Fantasy Forward: Boston marathon and aces abound

With a doubleheader looming on Sunday, the Yankees and Red Sox engaged in a 16 inning game which lasted over five hours including 512 pitches by the two teams. Chris Sale continued his dominance over New York striking out 13 over 7.2 shutout innings with 20 swinging strikes. He yielded three hits and two walks becoming the first Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 2003 with multiple 10-plus strikeout games versus the Yankees. Luis Severino turned in a strong outing as well giving up four hits, one earned run and two walks with six strikeouts in a no-decision. Max Scherzer won his 11th game striking out 10. He has whiffed at least 10 over his last three starts and in nine of his last 10 starts. Corey Kluber also registered 12 strikeouts achieving at least double-digit whiff for the eighth time this year and in six of his last seven starts.

Madison Bumgarner returned to the mound with a quality start (but no decision), and Alex Wood won his 11th straight decision this year. Speaking of Dodgers, it only took Cody Bellinger 72 games to record his first cycle, becoming the seventh youngest player all-time to do so at 22 years old and two days. Houston lost at home, but will look forward to Collin McHugh and Dallas Keuchel making rehab starts in the next two days. Kendall Graveman of Oakland will make three rehab starts hoping to return to the rotation by the start of August.

Mitch Haniger left his game early taking a pitch off of his finger trying to bunt. His X-rays returned negative, but he will sit out the next couple of games. Johnny Cueto landed on the disabled list speaking out about baseballs and blister issues. Joe Ross will undergo Tommy John surgery and be lost for the season. Could the Nationals be promoting Edwin Jackson? Tyler Chatwood left his start in the first inning with no official word yet. Arodys Vizcaino threw a bullpen session on Friday and could return next week. Stephen Piscotty landed on the disabled list prompting the Cardinals to recall Magnerious Sierra if searching for stolen bases. Will Harris also landed on the disabled list with inflammation in his shoulder. If using one of them, the Yankees have switched C.C. Sabathia to pitch Game 1 of the doubleheader with Masahiro Tanaka now working the nightcap. Off to the recaps.

Starting Pitcher Observations

Michael Fulmer won his 10th game, limiting the Blue Jays to two hits, one earned run, and a walk with three strikeouts over eight innings. Jake Arrieta won his ninth giving up four hits, two runs (one earned), and three walks with three strikeouts over 6.2 innings at Baltimore.

Lance Lynn hurled six shutout innings allowing eight hits and striking out three in Pittsburgh. Seth Lugo hit his first career home run and won his fourth game, giving up seven hits, three earned runs, and two walks with five strikeouts in 6.2 innings.

Alex Wood did something Clayton Kershaw has not, winning his 11th straight decision to start the year. Wood worked six shutout innings allowing three hits and one walk with four strikeouts on 11 swinging strikes.

Both Aaron Nola and Jimmy Nelson fired quality starts, but did not factor in the decision. Nola ceded seven hits, two earned runs, and two walks with seven strikeouts on 13 swinging strikes. He is sporting a 1.78 ERA over his last five starts in 35.1 innings. Nelson whiffed nine allowing three hits, two earned runs, and two walks.

Felix Hernandez recorded his fifth win working five innings while giving up six hits, three runs (one earned), and striking out five on 11 swinging strikes.

Cole Hamels and Danny Duffy both turned in quality starts as well. Hamels fired 7.2 shutout innings, yielding four hits and one walk with five strikeouts. Duffy took his sixth loss in spite of pitching 8.1 innings giving up one earned run on five hits and striking out four.

Madison Bumgarner made his first start since April 19th, lasting six innings and giving up four hits, three earned runs, and two walks with five strikeouts. He should round into form soon, but will not be enough to salvage the Giants season.

Alex Cobb pitched 7.2 innings giving up six hits, one earned run and three walks with four strikeouts to earn his eighth win.

Bullpen Musings

Craig Kimbrel has given up runs in six outings this year, three of which required more than three outs. He blew his first save in Fenway giving up a home run to Matt Holliday in the top of the ninth. Ben Heller took the win in relief for the Yankees working two innings with three strikeouts.

For the second straight night, Alex Claudio recorded the save for Texas facing Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas. Corey Knebel notched his 16th save giving up a hit with two strikeouts. Knebel’s appeared in 45 games this year with a strikeout in each one, totaling 79 over 44.1 innings of work.

Brandon Kintzler notched his 25th save; after hitting Jose Altuve with a pitch, he settled down to close it out. Edwin Diaz saved his 15th, but it came with a hit and walk allowed along with two strikeouts. Andrew Miller took the loss for the Indians serving up a walk, then being replaced by Bryan Shaw who allowed the walk-off home run to Khris Davis.

