Fantasy Forward: Kershaw outduels Strasburg

A marquee match-up during the day games with Clayton Kershaw opposing Stephen Strasburg at Chavez Ravine. Neither pitcher disappointed with each generating 14 swinging strikes. Strasburg took the loss working six innings giving up three hits, two runs (one earned), and a walk with eight strikeouts while lowering his ERA to 2.80 on the season. Kershaw won his eighth game in 10 decisions striking out nine over seven innings allowing three hits, one earned run, and three walks. His ERA dropped to 2.20 following his victory.

Players on the comeback trail include Tom Murphy of the Rockies – his teammate, David Dahl, is not close. Add starter Jon Gray to the list for Colorado as his rehab assignment may start very soon. Angels reliever Cam Bedrosian did not get activated as expected and experienced tightness in his groin, stalling his comeback attempt. He’s on the shelf for at least another week. White Sox starter Carlos Rodon will start for Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday.

Tons of players on the move with Hector Santiago (shoulder soreness), Adonis Garcia (ring finger), Francisco Cervelli (concussion), Brad Miller (groin), Matt Garza (chest) and Gerardo Parra (quad) all landing on the disabled list. Now for the recaps.

Starting Pitcher Observations

Rookies impressed last night with Jacob Faria winning his first start for the Rays striking out five in 6.1 innings, giving up three hits and one earned run with two walks. He induced 15 swinging strikes in his debut. Buck Farmer followed up his strong outing last week for the Tigers by winning against the Angels. Farmer pitched 6.2 shutout innings allowing three hits and a walk against five strikeouts as well.

Kyle Freeland stymied the Indians for his seventh win. Freeland lasted 6.1 innings giving up six hits, one earned run and striking out five with 12 swinging strikes.

Although Alex Meyer took the loss to the Tigers, he fired a quality start over six inning allowing three hits, one run (none earned) and four walks with nine strikeouts on 15 swinging strikes. Both Faria and Meyer finished with more swinging strikes than Kershaw or Strasburg. Odd.

Mike Foltynewicz may be starting to surge, winning his fourth game of the season working seven shutout innings at home. He struck out four allowing two walks with 12 swinging strikes.

Zack Wheeler out dueled Yu Darvish in Texas, but did not factor into the decision due to his faulty bullpen. Wheeler pitched seven innings giving up six hits, one earned run and three walks with five strikeouts. Darvish won the night with 16 swinging strikes but allowed three earned run being hurt by the long ball again. He struck out nine against one walk in his quality start.

Jimmy Nelson did not dominate, but won his fourth game of the year pitching six innings with six strikeouts and three earned runs allowed. Same goes for Zack Greinke who struck out eight, but only lasted five innings due to an elevated pitch count and three runs against.

Jason Vargas won his third game in a row. He pitched five innings allowing six hits, two earned runs and one walk with five strikeouts.

Bullpen Musings

Kenley Jansen notched his 10th save in the afternoon recording four outs with a hit allowed and a strikeout. Roberto Osuna saved his 14th game, but gave up two hits, and one earned run with two strikeouts.

A team may support a struggling player,, but Tony Watson blew the save for the second straight game, his fifth of the season over his last 13 outings. Felipe Rivero worked a clean inning in the 10th with two strikeouts to lower his ERA to 0.58 with 34 strikeouts in 31 innings this year. Mychal Givens won his sixth game when the Orioles walked off another win against the Pirates bullpen.

Alex Colome recorded his 16th save allowing a hit with a strikeout moving his ERA below two on the year. Kelvin Herrera turned in a much-needed strong outing, striking out the side and giving up a hit for his 13th save.

Both Addison Reed (9) and Raisel Iglesias (11) turned in clean outings with a strikeout for saves. Corey Knebel saved his seventh game, struck out two hitters to extend his streak to 30 games this year with at least one strikeout, and he’s up to 54 over 30 innings. A.J. Ramos locked down his ninth save pitching 1.1 innings in Chicago walking one with one strikeout.

