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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

White Sox 2, Mets 1Todd Frazier tied the game in the seventh with a homer off of Jacob deGrom, but the really interesting stuff happened in the 13th. That’s when White Sox relief pitcher Matt Albers — a guy who embodies the Krukian phrase “I’m not an athlete, I’m a ballplayer, lady” — smacked a double, took third on a wild pitch and then scored on a sacrifice. He hadn’t batted in seven years. He hadn’t gotten a hit in a big league game in nine. He’d still come and absolutely wreck your beer league softball game, but for a major leaguer he should’ve been about as easy an out as it comes. Guess not. This is why preview shows and so-called expert analysis is dumb in baseball. We have no idea what’s gonna happen. Stuff just happens on a baseball diamond.

Braves 5, Giants 4: Freddie Freeman with the walkoff bomb in the 11th inning, requiring the Atlanta bat boy to bolt to the nearest Barnes and Noble to purchase a copy of “Celebrating Dramatic Baseball Wins for Dummies” because the Braves probably had no idea. The Braves have won four of six. The bat boy should’ve also picked up a self-help book about how to deal with the fear of success too, just to be on the safe side.

Indians 5, Rangers 4: Yan Gomes hit a walkoff single in the 11th inning, which was set up by Lonnie Chisenhall’s double just prior. Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer to remain red hot.

Astros 5, Diamondbacks 4: George Springer hit a walkoff homer in the 11th inning to give the Astros the win. He and Freddie Freeman then formed the “11th Inning Heroes Club” with rad homemade t-shirts and stuff. Yan Gomes asked to join the club since he had an 11th inning walkoff hit too. Freeman and Springer said that, yeah, technically he could, but he was a JUNIOR member since he only hit a single to win it in the 11th. They’ve been sort of picking on Gomes about all of that since then. Gomes’ mother is considering a gentle but firm call to Mrs. Freeman and Mrs. Springer to ask them to tell their sons to stop treating her boy like that. God, it’s hard to be a parent.

Nationals 7, Phillies 2: Max Scherzer struck out 11 over eight innings and Wilson Ramos hit a three run homer in the sixth inning. Ramos had three hits in all and is hitting .338/.383/.536 with seven homers and 29 RBI on the year. He got laser eye surgery before the season, so viva performance enhancement. Deep thought: if LASIK came in pill form would Ramos be suspended for 80 games?

Padres 14, Mariners 6: The day the Padres owner tore his club a new one, calling them “miserable failures” and “an embarrassment,” they went out and scored two touchdowns against the team that tattooed them the night before. It probably would’ve inspired him to rip them again today, but it feels like he used all his best adjectives for futility on Wednesday. If he tries again he’ll probably sound like the French knights in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” I mean, maybe Alexi Ramirez will drive in five runs once again if he’s told that his mother was a hamster and his father smelled of eldeberries, but I just sort of doubt it.

Brewers 3, Cardinals 1: Zach Davies had nine strikeouts over eight shutout innings to help the Brewers avoid the sweep. That’s pretty much it. No crazy things. No pitchers hitting doubles or people throwing octopuses on the ice or anything like that. Davies went 0-3 with an 8.78 ERA in three starts in April. He had a 3.81 ERA in May in five starts.

Athletics 5, Twins 1: Five in a row for the A’s. Three of them were against these Twins, but they still count. Somehow. The offense broke out a good bit Danny Valencia had two doubles and a single. Jake Smolinski homered. Jed Lowrie singled twice and scored twice.

Orioles 13, Red Sox 9: Red Sox starter Joe Kelly gave up seven runs on seven hits in two and a third inning and then was placed on the slow boat to Pawtucket after the game. It was all the worse given that his mates gave him seven runs in support while he was the pitcher of record and that all, eventually, was for naught. The Sox hit five homers and lost. The Orioles hit zero homers and scored more runs in this game than they have all year. This is important. This means something. [sculpts Devil’s Tower with this mashed potatoes].

Tigers 3, Angels 0: Rookie starter Michael Fulmer took a no-hitter into the seventh. Fulmer stayed in for one more after losing his no-hit bid and ended up allowing two hits and no runs while striking out eight. The kid has allowed one run in 23 and a third innings over his last three starts.

Blue Jays 7, Yankees 0: Aaron Sanchez pitched shutout ball into the seventh to help the Jays sweep the Yankees. Edwin Encarnacion and Justin Smoak each drove in a couple. Darwin Barney reached base four times and Michael Saunders had two doubles. Since getting to .500 the Yankees have lost six of eight so they ain’t at .500 anymore. That’s just math.

