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Twins end Jacob deGrom’s quality start streak at 26

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For the first time in almost a full calendar year, Mets ace Jacob deGrom yielded four-plus runs. The Marlins scored four runs off of him across six innings on April 10 last year. From that point through the end of the season, deGrom would limit the opposition to three runs or fewer en route to the NL Cy Young Award.

deGrom’s mastery continued in his first two starts of the season. He opened up 2019 with six shutout innings and 10 strikeouts against the Nationals, then backed it up with seven shutout frames and 14 punch-outs versus of the Marlins last week.

The Twins had other ideas on Tuesday. Mitch Garver took deGrom yard in the second inning, a solo shot to center field. Then the Twins’ offense erupted for a four-spot in the third. Jorge Polanco scored on a wild pitch, Eddie Rosario lifted a two-run home run, and Mitch Garver hit another solo homer. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, deGrom’s quality start streak of 26 games — tied with Bob Gibson for the major league record — has ended.

Five runs marks the most deGrom has given up in a game since the Phillies plated nine runs (six earned) against him on September 5, 2017. He last surrendered three-plus homers on July 7, 2017 against the Cardinals, who hit four.

As an aside, the quality start metric is poor, especially in this day and age. To qualify, a pitcher need only hold the opposing offense to three or fewer runs over six or more innings. Similarly stated: a 4.50 ERA at minimum. A 4.50 ERA is what one might expect from a No. 4 starter, so it is not exactly indicative of a “quality” pitching performance. Across the span of deGrom’s 26-game streak, he actually had a 1.55 ERA — far, far better than the quality start metric illuminates.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.