The resurgent Nationals took care of business against the Tigers on Sunday, winning the series finale 2-1. Kurt Suzuki provided an RBI single in the fourth inning and Anthony Rendon broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth with a solo homer.
Starter Max Scherzer continued to dominate on the mound, striking out 14 batters over eight innings of one run ball against his former team. He scattered four hits and no walks on 115 pitches. It’s the fourth consecutive start in which Scherzer has accrued double-digit strikeouts.
Scherzer is now carrying an 8-5 record with a 2.43 ERA and a 170/22 K/BB ratio in 122 1/3 innings on the year. Among qualified starters, only Hyun-Jin Ryu (1.83), Mike Soroka (2.13), and Mike Minor (2.40) have a better ERA.
Now one game over .500, the Nationals’ upcoming schedule is quite favorable. They’ll host the Marlins and Royals for three games apiece, then head out on the road for three games against the Phillies and two against the Orioles before finishing up with a four-game set against the Braves.
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.