Mets blow out Marlins, move past Nationals for first place in NL East

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It’s August 3 and the Mets are all alone in first place in the National League East.

After sweeping the Nationals over the weekend, the Mets beat the Marlins in a 12-1 laugher tonight at Marlins Park in Miami. Meanwhile, the Nationals fell 6-4 to the Diamondbacks and now sit a full game back in the division.

The Mets pounded out 15 hits against Miami and the recently-acquired Yoenis Cespedes led the charge by going 3-for-5 with three doubles and four RBI. His three doubles tied a franchise record. Michael Conforto hit a long three-run shot off Tom Koehler for his first major league home run while Curtis Granderson had three hits and drove in a pair.

Bartolo Colon, who has been the Mets’ weakest starter, gave the bullpen a rest by tossing eight innings of one-run ball. He also collected his sixth hit of the season.

Everything is coming up Mets right now. In fact, this is the latest the team has been alone in first place since September of 2008. With their pitching staff and the improvements made by Sandy Alderson before the trade deadline, there’s reason to believe they can keep the pressure on the Nationals. It should be a fun final two months.

Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
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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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.