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Max Scherzer joins the 2,000 strikeout club

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer became the 80th pitcher in baseball history to accrue 2,000 career strikeouts, notching the milestone in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game against the Rangers. Scherzer struck out four through the first three innings, putting him at 1,999, then struck out Nomar Mazara to lead off the fourth.

Scherzer is also one of 27 pitchers in baseball history to reach 2,000 strikeouts before his 33rd birthday, according to Baseball Reference. With 1,784 innings, he reached 2,000 strikeouts faster than every other pitcher except for Pedro Martinez (1,711) and Randy Johnson (1,733 1/3), MLB.com’s Jamal Collier notes. As far as games go, Scherzer was also third-fastest (287), tied with Nolan Ryan and behind Randy Johnson and Clayton Kershaw.

The defending NL Cy Young Award winner entered Sunday’s start with a 2.35 ERA and a 114/20 K/BB ratio over 84 1/3 innings. In the National League, only Clayton Kershaw had a better ERA, so Scherzer has a chance at winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards.

Rockies acquire Zac Rosscup from Cubs

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The Rockies announced a minor swap of relief pitchers on Monday evening. The Cubs sent lefty Zac Rosscup to the Rockies in exchange for right-hander Matt Carasiti.

Rosscup, 29, was designated for assignment by the Cubs last Thursday. He spent only two-thirds of an inning in the majors this year and has a 5.32 career ERA across 47 1/3 innings. Rosscup has spent most of the season with Triple-A Iowa, posting a 2.60 ERA in 27 2/3 innings.

Carasiti, 25, spent 15 2/3 innings in the majors last year, putting up an ugly 9.19 ERA. With Triple-A Albuquerque this season, he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 43/13 K/BB ratio in 30 1/3 innings.

U.S. Court of Appeals affirms ruling that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law

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The Associated Press reported that on Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a district court ruling which holds that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law, just like the major leagues.

In 2015, four minor leaguers sued Major League Baseball, alleging that MLB violated antitrust laws with its hiring and employment policies. They accused MLB of “restrain[ing] horizontal competition between and among” franchises and “artificially and illegally depressing” the salaries of minor league players.

The U.S. Court of Appeals said the players failed to state an antitrust claim, as the Curt Flood Act of 1998 exempted Minor League Baseball explicitly from antitrust laws.

This case is separate from the Aaron Senne case in which Major League Baseball is accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. That case was recertified as a class action lawsuit in March. In December, Major League Baseball established a political action committee (PAC), which came months after two members of Congress sought to change language in the FLSA so that minor league players could continue to be paid substandard wages.