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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mets 14, Twins 4: This one was close most of the way. The Twins led 3-2 heading into the top of the seventh, in fact. That’s when Dominic Smith hit a three-run homer to give the Mets the lead and then the floodgates opened in the eighth and ninth. Amed Rosario went 4 for 4 with a home run and three RBI. Pete Alonso hit a moon shot homer that went almost 480 feet. Seven of the runs the Mets scored were unearned as the sloppy, slumping Twins’ lead in the AL Central fell to only four games.

Indians 7, Tigers 2: Mike Clevinger allowed one over six and struck out 12 Tigers — he struck out the side in both the first and second frames and had nine Ks through four — and Indians pitchers punched out 17 of ’em in all. Oscar Mercado had a two-run double, Jose Ramirez went 3-for-4, Mike Freeman had two hits, including a run-scoring bunt single, Greg Allen doubled home a pair, Jason Kipnis had an RBI single and  Francisco Lindor homered. The four games that separate Cleveland and Minnesota now is the closest they’ve been since mid-May.

Cardinals 6, Pirates 5: A Tyler O’Neill homer in the fifth brought the Cards to within one run and a three-run blast by Paul Goldschmidt put them up for good. St. Louis takes two of three from Pittsburgh who has dropped five of six.

Brewers 5, Braves 4: Christian Yelich hit his third homer in four days and Manny Pina hit a two-run homer and drove in three to help the Brewers to a 5-0 lead by the end of the sixth. Keston Hiura had two doubles and ended up 8-for-11 in the series. Atlanta rallied late, with four Josh Donaldson RBI in the eighth and ninth but it ended up being too little as well as late.

Cubs 5, Reds 2: Yu Darvish tossed six shutout innings to outduel Sonny Gray and to get his first ever win at Wrigley Field which is quite a dang thing to say given that he’s more than halfway through his second season as a Cub. Kris Bryant and Addison Russell homered for Chicago, which were the only two hits Gray gave up. The Cubbies have won five of six.

Giants 11, Rockies 8: The Giants were on an extended stretch of offensive futility earlier this year but lately it seems like they’re scoring 8, 9, 10 runs or more on the regular. Here all eight position players in the lineup got hits in San Francisco’s 18-hit attack, led by Donovan Solano who had four hits including a tie-breaking homer. Stephen Vogt homered and doubled. Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run double. Brandon Belt had an RBI single among his three hits. The Giants sweep the four-game series, have won five straight and 12 of 14 to pull themselves to within two and a half games of the second Wild Card. It’d be rather exciting I suppose if it wasn’t reported that they plan to sell off parts at the trade deadline regardless. I mean, I get it given where this team is now and given that their surge has a lot to do with the National League simply sucking, but it’s still a hell of a thing and says a lot about the state of baseball in 2019.

Athletics 10, Mariners 2: Homer Bailey debuted for the A’s and there aren’t many teams better to give you a nice warm welcome than the Mariners. The same Mariners Bailey shut out into the eighth inning a month ago gave him no more trouble yesterday as he allowed two runs over six to pick up his first win with his new team. It helped that he had six homers hit by his teammates, with Mark Canha and Jurickson Profar both homering twice and Chad Pinder and Ramón Laureano each went deep as well. The A’s had some bad news, though, losing Matt Chapman to an ankle injury. Oakland has won six straight and 12 of 14.

Dodgers 7, Phillies 2: Six Dodgers pitchers combined on a two-hitter, keeping things close until David Freese hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the seventh and Justin Turner hit a two-run blast in the eighth. A long rain delay in this one for nearly three hours, causing it to end at pushing 2AM. And hey, day game today. An early one too, starting at 12:35PM. Should be a crisp affair.

The rain delay was fun, though:

Orioles 9, Nationals 2: Seems like it’s been awhile since we’ve had a good old Nationals bullpen collapse but I suppose like avalanches in the Rockies and tornados in Kansas they’re always bound to happen again. Starter Erick Fedde dominate the Baltimore Orioles for six innings but that passed as Trey Mancini hit two homers for Baltimore, Anthony Santander and Chris Davis each hit RBI singles, and Rio Ruiz hit a sacrifice fly as Baltimore scored eight runs between the seventh and eighth innings.

Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 4: Rafael Devers homered and drove in four of the five Boston runs, Eduardo Rodriguez allowed two while pitching into the seventh inning and Brandon Workman worked in and out of trouble in locking down a one and two-thirds innings, 45-pitch save. Teoscar Hernandez hit two solo homers and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had one, but the Jays nonetheless lost their seventh in ten games.

Padres 3, Marlins 2: Chris Paddack took a no-hitter into the eighth but lost it when Starlin Castro led off the inning with a solo home run to left field. Oh well. Paddack still got the win, though, allowing the one run while striking out eight in seven and two-thirds. Austin Hedges hit a two-run homer. Paddack was a draft pick of the Marlins, by the way. The Marlins got Fernando Rodney for him in 2016. Guessing they want that deal back. They probably want a lot of deals back, really.

Diamondbacks 19, Rangers 4: It was 12-0 after two and 14-3 after three so I guess Dbacks and Rangers fans got to go to bed early. Eduardo Escobar homered twice and drove in five. Kevin Cron, Jarrod Dyson and Carson Kelly also homered for Arizona. The Snakes had 21 hits in all. The teams combined to hit eight homers overall.

