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Padres extend A.J. Preller through 2022

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12:30 PM ET: The Padres officially confirmed the extension. “I’d like to thank Ron and Peter for their continued support of baseball operations,” Preller said in a press release. “I’m extremely optimistic about the direction of our Club and I’m excited to continue building toward a perennial contender in San Diego.”

Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Padres’ general manager A.J. Preller has been given a three-year contract extension. The extension, which will keep Preller in San Diego through 2022, was reportedly signed by both parties back in October and is expected to be formally announced by the club later today.

Preller was selected for the position back in 2014 and signed an initial five-year agreement that would have taken him through the 2019 season. The move appears to have been accelerated by the three-year extension manager Andy Green signed in August, which will keep the skipper in San Diego’s dugout through 2021.

There have been some notable ups and downs in Preller’s tenure with the Padres, not the least of which was the 30-day suspension he served in 2016 after failing to disclose pertinent medical information in a trade that sent left-hander Drew Pomeranz to the Red Sox. Even that wasn’t enough to scare the Padres away, however, and it appears that they’re willing to stick by Preller as they focus on rebuilding their roster over the next several years.

“As in other business models, when people are doing a good job you tend to want to reward them,” executive chairman Ron Fowler told Lin. “We felt the extension of his contract would show the confidence we have in him. Frankly, people award long-term contracts to players. We feel we should do it with the people running our baseball organization. We think they’re very good. We don’t want them looking over their shoulders as to a contract being over.”

And That Happened: Thursday’s Score and Highlight

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Yeah, singular. Other than those ESPN Sunday Night games that opened the season for several years until recently I can’t remember a regular season day or night with only one game scheduled. I also don’t much like it, but no one asks me these things.

Cubs 9, Cardinals 6: The Cardinals led 3-1 heading into the Cubs’ half of the fifth, at which point Chicago went off for five runs, with Ian Happ hitting a two run homer and Jason Heyward, Antony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist each knocking in a run. St. Louis would continue to score but each time they did the Cubs answered, never trailing again.

Heyward had three hits on the night, Happ had that dinger, Rizzo had two doubles and Victor Caratini, giving the just-returned All-Star Willson Contreras an extra day off, had three hits and scored three times.

As for pitching, check out this usage pattern from Joe Maddon:

I guess everyone was fresh after the break, though, so why not?

We get a full slate of 15 games today. As God and Nature intended.