Alex Bregman
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And That Happened: Saturday’s Scores and Highlights

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These are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Astros 1, Padres 0 (10 innings): There’s no point in saving the best for last here, especially when the “best” is the Padres losing a 10-inning game on a dropped pop-up. (Yes, you read that right.) This is one of those things you just need to see to believe:

Ah, Padres baseball.

Yankees 8, Orioles 3: The Yankees are back over .500, thanks in no small part to Brett Gardner‘s monster day at the plate. The veteran outfielder made the most of each plate appearance on Saturday with two hits, two walks and two RBI in the Yankees’ first win of the series.

Red Sox 10, Rays 3: The Rays haven’t quite found their groove yet this year. The Red Sox came at them hard and fast on Saturday, clubbing three home runs — including J.D. Martinez‘s first home run with the Sox and Xander Bogaerts‘ second career grand slam — en route to a double-digit finish. On the plus side, at least we got to see Daniel Robertson… pitch?

Mets 3, Nationals 2: Tensions ran high in the third inning of the Nationals’ loss, when Anthony Rendon was tossed from the game following a second called strike three in his second at-bat of the day. Rendon didn’t vocalize his frustration with home plate umpire Marty Foster, but demonstrated his displeasure by tossing his bat — and was promptly given the hook along with club manager Dave Martinez.

Bryce Harper slugged a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning — his fifth homer of the year so far — but the Nationals took their second straight loss to the Mets after Asdrubal Cabrera and Todd Frazier tag-teamed for a two-run rally in the seventh.

Tigers 6, White Sox 1: A 32-degree chill didn’t do much to cool Miguel Cabrera‘s hot bat on Saturday afternoon. While the veteran slugger had an injury scare after tweaking his hip last week, he returned in full force against the White Sox with a two-RBI base hit — one that sizzled off the bat at 114.4 mph — and a productive out.

Mariners 11, Twins 4: Speaking of spring chill, the Mariners and Twins played in a major-league record 27-degree atmosphere on Saturday — the lowest-recorded temperature in either club’s history. That didn’t seem to slow either team down, however: Minnesota mounted a three-run rally in the sixth with a blistering RBI double from Miguel Sano and back-to-back singles from Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Escobar, while the Mariners wore down the Twins’ bullpen with 11 runs in five innings, including Kyle Seager‘s first home run of the year and a 353-footer from Guillermo Heredia.

Cubs 5, Brewers 2: The Cubs’ fourth win of the season went exactly according to plan: six quality innings of one-run, nine-strikeout ball from Yu Darvish, an early Eric Thames home run, and a ninth-inning rally capped by Jon Lester‘s pinch-hit, run-scoring bunt. Wait, what?

Royals 1, Indians 0: Forget these 14-inning marathons and explosive ninth-inning rallies. The Royals and Indians went all-in on a true pitcher’s duel on Saturday, characterized by six shutout innings from Ian Kennedy and eight innings of one-run ball from Trevor Bauer. Lucas Duda supplied the sole run on a first-pitch blast to right field in the seventh, giving the Royals just enough of an edge to lay claim to their second win of the year.

Giants 7, Dodgers 6 (14 innings): Despite Buster Posey‘s first home run of 2018, despite Chase Utley‘s game-tying knock in the seventh, despite a cumulative 19 pitchers used in a five-hour, 14-inning affair, this was more or less a one-man show. Andrew McCutchen collected a career-best six hits off of the Dodgers, including an incredible 12-pitch walk-off home run in the bottom of the 14th.

Phillies 20, Marlins 1: There was no more lopsided game than the Phillies’ 20-run barrage against the Marlins this weekend. It was their highest-scoring game in nearly a decade, punctuated by two grand slams from Maikel Franco and Aaron Altherr, Jorge Alfaro‘s first home run of the season, and Carlos Santana‘s 1,000th career hit. Not too shabby for a team that managed to eke out just 19 runs over their last six games combined.

Reds 7, Pirates 4: The Reds have caught precious few breaks this spring; entering Saturday, their only win was a 1-0 shutout over the Cubs. Eugenio Suarez quickly remedied that, however, single-handedly mounting a four-run rally in the sixth and eighth inning with a two-RBI single and two-run homer to give the Reds the lead (and tie a career-best five-RBI performance, to boot).

Rangers 5, Blue Jays 1: Mike Minor hasn’t started a game since 2014, but you wouldn’t have known it by his pitching line on Saturday. The Rangers’ lefty dealt six solid innings en route to his first win, striking out seven of 21 batters and limiting the Blue Jays to two hits, two walks and a Ryan Rua sac fly.

Rockies 3, Braves 2 (10 innings): The Rockies kept things simple during their first extra-inning game of 2018. Trevor Story home run? Check. Ninth-inning implosion? Check. Heart-stopping catch to preserve the tie in the 10th? Check. Walk-off walk? Check and check.

