Michael Pineda strikes out 16, moves to 5-0

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Michael Pineda hurled eight scoreless innings in a win last Tuesday against the Blue Jays, striking out six batters and issuing only one walk to move to 4-0 on the season. He was arguably even more dominant on Sunday, tallying a career-high 16 strikeouts and walking none over seven innings of one-run ball as the Yankees beat the Orioles 6-2 in The Bronx.

Pineda is the first pitcher in Yankees history to register a 16-strikeout, zero-walk game and it’s just the 22nd pitching line of that kind in the history of Major League Baseball. The franchise record for most strikeouts in a game belongs to Ron Guidry, who whiffed 18 on June 17, 1978.

Pineda is now 5-0 with a stellar 2.72 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 54/3 K/BB ratio in 46 1/3 innings this season.

And the Yankees are in first place in the American League East with a record of 20-12.

Jesus Montero, meanwhile, is playing first base for the Mariners’ Triple-A team.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.