Fantasy Forward: Lester hangs on for the win

There’s no definitive time which can determine a pennant race. Jon Lester seemed to be on his way to a loss after giving up back-to-back home runs to Paul DeJong and Randal Grichuk in the top of the eight inning, but the Cardinals bullpen could not hold the lead and allowed the Cubs to score three in the bottom of the inning. It marks the fourth time over the last nine games a St. Louis reliever has given up the go ahead hit in the eighth inning or later. Sustaining a hot streak to get back in the race depends on all facets of a team working; the Cardinals bullpen seems broken right now.

On the injury front, Gregory Polanco (hamstring) and Aaron Sanchez (blister) both landed on the disabled list. Eric Sogard returned to the Brewers with Keon Broxton being optioned to Triple-A, it’s an unforgiving game. Joe Smith also returned to the Blue Jays bullpen, a much-needed arm to bolster its staff. Dallas Keuchel threw 62 pitches in five innings of a rehab appearance and should return to the rotation next week. Keep tabs on Jarrod Dyson, he left the Mariners game after crashing into the wall during the game. If he misses time it could pave the way for a Leonys Martin return to Seattle. Off to the recaps.

Starting Pitcher Observations

Adam Wainwright recorded a quality start working 7.2 innings giving up four hits, two earned runs and striking out three in Chicago. Jon Lester won his seventh game lasting eight innings allowing three hits, two earned runs and striking out 10 on 14 swinging strikes.

Brent Suter did not get a win due to the bullpen, but pitched six innings of five-hit ball giving up one earned run with five strikeouts.

Kyle Gibson notched his sixth win pitching 7.1 innings, allowing five hits, three earned runs and three walks with fie strikeouts.

Chris Archer’s slider proved to be nasty on Saturday night. Archer struck out 11 over seven innings and generated 21 swinging strikes in the game. He yielded four hits, four runs (one earned) and walked one in a tough loss considering to how well he pitched.

Marcus Stroman and Danny Salazar dueled to no-decisions in Cleveland. Stroman worked 7.2 innings giving up five hits, one earned run and five walks with seven strikeouts. Salazar dominated off of the disabled list ceding one hit with eight strikeouts in seven shutout innings. Both pitchers induced 14 swinging strikes.

Tanner Roark won his eighth game allowing three hits, two earned runs, and a walk with 11 strikeouts on 16 swinging strikes over seven innings. German Marquez also tallied his eight win striking out nine with 16 swinging strikes in seven innings, giving up three hits, two earned runs and two walks.

Rich Hill whiffed eight over 6.1 innings allowing six hits, two earned runs and two walks en route to his seventh victory this year. J.C. Ramirez won his ninth, working six innings giving up five hits, three runs (one earned), and three walks with six strikeouts.

Bullpen Musings

Noting the Cardinals late inning struggles, Wade Davis stayed perfect in save chances for his 19th of the year in spite of two walks and struck out two.

Keone Kela made an appearance in the eighth inning but could not finish it. Alex Claudio entered to put out the fire and worked 1.1 innings, giving up a hit for his fourth save. It seems like Claudio’s gig moving forward.

Hector Neris ceded three hits and an earned run in the top of the ninth to untie a game which opened the door for Corey Knebel to notch his 17th save in a clean outing with two strikeouts.

Brandon Kintzler recorded four outs for his 27th save allowing a hit. A.J. Ramos saved his 19th giving up a walk with a strikeout. Andrew Miller suffered his first blown save of the season allowing a run on two hits with two strikeouts. Cody Allen worked 1.2 innings, and Bryan Shaw took the win after getting one out in the 10th inning.

Greg Holland saved his 31st, but it did not come easy. He pitched 1.1 innings giving up two hits, one earned run and two walks with one strikeout. Could the wheels be coming off?

So much for a time share in the Nationals bullpen with Ryan Madson continuing to work in the eighth inning and Sean Doolittle saving his fifth game of the year and second for Washington. Doolittle did allow an unearned run and a walk with a strikeout.

Edwin Diaz walked the lead-off hitter, which never seems to work for a closer. It did not resulting in his fourth blown save, but the Mariners won in extra-innings scoring off of Adam Warren.

