And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 1, Rangers 0: One run in the game and it came via a walkoff balk. It was caused by pinch runner Enrique Hernandez faking out Rangers reliever Keone Kela, making him think he was pulling a straight steal of home. No need to steal a base, I guess, when the pitcher is gonna give it to you. A no-decision for Zack Greinke despite seven shutout innings. He’s 0-2 with a 1.99 ERA in his past eight starts. That takes some serious doing.

Yankees 9, Marlins 4: Down 3-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees put up eight runs over the next three innings, thanks in part to Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran each hitting two-run homers.  A-Rod had two hits and an RBI and now stands one hit away from 3,000. He was cheered wildly throughout the game. He had one more plate appearance after 2,999 but Marlins pitcher Sam Dyson didn’t give him anything to hit, causing the crowd to boo and jeer Dyson. A-Rod, as things currently stands, is the most popular and, possibly, the best-loved current Yankees player. This has to drive the folks up in the press box absolutely bonkers.

Royals 3, Brewers 2: Ned Yost becomes the Royals’ all-time winningest manager and did so by beating his old employer. Behind him on the list: Whitey Herzog and Dick Howser. Which, man, baseball is weird when two of the best managers in the past couple of decades are behind a guy like Yost. Who I’m sure is a nice man, but he ain’t no Herzog or Howser. And that’s not me hating. Yost agrees:

“It’s nice, but again I don’t look at it as an individual achievement,” Yost said “First of all, I don’t feel like I’m in the same class as Whitey Herzog and Dick Howser, one. Two, this is an organizational-wide achievement and I’m proud to be part of that. Everybody is involved.”

Giants 7, Mariners 0: Ryan Vogelsong and three relievers combined on a five-hit shutout. He got good run support two and talked about it afterward:

“It’s always nice to have some points on the board,” said Vogelsong,

“Runs,” Ryan. We call them “runs” in baseball.

Blue Jays 7, Mets 1: The battle of the ancients, with R.A. Dickey facing Bartolo Colon. It was the first time in seven years that two 40-year-old+ pitchers faced off. Back in 2008 it was Greg Maddux and Jamie Moyer. Here it was Dickey certainly getting the better of Colon, allowing one run on three hits and somehow surviving five walks.

Rays 5, Nationals 3: The loss stinks for the Nats, but the hamstring injury to Bryce Harper is way worse news. All the worse because it appeared to happen due to Harper slipping on wet grass. As for the Rays, Chris Archer has been Cy Young-worthy all year. Last night he wasn’t — he allowed three runs over five innings — but he was still good enough to get the win. Yunel Escobar notched five hits.

Indians 4, Cubs 3: Giovanny Urshela drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh and Terry Francona got creative with the pen, using Cody Allen to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning following a rain delay. Imagine: using your best reliever in the toughest spot your club might face all game long.

Phillies 2, Orioles 1: Ryan Howard hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth, which represented the first time the Phillies held a lead in the whole series. And the lead held up, allowing Philly to snap their nine-game losing streak. Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles.

Twins 2, Cardinals 1: Kennys Vargas hit a walkoff solo shot an inning after Joe Mauer hit a solo shot to tie it. That was the first time in 35 games that the Cardinals lost when leading after seven. And the first time in 25 games the Twins won when trailing after seven. The baseball season is long. Everything happens eventually.

Astros 8, Rockies 4: Houston is the first team to 40 wins in the American League, just as everyone expected. Domingo Santana hit a three run homer to put this one out of reach late. He was just called up this week. The Astros don’t lack for reinforcements from the minors, do they?

Padres 3, Athletics 1: For the first time since 2006 someone besides Bud Black notches a win as manager of the Padres, with interim manager Pat Murphy finally getting a W. The last guy to do it was Bruce Bochy. Well, maybe there was some fill-in manager at some point over the years because Bud Black, I dunno, had his wisdom teeth out or something, but you get the idea. Matt Kemp and Derek Norris each went deep.

Angels 7, Diamondbacks 1: C.J. Wilson struck out nine over eight scoreless innings while allowing only one run and not walking a batter. He also did this:

[mlbvideo id=”175606883″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

 

Kind of funny? Also kind of the thing Mike Scioscia should really yell at Wilson for doing because, jeez, dude, he’s a pitcher.

Red Sox 5, Braves 2: The Red Sox split with the Braves, thanks to Clay Buchholz allowing only two runs — neither earned — in seven innings of work. He also had a tough, 10-pitch at bat against his counterpart, Shelby Miller, which caused Miller to have to throw a lot more pitches than he would have otherwise and which Miller said was his toughest out of the game. The next inning Miller was touched for three runs.

Pirates 3, White Sox 2: Gerrit Cole continues to make a case for the Cy Young Award, winning his 11th game and allowing only two runs over seven innings. His ERA actually went up from 1.71 to 1.78 after this game.

Tigers vs. Reds: POSTPONED: Send us a blindfold, send us a blade

Tell the survivors help is on the way

I was a blindfold, never complained
All the survivors singing in the rain
I was the one with the world at my feet

Got us a battle, leave it up to me

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.

If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.

Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.