Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets

Motivated by failure against Marlins, Mets make sweeping changes

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The Mets were swept by the Marlins for the second consecutive weekend, and endured consecutive extra-inning losses as they fell 8-4 in ten innings this afternoon after losing 2-1 in 20 innings yeterday. Manager Terry Collins watched as his bullpen surrendered a 4-3 lead and put the game out of reach after imploding in the tenth. His team made a comedy of errors, both scoring-wise and otherwise, prompting this response to the media after the game:

GM Sandy Alderson didn’t waste time acting, choosing to demote Ike Davis, Robert Carson, and Mike Baxter to Triple-A Las Vegas, reports ESPN’s Adam Rubin. Rubin says the players coming from Triple-A to the big leagues will be known later, as Las Vegas is currently in a game.

Update (7:50 PM): Rubin on Twitter:

Davis, who went 0-for-3 this afternoon, is now hitting .161. Carson, charged with one run in his one inning of work today, has an 8.50 ERA. And Baxter, who went 0-for-4 today, is hitting .212.

The Mets have lost five consecutive games to the lowly Marlins. The Marlins, now 18-44, are 8-3 against the Mets (.727) and 10-41 (.196) against everyone else.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.