Royals 7, White Sox 5: Jorge Soler and Nicky Lopez hit back-to-back RBI singles twice and Danny Duffy was effective in getting the win for the Royals. That’s six straight losses for Chicago. Ian Kennedy got the save. Not gonna say I haven’t paid much attention to the Royals this year but this is, actually, the first time I believe I’ve noticed he’s a reliever now.

Astros 11, Angels 2: Gerrit Cole did Gerrit Cole things, striking out 11 while allowing one run seven innings of work. Jake Marisnick shrugged off boos to notch three hits. He’s 5-for-7 in these past two games against the Angels so I imagine he’d love them to keep booing him. Michael Brantley and George Springer went deep for Houston.

Rays vs. Yankees — POSTPONED:

‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm

And if I pass this way again, you can rest assured
I’ll always do my best for her, on that I give my word
In a world of steel-eyed death, and men who are fighting to be warm
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm

If 2020 season is cancelled, which teams would be hurt the most?

Mookie Betts
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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently expressed his optimistic outlook, saying that he hoped the league would begin “gearing back up” in May. That would put a regular season return potentially at the end of June or at some point in July. He expressed that the league may have to get creative, likely referring to ideas like playing doubleheaders, extending the season deep into fall, and playing some games at neutral parks in warm-weather areas.

Manfred isn’t the only one champing at the bit for a return to normalcy. President Trump recently said he wanted to “open” the economy back up by Easter, meaning that our social isolation plan could be done in two weeks. And, frankly, I’m sure many of us are starting to become a little stir-crazy as we attempt to flatten the curve.

It’s hard to imagine life returning to normal when Coronavirus (COVID-19) is really starting to spread in the United States. It would be ill-advised for us to go back to business as usual. This is a time when we need to put other interests ahead of business interests. Frankly, there’s a very real possibility that there is no MLB season in 2020. Or, at the very least, there may be a point when Manfred has to choose between starting a season or protecting the health of the players and coaches, journalists, fans, and all of the many people that would interact with them and potentially become vectors for the virus.

In the event the 2020 season is cancelled, which teams stand to lose the most? Let’s take a look at some contenders.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The most obvious of the bunch. The club swung a deal with the Red Sox a month and a half ago to acquire the 2018 AL MVP along with David Price in exchange for Alex Verdugo, Connor Wong, and Jeter Downs. Betts was a huge upgrade to an already potent Dodger roster, one which won 106 games during the regular season last year.

Betts, however, is a free agent after the 2020 season. MLB owners and the MLBPA reached an agreement last week stating that, if there is no season, players would still get credit for a full year of service time. If the season is canceled, the Dodgers very well may have given up three good young players and taken on a lot of salary for basically nothing. They’ll get to keep Price, who is under contract for two more years after this, but that’s no consolation.

The Dodgers also have some other important players potentially hitting free agency after the 2020 season: Justin Turner, Kiké Hernández, Joc Pederson, and Pedro Báez.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds had a better 2019 campaign than their 75-87 record indicated. They finished in fifth place from 2015-18 before last year’s fourth place finish. The club acquired Sonny Gray from the Yankees before the season and picked up Trevor Bauer from the Indians at the trade deadline. Eugenio Suárez, Aristides Aquino, and Michael Lorenzen were among a handful of players who shone brightly as well.

As a result of a roster on the come-up, the Reds bolstered the roster even more, picking up free agents Nick Castellanos and Mike Moustakas. The Reds signed both players to four-year deals, so they will still be around when baseball eventually resumes, even if it’s next year, but Moustakas will be 32 and Castellanos will be 29. It’s a pretty big deal to miss 25 percent of their contracts in what are, on average, the seasons likeliest to be their best.

Bauer, by the way, can become a free agent after the season. That’s a pretty big deal, too.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies were supposed to be competitive last year, but they fell a bit flat, finishing exactly at .500 with an 81-81 record. GM Matt Klentak continued to bolster the roster a year after inking Bryce Harper to what was then the richest contract in baseball history (13 years, $330 million). This past offseason, he signed Zack Wheeler to a five-year, $118 million deal. They also added Didi Gregorius on a one-year deal.

This is a team meant to be an NL East contender in 2020, to finally reach the postseason which it hasn’t done since 2011. If the season is cancelled, that’s one very valuable year out of its window completely gone. That is even more the case upon realizing that catcher J.T. Realmuto, arguably the best player at his position in baseball right now, is a free agent going into 2021. The two sides have discussed a contract extension, but that was tabled as of two weeks ago.

The Phillies haven’t had stability at the catcher position since Carlos Ruiz in the early- to mid-2010’s. They do have some catchers among their top-30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, in Deivy Grullon, Rafael Marchan, and Rodolfo Duran, but none of them are J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto is a guy you want to keep around if possible, especially considering the scarcity of his caliber of talent at that position.

. . .

This is a partial list, so this is not to say that teams omitted would not suffer at all from a lost season. You can see the factors that determine whether or not a team has a lot at stake this year: splashy trades, free agent signings, stars potentially becoming free agents after the season, etc.

In general, every team would be devastated by a lost season not just due to the lost development time or the loss of an attempt to win a championship, but because of lost revenues. This is going to have a ripple effect through the baseball economy. Teams will likely become less active in the free agent market, to name one of many potential effects.