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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Sorry this is so late. I thought I scheduled it to post in the morning, but I guess I didn’t!

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Brewers 9, Diamondbacks 2: At the beginning of the month, the D-Backs were 21-8. After Wednesday afternoon’s loss — their seventh in a row and 13th loss in their last 14 games — they’re 25-24. The Brewers hung a seven-spot in the fourth inning, chasing Zack Godley from the game. Travis Shaw hit a three-run homer, Tyler Saladino also homered, and Jesus Aguilar knocked in three runs. The Brewers own the National League’s best record at 31-19.

Tigers 4, Twins 1: The struggling Tigers put an end to their five-game losing skid. Michael Fulmer held the Twins to a lone run on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Niko Goodrum hit a two-run homer. Nick Castellanos continues to hit, picking up a pair of knocks and improving his batting average to .324. Eddie Rosario was the only Twin swinging a good stick on Wednesday, singling three times in four at-bats and bringing home his team’s only run.

Royals 5, Cardinals 2 (10 innings): The lowly Royals take two of three from the Cardinals, surprisingly. Salvador Perez went yard again. Jakob Junis gave up two runs to the Cards in five innings. Michael Wacha pitched well himself, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits and no walks with six strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. Bud Norris, who has been solid all year, was victimized in the top of the 10th as the Royals scored three runs, including two on the light-hitting Drew Butera‘s tie-breaking single.

Tyler O'Neill somehow threw out Ryan Goins with this, preventing the Royals from scoring another run in the 10th:

Astros 4, Giants 1: Justin Verlander continues to dominate. The right-hander yielded a run on three hits and a walk with nine strikeouts over six innings. Verlander has been pitching so well that Wednesday’s outing actually caused his ERA to rise from 1.05 to 1.08. George Springer hit a two-run homer off of Jeff Samardzija, his 10th of the year.

Padres 3, Nationals 1: Tyson Ross might be one of the most appealing trade targets this summer. He’s signed to a relatively cheap $1.75 million one-year contract and, after pitching effectively again against the Nationals on Wednesday afternoon, now sports a 3.13 ERA. He limited the Nats to a run on five hits and a walk with nine strikeouts. The lone run came on Matt Adams‘ 11th home run. Erick Fedde, making his first major league start of 2018, surrendered three runs on five hits and a walk with six punch-outs in 5 2/3 innings.

Phillies 4, Braves 0: The Phillies have finally taken a series from the Braves, shutting them out in the rubber match. Jake Arrieta kept them off the board over 6 2/3 innings, yielding seven hits and a walk while striking out seven. He sports a low 2.45 ERA on the year. The Phillies had to scratch and claw their way for runs, scoring single runs in the third, fourth, fifth, and eighth innings. Rookie reliever Seranthony Dominguez remains untouchable, recording four outs on 12 pitches. He’s tossed nine scoreless innings in the big leagues so far and has looked incredible doing it. The Phillies are only a half-game out of first place.

Angels 5, Blue Jays 4: Tyler Clippard forked over four runs in the top of the ninth, walking the bases loaded then giving up run-scoring hits to Shohei Ohtani and Andrelton Simmons. Aaron Sanchez had been in line for the win after tossing five shutout innings (despite five walks). The Jays are really missing Roberto Osuna. The Angels, who have had closer issues of their own, handed the ball to Blake Parker in the bottom half of the ninth. Parker nearly gave up a walk-off three-run home run to Kendrys Morales, but it clanked off the wall and became an RBI single. Teoscar Hernandez then lifted a fly ball to right field and Curtis Granderson, on third base, tried to test Kole Calhoun‘s arm. Bad idea.

Rangers 12, Yankees 10: Another barnburner between the Rangers and Yankees. The two clubs combined for eight homers on Monday; they combined for six on Wednesday. Didi Gregorius, Neil Walker, Gleyber Torres, and Aaron Judge went deep for the Yankees; Nomar Mazara and Ronald Guzman went yard for the Rangers. Neither starter, veterans CC Sabathia and Doug Fister, were able to escape the fifth inning, giving up seven and eight runs, respectively. The Yankees’ bullpen coughed up five more runs after Sabathia exited.

Red Sox 4, Rays 1: David “Fortnite” Price was once again excellent, fanning nine while holding the Rays to a single run over six innings. Price also went the distance with eight strikeouts his last time out, so apparently concern that he was playing too much Fortnite may have been misplaced. Chris Archer was also solid for the Rays, holding the Red Sox to one run in six innings. The Red Sox broke through with a three-spot in the top of the ninth, breaking a 1-1 tie against Alex Colome. Craig Kimbrel fanned a pair in the bottom of the ninth to close out the game.

Marlins 2, Mets 1: Jacob deGrom was brilliant for the Mets, blanking the Marlins over seven innings with eight strikeouts. Seth Lugo worked a scoreless eighth before giving the ball to Jeurys Familia, who gave up four hits and a walk, allowing the Marlins to score two runs to take the lead. Brad Ziegler slammed the door in the bottom half to seal the heart-breaking loss for the Mets. deGrom’s ERA, by the way, is down to an NL-best 1.54.

Pirates 5, Reds 4 (12 innings): Josh Harrison tripled in Jordy Mercer to break a 4-4 tie in the top of the 12th inning. The Reds loaded the bases in the bottom half of the 12th but couldn’t bring anyone home. Harrison had a 4-for-6 night, bringing his average up to .319 and his OPS to .801. Corey Dickerson picked up four hits of his own and he’s now batting .316 with an .856 OPS. For the Reds, Scooter Gennett homered again, going 2-for-4 with a pair of walks.

Indians 1, Cubs 0: Adam Plutko, called up from Triple-A to take Josh Tomlin‘s spot in the rotation, brought a no-hit bid into the seventh inning. He lost it when Anthony Rizzo led off with a double. Willson Contreras then singled, putting runners on second and third, chasing Plutko from the game. Andrew Miller came in and wriggled out of trouble. Cody Allen got the final four outs of the ballgame to close it out. Jon Lester pitched well for the Cubs, holding the Indians to a run on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts.

White Sox 11, Orioles 1: Alex Cobb got shelled, surrendering six runs in 3 2/3 innings. Yoan Moncada, Adam Engel, and Jose Rondon all hit homers for the Sox. Engel enjoyed a 4-for-4 evening, scoring three runs.

Mariners 1, Athletics 0: Another pitcher’s duel, this time between Marco Gonzales Daniel Gossett. Gonzales tossed seven shutout frames, limiting the A’s to only two hits and two walks while fanning six. Gossett gave up a lone run (on a fielder’s choice) on four hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Dodgers 3, Rockies 0: Kenta Maeda dominated striking out 12 over 6 2/3 scoreless frames, yielding a pair of hits and four walks. The Dodgers got their runs on an RBI ground-rule double from Logan Forsythe, a fielder’s choice from Yasiel Puig, and a sacrifice double play by Matt Kemp.

Major League Baseball threatens to walk away from Minor League Baseball entirely

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The war between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball escalated significantly last night, with Minor League Baseball releasing a memo accusing Major League Baseball of “repeatedly and inaccurately” describing the former’s stance in negotiations and Major League Baseball responding by threatening to cut ties with Minor League Baseball entirely.

As you’re no doubt aware, negotiations of the next, 10-year Professional Baseball Agreement, which governs the relationship between the big leagues and the minors — and which is set to expire following the 2020 season — have turned acrimonious. Whereas past negotiations have been quick and uncontroversial, this time Major League Baseball presented Minor League Baseball with a plan to essentially contract 42 minor league baseball teams by eliminating their major league affiliation while demanding that Minor League Baseball undertake far more of the financial burden of player development which is normally the responsibility of the majors.

That plan became public in October when Baseball America reported on it, after which elected officials such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren began weighing in on the side of Minor League Baseball. Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball were not happy with all of that and, on Wednesday, Manfred bashed Minor League Baseball for taking the negotiations public and accused Minor League Baseball of intransigence, saying the minors had assumed a “take it or leave it” negotiating stance.

Last night Minor League Baseball bashed back in the form of a four-page public memo countering Manfred’s claims, with point-point-by-point rebuttals of Major League Baseball’s talking points on various matters ranging from stadium facilities, team travel, and player health and welfare. You can read the memo in this Twitter thread from Josh Norris of Baseball America.

Major League Baseball responded with its own public statement last night. But rather than publicly rebut Minor League Baseball’s claims, it threatened to simply drop any agreement with Minor League Baseball and, presumably start its own minor league system bypassing MiLB entirely:

“If the National Association [of Minor League Clubs] has an interest in an agreement with Major League Baseball, it must address the very significant issues with the current system at the bargaining table. Otherwise, MLB clubs will be free to affiliate with any minor league team or potential team in the United States, including independent league teams and cities which are not permitted to compete for an affiliate under the current agreement.”

So, in the space of about 48 hours, Manfred has gone from being angry at the existence of public negotiations to negotiating in public, angrily.

As for Minor League Baseball going public itself, one Minor League Baseball owner’s comments to the Los Angeles Times seems to sum up the thinking pretty well:

“Rob is attempting to decimate the industry, destroy baseball in communities and eliminate thousands of jobs, and he’s upset that the owners of the teams have gone public with that information in an effort to save their teams. That’s rich.”

Things, it seems, are going to get far worse before they get better. If, in fact, they do get better.