Robinson Cano was traded from the Mariners back to New York in early December. To the Mets, of course, not the Yankees.
There was skepticism about the trade from some. Cano is 36. He also lost a big chunk of the 2018 season due to a PED suspension. Was he still good enough to play second base for a team with pretensions of contention? Did he make too much money on a team that, historically, has not cared to spend too much money? Will the bat speed and the production still be there?
It will take more than one at bat for those questions to be answered but so far, so good for Cano. His first at bat of the season came against the great Max Scherzer in Washington and this is what he did with a 1-1 pitch:
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Cano’s first impression as a Met was a pretty dang good one.
For the third consecutive season, the Astros are AL West champions. The ‘stros clinched the division on Sunday afternoon with a convincing 13-5 win over the Angels. They were backed by three homers from leadoff man George Springer and individual homers from Alex Bregman and Aledmys Díaz.
Springer has the 22nd three-homer game in baseball this season. He’s the first Astro to hit three homers in a game since Yordan Álvarez last month, on August 10.
Justin Verlander lasted five innings in Sunday’s start, yielding two runs on six hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander is arguably the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award, now 20-6 with a 2.53 ERA and a 288/42 K/BB ratio in 217 innings on the year. Verlander is 12 strikeouts shy of the 300-strikeout milestone and six strikeouts short of 3,000 for his career. If the Astros stay on schedule, Verlander would pitch the second-to-last game of the regular season against the Angels.
Sunday’s win marked No. 102 on the season for the Astros. The franchise record is 103 wins set last year. With six games remaining, it seems likely the Astros will set a new record.
The Astros and Yankees both won on Sunday, meaning the Astros remain a half-game ahead in the race for home field advantage. The No. 1 seed will also have the privilege of playing the Wild Card winner, which is down to the Athletics, Rays, and Indians.