Hitter Highlights

Wil Myers hit his 19th home run as part of a five-game hit streak, and he’s homered in back-to-back games along with three during his streak. Cory Spangerberg and Matt Szczur each recorded two hits with a run scored. Eduardo Nunez went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI. Nick Hundley provided the game winning hit.

Paul DeJong and Randal Grichuk both hit their 11th home runs. Ben Zobrist finished 1-for-4 with a run, double, and RBI. Kris Bryant tallied two hits, scored a run, and drove in one. Anthony Rizzo doubled in the go ahead run for the Cubs.

George Springer, Josh Reddick and Jose Altuve each went 2-for-5 with a run scored. Yulieski Gurriel hit his 13th home run and Alex Bregman added his ninth. Evan Gattis went 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI. Adam Jones launched his 18th home run driving in two along with Jonathan Schoop hitting his 21st with two RBI.

Eric Thames racked up two hits, a double, and scored two runs. Ryan Braun went 3-for-4 with three runs, a double, home run (12), and drove in four. Travis Shaw also doubled and homered (22) with an RBI. Cesar Hernandez hit a three-run homer (6) as did Cameron Rupp (7). Odubel Herrera finished 4-for-4 with three runs, two doubles and his ninth home run.

Alex Presley tallied three hits, scored a run, doubled, and drove in one. Justin Upton launched his 16th homer to drive in three. Miguel Sano, Joe Mauer, Robbie Grossman and Jason Castro drove in a run for the Twins.

Dee Gordon went 2-for-5 with a run and stole two bases (33,34). J.T. Realmuto doubled and hit two home runs (9,10) driving in four. Justin Bour added two hits and scored twice. Billy Hamilton swiped his 41st base along with two hits and a run. Zack Cozart tripled, scored, and walked three times. Patrick Kivelhan hit his sixth home run.

Matt Joyce hit his 13th home run, Marcus Semien went 1-for-4 with his seventh stolen base, and Khris Davis tallied a hit, scored a run and walked twice. Matt Chapman hit his third home run and finished with two RBI. Wilmer Flores went 2-for-5 with a double and his ninth home run, a walk-off winner. Jay Bruce launched his 25th home run driving in two. Travis d’Arnaud racked up three hits and drove in one.

Elvis Andrus continues to rake versus the Rays. With three hits including a double and his 13th home run, Andrus also scored two runs with an RBI. In five games versus Tampa Bay he is hitting .609 with a 1.799 OPS and 10 RBI. Evan Longoria drove in two with a single for the Rays.

Justin Smoak hit his 27th home run off of Andrew Miller to account for his team’s only run. Francisco Lindor hit his first walk-off homer (15) spurring the Indians to a much needed win.

Melky Cabrera notched four hits in as many at-bats scoring a run, doubling, hitting his 13th home run, and driving in both White Sox runs. Salvador Perez (19), Brandon Moss (12) and Jorge Bonifacio (12) all homered. Mike Moustakas launched two, his 27th and 28th of the year. Alex Gordon tallied two hits and stole two bases (2,3).

Starling Marte went 3-for-5 with an RBI and stole his fifth base. Josh Bell hit his 18th home run. Charlie Blackmon doubled and tripled scoring two runs. Nolan Arenado doubled among his two hits with an RBI. Carlos Gonzalez tallied two hits and scored a run.

Bryce Harper extended his hit streak to 15 with his 25th home run. During the streak he is hitting .458 (27-for-59) with seven home runs and 17 RBI. Chris Heisey tripled and scored a run. Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-4 with a run, double, and RBI. A.J. Pollock finished with two hits and scored twice for Arizona.

Mookie Betts doubled in a run and scored. Mike Trout went 1-for-4 with a run, RBI, walk, and stole his 12th base. Albert Pujols finished 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Andrelton Simmons went 2-for-4 with his 10th homer and drove in three.

Josh Camargo doubled twice and scored once. Chase Utley (6), Corey Seager (16) and Chris Taylor (12) homered for the Dodgers.

Aaron Judge hit his major league leading 32nd home run. Garrett Cooper tripled and scored a run. Ben Gamel homered (6) and scored the winning run in the 10th inning. Robinson Cano tied the game with his 19th home run off of former teammate David Robertson. Mike Zunino added his 14th home run.

Statistical Credits:,,


Be sure to head over to for the latest free links across all fantasy formats to stay ahead of your competition.

Greg Jewett

Written by 

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