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Astros defeat Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 to end 55-year championship drought

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The Astros have only been around since 1962, but their history is quite interesting. Some of the greatest players of all time have worn an Astros uniform, including Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Craig Biggio, and Jeff Bagwell. The Astros switched leagues, moving from the NL Central to the AL West after the 2012 season. But one thing they had been unable to claim in their 55-year history was a championship.

That changed on Wednesday night as the Astros finally vanquished the Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. They scored twice in the first inning and three times in the second against Yu Darvish, sustaining them over the remaining seven innings. For a recap of the scoring, click here.

Starter Lance McCullers wasn’t brilliant by any means, as he hit four batters, but he was able to execute pitches when he needed to most, which resulted in the Dodgers going 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Ultimately, McCullers went 2 1/3 innings, yielding three hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Brad Peacock got the final two outs of the third inning, then remained in the game until putting Dodgers on first and second with one out in the fifth inning. Francisco Liriano and Chris Devenski combined to clean up that mess, getting an out apiece.

Charlie Morton took the hill to begin the sixth and found himself in hot water, putting his first two batters on base via a single and a walk. With one out, Andre Ethier was able to sneak a ground ball single into right field to put the Dodgers on the board. Morton, however, buckled down and struck out Chris Taylor, then got Corey Seager to ground out. Morton then worked a 1-2-3 seventh and eighth.

In the ninth, Morton came back out for another inning of work. He struck out pinch-hitter Chase Utley, got Taylor to ground out weakly, and Seager to ground out to seal another 1-2-3 inning and the 5-1 victory.

The Astros defeated the Dodgers, who had baseballs best record. And they beat them at Dodger Stadium, where the Dodgers compiled baseball’s best home record. The Astros are your 2017 world champions.

Max Scherzer: ‘There’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer
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MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.

Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.

Scherzer’s statement:

After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.

Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.

Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.