Tony Sipp sits atop a bench adjacent to the bullpen phone that now more frequently summons him to work. The dugout is empty. Three hours remain before first pitch of a nine-run Astros loss to Seattle. Relievers trickle out of the clubhouse dressed for a day's work. Sipp sports a gray T-shirt and colorful calf-high socks. The 35-year-old lefthander surveys the field where he's revived a career he acknowledges was almost over. He speaks with unflinching candor, confronting the narrative he knows exists. “I know what it looks like and it still looks like,” Sipp said. “Looks like I just got my money and stopped worrying about baseball.” In the final season of a three-year guaranteed contract worth
Caption Close Reliever Hector Rondon went from a pleasant surprise to a solid setup man to a September concern in a slow path of decline this season. The righthander has been terrible lately. He surrendered seven earned runs and 15 hits in six innings this month. Batters posted a 1.326 OPS in Rondon's last six outings. Despite Rondon's poor performance since he took a comebacker off his wrist on Sept. 3, manager A.J. Hinch said the injury and the pitcher's struggles are “unrelated.” “His pitch usage could be altered a little bit,” Hinch said. You've got to find out when they're sitting fastball, when they're sitting slider, read swings a little bit better.” Rondon lives off his high-90s fastball.
HOUSTON (AP) - Robinson Cano drove in three runs, three players homered and seven pitchers combined for a five-hitter in Seattle's 9-0 rout of the Houston Astros on Wednesday night. The Mariners took two of three in this series from Houston, which entered the day five games ahead of Oakland atop the AL West. The Athletics played later against the Angels. Rookie Matt Festa made his first career start on a bullpen day for the Mariners and threw a perfect first inning before Casey Lawrence (1-0) took over and allowed one hit in three innings. Adam Warren, Shawn Armstrong, Zach Duke, Justin Grimm and Roenis Elias pitched an inning each to close it out. The Mariners jumped on Dallas Keuchel (11-11)
Just about a year ago, the celebration was already going. The Astros were dousing the clubhouse in champagne, high-fiving each other and celebrating their division title. They couldn't contain their joy and excitement as they looked ahead to the postseason — the one that would end in Los Angeles with the Astros winning the World Series. That was with two weeks to play in the regular season. This year, they haven't nailed down even a playoff spot quite yet. While there isn't yet a letter next to them in the American League standings to signify their spot in the postseason, it's pretty safe to pencil in the Astros, who could clinch a wild-card berth as soon as Friday. With Oakland four games behind
After exiting a game Monday and missing another on Tuesday because of a sore right Achilles tendon, Astros right fielder Josh Reddick was back in the lineup for the series finale against the Mariners on Wednesday. Reddick aggravated his Achilles tendon in an at-bat and while fielding Monday, but he said he has "no idea what caused" the injury. "I felt a little grab, so I figured I'd let (the training staff) know," he said. "It wasn't anything serious. I was able to test it today." Neither manager A.J. Hinch nor Reddick expressed concern that the injury would linger or affect the outfielder's play down the stretch of the season. "He's a veteran guy, he knows himself better than others," Hinch
Get ready for the most important offseason in recent Phillies history. With less than $70M on the books for 2019 and a team off a season featured first-place contention in September, the Phillies have an opportunity to strike in free agency and trade market. All eyes will likely be on bats (Manny Machado, Bryce Harper) to improve a less-than-average offense, but don't discount the idea of the Phillies going after a big-time starting pitcher this winter. That can be even more realistic if Jake Arrieta can be shipped away or if a trade commences using a young arm like Zach Eflin or Vince Velasquez. If the Phillies do eye a true No. 2 arm to place behind Aaron Nola in the 2019 rotation, free agency
The Astros' playoff chances continue to chug along at essentially a certainty (Fangraphs has it at 100%, with a 99.2% chance at taking the AL West), so we'll continue to look at possible configurations of the playoff roster. Last time we focused on position players, so this time we'll be looking at the team's pitching options. Based on the numbers from last time, we have eleven or twelve roster spots open for pitchers. That lines up pretty neatly with the playoff roster from last year, which featured eleven arms in the Division Series, then added Collin McHugh for the final two rounds. The rotation is an easy place to start from. There was some degree of ambiguity in which starters would join
Daniel Vogelbach was the hero for the Mariners on Monday night in Houston. Can the M's win another to get some momentum going? Share story Seattle Mariners (83-67, W1) at Houston Astros (94-56, L1) 5:10 p.m. | Minute Maid Park | Houston, Texas TV: ROOT | Radio: 710 AM | Stream: MLB.tv [ Using our mobile app? Switch to browser » ] STARTING LINEUPS RHP Mike Leake (10-9, 3.99) vs. RHP Josh James (0-0, 4.22) In case you missed it: Top stories: Most Read Sports Stories On deck: Wednesday | 5:10 p.m. | @ Astros TBA vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel (11-10, 3.57)