Ryan Pressly
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Ryan Pressly sets an all-time record for consecutive scoreless appearances

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Astros reliever Ryan Pressly is on a roll. On Wednesday, he tied Craig Kimbrel for the longest consecutive scoreless streak in MLB history, with 38 such appearances dating back through August 15, 2018. On Friday, he made it through another outing without giving up a run, pushing his streak to 39 appearances to reach an all-time best mark.

Pressly’s record-breaking opportunity came in the bottom of the eighth inning when he stepped in for Will Harris. He needed just 11 pitches to get through the inning, fanning Mitch Moreland on a 96.7-m.p.h. fastball and inducing the remaining two outs from Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. The inning ended in dramatic fashion as Pressly scooped a pop-up from Devers and tossed it toward first base for the final out, tumbling backwards as he made the throw.

Following a scoreless ninth — this time with Roberto Osuna at the helm — the Astros wrapped the series opener with a win, their 30th of the year.

As Andrew Simon of MLB.com rightly points out, the right-hander’s impressive streak comes with a few caveats, the most pertinent of which are a) streaks of this kind are often made possible through the limited and specialized use of relievers, and b) pitchers may keep their streaks intact without taking into account any runs they allowed inherited runners to score. To the first point, Pressly has rarely been called on to pitch more than a single inning in any given game, reducing his chances of snapping the streak as he moves from outing to outing.

Taking Friday’s win into account, the 30-year-old has complemented his 0.00 ERA with a 1.01 FIP, 0.00 BB/9, and 9.45 SO/9 through his first 20 innings of 2019. He’ll likely get the chance to extend his historic streak as the Astros continue their series with the Red Sox through Sunday.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.