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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 11, Rangers 6: I’m guessing it’s just subjective on my part, but I feel like the ugliest baseball of the year is played in the week before the All-Star break. The All-Stars have a lot of stuff on their mind and the non-All-Stars are practically tasting the margaritas they’ll have on their long weekend getaways with their sweeties. David Ortiz hit his 20th homer and drove in three. Bryce Brentz drove in three runs. Boston took two of three from Texas.

Tigers 12, Indians 2: So much for that losing streak to the Indians. This one went sideways for Cleveland in the five-run fifth, capped by Nick Castellanos‘ three-run jack. Michael Fulmer continued his nice campaign, winning his ninth game, after allowing one earned run over six innings.

Phillies 4, Braves 3: Atlanta took a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth, courtesy of Adonis Garcia‘s second RBI double of the game. The Braves didn’t have much time to get cocky, though, because Freddy Galvis hit a two-run blast in the bottom half of the inning to put the Phillies ahead for good. It’s the sort of loss that, were the Braves worth a tinker’s damn, would kind of hurt. Now it’s just a new and interesting way to lose.

Twins 4, Athletics 0: Ervin Santana tossed a two-hit complete game shutout, needing exactly 100 pitches to do it. He struck out eight and didn’t walk a soul. If you’re into game scores, Santana’s 91 was the seventh highest of the year by any pitcher.

Mets 4, Marlins 2: Giancarlo Stanton homered twice for the second game in a row, but they were both solo shots and that’s all the Marlins would get. Jacob deGrom gave up zero runs on six hits to the non-Giancarlo portions of Miami’s lineup. Contrary to my post yesterday, Don Kelly was not the Hero of the Game. One wonders whether he was even the best option named Don that the Marlins could’ve theoretically played at first base yesterday.

Reds 5, Cubs 3: The Reds declared yesterday opposite day, as they decided to see what it was like to win a game when the other team’s bullpen couldn’t get the job done. Tucker Barnhart hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off Trevor Cahill as the Cubs dropped their sixth game of their last seven and fell below the Giants for the best record in baseball. Zack Cozart homered for the third straight game.

Orioles 6, Dodgers 4: A five hour 26 minute game that was largely sloppy, featured 36 strikeouts and 14 walks and which dumped over 30,000 people out onto the L.A. freeways during rush hour sounds like a lot of fun. Sad I couldn’t make that one. Jonathan Schoop doubled in two runs with two outs in the 14th inning to win it. Chase Utley had six hits in a losing cause.

Nationals 7, Brewers 4: The Nats leaped out to a 4-0 lead after two but Milwaukee came back and tied it in the top of the third. With the game reset, Washington scored a run in the bottom of the third and the rest of the day ended up being academic. A three-run homer from Bryce Harper and a two-run shot from Ryan Zimmermann bookended the festivities.

Blue Jays 4, Royals 2: Michael Saunders hit a solo shot and singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth. Russell Martin then doubled in Saunders for some insurance. The Jays sweep the Royals for their fifth straight win. They’re only 2.5 back of the Orioles. Things got sexy for Toronto in the second half last year. Are we seeing the beginnings of 2015 redux?

Angels 7, Rays 2: Mike Trout had the day off Tuesday and the Angels romped. He was back in the lineup yesterday — homered even — and the Angels romped. The AP gamer sets forth this factoid about Trout:

With his 100th hit, Trout became the first player to collect 100 hits and 15 home runs before the All-Star break four times before his age-25 season. Miguel Cabrera and Jimmy Foxx are the only other players to have accomplished the feat three times.

So I guess Trout is good. In some ways, though, I’m more impressed by his consistency. Here are his OPS+ numbers from each of his full seasons and for 2016: 168, 179, 168, 176, 172. He’s like a robot, stuck on the “Mickey Mantle” setting.

White Sox 5, Yankees 0: Miguel Gonzalez tossed seven shutout innings and the Sox won via a single, a couple of doubles and a fielder’s choice. The Sox take two of three from the Yankees and remain on a hot streak in which they’ve won 11 of 16. Weird season for Chicago.

Astros 9, Mariners 8: The Astros sweep the M’s. Carlos Gomez singled, doubled and tripled, driving in three. Luis Valbuena hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the eighth. Remember how those two were being cast as the scapegoats for the Astros’ slow start a month or two ago? Baseball is like the weather everyplace besides, like, San Diego: wait a few minutes. It’ll change.

Pirates 7, Cardinals 5Jung Ho Kang hit a double that scored the tying and the go-ahead runs in the seventh. Jeff Locke was knocked out early but Pirates relievers combined for five scoreless innings as Pittsburgh won its third straight series from the Cards at Busch Stadium.

Padres 13, Diamondbacks 6Ryan Schimpf, who, um, of course I had heard of before because I’m totally a baseball expert, homered twice. Schimpf homered the night before too. Good old Schimpfy! He’s always doin’ stuff like that! He really makes me smile. [Craig frantically Googles “Ryan Schimpf”]

Giants 5, Rockies 1: Johnny Cueto allowed one run in a complete game to win his 13th of the year and to put the Giants on top of all of baseball with a record of 54-33. Nice pickup that Cueto was, eh?

Noah Syndergaard on Mets extending Jacob deGrom: ‘Pay the man already.’

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March has marked contract extension season across Major League Baseball. Just in the last week, we have seen Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, Brandon Lowe, Alex Bregman, Ryan Pressly, Mike Trout, Eloy Jiménez, Blake Snell, and Paul Goldschmidt sign extensions. Nolan Arenado, Luis Severino, and Aaron Nola also notably signed extensions during the offseason.

One name strikingly absent from that list: Mets ace Jacob deGrom. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner is coming off of a season in which he posted a 1.70 ERA with 269 strikeouts and 46 walks across 217 innings. It’s the lowest ERA by a qualified starter since Zack Greinke‘s 1.66 in 2015. Prior to Greinke, no pitcher had posted an ERA of 1.70 or lower since Greg Maddux in 1994-95 (1.56, 1.63).

deGrom is earning $17 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration eligibility going into the 2020 season. He will turn 31 years old in June, but is an obvious extension candidate for the Mets, who have built arguably their most competitive team since 2015, when the club lost the World Series in five games to the Royals. Thus far, though, the Mets and deGrom haven’t been able to get anywhere in extension talks.

deGrom’s rotation mate Noah Syndergaard is watching. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, Syndergaard said, “I think Jake’s the best pitcher in baseball right now. I think he deserves whatever amount he’s worth. I want them to keep him happy so when it does come time for him to reach free agency, he stays on our side pitching for the Mets. I just think they should quit all the fuss and pay the man already.”

Syndergaard added that the recent extension trend around baseball — and deGrom’s lack of an extension to date — sends a message. He said, “I think so, yes, because of what you see in what’s going on in baseball right now. If there wasn’t a trend of other guys getting contract extensions, then I don’t know what the circumstance would be. But you see Chris Sale, Verlander getting extensions. I think it’s time Jacob gets one too.”

Part of the equation behind the recent rash of extensions is the stagnation of free agency. Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel — two of baseball’s better pitchers — have gone through almost an entire spring training without being signed. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado didn’t find new homes until late February. Free agents in their 30’s are largely being underpaid or otherwise forgotten about. Extensions represent financial security for young and old players alike. Syndergaard himself can become a free agent after the 2021 season, so if deGrom’s prospects improve, then so too will his, at least without knowing the details of the next collective bargaining agreement which will be put into place ahead of the 2022 season.