And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 1, Braves 0: I talked about how awesome 1-0 pitching duels are just last week. I wish I had saved that ode for this one. Braves pitchers struck out 13 hitters, didn’t walk any and allowed only one run and lost. That’s pretty mind-blowing. Not as mind-blowing as Jose Fernandez was, of course. He struck out 14 and allowed only three hits in eight shutout innings. And the game was so fast. Two hours and eight minutes. I mean, you could play this game almost five full times in the same amount of time it takes to play my new favorite song (be sure to watch through to the end):

Angels 7, Nationals 2: There went 499 and 500 for Albert Pujols. He has eight on the year and has an OPS of .956. Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got something to say, but nothing comes out when they move their lips — just a bunch of gibberish –and mother****ers act like they forgot about El Hombre.

Rays 7, Twins 3:  David DeJesus drove in three and David Price was effective, but let’s talk about the weird here instead: Price was hit by a comebacker right in the, urm, um, midsection in the top of the fourth. He was fine, though. This is why you wear a cup, gentlemen. Also, Great Moments in Instant Replay: Yunel Escobar took ball four, the umps were confused about the count, checked instant replay and still got the darn count wrong. Escobar ended up striking out on the 4-2 pitch.

Royals 8, Indians 2Moustakas’ three-run homer, Eric Hosmer had four hits and James Shields was on point. This has been the blueprint for the past couple of year, but only Shields has read the plans and adhered to them consistently before last night.

Reds 4, Pirates 1: Johnny Cueto with his second straight complete game. The only blemish here was a homer given up to Andrew McCutchen in the ninth.

Blue Jays 9, Orioles 3Brett LawrieMelky Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion each hit homers. It was Encarnacion’s first of the year. He watched it go out and rounded the bases with his right-arm-cocked chicken wing thing. No one got in his face and barked at him afterward. They just played baseball. Imagine.

Tigers 8, White Sox 6: Miguel Cabrera finally woke up, going 3 for 5 with a homer and an RBI double. Of course, a lot of Tigers hit against Sox’ spot starter Charlie Leesman, who filled in for Chris Sale.

Cardinals 3, Mets 0: Adam Wainwright shut the Mets out into the seventh inning but had to leave when he hyperextended his knee fielding a ball. He says he’s OK. No one asked if the Mets think they’ll be OK after being shut out, but we presume so.

Yankees 9, Red Sox 3: Masahiro Tanaka continues to be relatively unimpressed with major league hitters. I’m sure he wouldn’t say that, but no one has really challenged him yet (7.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 7K 0 BB). The Yankees, meanwhile, scored eight runs — only three earned — off Jon Lester. Jacoby Ellsbury’s return to Fenway in enemy colors started off well for him: he tripled to lead off the game and then robbed Grady Sizemore of a hit with a nice catch. He later hit a two-run double.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Cubs 9, Diamondbacks 2: Mike Olt — MIKE OLT! — hit a three-run homer. The Cubs have won three of four. Arizona has dropped four straight.

Padres 2, Brewers 1: A Chase Headley homer in the 12th ended up winning it, but a big assist goes to the Padres pen who tossed six shutout innings. The Brewers’ four-game winning streak is snapped.

Rangers 5, Athletics 4: Former Athletic Mike Choice hit a two-run single in the ninth to help the Rangers rally. After the game he said “you always want to do something good against the ex.” I have no idea what he’s talking about. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go shave and put on my best clothes because my ex-wife has a meeting near my house this morning and I need to look my best on the off-chance that she stops by to say hi to the kids before they go to school.

Rockies 2, Giants 1: Always fun to see a pitching duel in Denver. Franklin Morales allowed one run on five hits over seven. Madison Bumgarner allowed two runs in eight. All the runs came on solo homers and the game was over in 2:41.

Astros 5, Mariners 2: Remember when people were all like “hmm, maybe the Mariners are better now” a couple of weeks ago? Haha, that was a riot. Collin McHugh was called up from Oklahoma City to take Scott Feldman’s start and didn’t walk a batter while pitching into the seventh. The crowd at Safeco Field numbered 10,466 and was the fifth-lowest in park history. Six of the seven lowest have come when the Astros were in town. Some draw, eh? The Mariners have dropped eight in a row and ten of eleven, however, so that crowd ain’t all on Houston.

Phillies 3, Dodgers 2: The Dodgers were shut down by the Phillies’ starter for the second straight night — this time A.J. Burnett — but really lost this when Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez got their wires crossed on a short Carlos Ruiz fly to left in the 10th. The next man up, Domonic Brown, doubled him in.

MLBPA: MLB’s ‘demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected’

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark
LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
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On Thursday evening, the Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement regarding ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. The two sides continue to hash out details concerning a 2020 season. The owners want a shorter season, around 50 games. The union recently proposed a 114-game season that also offered the possibility of salary deferrals.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said that the union held a conference call that included the Executive Board and MLBPA player leaders. They “resoundingly rejected” the league’s “demand for additional concessions.”

The full statement:

In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, Players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love. But we cannot do this alone.

Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions. The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon.

This threat came in response to an Association proposal aimed at charting a path forward. Among other things, Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our Players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product. Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless Players agree to further salary reductions.

Earlier today we held a conference call of the Association’s Executive Board and several other MLBPA Player leaders. The overwhelming consensus of the Board is that Players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well. The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.

Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season. We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field.

As per the current agreement signed in March, if there is a 2020 season, players will be paid on a prorated basis. Thus, fewer games means the players get paid less and the owners save more. MLB has threatened to unilaterally set a 2020 season in motion if the two sides cannot come to terms. It should come as no surprise that the union has responded strongly on both fronts.

There have been varying reports in recent days over the confidence in a 2020 season happening. The MLBPA’s statement tonight doesn’t move the needle any; it simply affirms that the union remains steadfast in its goal to avoid a second significant cut in salaries.

As I see it, the ball is in the owners’ court. The owners can strongarm the players into a short season, saving money but significantly increasing the odds of a big fight in upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Or the owners can eat more of a financial loss, agreeing to a longer season than they feel is comfortable. The latter would have the double benefit of not damaging overall perception of the sport and would not disrupt labor peace going forward.

The MLBPA statement included a declaration that the players are “ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions.” If there is no 2020 season, we will have only the owners to blame, not the players.

Update: Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who has been quite vocal on social media about these negotiations, chimed in: