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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 5, Yankees 4: Hanley Ramirez hit two homers and drove in four runs, with his first homer bringing the Sox back to within one run after being down 4-0 in the fifth inning and his second homer breaking a 4-4 tie in the seventh inning. The Red Sox sweep and the Yankees have lost five in a row overall, sending them four back in the Wild Card race. Just a brutal weekend for the Bombers.

Brewers 3, Cubs 1: The Cubs have lost four of six and everyone’s yawning. They do that two or three weeks from now, they’re labeled a grand disappointment. Which is a good time to talk to you about the nature of playoff baseball and predictions and things. If you hear some talking head musing that the Cubs — or any team for that matter — looks invincible heading into the playoffs, just remember that yesterday Brewers reliever Tyler Thornburg struck out Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo with two on in the ninth to end the game. Playoff series can turn on a pitcher or two making a couple of key pitches and a bat or two going cold for, like, a day. If that happens in September, no one notices or cares. You get a couple of those breaks in a couple of games in October, however, and 100+ win teams get sent home in a division series by a Wild Card winner. In other news, Kyle Hendricks allowed two runs in six innings and lost while seeing his ERA go up. This is why I never set high standards. It just leads to disappointment later.

Tigers 9, Indians 5: This one sure got chippy. Trevor Bauer had no idea where the ball was going and hit three dudes, including Ian Kinsler in the head. And now Kinsler is showing concussion symptoms, so that’s just grand. Justin Upton hit a ball about 900 miles and stood and admired it and after the game Brad Ausmus said this kind of thing can inspire a team. I dunno, man, call me in two weeks if the Tigers are in the Wild Card game. Everything else is just spin.

Royals 10, White Sox 3: Kendrys Morales drove in four runs and notched his 1,000th career hit. After the game, Morales said “First and foremost, I didn’t even know I had 999 hits.” If I was a big leaguer I’d probably look at my Baseball-Reference.com page every single day. That, along a complete lack of physical gifts, athletic skills and a work ethic, is probably a reason I’m not a professional baseball player.

Reds 7, Pirates 4: The Reds wore green jerseys. I thought it was because they wished it was March again, back when there was still hope and everything was new. Now it’s late September and two weeks from this moment these guys will be packing up equipment bags or hopping flights home. The playoffs are great but not everyone gets to play in them. Oh well. For the record the green jerseys were for “ShamRock the Ballpark” which was part of an Irish heritage weekend. As for the game, Joey Votto homered and Tucker Barnhart drove in four.

Mets 3, Twins 2: When your pitching staff looks like a M*A*S*H unit you can take solace in the fact that you’re playing the Twins and still sweep the series. Michael Conforto hit a two-run RBI single and T.J. Rivera homered while Mets pitchers Ba Ling Wyre and Duc T. Ape kept the Minnesota bats at bay.

Orioles 2, Rays 1: Manny Machado homered in the sixth, Mark Trumbo homered in the eighth and six O’s pitchers stifled Tampa Bay, led by Wade Miley‘s four scoreless innings to start things off.

Braves 6, Nationals 2: The game took two hours thirty six minutes. Rain delays amounted to two hours and fifty seven minutes. In all, it only went seven innings because of the rain. Adonis Garcia drove in three and Matt Wisler was effective. That was helped by the fact that Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon got the day off and Ryan Zimmerman only pinch hit.

Marlins 5, Phillies 4: Down 4-2 in the eighth, Christian Yelich hit a game-tying home run and J.T. Realmuto hit a go-ahead RBI single later that inning. The Marlins are still be referred to as Wild Card contenders by some people. Not buying it, but they haven’t given up either.

Athletics 5, Rangers 2: Two homers for Khris Davis, giving him 40 on the year. A quarter of them have come against Texas. Colby Lewis walked five dudes, three of which came in one inning. I think he needs a bit more tuning up before the playoffs.

Angels 4, Blue Jays 0: Alex Meyer and four relievers combine for the shutout. It was Meyer’s first major league win. Toronto has lost four of six and are now in the second Wild Card position, a game behind Baltimore and two up over Detroit and Seattle. The Blue Jays have not won a series in September.

Cardinals 3, Giants 0: Alex Reyes tosses seven shutout innings in his third big league start and Aledmys Diaz hit a two-run homer as St. Louis takes two of three from San Francisco. The Giants are now five back of the Dodgers and are a mere game ahead of St. Louis for the second Wild Card spot. The Giants now go to L.A. to face Clayton Kershaw tonight, so that’s fun.

Mariners 7, Astros 3: Seth Smith hit two homers and drove in four as Seattle salvages the third game of the three game series. Luckily for them both the Tigers and Jays have been struggling.

Rockies 6, Padres 3: The sweep. Mark Reynolds homered. That’s good! Then later he got hit by a pitch and broke his hand. That’s bad! He sounded upbeat after the game, though, saying that he’s “going to get it better and get ready for next year.” That’s good! Next year he’ll be a year older with no guarantee of a job anywhere, though. And will contain potassium benzoate.

*blank stare*

That’s bad.

Diamondbacks 10, Dodgers 9: Brandon Drury hit a walkoff single with two outs in the 12th. He had three other hits in the game, including a homer. Drury has been on absolute fire lately, which is a good thing for a utilityman on a bad team to be late in the season. It’s the sort of thing that ensures you’l be in someone’s plans over the winter.

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.”