Fantasy Forward: Pitcher’s duel in the Bronx

Trying to predict baseball can prove frustrating. Yankee Stadium is well-known as a hitters haven, and may prove to be one on Saturday. But on Friday night, Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka hunkered down for an old-fashioned pitchers duel.

Darvish struck out 10 over seven innings giving up only two hits before leaving due to tightness in his triceps. Monitor this closely, but the team seems to think it’s a precautionary move. Tanaka answered with eight shutout innings of his own allowing three hits, two walks and striking out nine. As for swinging strikes, Darvish tallied 16 while Tanaka induced 22 for the top total last night. Tanaka became the first Yankee since Luis Severino to reach the seventh inning since June 10th, and for Darvish, it’s his first start with 10 or more strikeouts with zero walks since 2013.

Injuries can be tough, and for Julio Urias, all owners can hope for is a return to health. Urias (anterior capsule surgery) will be sidelined for 12-to-14 months and can be dropped for fantasy purposes. Corey Seager grabbed at the back of his leg, scored after seeing the trainers, then left the game at the end of the inning. It’s reported as a hamstring cramp, but he will get an MRI today to determine the severity of the injury. Eric Sogard left his game after being hit on the elbow with a pitch, he’s considered day-to-day. Tampa Bay will activate Wilson Ramos off the disabled list, fantasy owners should do so as well.

Keeper league players should watch the A’s closely in the next couple of days. Shortstop Chad Pinder left the game hurt last night, and Marcus Semien , whle on a rehab assignment, is still working his way back on the rehab trail. Franklin Barreto could be promoted, but there’s nothing official at this time. Off to the recaps.

Starting Pitcher Observations

Both Chris Archer and Jose Urena won their fourth games on Friday night. Pitcher A allowed eight hits, five earned runs and two walks over six innings with four strikeouts. Pitcher B worked six shutout innings giving up five hits and three walks with three strikeouts. Each starter generated nine swinging strikes. Pitcher B, Jose Urena, lowered his ERA in June to 3.62 over five starts.

Rick Porcello won his fourth game lasting 6.1 innings allowing eight hits, four runs (three earned) and a walk with eight strikeouts.

Two more similar starts, Jharel Cotton and Mike Foltynewicz each worked five innings for their fifth win. Cotton ceded three hits and one walk over five shutout innings with three strikeouts before leaving with a blister. Foltynewicz won his fourth straight decision at home over five starts, allowing four hits, one earned run and three walks with nine strikeouts on 11 swinging strikes.

Neither Jameson Taillon or Adam Wainwright factored in the decision, but both turned in quality starts against each other. Taillon pitched six innings giving up four hits, two earned runs and two walks with seven strikeouts. Wainwright worked seven innings allowing two hits, two runs (one earned) and two walks with four strikeouts.

J.A. Happ deserved a better fate losing his win to the bullpen’s implosion. Happ struck out five over 6.2 innings giving up four hits and one earned run. Patrick Corbin also settled for a quality start pitching 6.2 innings at home allowing eight hits, one earned run and one walk with five strikeouts. Mark Leiter won his first start of the season for the Phillies stifling the Diamondbacks at home limiting them to three hits over six shutout innings with five strikeouts and one walk. It’s a funny game.

Alex Wood notched his eight win holding the Rockies to one run on three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts on 21 swinging strikes.

Michael Fulmer turned in a quality start in San Diego, but took the loss in spite of eight strikeouts in seven innings due to the earned run he allowed on two hits. His four walks did not help, but Fulmer pitched well. Luis Perdomo walked five, but garnered his second win with six shutout innings and six strikeouts.

Felix Hernandez made his return from the disabled list a winning one working six innings with six strikeouts. He allowed eight hits, three earned runs and a walk with 13 swinging strikes.

Bullpen Musings

Although Matt Albers walked off with his third win, Enny Romero pitched the ninth inning for those interested in who’s closing for Washington these days. Raisel Iglesias took the loss, his second, giving up three hits and the walk-off hit to Bryce Harper in the 10th inning.

Matt Bush incurred another tough night for the Rangers bullpen, allowing five hits over 1.2 innings prior to the Yankees walk-off win as well. He’s allowed runs in five of his last eight appearances giving up 11 hits, five walks and nine earned runs over eight innings of work. Many will want Keone Kela to get the next chance; he was unavailable to pitch on Friday night. Stay tuned. In this same game, Aroldis Chapman allowed an unearned run in the top of the ninth. His command still needs some work.

With Goose Gossage’s approval, both Austin Pruitt and Yovani Gallardo turned in three inning saves last night for the Rays and Mariners.

A.J. Ramos saved his 11th giving up a hit and striking out one. He lowered his ERA in June to 2.08 with a 1.04 WHIP and 14 strikeouts over 8.2 innings.

