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Gerrit Cole: “I don’t really think [the Cubs are] the best team in baseball.”

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Pirates ace Gerrit Cole had little issue dominating baseball’s best team by record. The Cubs entered play Sunday at 27-8, four games better than the next best team in baseball — the cross-town rival White Sox (24-13). Cole, on Sunday, held the Cubs scoreless over eight innings, yielding only three hits with no walks and seven strikeouts on 95 pitches.

The Pirates scored once in the seventh inning on an RBI double by Jung Ho Kang. Kang made it a 2-0 game in the top of the ninth with a solo home run off of Hector Rondon. Closer Mark Melancon yielded an RBI single to Anthony Rizzo in the bottom of the ninth, but was able to hang on for the 2-1 victory.

After the game, Cole didn’t seem terribly impressed by the Cubs. Via Tony Andracki of CSN Chicago, Cole said, “I don’t really think [the Cubs are] the best team in baseball.”

The second-place Pirates are now 19-17, eight games behind the Cubs. The two clubs meet again at Wrigley Field for a three-game set beginning on June 17.

MLB and MLBPA announce first set of COVID-19 test results

MLB COVID-19 test results
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On Friday evening, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced the first set of results for COVID-19 testing as part of the mandatory intake screening process under MLB’s COVID-19 Health Monitoring & Testing Plan. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Athletics are not part of this data because their testing has not yet been completed.

There were 38 positive tests, accounting for 1.2% of the 3,185 samples collected and tested. 31 of the 38 individuals who tested positive are players. 19 different teams had one or more individuals test positive.

Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri notes that the positive test rate in the U.S. nationally is 8.3 percent. The NBA’s positive test rate was 7.1 percent. MLB’s positive test rate is well below average. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong with MLB’s testing or that it’s an atypical round of testing. Rather, MLB’s testing population may more closely represent the U.S. population as a whole. Currently, because testing is still somewhat limited, those who have taken tests have tended to be those exhibiting symptoms or those who have been around others who have tested positive. If every single person in the U.S. took a test, the positive test rate would likely come in at a much lower number.

Several players who tested positive have given their consent for their identities to be made known. Those are: Delino DeShields (link), Brett Martin (link), Edward Colina, Nick Gordon, and Willians Astudillo (link). Additionally, Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodríguez has not shown up to Red Sox camp yet because he has been around someone who tested positive, per The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey.