And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Royals 3, Tigers 0: Big Game James coms up big in a big game. In the rain. So he’s more like Big Rain Game James. Anyway, seven, two-hit shutout innings followed by Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis.

Braves 6, Nationals 2: Big Game Harang  . . . nah, that doesn’t work. But Aaron Harang did come up big for the Braves, helping them avoid a sweep, allowing one run over seven. Justin Upton drove in three. Brother B.J. homered off Stephen Strasburg. Which he’s done before. He should just be played in games against Stephen Strasburg, really. Who objects to that?

Orioles 10, Red Sox 6: Wei-Yin Chen was perfect into the sixth and by then he had a big bunch of run support so it was a particularly easy night for the O’s. Caleb Joseph homered and drove in three. Other than Joe Saunders melting down in the ninth — a situation he doesn’t see if the O’s aren’t up 10-1 — it was a pretty perfect day for Baltimore, who has won 11 of 14.

Pirates 6, Phillies 3: Andrew McCutchen hit a standup inside-the-park homer. As always, of course, if the outfielder plays it a tad differently or if the right or left fielder comes over to, you know, back him up some, it probably doesn’t happen, but we’ll let that go. McCutchen is hitting .311/.403/.539 on the year with 23 homers 75 driven in and he’s 17 for 19 in stolen bases. It’s gonna be really interesting to see the MVP vote.

Reds 4, Cardinals 2: Alfredo Simon allowed two runs over seven innings and hit two doubles, driving in a run. Both hits came on the first pitch he saw. Which, frankly, is what I think most pitchers should do. It’s likely the best pitch they’re gonna see in an at bat and it’s not like any pitcher these days outside of maybe Zack Greinke has the chops to adjust and outthink and do all of those things to get the best of major league pitching. In other news, allow me to remind you of my views on the designated hitter.

Mets 2, Rockies 0: Eric Young went 3 for 3 with a triple and Rafael Montero got his first win. No word if either of those two are married or if they have children and have become less aggressive since doing so.

Yankees 8, Rays 5: Down 4-0 after the top of the first you almost felt like the Yankees were gonna pack it in before they got started. Or at least their fans. Following Yankees games in real time on Twitter with my Yankees fan friends has become an exercise in pessimism lately. But the ballplayers haven’t given up. Mark Teixeira hit a triple. I don’t personally believe that, but it says so in the box score so it must’ve happened. Brain McCann homered and drove in three. He’s been on fire since September began. Doesn’t help salvage his season, but at least it’s something to grow on, maybe.

Brewers 4, Marlins 1: Wily Peralta gave up one earned run and five hits to help the Brewers snap their losing streak and win for just the second time in 15 games. Peralta also [altogether now] helped his own cause. In other news, allow me to remind you of my views on the designated hitter. Wait, I already did that.

Blue Jays 11, Cubs 1: Drew Hutchison registered 10 strikeouts in six and a third to help the Jays sweep. They outscored the Cubs 20-3 in those three games.

Giants 5, Diamondbacks 0: San Francisco keeps humming along, with the second straight domination of Arizona. The Snakes have lost five in a row and seven of nine and look like they’re already booking tee times for October.

Angels 8, Rangers 1: Albert Pujols was a homer short of the cycle. Which makes me wonder how much money would you win if you bet on both him and Teixeira hitting triples yesterday? I’m guessing someone would give you 50-1 odds on that. Maybe more. Matt Shoemaker allowed one run in six and two-thirds. The Angels pitching has actually improved since they lost Garret Richards for the season. Team-of-Destiny stuff.

Dodgers 4, Padres 0: Dan Haren pitched seven shutout innings. He’s turned his season around, too. After a craptastic July, Haren has allowed no more than one earned run in each of his last four starts, going 5-1 in his last seven and notching his 13th win of the year last night. Carl Crawford was 4 for 4 with three doubles and two driven in.

White Sox 2, Athletics 1: The A’s had a 1-0 lead behindJeff Samardzija’s seven shutout innings, but then Avisail Garcia drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth. It’s the third time in four games that the Athletics’ relievers blew a lead. Given that the Tigers and Mariners did too, it didn’t hurt them too bad, but the A’s need to figure something out.

Astros 5, Mariners 2: Jose Altuve had two hits, including an RBI double, to break a mini-slump and to notch his 200th hit of the season. After the game interim manager Tom Lawless said that Altuve joined a “small club” in reaching the milestone. I guess it’s small in the grand scheme. It does, however, have like 500 guys in it, so the club doesn’t tend to meet for dinners and things as it costs a lot to get a banquet hall that big.

Twins vs. Indians: POSTPONED: As a man I ain’t never been much for sunny days. I’m as calm as a fruit stand in New York and maybe as strange. But when the color goes out of my eyes its usually the change. But damn Sam I love a woman that rains.

Nationals GM Rizzo won’t reveal length of Martinez’s new contract

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WASHINGTON — Dave Martinez spoke Saturday about managing the Washington Nationals for “many, many years” and over the “long term” and “quite some time,” thanks to his contract extension.

Sharing a table to a socially distanced degree with his manager on a video conference call to announce the new deal – each member of the duo sporting a 2019 World Series ring on his right hand – Nationals GM Mike Rizzo referred to the agreement’s “multiyear” nature, but repeatedly refused to reveal anything more specific in response to reporters’ questions.

“We don’t talk about terms as far as years, length and salaries and that type of thing. We’re comfortable with what we have and the consistency that we’re going to have down the road,” said Rizzo, who recently agreed to a three-year extension of his own. “That’s all we want to say about terms, because it’s private information and we don’t want you guys to know about it.”

When Martinez initially was hired by Rizzo in October 2017 – his first managing job at any level – the Nationals’ news release at the time announced that he was given a three-year contract with an option for a fourth year.

That 2021 option had not yet been picked up.

“The partnership that Davey and I have together, our communication styles are very similar. Our aspirations are similar, and kind of our mindset of how to obtain the goals that we want to obtain are similar. I think it’s a good match,” Rizzo said. “We couldn’t have hit on a more positive and enthusiastic leader in the clubhouse. I think you see it shine through even in the most trying times.”

The Nationals entered Saturday – Martinez’s 56th birthday – with a 23-34 record and in last place in the NL East, which Rizzo called “a disappointing season.” The team’s title defense was slowed by injuries and inconsistency during a 60-game season delayed and shortened by the coronavirus pandemic.

World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg threw just five innings because of a nerve issue in his pitching hand and players such as Starlin Castro, Sean Doolittle, Tanner Rainey, Adam Eaton and Carter Kieboom finished the year on the IL.

“This year, for me, we didn’t get it done. We had a lot of bumps in the road this year. But I really, fully believe, we’ve got the core guys here that we need to win another championship,” Martinez said. “I know Mike, myself, we’re going to spend hours and hours and hours trying to fill the void with guys we think can potentially help us in the future. And we’ll be back on the podium. I’m really confident about that.”

Rizzo was asked Saturday why the team announces contract lengths for players, as is common practice around the major leagues, but wouldn’t do so in this instance for Martinez.

“The reason is we don’t want anybody to know. That’s the reason,” Rizzo said, before asking the reporter: “How much do you make? How many years do you have?”

Moments later, as the back-and-forth continued, Rizzo said: “It’s kind of an individual thing with certain people. I don’t want you to know what I make or how many years I have. Davey doesn’t want you to know. And I think that it’s only fair … when people don’t want certain information out there, that we don’t give it.”

There were some calling for Martinez to lose his job last season when Washington got off to a 19-31 start. But Rizzo stood by his manager, and the team eventually turned things around, going 74-38 the rest of the way to reach the playoffs as an NL wild-card team.

The Nationals then beat the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals to reach the World Series, where they beat the Houston Astros in Game 7.

Washington joined the 1914 Boston Braves as the only teams in major league history to win a World Series after being 12 games below .500 during a season.

“Everything from Day 1 to where he’s gotten to now, he’s grown so much. He’s really become one of my favorite managers of all,” three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer said after helping Washington win Saturday’s opener of a doubleheader against the New York Mets. “Davey really understands how to manage a clubhouse, manage a team. We saw it in the postseason. He knows how to push the right buttons when everything is on the line.”