Athletics 7, Angels 3: Things didn’t go exactly as planned for the Angels on Saturday, even on the heels of their decisive 13-run win on Friday night. In their first game without Shohei Ohtani since March 31, everything that could go wrong did: JC Ramirez left his start after pitching through two innings with forearm tightness, the bullpen imploded, and even two jacks from Justin Upton and Luis Valbuena couldn’t overturn the A’s seven-run spread — including Jed Lowrie‘s 410-foot blast and Matt Chapman‘s first triple of the year.

If 2020 season is cancelled, which teams would be hurt the most?

Mookie Betts
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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently expressed his optimistic outlook, saying that he hoped the league would begin “gearing back up” in May. That would put a regular season return potentially at the end of June or at some point in July. He expressed that the league may have to get creative, likely referring to ideas like playing doubleheaders, extending the season deep into fall, and playing some games at neutral parks in warm-weather areas.

Manfred isn’t the only one champing at the bit for a return to normalcy. President Trump recently said he wanted to “open” the economy back up by Easter, meaning that our social isolation plan could be done in two weeks. And, frankly, I’m sure many of us are starting to become a little stir-crazy as we attempt to flatten the curve.

It’s hard to imagine life returning to normal when Coronavirus (COVID-19) is really starting to spread in the United States. It would be ill-advised for us to go back to business as usual. This is a time when we need to put other interests ahead of business interests. Frankly, there’s a very real possibility that there is no MLB season in 2020. Or, at the very least, there may be a point when Manfred has to choose between starting a season or protecting the health of the players and coaches, journalists, fans, and all of the many people that would interact with them and potentially become vectors for the virus.

In the event the 2020 season is cancelled, which teams stand to lose the most? Let’s take a look at some contenders.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The most obvious of the bunch. The club swung a deal with the Red Sox a month and a half ago to acquire the 2018 AL MVP along with David Price in exchange for Alex Verdugo, Connor Wong, and Jeter Downs. Betts was a huge upgrade to an already potent Dodger roster, one which won 106 games during the regular season last year.

Betts, however, is a free agent after the 2020 season. MLB owners and the MLBPA reached an agreement last week stating that, if there is no season, players would still get credit for a full year of service time. If the season is canceled, the Dodgers very well may have given up three good young players and taken on a lot of salary for basically nothing. They’ll get to keep Price, who is under contract for two more years after this, but that’s no consolation.

The Dodgers also have some other important players potentially hitting free agency after the 2020 season: Justin Turner, Kiké Hernández, Joc Pederson, and Pedro Báez.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds had a better 2019 campaign than their 75-87 record indicated. They finished in fifth place from 2015-18 before last year’s fourth place finish. The club acquired Sonny Gray from the Yankees before the season and picked up Trevor Bauer from the Indians at the trade deadline. Eugenio Suárez, Aristides Aquino, and Michael Lorenzen were among a handful of players who shone brightly as well.

As a result of a roster on the come-up, the Reds bolstered the roster even more, picking up free agents Nick Castellanos and Mike Moustakas. The Reds signed both players to four-year deals, so they will still be around when baseball eventually resumes, even if it’s next year, but Moustakas will be 32 and Castellanos will be 29. It’s a pretty big deal to miss 25 percent of their contracts in what are, on average, the seasons likeliest to be their best.

Bauer, by the way, can become a free agent after the season. That’s a pretty big deal, too.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies were supposed to be competitive last year, but they fell a bit flat, finishing exactly at .500 with an 81-81 record. GM Matt Klentak continued to bolster the roster a year after inking Bryce Harper to what was then the richest contract in baseball history (13 years, $330 million). This past offseason, he signed Zack Wheeler to a five-year, $118 million deal. They also added Didi Gregorius on a one-year deal.

This is a team meant to be an NL East contender in 2020, to finally reach the postseason which it hasn’t done since 2011. If the season is cancelled, that’s one very valuable year out of its window completely gone. That is even more the case upon realizing that catcher J.T. Realmuto, arguably the best player at his position in baseball right now, is a free agent going into 2021. The two sides have discussed a contract extension, but that was tabled as of two weeks ago.

The Phillies haven’t had stability at the catcher position since Carlos Ruiz in the early- to mid-2010’s. They do have some catchers among their top-30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, in Deivy Grullon, Rafael Marchan, and Rodolfo Duran, but none of them are J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto is a guy you want to keep around if possible, especially considering the scarcity of his caliber of talent at that position.

. . .

This is a partial list, so this is not to say that teams omitted would not suffer at all from a lost season. You can see the factors that determine whether or not a team has a lot at stake this year: splashy trades, free agent signings, stars potentially becoming free agents after the season, etc.

In general, every team would be devastated by a lost season not just due to the lost development time or the loss of an attempt to win a championship, but because of lost revenues. This is going to have a ripple effect through the baseball economy. Teams will likely become less active in the free agent market, to name one of many potential effects.