After Trevor Gott created a mess in the top of the ninth, Matt Grace saved his second game in two days for the Nationals. Jim Johnson saved his 21st with a strikeout over a clean inning of work. Brandon Maurer won his first of the season after firing a clean inning against the Giants prior to the Padres walk-off.

Hitter Highlights

Matt Holliday hit his 16th home run to tie the game in the ninth, then Didi Gregorius provided the go ahead RBI in the 16th inning. Jacoby Ellsbury stole his 11th base and went 1-for-2 after entering the game as a pinch runner in the ninth for Starlin Castro. Andrew Benintendi recorded three hits for the Red Sox.

Nick Castellanos launched his 11th home run, scored two runs, and walked. Miguel Cabrera tallied three hits, his 12th home runs and drove in two. J.D. Martinez went 3-for-5 with a double, his 15th home run, and five RBI.

Willson Contreras hit cleanup again with three more hits, two doubles, and an RBI. Anthony Rizzo hit his 21st home run. Addison Russell hit his second homer in two days (9) while scoring three runs. Jason Heyward stayed hot with a triple among his two hits and three RBI. Javier Baez recorded three hits with two RBI, and Albert Almora homered (4) along with stealing his first base of the season. Caleb Joseph went 2-for-3 with his fourth home run and drove in two.

Matt Carpenter went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Tommy Pham racked up three hits, two doubles and drove in one.

A.J. Pollock recorded two hits, scored, walked twice, and stole his 14th base. Paul Goldschmidt drove in two runs and stole his 14th base as well. Ender Inciarte went 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI. Brandon Phillips also tallied three hits with a double and his eighth home run with two RBI. Lane Adams doubled in three runs with a pinch hit double, and Jace Peterson hit a pinch hit home run, his first of the year.

Charlie Blackmon tripled and drove in one. D.J. LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado both went 2-for-4 with a run. Jay Bruce launched his 24th home run with three RBI. T.J. Rivera scored two runs, drove in one, singled, and walked twice. Lucas Duda drove in two with a double, and Jose Reyes added his ninth home run.

Chris Taylor went 2-for-5 with a run and a triple. Logan Forsythe doubled in three at-bats with a run scored, an RBI and a walk. Cody Bellinger finished 4-for-5 with the cycle, two runs, and three RBI as the Dodgers roll on. Christian Yelich recorded three hits, and J.T. Riddle drove in the only Marlins run.

Brian Dozier looks to heat up in the second half, homering for the second straight game, his 15th of the year. Max Kepler added two hits as did Robbie Grossman and Eddie Rosario. Jose Altuve hit his 14th homer, and Yulieksi Gurriel went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Odubel Herrera homered for the second straight game, his eighth. Jonathan Villar went 2-for-4 with a run and his 17th stolen base. Eric Thames doubled twice with an RBI. Travis Shaw hit his 20th home run, and Hernan Perez added his 11th homer.

Jean Segura stayed hot with two more hits and his 10th stolen base. Nelson Cruz hit a two run home run, his 18th, and Kyle Seager launched his 11th dinger. Melky Cabrera led off, going 4-for-5 with two runs and his 11th home run.

Bryce Harper went 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. Daniel Murphy went 2-for-4 with two runs, a double, and two RBI. Anthony Rendon finished 3-for-3 with two home runs (18) including a grand slam plus six RBI two walks. Ryan Raburn added his second home run of the season. Billy Hamilton tallied three hits and stole his 39th base. Scooter Gennett hit his 16th home run and drove in four for the Reds continuing his career year.

Joe Panik hit his sixth home run, and Hunter Pence drove in two for the Giants. Both Matt Szczur (3) and Jabari Blash (2) homered for Padres, but Hector Sanchez provided the walk-off winner, a two-run shot and his fourth against his former employer.

Bradley Zimmer did not record a hit, but walked twice and stole his 1oth base while leading off. Edwin Encarnacion launched his 19th home run driving in two. Matt Chapman homered twice for the first time in his career for his first two major league home runs. Khris Davis hit the walk-off winner, a two run shot and his 25th of the season.

Mallex Smith went 1-for-4 with a run and his 12th stolen base. Corey Dickerson racked up four hits with two doubles and stole his third base. Logan Morrison (25) and Steven Souza (18) homered for the Rays. Luis Valbuena countered with two home runs (8) and three RBI driving in all of the Angels runs in a loss.

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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