And That Happened: Thursday's scores and highlights

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Nationals 11, Astros 10: Everyone will be writing this morning
about how Joel Hanrahan got the win in this game despite no longer
playing for the Nats and how Nyjer Morgan scored the winning run even
though he was playing for the Pirates when the game started. Even
trippier, though, is that (a) both men were succeeded by
vice-presidents named Johnson who were southern Democrats and former
senators; and (b) Hanrahan had a secretary named Morgan, and Morgan had
a secretary named Hanrahan!

Astros 9, Nationals 4: While this one wasn’t a continued game
like the previous on, Jose Cruz somehow drove in the winning run and
Bob Knepper got the win. Strange, really.

Indians 10, White Sox 8: They’re replaying this on STO as I
write this, but looking at this box score makes me want to run away
screaming. A 3:43 nine-inning game, the winning team’s starting
pitcher gave up eight runs on eleven hits in four and a third, and a
game story in which the manager says that he thought it was OK for the
closer to pitch a four-out save because, hey, he’s had four days off?
Nah, you can keep this one.

Yankees 6, Twins 4: The Alfredo Aceves-as-starter gambit didn’t
go quite according to plan (3.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R), but a win’s a win.
Actually, against the Twins this year, a win’s a win a win a win a win
a win a win a win.

Cardinals 5, Brewers 1: I suppose you could blame the Brewers’
bullpen for this — they gave up five runs in the eighth — but Joel
Pineiro pretty much had Milwaukee handcuffed (CG, 3 H, 1 R, 5 K, 100
pitches). The Cards are now 4-2 over the first six games of a ten game
road trip, and will enter the break after four against the Cubbies.

Rays 3, Blue Jays 2: How did David Price bounce back from his
awful start against the Rangers last week to beat Roy Halladay and the
Jays last night?

“Like every team, the Rays compile lots of data on opposing batters
and share it with pitchers before games. Maddon asked pitching coach
Jim Hickey not to go over the reports with Price. “We have so much
information, and it’s good. It’s good to utilize it and we do utilize
it,” he said. “But there are certain moments when you really want to
walk away from it and just permit your instincts” to take over.

That’s probably smart and all, but didn’t Price go to Vanderbilt?
They’re supposed to be pretty smart down at that place, so you’d think
he could handle the scouting reports too.

Phillies 9, Reds 6: Inside the park homerun for Chase Utley, but then again, you know how I feel about those.

Royals 8, Red Sox 6: David DeJesus hit a go-ahead two-run homer
in the sixth inning, pulling the Royals back from a four run deficit.
The loss pulls the Sox down into a first place tie with the Yankees.

Dodgers 11, Mets 2: The Dodgers rap out 17 hits and take 2 of 3
from the Mets, who have lost 10 of 13. 10 of 13. How’d they ever win
three? It’s a miracle!

By the way, here’s a great example of why I don’t get enough sleep
on nights I write these things. Looking at the Dodgers-Mets box score,
I notice that Manny Ramirez has a bunch of twos. Two hits, at bats,
runs, RBIs, walks, etc. I immediately think, “hmm, maybe I can say
something funny about that.” The first thing that pops into my mind is
Doublemint gum, which is almost immediately followed by some vague
memory of Mel Brooks telling a set of twins to “chew your gum” in one
of his movies. Wondering if there was any worthy context around that, I
search for “Mel Brooks” and “chew your gum.” I didn’t find what I was
looking for, but I did find the “Memorable Quotes” page for “Blazing Saddles.”
Forgetting that I have recaps to write, I read every single quote on
there, laughing my head off because I had forgotten just how funny
“Blazing Saddles” is. By the time I’m done I’m (a) wondering how many
protests and carefully-crafted damage control statements the release of
a movie half as explosive as “Blazing Saddles” would cause today; (b)
missing Madeline Kahn an awful, awful lot (It’s twue! It’s twue!); and
(c) many, many long minutes have passed and I’ve got nothing else to
write about the Dodgers-Mets game. So I punt, go with that vague
allusion to the “Bull Durham” quote, because really, that’s about 95%
of my material these days, and I move on.

Multiply that by 15 games a night, five nights a week, and you see where my sleep deficit comes from. Moving right along:

Giants 9, Padres 3: Lincecum continued to be ridiculous in the
way he’s been ridiculous lately into the seventh inning, but then he
ran into trouble. Relatively speaking, of course, because to him,
giving up three runs is like most pitchers getting touched for, like,
six. His scoreless innings streak ends at 29.

Marlins 14, Diamondbacks 7: This looks like the NL version of that Cleveland game.

