When covering fantasy sports, it’s rare a game garners attention no matter how well a player fares. This happened last night when Chad Bettis returned to the mound at Coors Field after battling cancer. Enduring nine weeks of chemotherapy trumps his outstanding performance on the mound. Bettis threw seven shutout innings giving up six hits and striking out two for a quality start in a no-decision. But, this pales in comparison to the story regarding his comeback and inspiration it provides to others in the same battle. Sometimes, sports provides the perfect respite from the ugliness witnessed over the weekend.
- Your daily Giancarlo Stanton home run blurb
Since moving to the highlight format, it seems Giancarlo Stanton does not wish to be left out. He hit his 43rd home run of the season setting the Marlins franchise record held by Gary Sheffield (42 in 1996). Stanton’s also homered in five straight games to set another team mark. