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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Only four games last night since the day a lot of teams usually have off — Monday — featured a full schedule due to Labor Day. I have no proof of this, but I’m going to choose to believe that all of the players and the concession and stadium workers who were forced to work on a holiday celebrating the contributions of workers spent their makeup day off marching and singing old strike songs and remembering the Haymarket Affair and stuff.

Ah, nope. Oh well.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Padres 6, Reds 2: Francisco Mejia hit two homers — one a three-run shot — in his first full game in a Padres uniform. Brad Hand has been fine for Cleveland since that trade, but I suspect that the Padres are gonna be deemed the winner of the deal in the medium and long run. Possibly even the short run. Hunter Renfroe also went deep for the Padres.

In other news, this passage in the AP gamer about Mejia is telling:

Mejia connected on his first two swings against Luis Castillo (8-12) for his first homers in the majors . The 22-year-old prized prospect was called up Tuesday as the Padres get him ready for a bigger role next season.

That last bit is a reminder that the dudes being held down for service time reasons now, like Eloy Jimenez and Vlad Jr.,  will likewise be kept in the minors for the first few weeks of 2019 too, with the team saying they can’t just throw them in the cold water of the majors on Opening Day. Especially since their 2018 seasons ended early! And there won’t be a dang thing they or their agents can do about.

Cubs 6, Nationals 4: You may recall that, back in August, David Bote hit a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the ninth to give the Cubs a 4-3 win over Washington. He wasn’t as dramatic last night, but Bote once again came up big against the Nats, smacking a pinch-hit, go-ahead RBI double in the 10th inning to help the Cubs to victory. Daniel Murphy made his return to Nats Park after being traded to the Cubs a couple of weeks ago. He went 1-for-5 with a strikeout and scored a run.

Indians 9, Blue Jays 4: Francisco Lindor hit two solo homers and drove in two more with a single on his 4-for-5 night and Jason Kipnis hit a late three-run homer of his own. Shane Bieber allowed four runs — three earned — on seven hits in six and a third to pick up his ninth win. He didn’t need to be super sharp with Lindor hitting bombs.

Braves 7, Diamondbacks 6: For the second day in a row the Braves blew a late lead, this time giving up two in the ninth, one on a Paul Goldschmidt homer, to let the Dbacks tie things up and force extra innings. They lucked out in the tenth, however, when the Dbacks’ ninth pitcher of the game — Yoshihisa Hirano — came into a two-out, bases-loaded situation and . . . uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Dansby Swanson to come home with the go-ahead and, eventually, winning run for the Braves. In all fairness, Atlanta should’ve scored before that. With Swanson on base already, Tyler Flowers singled. Swanson likely could’ve scored since the ball had gotten away from the fielder, but he stumbled over the third base bag and had to go back. He’d score two batters later.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.