Brewers knock off the Dodgers, Darvish stars for Padres

By Sports Desk May 01, 2021

The Milwaukee Brewers saw off the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 on Friday to sit in first place at the end of April in the National League despite their mounting injury crisis.

Omar Narvaez appeared to sustain a left leg injury running to first base in the win, which improves the Brewers record to 16-10, while the Dodgers are 16-11.

The Brewers held the Dodgers to just two hits as their offensive woes continued to haunt them, losing for the ninth time in 12 games.

Freddy Peralta was excellent on the mound for the Brewers across six innings.

Milwaukee moved to a 2-0 lead at the bottom of the second, thanks to Jackie Bradley Jr's two-run homer.

 

Darvish back to his best

Veteran right-hander Yu Darvish was at his brilliant best with 12 strike-outs across six innings in the San Diego Padres' 3-2 triumph over the San Francisco Giants.

Darvish was giving a huge reception after stepping off the mound, showing he has quickly won over his new fans after his move from the Chicago Cubs.

It was a case of adding injury to insult as Kansas City Royals pitcher Brady Singer was hurt when he copped a line drive to the foot/heel in their 9-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

For the winners, Alex Kirilloff hit two home-runs, including a three-run homer to open up the lead.

Left-hander Madison Bumgarner bounced back from illness to land six strike-outs and lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 7-2 win over the Colorado Rockies.

The Boston Red Sox maintained their strong early season form with a 6-1 win over the Texas Rangers, while the Oakland Athletics went down 3-2 to the Baltimore Orioles.

Shohei Ohtani continues to deliver home runs for the Los Angeles Angels, with his eighth of the 2021 season in their 7-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners. He has scored as many in 2021 as he did across the whole 2020 season.

 

Alvarado gets lippy, benches cleared

The benches cleared in the Philadelphia Phillies' 2-1 win over the New York Mets after pitcher Jose Alvarado struck out Dominic Smith and then got chirpy. Alvarado dropped his glove and Smith did not back down so they had to be separated. It all felt  quite unnecessary.

 

Schwalk-off

Kyle Schwarber did it again with a walk-off home-run deep into the center field to secure the Washington Nationals their 2-1 win over the Miami Marlins.

 

Friday's results

St. Louis Cardinals 7-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Nationals 2-1 Miami Marlins
New York Yankees 10-0 Detroit Tigers
Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 New York Mets
Houston Astros 9-2 Tampa Bay Rays
Cincinnati Reds 8-6 Chicago Cubs
Toronto Blue Jays 13-5 Atlanta Braves
Boston Red Sox 6-1 Texas Rangers
Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 Los Angeles Dodgers
Cleveland Indians 5-3 Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins 9-1 Kansas City Royals
Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2 Colorado Rockies
Baltimore Orioles 3-2 Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners 7-4 Los Angeles Angels
San Diego Padres 3-2 San Francisco Giants

 

Astros at Rays

Last season's Atlantic League top two the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays will meet again in their series.

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    The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) has described the league lockout as a move designed by team owners "to pressure players into relinquishing rights and benefits".

    MLB has entered a lockout situation after it could not find agreement on new labour terms with the MLBPA.

    This had long been anticipated after months of fruitless negotiations regarding a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) – the deal that governs the working relationship between players and teams.

    It means that from Thursday, employees will not be able to work until a new deal is struck, with team officials and players unable to communicate in any way.

    A previous strike led by players forced the 1994 World Series to be scrapped and it lasted into 1995, but MLB chiefs are optimistic there will be no such disruption this time.

    MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he hoped the development would serve to "jump-start the negotiations and get us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time". The 2022 season is due to begin on March 31.

    On its part, the MLBPA declared a determination to strike a deal.

    The MLBPA said in a statement: "Major League Baseball has announced a lockout of players, shutting down our industry.

    "This shutdown is a dramatic measure, regardless of timing. It is not required by law or for any other reason. It was the owners' choice, plain and simple, specifically calculated to pressure players into relinquishing rights and benefits and abandoning good faith bargaining proposals that will benefit not just players, but the game and industry as a whole.

    "These tactics are not news. We have been here before, and players have risen to the occasion time and again – guided by solidarity that has been forged over generations. We will do so again here.

    "We remain determined to return to the field under the terms of a negotiated collective bargaining agreement that is fair to all parties, and provides fans with the best version of the game we all love."

    The shutdown confirmation followed a flurry of high-profile free-agency deals.

    Manfred, speaking for MLB, said the players had been inflexible in negotiations, claiming the MLBPA "came to the bargaining table with a strategy of confrontation over compromise". He described the MLBPA's demands as "the most extreme set of proposals in their history".

  • Cy Young winner Ray ready to bring World Series to Mariners Cy Young winner Ray ready to bring World Series to Mariners

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    After capping a career year with the American League (AL) Cy Young Award, Ray opted to leave the Toronto Blue Jays for the Mariners in free agency.

    Ray signed a five-year, $115million contract in Seattle, where the 2017 All-Star will headline their rotation after his breakout year in Toronto.

    "This team, the city is hungry for a World Series," Ray said during his introductory news conference midweek – the Mariners have never won the World Series or an AL pennant.

    "To be a part of it and bring it back right here, I just wanted to be here."

    Ray enjoyed a stellar campaign for the Blue Jays, who narrowly missed out on the MLB playoffs despite a 91-win season.

    The 30-year-old boasted a 2.84 ERA – the best among qualifiers in the AL, having come off a 6.62 ERA last year.

    Ray – acquired by the Blue Jays in 2020 – led the AL in ERA-plus (154) and WHIP (1.045), while striking out an MLB-best 248 batters in 32 starts.

    "It just seemed like a really good fit and we were ready to move forward," Ray said of joining the Mariners. "I mean, it happened really quickly, but we're glad that it did."

    "I've always had the mindset of going out and attacking. But it didn't necessarily match up with the delivery," Ray said. "This year, I feel like I really nailed that down and I feel really good about the consistency of the delivery. That consistency, matched with that mindset, I feel like is what allowed me to succeed this year."

    Seattle's president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto added: "I think that's one of the main attractions for us is we want to be the team where, when other teams are coming to Seattle to play us, they look at the three pitchers or the four pitchers that are lined up for that series and they say, 'Oh man'".

  • MLB shut down as league enters lockout for first time since 1990 MLB shut down as league enters lockout for first time since 1990

    MLB has entered a lockout for the first time since 1990 after the league and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) failed to reach a new labour agreement.

    A lockout had long been anticipated after months of fruitless negotiations regarding a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

    After a flurry of high-profile free-agency deals, MLB confirmed a lockout following the expiry of the collective bargaining agreement on Wednesday.

    From Thursday, employees will not be able to work until a new deal is struck, with team officials and players unable to communicate in any way.

    A players strike forced the 1994 World Series to be scrapped and it lasted into 1995 but that 26-year agreement has now come to an end.

    In a letter addressed to fans, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred wrote midweek: "This past season, we were reminded of how the national pastime can bring us together and restore our hope despite the difficult challenges of a global pandemic. As we began to emerge from one of the darkest periods in our history, our ballparks were filled with fans; the games were filled with excitement; and millions of families felt the joy of watching baseball together.

    "That is why I am so disappointed about the situation in which our game finds itself today. Despite the league's best efforts to make a deal with the Players Association, we were unable to extend our 26 year-long history of labour peace and come to an agreement with the MLBPA before the current CBA expired. Therefore, we have been forced to commence a lockout of Major League players, effective at 12:01am ET on December 2.

    "I want to explain to you how we got here and why we have to take this action today. Simply put, we believe that an offseason lockout is the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season. We hope that the lockout will jumpstart the negotiations and get us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time. This defensive lockout was necessary because the Players Association's vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive. It's simply not a viable option. From the beginning, the MLBPA has been unwilling to move from their starting position, compromise, or collaborate on solutions.

    "When we began negotiations over a new agreement, the Players Association already had a contract that they wouldn't trade for any other in sports. Baseball's players have no salary cap and are not subjected to a maximum length or dollar amount on contracts. In fact, only MLB has guaranteed contracts that run 10 or more years, and in excess of $300million. We have not proposed anything that would change these fundamentals. While we have heard repeatedly that free agency is 'broken' – in the month of November $1.7billion was committed to free agents, smashing the prior record by nearly 4x. By the end of the offseason, Clubs will have committed more money to players than in any offseason in MLB history.

    "We worked hard to find compromise while making the system even better for players, by addressing concerns raised by the Players Association. We offered to establish a minimum payroll for all clubs to meet for the first time in baseball history; to allow the majority of players to reach free agency earlier through an age-based system that would eliminate any claims of service time manipulation; and to increase compensation for all young players, including increases in the minimum salary. When negotiations lacked momentum, we tried to create some by offering to accept the universal Designated Hitter, to create a new draft system using a lottery similar to other leagues, and to increase the Competitive Balance Tax threshold that affects only a small number of teams.

    "We have had challenges before with respect to making labour agreements and have overcome those challenges every single time during my tenure. Regrettably, it appears the Players Association came to the bargaining table with a strategy of confrontation over compromise. They never wavered from collectively the most extreme set of proposals in their history, including significant cuts to the revenue-sharing system, a weakening of the competitive balance tax, and shortening the period of time that players play for their teams. All of these changes would make our game less competitive, not more.

    "To be clear: this hard but important step does not necessarily mean games will be cancelled. In fact, we are taking this step now because it accelerates the urgency for an agreement with as much runway as possible to avoid doing damage to the 2022 season. Delaying this process further would only put Spring Training, Opening Day, and the rest of the season further at risk – and we cannot allow an expired agreement to again cause an in-season strike and a missed World Series, like we experienced in 1994. We all owe you, our fans, better than that.

    "Today is a difficult day for baseball, but as I have said all year, there is a path to a fair agreement, and we will find it. I do not doubt the League and the Players share a fundamental appreciation for this game and a commitment to its fans. I remain optimistic that both sides will seize the opportunity to work together to grow, protect, and strengthen the game we love. MLB is ready to work around the clock to meet that goal. I urge the Players Association to join us at the table."

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