Associated Press

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

11 Comments

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Brewers 4, Cardinals 1: Keston Hiura homered and drove in three and, for reasons science is still trying to explain, Jordan Lyles pitched well once again to help the Brewers snap the Cardinals’ six-game winning streak. Lyles has made six starts since coming over from the Pirates. One was a clunker in which he allowed five runs in four innings against a Nats team that was scoring runs by the bucketful for a week or so there. He has allowed only one earned run in four of the other five and zero in the sixth. Pirates fans are doing that thing where they silently nod while inside their head they are screaming.

Yankees 7, Mariners 3: More bombs for the Bombers with D.J. LeMahieu, Gary Sánchez, Aaron Judge and Mike Ford all going deep to help New York finish off a three-game sweep. The downside: James Paxton didn’t look terribly good and third baseman Gio Urshela left in the fifth inning after he felt tightness in his groin. We’ll probably know more about that later today.

Phillies 12, Pirates 3: J.T. Realmuto had three hits, including a homer and a triple, César Augusto Hernández had three hits and drove in three and Corey Dickerson went deep as Philly turned a close game into a rout with a five-run fifth inning and kept pouring it on after that. Even Tuesday’s goat, Rhys Hoskins, got in on the act doubling, tripling and driving in a run.

Nationals 8, Orioles 4: Max Scherzer is still building up his stamina but the quality is still there as he struck out eight in only four and a third innings. That put him over 200 Ks for the eighth strait year, which is one behind Tom Seaver’s record of nine straight. Kurt Suzuki homered and drove in four. The Orioles brought some fireworks too, but it was the wrong kind of fireworks: reliever Richard Bleier and third-base coach Jose David Flores got into an obscenity-filled shouting match in the dugout:

Bleier said afterward that it was started when he said something about how bad defensive positioning is what caused a ball to get through the infield. This as he’s coming off the field after allowing three runs on four hits while only recording one out. I feel like there might be some other things that contributed to all that than defensive positioning, but what do I know?

Braves 9, Blue Jays 4: For my money, Foltynewicz vs. Waguespack is the best starting pitching matchup of the year, at least as far as names go. The hitting mattered more though as Freddie Freeman and Matt Joyce each homered and drove in two for the Braves while Ronald Acuña Jr. had a two-run double. Josh Donaldson went hitless for the second straight game against his old team, drawing a couple of walks. Very polite of him.

Cubs 10, Mets 7: Chicago jumped all over Noah Syndergaard, lighting him up for ten runs — nine earned — on nine hits in only three innings. Three of those hits were homers with Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, and Nicholas Castellanos taking him deep as well. Some days you get the bear and some days it gets you. Here it got Syndergaard for the worst start of his career. For what it’s worth, I spent a few minutes Googling “Thor fights bear” to see if I could find a comics panel where that happened and came up empty. I bet one exists, though. There’s a comics panel for everything.

Indians 4, Tigers 2: Rookie Aaron Civale looked good, allowing two over seven, while Jason Kipnis looked great, homering twice. Francisco Lindor also knocked one out of the park. Related: We’re in the last month of the most homer-crazy season in baseball history and I’m running out of ways to say “hit a home run” that don’t sound ridiculously repetitive at this point.

Yes, exactly. And it’s your fault, MLB, so quite being so flip about it.

Reds 5, Marlins 0: Anthony DeSclafani pitched one of the best games of his life, allowing only two hits while striking out eight and blanking the Marlins for seven innings. He was backed by a three-run homer from Aristides Aquino, who in so doing tied a National League rookie record for home runs in a calendar month. This was Aquino’s 13th in August, which ties Cody Bellinger, who hit 13 homers in June 2017 for the Dodgers. The major league record is 18, held by Rudy York of the Tigers in August 1937. Rudy York is one of the pretty good players of yore that no one really ever talks about, by the way. Go out and start a Rudy York conversation with someone at your office today. I’ll give you a prompt: “Hey, did you know that, on more than one occasion, Rudy York fell asleep in his hotel room after having a bit too much to drink, cigarette in hand, which caused a fire? Also: he moved Hank Greenberg off first base. Can you imagine?” A ton more about him here. It’s a nice, long article about an old timey baseball player, mostly lost to history.

Twins 8, White Sox 2: Jonathan Schoop hit two homers and drove in four runs. He has five homers in his last five starts. That goes back to mid August and covers a time when he sat on the bench for six total games. What a weird job it must be to be a part time player. Jake Odorizzi allowed two runs and five hits in six effective innings, picking up his 14th win. The Twins have four straight.

