And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 8, Rays 4: Aaron Judge homered for the third straight game. And it was a moon shot. He’s a strong young man. Brett Gardner and Rickie Weeks aren’t tiny dudes either, so when they collided during the sixth inning some damage was done as well. Gardner suffered a bruised jaw and a strained neck. Weeks has a bone bruise by the shoulder joint and has some neck soreness.

Tigers 5, Twins 3Andrew Romine hit what turned out to be a game-winning grand slam in the fourth-inning.  He’s hitting .545/.545/1.091 with three doubles and a homer in 12 plate appearances so far this season. With Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Justin Upton all struggling in the early going, that’s been a nice pick-me-up for the Tigers’ offense. Detroit is 6-2.

Padres 6, Rockies 0: The Padres jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back. Zach Lee tossed shutout ball into the sixth and four relievers took the shutout the rest of the way. Ryan Schimpf hit a two-run homer in that first inning and added a sac fly later. The Rockies were picked by many to be at least an interesting club. Not a playoff club, mind you, but interesting. Somehow, scoring only six runs in a three-game series in Coors Field against the San Diego Padres does not seem all that interesting to me.

Cardinals 6, Nationals 1Stephen Piscotty homered and had five RBI, helping the Cards avoid the sweep. Against Max Scherzer of all people. Mike Leake gave up four hits, struck out seven and walked none over seven shutout innings. At one point he retired 19 batters in a row.

White Sox 2, Indians 1: Derek Holland‘s job this year: pitch well until July and let the rebuilding Chisox flip him to a contender. So far so good. Here he allowed only one hit over six innings and pitched around four walks, not allowing a run to the defending AL champs. Holland has allowed only two earned runs in 12 innings in his two starts so far.

Mets 5, Phillies 4: Zack Wheeler cruised until the sixth, when the Phillies piled some runs on him, but the Mets piled more on Vince Velazquez and Wheeler came away with his first W since 2014. You remember 2014, don’t you? ISIS was running wild in Iraq, Ebola ravaged Africa, Russia annexed another country’s sovereign territory and, somehow, the world seemed less scary then than it does now. Anyway, congratulations Zack Wheeler.

Reds 9, Pirates 2: Amir Garrett took a shutout into the seventh inning — he’d eventually give up a two-run homer to David Freese — as the Reds sweep the Pirates. Garrett shut the Cardinals out for six innings in his first start. Not a bad start to the rookie lefty’s career. Especially considering that he got shelled in spring training. Not a bad start for the Reds, too, who are 7-2.

Athletics 8, Royals 3: Andrew Triggs got beat up in spring training but has had two nice starts to kick off the season. I hear Amir Garrett is gonna sue him for stealing his bit. Jedd Lowrie drove in three. The A’s have won eight in a row over the Royals, six of those in Kansas City. Bob Melvin is lobbying to have the Royals moved back to the AL West and for the league office to reinstitute the unbalanced schedule.

Brewers 2, Blue Jays 0: The Brewers’ Chase Anderson and two relievers combined on a four-hit shutout as Toronto’s early season nightmare continues. The Jays fall to 1-7 with their fifth straight loss. No 1-7 team has ever made the playoffs. That’s because baseball seasons are 162 games long, not eight games long, making it preposterous to think that a team that has only played eight games could secure a playoff berth.

Orioles 12, Red Sox 5: The O’s hit five homers in the first three innings. Trey Mancini hit two of them. I refuse to believe that “Trey Mancini” is a real person, however, and not the name of a secondary character in a Ross MacDonald novel. Trey Mancini is not the bad guy, really, but he works for him. Maybe he plays the vibes at a club the bad guy owns. Archer braces him for information, after which he tells Mancini to go back home Fresno, to start going by his given name, Bob Henderson, and to go back to helping his parents out at their corner market rather than getting messed up with the dark element in Santa Teresa. Archer was like that, you know. He was hardboiled, but unlike Marlowe and the others, he was not, deep down, a cynic. He wanted to save those he could, and maybe Trey Mancini was one of them.

Braves 5, Marlins 4: Ender Inciarte hit two homers and Tyler Flowers hit a go-ahead RBI single in the ninth as the Braves snap a losing skid. Giancarlo Stanton hit two homers too, but history is written by the winners, yo. The Braves now have a day off before opening their brand new ballpark Friday night. They probably need the whole day off just to fight through the traffic between the airport and the stadium.

Dodgers 2, Cubs 0: Brandon McCarthy tossed six shutout innings against the World Champs on the day they got their rings. That has to feel good. Three relievers helped them finish the job. It’s really hard to swing a bat while wearing a big chunky ring, you see.

Rangers 8, Angels 3: There would be no dramatic comeback for the Angels this time. Joey Gallo hit a go-ahead, two-run triple in the fifth, Mike Napoli, Elvis Andrus and Carlos Gomez homered and the Texas bullpen didn’t give up a run for once.

Astros 10, Mariners 5: There would be a comeback in this one. Seattle had a 5-0 lead after three innings and then allowed the Astros to score 10 unanswered runs. Well, they were likely answered, but only with a lot of muttering and cussing by the Mariners. After starter Mike Fiers departed, the Houston pen tossed five shutout innings. The Astros’ ten runs were occasioned by zero home runs. Death by a thousand cuts over the course of three hours and twelve minutes.

Giants 6, Diamondbacks 2: Welcome back Matt Cain. After what has seemed like years in the wilderness, Cain notches a win by allowing one run over five innings. He also doubled and scored. Now, let’s get an APB out for Tim Lincecum. If we can’t find him, ask Archer. I hear he has a source by the name of Mancini who’s singin’ like a bird.

MLBPA: MLB’s ‘demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected’

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark
LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
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On Thursday evening, the Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement regarding ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. The two sides continue to hash out details concerning a 2020 season. The owners want a shorter season, around 50 games. The union recently proposed a 114-game season that also offered the possibility of salary deferrals.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said that the union held a conference call that included the Executive Board and MLBPA player leaders. They “resoundingly rejected” the league’s “demand for additional concessions.”

The full statement:

In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, Players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love. But we cannot do this alone.

Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions. The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon.

This threat came in response to an Association proposal aimed at charting a path forward. Among other things, Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our Players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product. Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless Players agree to further salary reductions.

Earlier today we held a conference call of the Association’s Executive Board and several other MLBPA Player leaders. The overwhelming consensus of the Board is that Players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well. The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.

Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season. We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field.

As per the current agreement signed in March, if there is a 2020 season, players will be paid on a prorated basis. Thus, fewer games means the players get paid less and the owners save more. MLB has threatened to unilaterally set a 2020 season in motion if the two sides cannot come to terms. It should come as no surprise that the union has responded strongly on both fronts.

There have been varying reports in recent days over the confidence in a 2020 season happening. The MLBPA’s statement tonight doesn’t move the needle any; it simply affirms that the union remains steadfast in its goal to avoid a second significant cut in salaries.

As I see it, the ball is in the owners’ court. The owners can strongarm the players into a short season, saving money but significantly increasing the odds of a big fight in upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Or the owners can eat more of a financial loss, agreeing to a longer season than they feel is comfortable. The latter would have the double benefit of not damaging overall perception of the sport and would not disrupt labor peace going forward.

The MLBPA statement included a declaration that the players are “ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions.” If there is no 2020 season, we will have only the owners to blame, not the players.

Update: Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who has been quite vocal on social media about these negotiations, chimed in: