Fantasy Forward: When a pitching duel goes bad

Justin Verlander facing James Paxton seemed like a nice spot for each pitcher to do well on Wednesday night. Paxton started strong striking out the side in the second inning, and Verlander carried a perfect game into the sixth inning before Jarrod Dyson’s drag bunt single. While the Mets and Dodgers disagree about Yasiel Puig’s home run trot, Dyson did change the course of a game with the bunt. Paxton went on to allow four runs (three earned) on nine hits and two walks with eight strikeouts over 5.1 innings. Verlander surrendered three runs in the sixth and did not make it out of the inning allowing four hits, three earned runs and a walk with 11 strikeouts. Neither pitcher factored in the decision or turned in a quality start.

On the rehab trail, Cole Hamels pitched 5.2 innings giving up two hits, one earned run and two walks with five strikeouts. Madison Bumgarner threw 35 pitches in two simulated innings and will progress to three innings on Sunday. Dexter Fowler left last night’s game early with quad tightness. Jean Segura did return to the Mariners lineup going 1-for-3 with two runs for those who missed it. Off to the recaps.

Starting Pitcher Observations

Erasmo Ramirez bounced back with his fourth win working 5.1 innings giving up two hits, two earned runs and three walks with six strikeouts. He generated 15 swinging strikes, six on the change. This may have more to do with the Reds than Ramirez.

Max Scherzer lost a no-hit bid, allowed two runs (zero earned) and took a loss after striking out 11. He produced a whopping 27 swinging strikes. Dan Straily turned in a quality outing against him lasting six innings giving up three hits, one earned run and a walk with six strikeouts on 17 swinging strikes.

Drew Pomeranz pitched 6.1 innings allowing six hits, two earned runs and a walk with five strikeouts in a no-decision. Fellow southpaw Jordan Montgomery won his fifth working 5.2 innings allowing five hits, two earned runs and two walks with five strikeouts.

Carlos Carrasco dazzled in Baltimore striking out 11 and giving up seven hits over six shutout innings with 18 swinging strikes induced for his eighth win. Jose Berrios tallied his seventh win lasting eight innings allowing four hits, two earned runs and a walk with eight strikeouts.

Jeff Samardzija and Sean Newcomb turned in quality outings in an extra-inning affair in Atlanta. Samardzija pitched seven innings giving up six hits and three earned runs with eight strikeouts. Newcomb’s six inning effort yielded three hits, one earned run and a walk with three strikeouts.

Taijuan Walker won ugly, but in Coors. He pitched six innings allowing six hits, three earned runs and four walks with eight strikeouts in a game where 20 runs crossed the plate.

Mike Fiers continued his hot streak winning for the fourth time in his last five starts, lowering his ERA in June to 1.42 over 25.1 innings. Fiers finished six innings giving up three hits, one earned run and three walks with five strikeouts. Sean Manaea took the loss, but pitched six innings for a quality start allowing seven hits, three earned runs and two walks with eight strikeouts. He’s been very good since returning from the disabled list.

Rich Hill flashed results from last year in a five inning outing resulting in his fourth win of the season. Hill gave up four hits, one earned run and three walks with eight strikeouts.

Bullpen Musings

With Alex Colome needing a day off, Chase Whitley stepped up working 1.2 innings with a strikeout for his second save of the year for Tampa Bay. Cody Allen went home for the birth of a child, so Bryan Shaw recorded the last two outs for Cleveland notching his second save as well. Do not worry Andrew Miller owners, he quelled a bases loaded situation, pitched two innings and struck out three.

A.J. Ramos saved his 10th allowing a hit with two strikeouts. Kelvin Herrera locked down his 17th save and fourth in six days lowering his in save situations ERA to 2.41. Brandon Maurer recorded two outs as well for his 13th save.

Hector Neris continues to struggle in the ninth, and everyone notices but Pete Mackanin. Neris blew his third save and he’s allowed 12 earned runs in 19.1 innings during the ninth inning (5.60 ERA). In any other inning this year, Neris carries a 0.75 ERA (one earned run in 12 innings). Meanwhile, Pat Neshek’s first in the National League in ERA (0.64), third in WHIP (0.79) and in the midst of a 14.1 scoreless inning streak.

Seung-Hwan Oh did save number 16 for the Cardinals, but allowed a run on two hits with a strikeout. He’s given up at least a run in three of his last five outings. Trevor Rosenthal was warming up in the bullpen. Jim Johnson was not as lucky blowing his sixth save of the year allowing a home run in the ninth to Hunter Pence.

Corey Knebel keeps rolling along with his 11th save and 37th straight appearance with at least a strikeout to start the season. He’s whiffed 64 in 36.2 innings.

Both Roberto Osuna and Brandon Kintzler notched their 19th saves. Osuna did walk a batter to cut down his strong K:BB to 37:3 this year. Working for the fourth game in a row, Edwin Diaz did give up a run on a Ian Kinsler homer, but saved his 12th of the year.

Hitter Highlights

Scott Schebler launched his 20th home run with two RBI and a walk. Mallex Smith countered with two hits, an RBI and stole his ninth base. Steven Souza hit third, going 3-for-5 with two RBI. Both Trevor Plouffe (8) and Taylor Featherston (2) homered for Tampa Bay.

Ryan Raburn hit his first home run for the Nationals accounting for their only run. Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI represented the only one for Miami in a one run victory.

Andrew Benintendi (10) and Xander Bogaerts (5) homered for the Red Sox, but a Salvador Perez grand slam, his 15th homer this year, turned the tide for a Royals win at home.

Jose Pirela went 2-for-5 with an RBI, and Erick Aybar hit his fifth home run for San Diego. Ian Happ hit his 10th home run and third in four starts. He’s up to eight in June.

Andrelton Simmons tallied three hits, scored two runs, doubled, and stole his 13th base. Martin Maldanado finished 3-for-4 with a double and two home runs (7) and four RBI. Matt Holliday hit his 15th home run, and Didi Gregorius added his eighth for the Yankees.

St. Louis used home runs to fuel another comeback win against the Phillies. Jedd Gyorko hit his 11th among three hits with two RBI, Tommy Pham hit two (9), and Jose Martinez hit a pinch hit home run and doubled later in the game. Howie Kendrick recorded three hits for the second straight game and added his eighth stolen base. Odubel Herrera gives with two hits including a two RBI double, but takes away running through a stop sign and getting thrown out at home.

Francisco Lindor hit his 14th home run and drove in three for Cleveland. Jason Kipnis went 2-for-4 with an RBI and his fourth stolen base. Jose Ramirez extended his multiple-hit streak to nine games. Trey Mancini finished with three hits and a run with Jonathan Schoop driving him in with a double for the Orioles only run.

Justin Smoak went 2-for-5 with a double, RBI and two runs. Steve Pearce had three hits in as many at-bats with a double and an RBI before leaving the game after running into the wall. Darwin Barney hit his second home run. For Texas, Shin-Soo Choo hit his 11th home run with two RBI and two walks. Joey Gallo went 3-for-4 with two doubles and his 19th home run (inside the park). Delino DeShields stole his 17th base, his tenth straight without being caught, and his seventh in the last 11 days.

Brian Dozier tallied two hits with a double, RBI, a walk, and his 10th stolen base. Miguel Sano went yard, his 18th, with two walks. Ehire Adrianza only recorded one hit, but stole three bases (6).

Adam Frazier went 3-for-5 with two runs and two doubles. Josh Bell homered for the 13th time. Domingo Santana hit his 12th home run with three RBI to fuel the Brewers win. Hernan Perez (6) and Keon Broxton (11) each stole a base.

David Peralta recorded four hits and scored four runs. Paul Goldschmidt went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI. Jake Lamb hit two doubles and drove in two. Brandon Drury finished 4-for-6 with a double and six RBI. Chris Iannetta hit two doubles, scored twice, and drove in one. Nick Ahmed hit his sixth home run and drove in two. D.J. LeMahieu had three hits in five at-bats with two RBI. Mark Reynolds launched his 18th home run for Colorado.

Carlos Correa hit his 14th home run with Evan Gattis and Jake Marisnick each adding two RBI. Oakland’s Yonder Alonso doubled and scored the teams only run in the loss.

Ian Kinsler hit his seventh home run and walked. James McCann added his eighth home run, and Justin Upton drove in three on two hits. Ben Gamel hit second with two hits, and Mitch Haniger batted seventh belting his sixth home run. Nelson Cruz went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI.

Curtis Granderson led off with his eighth home run, finished with three hits, and drove in both of the Mets runs. It was Yasmani Grandal’s turn to hit multiple home runs versus the Mets; he hit two (9) with two RBI. Yasiel Puig stole the headlines with his 13th home run with three RBI and a slow trot with some expletives shared with the Mets around the bases.

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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