Astros 8, Rays 6: George Springer broke a tie with an RBI single in Houston’s three-run seventh inning, bringing them back from being down 3-0 early to help Houston win its sixth straight game. He’d later draw a walk with the bases loaded. Gerrit Cole struck out 14 dudes but gave up four runs and left with a no-decision. When I was a kid a 14-strikeout game would get you on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Also when I was a kid the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. “Give me five bees for a quarter,” you’d say. Now, where were we?

Royals 6, Athletics 4: Oakland jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first but Hunter Dozier hit a two-run homer in the third to tie it back up. Mark Canha hit his own two-run homer for the A’s but an RBI double from Jorge Soler and a homer from Ryan O'Hearn tied it up once again. Dozier gave Kansas City the lead with an RBI single in the seventh and Alex Gordon stopped the see-saw match by grounding into a run-scoring double play to make it a 6-4 game. Oakland would threaten in the ninth but the Royals held on. Lots of bruises here too, as three guys got hit including Matt Chapman who took one off the helmet. He’d leave the game but he said afterward he was fine.

Red Sox 7, Rockies 4: Xander Bogaerts homered twice and Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez each went deep as well, with the three of those chaps combining to go 8-for-14 on the night, driving in six of the Sox’ seven runs. The Rockies have lost eight of ten, are now 16 games under .500, and are playing some fairly horrendous baseball in the process.

Dodgers 6, Padres 4: Kenley Jansen blew his seventh save. He came in in the ninth, gave up a leadoff double, the runner reached third on a fly out and then Jansen uncorked a wild pitch to allow him to score. Not what you want. The Dodgers rallied against MLB saves leader Kirby Yates in the tenth when Kiké Hernandez walked, stole second and then scored on a throwing error, after which A.J. Pollock singled in an insurance run and Casey Sadler locked it down in the bottom half. The Dodgers are a fantastic team overall but if anyone thinks they’re not going to lose a close game or three in the playoffs due to the shaky bullpen, they’re dreaming. Could be the difference between winning it all and disappointing in October once again.

Rangers 3, Angels 0: An opener pitched one scoreless frame, Ariel Jurado tossed six scoreless frames and two relievers each tossed a scoreless frame to finish off a three-hit combined shutout. I like calling innings “frames” because it reminds me of bowling and I like bowling. Mike Trout strikes me (haha, get it?) as a guy who likes bowling too, Maybe I’m wrong about that, but I bet he does. He had the night off last night with a sore foot but he says he’s fine and he’ll play in the Angels next game. That’s Friday. I wonder if Mike Trout will go bowling on his off-day.

MLBPA: MLB’s ‘demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected’

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark
LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
3 Comments

On Thursday evening, the Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement regarding ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. The two sides continue to hash out details concerning a 2020 season. The owners want a shorter season, around 50 games. The union recently proposed a 114-game season that also offered the possibility of salary deferrals.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said that the union held a conference call that included the Executive Board and MLBPA player leaders. They “resoundingly rejected” the league’s “demand for additional concessions.”

The full statement:

In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, Players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love. But we cannot do this alone.

Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions. The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon.

This threat came in response to an Association proposal aimed at charting a path forward. Among other things, Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our Players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product. Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless Players agree to further salary reductions.

Earlier today we held a conference call of the Association’s Executive Board and several other MLBPA Player leaders. The overwhelming consensus of the Board is that Players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well. The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.

Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season. We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field.

As per the current agreement signed in March, if there is a 2020 season, players will be paid on a prorated basis. Thus, fewer games means the players get paid less and the owners save more. MLB has threatened to unilaterally set a 2020 season in motion if the two sides cannot come to terms. It should come as no surprise that the union has responded strongly on both fronts.

There have been varying reports in recent days over the confidence in a 2020 season happening. The MLBPA’s statement tonight doesn’t move the needle any; it simply affirms that the union remains steadfast in its goal to avoid a second significant cut in salaries.

As I see it, the ball is in the owners’ court. The owners can strongarm the players into a short season, saving money but significantly increasing the odds of a big fight in upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Or the owners can eat more of a financial loss, agreeing to a longer season than they feel is comfortable. The latter would have the double benefit of not damaging overall perception of the sport and would not disrupt labor peace going forward.

The MLBPA statement included a declaration that the players are “ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions.” If there is no 2020 season, we will have only the owners to blame, not the players.

Update: Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who has been quite vocal on social media about these negotiations, chimed in: