Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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It wasn’t easy, but the Braves snapped their eight-game losing streak last night with a 7-6 win over the first-place Nationals at Turner Park in Atlanta.

The Braves scored all seven runs against Stephen Strasburg, who was chased after just five innings and gave up four home runs. Freddie Freeman, Justin Upton, B.J. Upton, and Tommy La Stella all went deep for Atlanta. For La Stella, it was his first major league home run. Strasburg hadn’t given up more than two home runs in any of his previous 99 starts in the majors.

It wasn’t long before the lead became tenuous, as Ervin Santana gave up four runs in the sixth inning, including a three-run homer from Anthony Rendon. Then, after a rain delay of over an hour, the Nationals got closer in the seventh with a solo homer from Wilson Ramos and a sacrifice fly from Asdrubal Cabrera. However, Jordan Walden and Craig Kimbrel were able to combine to get the final seven outs to secure the one-run victory.

The Braves now sit at 59-56 on the year, 3 1/2 games behind the Nationals in the National League East. They’ll try to keep chipping away when they send Aaron Harang to the hill tonight against Tanner Roark.

Your Friday box scores:

Nationals 6, Braves 7

Rays 4, Cubs 3 (10 innings)

Indians 6, Yankees 10

Mets 5, Phillies 4

Tigers 5, Blue Jays 4

Padres 1, Pirates 2

Rangers 3, Astros 4

Marlins 2, Reds 1

Cardinals 2, Orioles 12

Giants 2, Royals 4

Red Sox 4, Angels 2

Twins 5, Athletics 6

Dodgers 3, Brewers 9

Rockies 3, Diamondbacks 5

White Sox 1, Mariners 4

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.