Fantasy Forward: Nationals run amok

Reading the post game quotes by Miguel Montero make the former coach in me cringe, but there’s something to be said about pitcher’s helping hold runners on. Obviously the Nationals saw something to trigger them to steal seven bases against the Cubs on Tuesday night. Remember when many panicked about Trea Turner, implying he’s a bust? Turner is pacing towards 107 runs, 15 home runs, 67 RBI and 67 stolen bases despite time on the disabled list. Anthony Rendon stole his fourth base of the year, and Michael Taylor added two raising his total to nine on the year. Taylor’s flying well below the fantasy radar. In June, hitting over .300 with 19 runs, seven home runs and 17 RBI in 89 at-bats. For the season, he’s on pace for 23 home runs and 19 steals. Even a pull back in average makes him 12-team mixed worthy.

Lost in the Nationals win last night, it marked the first time two Cy Young Award winners squared off since 2008 when Jake Arrieta faced Max Scherzer. Only one pitched like it. Adrian Beltre is nearing the precipice of some historical accomplishments. He’s 31 hits shy of 3,000, a double away from 600 in his career, and 50 home runs from 500. Awesome stuff. D.J. LeMahieu left his game early on Tuesday due to a right groin cramp. He is day-to-day, like most of us. Off to a condensed version of the recaps.

Starting Pitcher Observations

Max Scherzer won his ninth game working six innings allowing two hits, one earned runs and striking out six on 13 swinging strikes.

Alex Cobb and Trevor Williams engaged in a pitchers duel? Cobb lasted eight innings giving up two hits and one walk with four strikeouts. Williams countered with seven innings of six hit baseball allowing two earned runs with seven strikeouts.

Kevin Gausman fired 5.1 innings of shutout baseball in Toronto. Yes, that Gausman. He ceded four hits and two walks with four strikeouts for his fourth win.

Justin Verlander won his fifth of the season pitching seven innings allowing nine hits, three earned runs and a walk with six strikeouts on 14 swinging strikes.

After a rain delay, Drew Pomeranz pitched five innings giving up four hits, one run (zero earned) while striking out seven on 13 swinging strikes.

Both Tyson Ross and Mike Clevinger turned in nearly identical lines in no-decisions. Each pitcher allowed two hits, one earned run and walked two with Ross striking out five while Clevinger whiffed nine.

Luis Severino fired seven strong innings at Chicago striking out 12 on 20 swinging strikes but lost the win when the Yankees bullpen faltered in the ninth. Jose Quintana continues to quietly turn his season around working 6.1 innings giving up two hits, no runs, four walks and striking out six.

Carlos Martinez also lost a win due to his bullpen but pitched six innings allowing four hits, two earned runs and three walks with 10 strikeouts.

Sean Newcomb won his first major league game lasting six shutout innings in San Diego giving up six hits and a walk with eight strikeouts on 14 swinging strikes.

Kenta Maeda stated his case to stay in the ever evolving Dodgers rotation pitching seven shutout innings allowing four hits and striking out six.

Aaron Nola won his fifth in Seattle pitching seven innings and striking out nine. James Paxton also struck out nine but allowed three earned runs on four hits over seven innings to take the loss.

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Bullpen Musings

Alex Colome melted down again and may need a day or two off to clear his head. He allowed two runs on two hits with two walks for his fourth blown save and third rough outing in a row. Felipe Rivero took the loss giving up two runs (one earned) with his defense letting him down. Tommy Hunter saved his first game of the year and looks to be the handcuff in Tampa Bay for those in deeper leagues.

Brad Brach notched his 14th save, but allowed a home run with two strikeouts. His time may be ending soon with Zach Britton targeting July fifth as a return date.

Both Justin Wilson (7) and Raisel Iglesias (13) turned in clean innings for saves with Wilson striking out two. A.J. Ramos also saved his 13th giving up a hit.

Keone Kela won his fourth game in relief striking out one in the eighth and Matt Bush allowed a hit en route to his 10th save as the Texas bullpen settles into its roles.

Dellin Betances control struggled with Aroldis Chapman not being available after working consecutive days prior to last night. Betances allowed the game winning hit to Jose Abreu after walking two.

Trevor Rosenthal and Seung-Hwan Oh each allowed runs setting up an Arizona come from behind win. Each has struggled of late, but no one in the Cardinal bullpen poses a threat to overtake them. Fernando Rodney keeps rolling along garnering his second win working an inning with a strikeout.

Santiago Casilla was forced into the game after Liam Hendriks struggled. Casilla did give up two hits but saved his 14th of the year. Jim Johnson struck out the side while allowing a hit and a walk for his 16th save. Edwin Diaz pitched, after working four days in a row not too long ago in a game where the Mariners trailed by two. Why?

Hitter Highlights

As referenced above, Troy Tulowitzki hit his fourth home run off of Brad Brach in the ninth inning accounting for the Blue Jays only run.

Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run shot for his ninth of the year. J.D. Martinez tripled and homered (13) with an RBI.

Travis Shaw matched his home run total from last year hitting his 15th with three RBI and walked. Manny Pina added his fifth and Orlando Arcia tallied three hits along with his sixth home run. Keon Broxton stole his 14th base. Billy Hamilton returned to lead-off and hit his second home run. Joey Votto (21), Adam Duvall (17) and Eugenio Suarez (12) also homered.

Eduardo Escobar hit his eighth home run, but the Twins only scored two. Dustin Pedroia reached in all four plate appearances with three hits, a walk, scored twice and drove in one. Chris Young hit his fourth home run with three RBI and stole his third base. Christian Vazquez also homered (1) and swiped a base (3) for the Red Sox.

Curtis Granderson seems to enjoy hitting lead-off again and homered to start the game for his 11th of the year. Travis d’Arnaud added his ninth with two RBI. Christian Yelich paced the Marlins attack with three hits, a double and two RBI. Justin Bour also drove in two with two hits.

Adrian Beltre launched his fifth home run and for the third game in a row. He’s also recorded multiple hits in three straight and in four his last six starts. Robinson Chirinos hit his 11th home run, in only 97 at-bats this year. That’s one every 8.8 at-bats.

Aaron Judge went 2-for-3 with a run, double, RBI and walk. Gary Sanchez also doubled and drove in two. Jose Abreu finished two for five with the game winning hit and three RBI.

Ryon Healy crushed a grand slam for his 18th home run with four RBI. Bruce Maxwell added three hits with a double and an RBI. George Springer answered with his 23rd home run and three RBI. Jose Altuve and Jake Marisnick each finished with three hits.

David Peralta tied the game with his eighth home run. Jake Lamb added three hits and scored twice. Daniel Descalso keeps finding his way into the lineup and went 2-for-4 with two runs, driving in one.

Joc Pederson hit his seventh of the year driving in three and his third home run over his last six games.

Freddy Galvis went 3-for-5, scored, drove in two and stole his fourth base. He’s hitting .301/.343/.473 in June. Maikel Franco doubled and hit his 10th home run. Aaron Altherr added his 13th dinger. Jean Segura hit his fifth home run with two RBI for Seattle.

Mark Reynolds doubled and launched his 19th home run driving in three for the Rockies. Denard Span tallied three hits with two RBI for San Francisco. Span’s notched three multi-hit games in a row, hit safely in nine of his last 10 and .353/.405/.500 in June with 17 runs scored.

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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