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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Diamondbacks 13, Phillies 8: Arizona and Philly combined to hit record 13 home runs. The previous record of 12 homers was held by the Tigers and White Sox (May 28, 1995) and by the White Sox and Tigers (July 2, 2002). Eight came from Arizona (two each from Eduardo Escobar, two from Iidemaro Vargas and one each from Jarrod DysonKetel Marte, David Peralta, and Alex Avila). Five from Philly: Two from Scott Kingery and one each from Jean Segura, Rhys Hoskins and Jay Bruce.

A new record for homers in a season was set in 2017 with 6,105. That was over 400 more than the previous record, set in 2000. The pace for 2019 — before last night’s barrage — was 6,504 homers. If you think that’s great, well, that’s a matter of personal taste. If you think that’s not a function of the baseball being different than it was a few years ago you’re either lying to yourself or, if you’re an MLB official, lying to fans.

Cardinals 4, Marlins 1: Michael Wacha tossed six shutout innings and the Cards scored two runs on a throwing error off a sac bunt attempt with a third unearned following soon after. Wacha had three double plays turned behind him. No homers were hit. I suppose the Baseball Gods gave us this game as cosmic offset for the Phillies-Diamondbacks game.

Braves 13, Pirates 7: Then the Baseball Gods were back to their usual business, with seven homers in this one, five of which were swatted by the Braves. Two came from Ozzie Albies and one each from Nick Markakis, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freddie Freeman. Acuña’s was a grand slam and he and Markakis each drove in four. The barrage came after Pirates starter Joe Musgrove hit Josh Donaldson — grazed his jersey, really — in the first inning, leading to the benches clearing. There wasn’t any intent there. The whole dustup seemed to happen solely because Donaldson didn’t like how Musgrove was looking at him as he went to first base. Here’s Donaldson after the game:

“I feel like he came down the mound afterward. I looked away to try to give him a chance to look away from me. He kept coming down the mound and looking at me and obviously he had a problem with something.”

Really, dude? You stopped going to first base and ended up getting ejected because a guy was looking at you? I wonder if he got briefed on the finer points of red assery by Madison Bumgarner before this game. As for Musgrove, he got ejected for dropping his glove which the umpire called “aggressive.” Dude, if Josh Donaldson is coming at me I’m dropping my glove, not as an act of aggression but as an act of defense, giving me another fist in case I need it. This isn’t hockey.

Anyway, I didn’t watch this one because, for some dumb reason, Pirates games are blacked out in Ohio. When I looked at the box score and saw that Kevin Gausman got pulled in the third I thought it was because he plunked someone in retaliation. Nah, he just sucked. Again. Unsung hero of the game was Sean Newcomb, who came on to relieve Gausman and tossed four and two-thirds of one-hit, shutout ball.

Rockies 6, Cubs 5: If you want home run quantity the Dbacks-Phillies game, or maybe the Pirates-Braves game, was your bag. Here’s a home run of quality, at least if distance is quality, from Ian Desmond:

That seventh inning moon shoot was the longest in baseball this year. It also broke a 4-4 tie in the seventh. Chicago would tie it back up in he bottom of the eighth but Ryan McMahon‘s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth — which came after Daniel Murphy doubled and then stole third — would put Colorado back up to stay. The Rockies have won nine straight at home.

Rays 6, Athletics 2: Charlie Morton tossed seven shutout innings to go to 8-0 on the year and Brandon Lowe homered again. It was Morton it’s 11 straight wins without a loss overall. For Tampa Bay it’s a one-half game lead in the AL East over the rained-out Yankees.

Rangers 4, Red Sox 3: Boston blew a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth, wasted an outstanding Chris Sale start (7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 10K, 0 BB) but tied it up and forced extras thanks to a Brock Holt RBI single. An Elvis Andrus RBI single in the 11th gave the game to Texas, however.

Nationals 12, White Sox 1: Anibal Sánchez allowed only one run over six and the pen allowed bupkis. Trea Turner tripled and scored and also homered for the second straight game and Kurt Suzuki hit a late grand slam to make an easy win even easier. Unfortunately all of that was overshadowed by a woman getting struck by an Eloy Jiménez foul ball and taken to the hospital. A couple of weeks ago Major League Baseball said it would keep “examining” the issue of extending the netting. I presume this will cause them to offer another action-free quote. For my part, Bill’s words from last night are pretty much all that needs to be said on the matter:

In the meantime, the league will continue to promote exit velocity and utilize all kinds of distractions at the stadium as players hit baseballs harder than they ever have before, and fans are left defenseless. All stadiums in Japan have protective netting all the way down the foul lines and fans don’t even notice it. The most expensive seats at all MLB parks are already behind netting. The players want more netting. Seems like a pretty simple fix, really.

Angels 5 Dodgers 3: The Dodgers rode another excellent Hyun-Jin Ryu start (6 IP, 7 H, 1 ER) to a 3-1 lead entering the bottom of the seventh but the Angels would tie it on a two-run homer from Mike Trout off of Dylan Floro. In the eighth they’d score two more via a hitless rally fueled by a Joe Kelly meltdown. Kelly walked three — one intentional — tossed two wild pitches and had an additional throwing error. He now has a 1-3 record and a 7.59 ERA. The Dodgers are probably the best team in baseball right now but their bullpen is a weak spot they’ll have to address sooner rather than later.

Mets vs. Yankees — POSTPONED:

In the city lights
I swear I hear you call my name (call my name)
There’s nothing right
I’m stuck here while you’re miles away (miles away)
In New York raining
In New York raining
It’s too much my babe I need you
It’s too much my babe I need you

Report: Martinez, Nationals agree to contract extension

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WASHINGTON — Manager Dave Martinez and the Washington Nationals have agreed to work out a contract extension that will keep him in charge of the club beyond next season, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The person confirmed the news to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made.

Martinez led the Nationals to the franchise’s first World Series championship in 2019, his second season as the team’s skipper.

When he initially was hired, Martinez signed a three-year deal with a club option for 2021 that had not yet been picked up by the Nationals.

After a title defense slowed by injuries and inconsistency during a 60-game season delayed and shortened by the coronavirus pandemic, Washington was 23-34 and last in the NL East before facing the New York Mets on Friday night.

It’s the second game of a season-ending four-game series at Nationals Park.

Martinez was sporting his World Series ring on his right hand when he spoke to reporters via a video chat before word emerged Friday afternoon of a change to his contract.

“The coaching staff and myself decided to wear it for the last week of the season, so we’ve been wearing it this whole week. It’s kind of cool,” Martinez said about his ring. “Come Sunday, it goes off and goes back in its little shiny box. But it’s kind of nice to look down and look at it.”

Asked earlier in the week whether he would like his up-in-the-air contract status resolved before the season ends, Martinez said his agent and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo had been discussing the matter.

“I love it here. I don’t see myself going anywhere else,” Martinez said then. “I appreciate the family. I appreciate this organization. We’ve built a special relationship here, so I hope I get a chance to stay for many, many years.”

Then he paused for five seconds before adding: “The sooner, the better, though.”