In the late games, Edwin Diaz worked the ninth inning while the Mariners trailed by one giving up a hit, but ended up with a win when Brandon Kintzler allowed a walk-off two run home run to Mike Zunino, blowing his third save of the year. Kintzler’s allowed runs in three of his last five outings, but no one seems to be threatening to displace him in the Twins bullpen. Fernando Rodney worked a clean inning with a strikeout for his 15th save.

Hitter Highlights

Colorado rolls on with Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado and Ian Desmond all recording multiple hits. Arenado drove in three, Blackmon two, and Desmond stole his third base. Jose Ramirez hit a solo shot for the Indians only run.

Ryan Zimmerman once again carried the Nationals offense with his 17th home run. Corey Seager answered for the Dodgers with his eighth in their one run win.

Kevin Pillar continues his resurgent season with his eighth home run with three RBI. His average has fallen off, but he is still hitting lead-off for the Blue Jays. Josh Donaldson launched his seventh home run in the 10th inning, and Justin Smoak will not stop – hitting two dingers to push his season total to 17 with 42 RBI. Rajai Davis went 4-for-5 with four runs, and Trevor Plouffe homered for the A’s.

Both Didi Gregorius (5) and Chris Carter (6) homered for the Yankees in their eight run win over Boston. Can Carter hear footsteps? He’s playing like it.

Gregory Polanco tallied three hits, but Jose Osuna and Elias Diaz carried the Pirates offense. Osuna finished 2-for-5 with his fourth home run and two RBI while Diaz doubled among his two hits with two RBI as well. Replacing Seth Smith, Trey Mancini hit two home runs in as many at-bats with five RBI to propel the Orioles to a come from behind win against the struggling Pirates bullpen.

A pitchers duel broke out in Detroit until Justin Upton launched his 12th home run against the Angels bullpen. He went 2-for-4 with three RBI.

Matt Carpenter moved to lead-off and hit his 10th home run as the Cardinals try to break his slump. Tommy Pham and Stephen Piscotty each recorded two hits. Scott Schebler (17), Joey Votto (15) and Patrick Kivlehan (4) carried the Reds offense for Scooter Gennett who did have a hit in four at-bats, but nothing like his performance on D-Day.

Odubel Herrera’s white-hot and stayed tied with Arenado for the lead in doubles with 20 this year. Dansby Swanson (6) and Matt Adams (7) homered in the 14 – 1 rout by the Braves.

Dee Gordon went 2-for-5 with two runs and his 19th stolen base. J.T. Realmuto (5) and Marcell Ozuna (15) hit home runs for the Marlins. Ian Happ hit his fifth home run and Kyle Schwarber his 10th along with his first multiple hit game since May 16th.

Jay Bruce enjoyed his brief visit to Arlington by launching two home runs (15) with three RBI. Robinson Chirinos countered with his sixth home run and two RBI but it was not enough.

Buster Posey homered for the eighth time and increased his RBI to 18 on the season. Domingo Santana stayed hot with two hits and his 11th home run. Jonathan Villar led off and hit his sixth home run in the seventh inning. Milwaukee would love to get him hot. Villar also tripled, and Jesus Aguilar went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Brian McCann tallied four hits and his eighth home run with two RBI for the Astros. George Springer extended his personal 12-game hit streak in which he’s hitting .436/.483/.873 with seven home runs and 14 RBI. Lorenzo Cain homered for the second time in his last five games to match his total in the 51 previous. Cheslor Cuthbert went 2-for-4 with three RBI and he’s hitting .313 with nine RBI over his last 11 games.

Franchy Cordero went 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI for the Padres. Yangervis Solarte added his fifth home run. Jake Lamb launched his 15th home run with three RBI, and Brandon Drury hit his fifth driving in two. David Peralta stole his fifth base, and Paul Goldschmidt his 13th on a double steal.

Minnesota wasted Miguel Sano’s three run shot, his 15th of the year, when Mike Zunino homered for the second time in the ninth inning. Zunino went 2-for-3 raising his home run total to four and drove in three. Carlos Ruiz added his first home run of the year while Kyle Seager hit his seventh.

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Greg Jewett

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I am a father, PE teacher & fantasy baseball writer. Using saber metrics & information to evaluate players & trends is exciting to me."Passion is the oxygen of the soul." Bill Butler