We have a brand new ballgame in San Francisco.
After Adam Wainwright proved his doubters wrong by holding the Giants to two runs over seven innings this evening, the Cardinals’ lead vanished as soon as he left the ballgame. Michael Morse came up as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning and slugged a leadoff solo homer against Pat Neshek to tie things up at 3-3. The blast sent AT&T Park into a frenzy. Morse gave a curtain call to the crowd after returning to the dugout.
Morse was left off the Giants’ roster during the NLDS due to an oblique injury and he has been limited to pinch-hitting duties during the NLCS. He hit 16 home runs during the regular season, though he hadn’t gone deep against a right-handed pitcher since way back on July 5. This was a good time to break that streak.
Following Madison Bumgarner, Santiago Casilla will try to keep the tie intact as he heads to the mound for the Giants for the top of the ninth inning.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.