Rockies 7, Braves 6: Some of the pixie dust comes off of Tommy
Hanson, as he gives up four runs on six hits in five innings. Still, he
stood to be the winner until Pete Moylan and Mike Gonzales got into the
game. I feel obligated to acknowledge the fact that Jeff Francoeur had
a good game, going 3-4 with a double and a couple of RBI. This in no
way constitutes an endorsement, however. Garrett Atkins, who has had a
hell of a time this year, came through with a two-out, two-run,
pinch-hit double in the eighth inning that proved to be the winner.

Mariners 3, Rangers 1: How interesting and unexpected would it
be if the Mariners sweep Texas and the AL West goes into the break as a
log-jam of a three-way race? It’s been a couple of years since that
division has been really exciting, but when it is — like it was back
in 2002, say — it’s always fun for those of us back east to wake up in
the morning and see what crazy stuff happened while we were sleeping.

Minor League Baseball established a political action committee to fight paying players more

DURHAM, NC - JULY 28:  The Chicago White Sox play the Most Valuable Prospects during the championship game of the 2011 Breakthrough Series at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on July 28, 2011 in Durham, North Carolina.  Most Valuable Prospects won 17-2 over the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
Sara D. Davis/Getty Images
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Josh Norris of Baseball America reports that Minor League Baseball has established a political action committee to continue fighting against a lawsuit brought by a group of former minor league players seeking increased wages and back pay.

You may recall that, earlier this year, two members of Congress — Republican Brett Guthrie of Kentucky and Democrat Cheri Bustos of Illinois — introduced H.R. 5580 in the House of Representatives. Also known as the “Save America’s Pastime Act,” H.R. 5580 sought to change language in Section 13 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. In doing so, minor leaguers wouldn’t have been covered under a law that protects workers who are paid hourly. Minor League Baseball publicly endorsed the bill. Bustos withdrew her support after receiving widespread criticism.

The whole thing started when Sergio Miranda filed a lawsuit in 2014, accusing Major League Baseball teams of colluding to eliminate competition. The lawsuit challenged the reserve clause, which binds minor leaguers into contracts with their teams for seven years. That suit was dismissed in September 2015. However, another lawsuit was filed in October last year — known as Senne vs. the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball — alleging that minor leaguers were victims of violations of state and federal minimum wage laws. Senne et. al. suffered a setback this summer when U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco dismissed class certification. That essentially meant that the players could not file a class-action lawsuit. As a result, the players’ legal team led by Garrett Broshuis amended their case to only include players who play in one league for an entire season. As Norris notes, that means that the included players’ experiences are uniform enough for inclusion in a class-action lawsuit.

So that’s why Minor League Baseball established a political action committee (PAC). A PAC, for the unfamiliar, is an organization created with the intent of raising money to defeat a particular candidate, legislation, or ballot initiative. In other words, they’re getting serious and want Capitol Hill’s help.

Minor League Baseball president Stan Brand said, “Because of procedurally what has happened in the Congress and the difficulties in getting legislation, we’ve got to adjust to that. We were lucky. We had the ability because of the depth of the relationships and involvement in the communities to not have to worry about that. And now we do, I think. The PAC . . . gives us another tool to re-enforce who we are and why we’re important.”

Norris mentions in his column that Phillies minor league outfielder Dylan Cozens received the Joe Baumann Award for leading the minors with 40 home runs. That came with an $8,000 prize. Cozens said that the prize was more than he made all season. The minor league regular season spanned from April 7 to September 5, about six months. Athletes aren’t paid in the other six months which includes offseason training and spring training. They are also not paid for participating in instructional leagues and the Arizona Fall League. Minor leaguers lack union representation, which is why their fight for fair pay has been such an uphill battle.

Report: White Sox, Nationals making “strong progress” on a Chris Sale deal

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 27:  Starting pitcher Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox deliivers the ball against the Tampa Bay Rays at U.S. Cellular Field on September 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the White Sox and Nationals are making “strong progress” on a trade involving ace Chris Sale. Most reports coming out on Monday night suggest that a deal isn’t likely to be consummated until Tuesday at the earliest.

Sale, 27, has pitched in the majors over parts of seven seasons. He owns a career 74-50 record with a 3.00 ERA and a 1,244/260 K/BB ratio in 1,110 innings. The lefty will earn $12 million in 2017, then has a club option for 2018 worth $12.5 million with a $1 million buyout as well as a 2019 club option worth $13.5 million with a $1 million buyout. Relative to what he would earn if he were a free agent today, Sale’s remaining salary is a bargain.

The Nationals would likely have to part with several of their top prospects. MLB Pipeline lists pitcher Lucas Giolito, outfielder Victor Robles, and pitcher Reynoldo Lopez in the club’s top-three.

Adding Sale would arguably give the Nationals claim to the best starting rotation in baseball as he would join 2016 NL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.

There are other teams in the mix for Sale. The Red Sox and Astros have also talked with the White Sox about the lefty’s services.