Marlins 3, Pirates 2: Miami starter Adam Conley took a no-hitter into the sixth and had nine strikeouts in six scoreless innings. The offensive hero was Adeiny Hechavarria, who hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the bottom of the eighth.

Cubs 2, Dodgers 1: Jon Lester dominated, striking out ten and allowing just the one run on four hits in a complete game. A Kris Bryant two-run homer in the third provided all of the offense Chicago would need. Heck, they only had three hits in all in this crisp two-hour, twenty-nine minute affair.

Royals 6, Rays 3: The Royals win for the sixth straight time. Those were all at home. They also came amidst a rash of injuries to key players on their team, which isn’t supposed to happen. See my comments about things just happening in baseball from up in the White Sox-Mets recap.

Reds 7, Rockies 2: The Rockies homered seven times on Tuesday night. None last night thanks to Reds starter John Lamb who pitched seven innings of one-run ball. Billy Hamilton was 3-for-5 with two RBI and two stolen bases. His on-base percentage is now at .300 which, while not amazing for most players, is practically Barry Bondsian for Hamilton.

Nationals GM Rizzo won’t reveal length of Martinez’s new contract

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WASHINGTON — Dave Martinez spoke Saturday about managing the Washington Nationals for “many, many years” and over the “long term” and “quite some time,” thanks to his contract extension.

Sharing a table to a socially distanced degree with his manager on a video conference call to announce the new deal – each member of the duo sporting a 2019 World Series ring on his right hand – Nationals GM Mike Rizzo referred to the agreement’s “multiyear” nature, but repeatedly refused to reveal anything more specific in response to reporters’ questions.

“We don’t talk about terms as far as years, length and salaries and that type of thing. We’re comfortable with what we have and the consistency that we’re going to have down the road,” said Rizzo, who recently agreed to a three-year extension of his own. “That’s all we want to say about terms, because it’s private information and we don’t want you guys to know about it.”

When Martinez initially was hired by Rizzo in October 2017 – his first managing job at any level – the Nationals’ news release at the time announced that he was given a three-year contract with an option for a fourth year.

That 2021 option had not yet been picked up.

“The partnership that Davey and I have together, our communication styles are very similar. Our aspirations are similar, and kind of our mindset of how to obtain the goals that we want to obtain are similar. I think it’s a good match,” Rizzo said. “We couldn’t have hit on a more positive and enthusiastic leader in the clubhouse. I think you see it shine through even in the most trying times.”

The Nationals entered Saturday – Martinez’s 56th birthday – with a 23-34 record and in last place in the NL East, which Rizzo called “a disappointing season.” The team’s title defense was slowed by injuries and inconsistency during a 60-game season delayed and shortened by the coronavirus pandemic.

World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg threw just five innings because of a nerve issue in his pitching hand and players such as Starlin Castro, Sean Doolittle, Tanner Rainey, Adam Eaton and Carter Kieboom finished the year on the IL.

“This year, for me, we didn’t get it done. We had a lot of bumps in the road this year. But I really, fully believe, we’ve got the core guys here that we need to win another championship,” Martinez said. “I know Mike, myself, we’re going to spend hours and hours and hours trying to fill the void with guys we think can potentially help us in the future. And we’ll be back on the podium. I’m really confident about that.”

Rizzo was asked Saturday why the team announces contract lengths for players, as is common practice around the major leagues, but wouldn’t do so in this instance for Martinez.

“The reason is we don’t want anybody to know. That’s the reason,” Rizzo said, before asking the reporter: “How much do you make? How many years do you have?”

Moments later, as the back-and-forth continued, Rizzo said: “It’s kind of an individual thing with certain people. I don’t want you to know what I make or how many years I have. Davey doesn’t want you to know. And I think that it’s only fair … when people don’t want certain information out there, that we don’t give it.”

There were some calling for Martinez to lose his job last season when Washington got off to a 19-31 start. But Rizzo stood by his manager, and the team eventually turned things around, going 74-38 the rest of the way to reach the playoffs as an NL wild-card team.

The Nationals then beat the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals to reach the World Series, where they beat the Houston Astros in Game 7.

Washington joined the 1914 Boston Braves as the only teams in major league history to win a World Series after being 12 games below .500 during a season.

“Everything from Day 1 to where he’s gotten to now, he’s grown so much. He’s really become one of my favorite managers of all,” three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer said after helping Washington win Saturday’s opener of a doubleheader against the New York Mets. “Davey really understands how to manage a clubhouse, manage a team. We saw it in the postseason. He knows how to push the right buttons when everything is on the line.”