Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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Just in case there was any lingering doubt about R.A. Dickey’s case to start for the National League in the upcoming All-Star Game, he pretty much clinched it last night.

After giving up five runs over six innings against the Yankees on Sunday, Dickey bounced right back by tossing eight shutout innings as part of a 9-0 rout over the fading Dodgers. With the victory, he became the first pitcher in the majors to reach 12 wins this season. As if you need wins to tell you that R.A. Dickey is awesome.

Dickey actually held the Dodgers to just one hit, a fly ball that center fielder Andres Torres really should have caught, over the first six innings. A.J. Ellis managed a single in the seventh and Tony Gwynn, Jr. doubled in the eighth, but that’s all the Dodgers could muster. Dickey walked one and struck out 10 in the victory.

Dickey’s June numbers were simply ridiculous: 0.93 ERA, 55/8 K/BB ratio over 48 1/3 innings, three complete games and two shutouts. The 37-year-old now has an incredible 2.15 ERA and 116/25 K/BB ratio over 113 innings this season. I hope Buster Posey and/or Yadier Molina are ready to catch some knuckleballs.

Your Friday box scores:

Astros 0, Cubs 4

White Sox 14, Yankees 7

Phillies 2, Marlins 6

Indians 8, Orioles 9

Nationals 5, Braves 4

Angels 5, Blue Jays 7

Diamondbacks 9, Brewers 3

Tigers 2, Rays 4

Padres 2, Rockies 10

Athletics 3, Rangers 4

Pirates 14, Cardinals 5

Royals 4, Twins 3

Red Sox 5, Mariners 0

Reds 5, Giants 1

Report: Astros extend Justin Verlander for two years, $66 million

Justin Verlander
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The Astros are in agreement with right-hander Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million extension, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was among those to report on Friday. With no money deferred, the $33 million he’ll receive over the next two years will set a record AAV for major-league pitchers; something MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says matters to Verlander, who “cares how his deals affect markets (and fellow players).”

While it’s far from the five-year, $100 million extension teammate Alex Bregman signed with the club on Friday, the deal will give the Astros a bigger window to consider their long-term plans for the ace before he hits free agency again. Prior to Saturday’s agreement, Verlander’s original contract — the hefty seven-year, $180 million arrangement he reached with the Tigers in 2013 — was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.

It’s difficult to overestimate the value Verlander has provided to the Astros since they acquired him from the Tigers back in 2017. He was named the 2017 ALCS MVP following seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6 performance and helped the Astros clinch their first franchise World Series title. In 2018, he earned his seventh career All-Star distinction and received consideration for both AL Cy Young and MVP awards after pitching to a 16-9 record in 34 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 12.2 SO/9 (the product of a career-high 290 strikeouts), and 6.7 fWAR over 214 innings.

The deal has not been confirmed by the team.