 championship-winning club.

Paxton’s strong outing was backed by a handful of runs from DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks, both of whom went deep against Astros ace Justin Verlander in the bottom of the first inning. LeMahieu’s leadoff solo shot marked his first postseason home run since Game 1 of the ALDS, while Hicks’ three-run 347-footer was his first home run of any variety since July 24 (and his first in the playoffs since the 2017 ALDS).

Neither team managed a single run after the first inning, leaving the two pitching staffs to duke it out for eight quick innings. Verlander outlasted Paxton — taking the game through the seventh with five hits, four runs, and nine strikeouts — but even with a flawless contribution from Brad Peacock in the eighth, there was little the hurlers could do to help the Astros solve Paxton and an airtight Yankees bullpen.

With the win, the Yankees will try to push the series to a full seven games in order to snatch the AL pennant from the Astros. They’ll have to do in Houston, however, as the Astros will regain home field advantage when Game 6 kicks off on Saturday at 8:08 PM EDT. Neither starter has been announced yet; per Houston skipper A.J. Hinch, it will likely be a bullpen day.