Before Braves reliever Jordan Walden uncorked a wild pitch with a runner on third base in the top of the ninth tonight, the Marlins hadn’t scored since the fifth inning on Thursday against the Pirates. As Adeiny Hechavarria crossed home plate on the errant pitch, he broke a scoreless tie, allowing for closer Steve Cishek to nail down the save.
Tonight’s game was a pitcher’s duel through and through. Braves starter Alex Wood held the Fish scoreless through six innings, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out seven. Marlins starter Nate Eovaldi was even better, shutting the Braves out over seven, allowing one hit and three walks while striking out eight. Both bullpens held the opposition down, Walden’s mistake aside.
Marlins outfielder Justin Ruggiano continued his extensive offensive slump. An 0-for-3 night left him hitless in his last 41 at-bats. His last hit came more than a month ago on July 8. The record for most consecutive hitless at-bats is 46, set by Eugenio Velez — then of the Dodgers — in September 2011.
The Braves, by the slimmest of margins, finally have their 14-game winning streak snapped. They lose for the first time since July 25 against the Mets.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.