And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Sorry for another shortened ATH this week, but I’m catching an early flight and it takes me, like, three hours to feed the cats before I go away for a couple of days. My life is very glamorous. Bill will be coming on later today to cover, but I would be remiss in not joining the rest of humanity if I did not first wonder what in the heck is wrong with Matt Harvey.

Harvey didn’t make it out of the third inning, getting hammered for nine runs in all, six earned. Daniel Murphy got to him in the first inning with a two-run shot. He made it cleanly through the second. The third was a disaster, with the Nats plating seven more. Yes there was an Asdrubal Cabrera error which led to three of those runs being unearned, but make no mistake, Harvey had nothing and the Nats had his number. As Harvey left the mound Mets fans in Citi Field booed him as he exited. Harsh, but expected given how Harvey has pitched this year and the expectations of Mets fans who have watched their team skid of late. On the season Harvey now has a 5.77 ERA and has given up 65 hits in 48 and a third.

Meanwhile, his counterpart, Steven Strasburg struck out 10 and allowed only one run in six innings while upping his record to 7-0. A few years ago when Strasburg pitched in New York, Mets fans chanted “Har-vey’s Bet-ter!!” at him. Their premise has been invalidated. Certainly for now but, if Harvey and the Mets can’t figure out what’s wrong with their former ace, possibly for good.

Here are the box scores.

Nationals 9, Mets 1
Blue Jays 3, Twins 2
White Sox 2, Astros 1
Cardinals 13, Rockies 7
Indians 7, Reds 2
Pirates 8, Braves 2
Brewers 5, Cubs 3
Mariners 7, Orioles 2
Giants 3, Padres 1
Angels 7, Dodgers 4
Yankees 4, Athletics 1

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu is scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.