Arodys Vizcaino notched his first save of 2017, and his first since last June 26th against the Mets. Vizcaino allowed a hit during his appearance. There’s no official word suggesting a closer change, so add him with the hope the Braves can trade Jim Johnson. As for Vizacaino, he’s appeared 10 times in June with a 10:2 K:BB, 0.96 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over 9.1 innings.

Santiago Casilla locked down save number 12 despite giving up two hits to start the inning. Sean Doolittle’s the better pitcher, but worked the eighth inning with two strikeouts.

Felipe Rivero won his third game recording five outs with a walk and two strikeouts in St. Louis. He lowered his ERA to 0.68 on the year. Both Trevor Rosenthal and Seung-Hwan Oh allowed runs in the game. Oh took the loss on a John Jaso pinch hit home run; he has given up a run in four of last six outings with an ERA of 6.00 in June.

Padres closer, Brandon Maurer, saved his 14th game in a clean inning with a strikeout.

Hitter Highlights

Scooter Gennett continues his assault on pitching with a double and his 10th home run in four at-bats. Adam Duvall added two hits, as did Devin Mesoraco with two RBI. Trea Turner went 2-for-5 with a run and stole his 28th base to pull within three of Billy Hamilton for the league lead – one does need to reach base to steal them. Brian Goodwin finished 3-for-4 with two home runs (6), two RBI and two walks. Daniel Murphy (13) and Anthony Rendon (14) also homered.

Elvis Andrus tallied two hits, scored the only Rangers run, and stole his 18th base. Brett Gardner hit his 14th homer, stole his 10th base to spark the Yankee offense.

Adam Jones racked up three hits and scored twice. Jonathan Schoop continues to shine with two hits, a run, a double and two RBI to raise his average to .295 on the year. Evan Longoria drove in four for Tampa Bay with Logan Morrison scoring three runs, tripling, hitting his 22nd home run, and driving in three. Shane Peterson hit his second home run and finished with four RBI. Derek Norris went 3-for-3 with a double and his ninth home run. His reward, being designated for assignment to clear room for Wilson Ramos.

Giancarlo Stanton continues to flourish hitting second. He doubled and hit his 19th home run. Dee Gordon reached base once and stole his 28th base as well.

Hanley Ramirez showed signs of life on David Ortiz night, launching his 10th home run and driving in two. Jackie Bradley Jr. added two hits and scored twice. Sandy Leon went 3-for-4 with a double, his third home run and two RBI.

Keon Broxton homered for the 12th time and scored twice for the Brewers. Orlando Arcia contributed two hits with a double and two RBI along with stealing his fifth base. Brandon Phillips returned to the lineup with a double and his sixth home run. Tyler Flowers continues to fly below the radar with two more hits and two RBI. He’s hitting .329 with a .907 OPS this season.

Khris Davis hit his 19th home run and drove in two with Matt Joyce hitting his ninth in a shutout win for the A’s.

Both Josh Bell (14) and John Jaso (5) homered in the Pirates win. Jose Martinez and Paul DeJong each hit their fifth home runs in the loss.

Jose Bautista’s still leading off and went 3-for-5 with a run. Troy Tulowitzki doubled among his two hits with an RBI. Whit Merrifield hit two doubles with two RBI and the game winner. Salvador Perez upped his average to .295 with two hits in four at-bats, a run, a double and an RBI.

Freddy Galvis may be heating up. He finished 2-for-5 with a double and triple. Over his last three games, Galvis has five extra-base hits with a .289/.333/.500 slash in June. Tommy Joseph (12) and Maikel Franco (9) homered for the Phillies.

Corey Seager left his game early due to a hamstring cramp, but did go 2-for-2 with two runs and an RBI prior to leaving. Justin Turner tallied three more hits with a double and an RBI. He’s hitting .392 on the season. Austin Barnes makes for a terrific deep league second catcher. He tripled, scored two runs and walked twice.

Jose Altuve hit his 11th home run, and Alex Bregman added his eighth. Bregman has hit safely in five of his last six games with four doubles and the home run. Ben Gamel stayed hot with two more hits including his fourth home urn. Kyle Seager went 2-for-3 with three runs and his eighth home run. Danny Valencia totaled four hits in five at-bats with two runs and two RBI. Jarrod Dyson doubled twice and scored. Mike Zunino’s 10th home run and three RBI push his June totals to nine homers with 29 RBI.

Curtis Granderson led off for the third straight game and went 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. Asdrubal Cabrera requested a trade, but finished 3-for-5. He owns zero interest in playing second base apparently. Yoenis Cespedes showed signs of life with three hits and his ninth home run driving in three. Wilmer Flores finally hit a southpaw with three hits over four at-bats with two RBI. Last, but not least, Lucas Duda doubled twice and hit his 13th home run.

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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