Getty Images

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

4 Comments

Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Cubs 6, Pirates 1: The Cubs pulled within five games of first place on Friday, thanks in large part to a two-homer, four-RBI performance from Kris Bryant. Eddie Butler turned in another abbreviated performance after four innings — he’s pitched into the sixth inning just once this season — but kept the game scoreless for the bullpen, who limited the Pirates’ offense to one run and two hits.

Padres 4, Phillies 3: Austin Hedges appears to be past that bout of neck stiffness. He returned to the Padres’ lineup on Friday and dropped go-ahead sac fly into center field in the ninth inning. Things aren’t looking so good for Padres’ left-hander Christian Frederich, however, who was shut down from throwing and may miss the rest of 2017 after sustaining some discomfort in his left elbow.

Nationals 5, Braves 4 (10 innings): The Nationals are now 4-4 in extra-inning games this season, and took home their third extra-inning walk-off win on Friday night with a decisive RBI single from Daniel Murphy.

[mlbvideo id=”1586155183″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

The single scored rookie journeyman Adrian Sanchez, who pinch-hit in the 10th inning and recorded his first major league hit on a line drive off of the Braves’ Ian Krol.

Brewers 9, Yankees 4: Aaron Judge has now homered in each of the Yankees’ three consecutive losses. His blast on Friday night set a new record, topping Joe DiMaggio’s 1936 rookie season record with his 30th homer of the year:

[mlbvideo id=”1586288083″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

Josh Hader, the unlucky soul who surrendered the home run, went on to notch his first major league win after the Brewers stormed back to a five-run lead on Jesus Aguilar‘s go-ahead grand slam and Manny Pina‘s RBI hit in the seventh.

Astros 12, Blue Jays 2: The Astros steamrolled the Blue Jays with yet another double-digit finish — their third of the week — and improved to a ridiculous 16.5-game lead in the AL West this weekend. Their big break came in the second inning, when a six-run spread forced Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez from the game after just 1 2/3 innings in his first start since landing on the disabled list with blister issues. Charlie Morton, also back from the DL for the first time on Friday, held the Blue Jays to one run over six innings for his sixth win of the year.

Red Sox 8, Rays 3: Whatever adjustments Dustin Pedroia has been making at the plate finally paid off on Friday night. The Red Sox’ second baseman snapped his 41-game skid without a home run, taking Jake Odorizzi deep in the third inning to boost the Sox to a four-run lead.

Aside from a few nail-biters — including this 3-5-4-5 double play to extinguish runners on second and third — Boston won handily, evening the series and becoming the second American League team to reach 50 wins in 2017.

Indians 11, Tigers 2: The first Indians pitcher to record an immaculate inning was Justin Masterson, who laid down three consecutive three-pitch strikeouts on June 2, 2014 against the Red Sox’ Jonny Gomes, Grady Sizemore and Stephen Drew.

The second Indians pitcher to match the feat? Carlos Carrasco, whose one-run outing was highlighted by his first immaculate inning against the Tigers’ Nicholas Castellanos, Mikie Mahtook and Jose Iglesias in the fifth inning of Friday’s win.

[mlbvideo id=”1585121983″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

Several innings earlier, in the second, Victor Martinez put his own mark in the history books with his 2,000th major league hit: an 0-1 single that bounced just shy of left fielder Michael Brantley. He’s the ninth active major league player to reach 2,000 career hits so far.

Rangers 10, Angels 0: Speaking of historic hits, Adrian Beltre swatted a three-run homer off of Ricky Nolasco during the Rangers’ shutout, padding their eight-run lead in the second inning and becoming the 21st major league player with over 5,000 career bases. (No doubt he was the first to enter the club while homering off of one knee, too.)

[mlbvideo id=”1586330683″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

By the end of the night, Beltre had 5,003 bases under his belt, just 38 short of Mel Ott’s 5,041. He also inched closer to the 3,000-hit mark, though he’ll still need 23 more hits to earn a spot on that list.

Twins 9, Orioles 6: The Twins celebrated their acquisition of Bartolo Colon with a 9-6 win on Friday, taking the first of three games from the Orioles and improving to 1.5 games back of the division-leading Indians. Byron Buxton turned heads with an incredible sprint from first base, clocking in at just 9.47 seconds to race home and pad the Twins’ lead:

[mlbvideo id=”1587098483″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

Meanwhile, rookie starter Felix Jorge was forced from the mound in the third inning, but a five-run fifth inning from the Twins’ offense and six shutdown innings from the bullpen salvaged the game in the end.

Mets 6, Cardinals 5: Jacob deGrom experienced a new career first this weekend, but it wasn’t a good one. The right-hander surrendered four home runs during his ninth win of the season, allowing back-to-back homers from Randal Grichuk and Paul DeJong in the third inning and another pair of consecutive homers by Dexter Fowler and Jedd Gyorko in the fourth. Despite deGrom’s command issues, the Mets’ offense rose to the occasion, powering the win with two blasts of their own and plating the winning run on T.J. Rivera’s RBI double in the seventh.

Rockies 12, White Sox 4: With just two games left to go until the All-Star Game, DJ LeMahieu, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado are soaking up every last practice session they can get. Each of the Rockies’ All-Stars went deep during the club’s series opener, twice driving in starting pitcher German Marquez, who went 2-for-3 with a double and single in his sixth win of the year.

Diamondbacks 6, Reds 3: The D-backs muscled their way back from a three-game sweep at the hands of the Dodgers as they kicked off their last homestand before the All-Star break. Zack Greinke tossed seven scoreless frames with four hits, a walk and seven strikeouts — his first scoreless outing of the season — and contributed an RBI single in the win.

Joey Votto and Scott Schebler returned with a two-homer, three-run rally in the ninth inning, but couldn’t quite close the gap against Fernando Rodney.

Dodgers 4, Royals 1: Two winning streaks went head-to-head on Friday night, and one of them had to come to an end. The Royals’ four-win streak was felled by Kenta Maeda, who guided the Dodgers to their own four-win streak with five solid innings of one-run ball. The offense generated a modest four-run backing, including Chase Utley‘s eighth inning double and 1,000th career RBI. He’s the ninth active player with over 1,000 career RBI to date.

Mariners 7, Athletics 2: Not one to be left out of the party, Nelson Cruz hit one for the record books on Friday. The Mariners’ All-Star designated hitter engineered a three-run, 433-foot drive into the Safeco Field bullpen, putting the team up by four runs in the eighth inning.

[mlbvideo id=”1587997483″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

The smash was Cruz’s 16th of the season and 300th of his 13-year career. Only nine other active players have 300+ home runs, including Adrian Beltre, Carlos Beltran, Jose Bautista, Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson and Albert Pujols.

Marlins 6, Giants 1: While Marlins Park is being prepped for next week’s All-Star festivities, the Marlins made themselves at home in AT&T Park. Dan Straily settled the Giants’ offense with 8 1/3 innings of one-run ball, while Giancarlo Stanton practiced his swing for Monday’s Home Run Derby, becoming the first visiting right-handed hitter to drive an opposite-field home run over the right field wall since 2014.

[mlbvideo id=”1585867883″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

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

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark
LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
Leave a comment

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: