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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights


Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Nationals 5, Yankees 4: Back in 1996, we — at least the older “wes” in this conversation — watched a 19-year-old Andruw Jones hit two homers against the Yankees in the World Series. Back in 1989 we — the even older “wes” — saw a 19-year-old Ken Griffey Jr. hit two homers against the Yankees in a regular season game. If you watched this one you saw 19-year-old Juan Soto do the same thing. Soto homered twice and drove in four runs. Since his callup on May 20, Soto is batting .344/.447/.641 with five homers and 12 RBI.

Braves 2, Mets 0: We talked about this one yesterday — here and here — but suffice it to say, if Jacob deGrom were to just leave baseball and become a shepherd or something, no one could really blame him.

Rays 1, Blue Jays 0: Not like it’s just deGrom. No one here had any run support until the bottom of the ninth when Matt Duffy singled home Mallex Smith to give the Rays a walkoff win. A combined five-hit shutout for three Rays pitchers, Wilmer Font, Matt Andriese and Diego Castillo.

Brewers 1, Cubs 0: Another one-run game, this one powered solely by Lorenzo Cain‘s third inning solo shot. Were all of these blanks a function of getaway day or was there something in the water?

Red Sox 5, Orioles 1: Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez homered and Chris Sale — himself a frequent victim of low run support over the years — allowed only one run on two hits over six. The run scored after he was lifted from the game. And after he was ejected for barking at the umpire as he was leaving the field, angry at the strike zone. Sale: “When I feel like I’m getting something taken away from me, I get emotional.” So do toddlers, but they move on, man.

Pirates 5, Diamondbacks 4: Down 2-0, the Pirates broke out for a four-run second inning and then got an insurance run — a necessary one — with a Jordy Mercer homer in the fourth. Mercer drove in three on the day. Jameson Taillon allowed two runs on six hits over seven. The two runs came on a homer that bounced out of outfielder Austin Meadows‘ glove:

Dodgers 3, Rangers 2: Fitsticuffsmanship! Or at least a lot of shoving:

Matt Kemp barreling into Robinson Chirinos provided a good example of the weird incentives of the plate blocking rule. As the umpires explained after the game, Kemp would’ve been safe if he had slid, because a runner has a right to the plate and Chirinos — unintentionally, because the throw took him into the base line — was blocking it. Can’t do that, even on accident. Kemp, however, “chose not to slide” — umpire Bill Welke’s words — “therefore he lost his protection.” Except as Kemp also noted after the game, he seriously injured his ankle back in 2013 by sliding into home plate into a catcher, and was thinking about that. I get that you cannot and should not barrel a catcher. I also get that, sometimes, sliding, even if you have that “protection” Welke mentioned, is not really a great option. Do you do it half-assed in order to get your run, even if that might make for an awkward and risky slide? I dunno. I’m not sure there’s any good answer for that.

Either way, I know you’re not supposed to shove guys, so both Kemp and Chirinos were ejected on that count. As for the game, Los Angeles won on a walkoff fielder’s choice/throwing error, which — for the second time in this game — pulled the catcher out of position. In this case, however, no one hit anyone and the Dodgers scored and won:

Baseball, man.

Mariners 8, Angels 6: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Mike Trout had a great game but the Mariners’ heroics were superior and Seattle won the game. The MVP presumptive reached base four times but no one ever knocked him in. Meanwhile, Nelson Cruz, Ryon Healy and Mitch Haniger — each of whom hit key dingers earlier in this series — went deep for the M’s, with Haniger’s being a two-run walkoff job to break a 6-6 tie and give Seattle the sweep. Oh, and Haniger had a fantastic play in right field for the second consecutive game, though he had help from a really dumb base running performance from Jabari Blash, who apparently is (a) unfamiliar with Haniger’s range; and (b) didn’t even bother to re-touch second base as he went back to first:

Rockies 7, Phillies 2Ian Desmond hit a two-run homer, Tyler Anderson pitched seven strong innings and the Rockies snapped a five-game losing streak. Colorado enjoyed a five-run fourth inning. It was kicked off by Carlos Gonzalez laying down a bunt against a shift:

Gabe Kapler has been taken heat for his shifts. This will continue that heat.

Tigers 5, Twins 2: Detroit trailed 2-1 in the eighth but put together a four-run rally with John HicksNiko Goodrum and Grayson Greiner hitting consecutive singles, with Greiner’s plating a run. RBI singles followed from Victor Reyes and Leonys Martin and then a Twins throwing error allowing the final run to score. After the game Ron Gardenhire was given a beer shower because it was his 1,100th career victory and we all like round numbers. Gardenhire didn’t expect it and later said, “now I’m dripping all over the place.” Imagine if you didn’t know the context of that but you just heard Gardenhire say it

Marlins 5, Giants 4: San Francisco led 4-3 after their portion of the eighth but Miami scored once in each of the final two frames with Brian Anderson hitting a walkoff sac fly. That’s three wins in a row for Miami, who will go for the sweep today. Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run home run and Buster Posey had three hits for the Giants, who were hot heading into this series but, for whatever reason, struggle mightily against the Marlins.

White Sox 3, Indians 2: Trevor Bauer struck out 12 in seven innings and allowed only five hits. Dylan Covey gave up ten hits in his seven innings and only struck out five. If you didn’t know what happened I imagine most of y’all would assume that Bauer and his mates won, but that’s not always how baseball works. The hits allowed by Covey were all singles and the Indians were 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. Covey is 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA in five starts since he was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte.

Reds 7, Royals 0: All zeroes until the seventh, when the Reds scored two runs on Royals errors. Jose Peraza singled in a third run in the eighth and then Adam Duvall hit a grand slam in the ninth to make this an absolute no-doubter for Cincinnati. Tyler Mahle pitched shutout ball into the seventh and four relievers finished the job.

Padres 4, Cardinals 2Eric Lauer tossed shutout ball into the sixth inning, Manuel Margot had three hits and the Padres locked up their fifth straight series win. San Diego has won 11 of 15 and five of their last seven. The Cardinals have lost three of four.

Astros 13, Athletics 5: Gerrit Cole wasn’t as sharp as he has been, but he didn’t need to be given that the Astros put up ten runs in the first two innings. Or, as Jacob deGrom likes to call it, “all of the run support he’s had in, like, a month and a half.” Evan Gattis homered twice and drove in five. It was his second straight five-RBI night, in fact. Marwin Gonzalez and Jake Marisnick also homered, Carlos Correa had a two-run triple and Yuli Gurriel had three hits and three RBI.

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. Baseball is also 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 the contraction scheme, 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, or to simply say, consistent with Manfred’s statement on Wednesday, that it preferred to negotiate in private, 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.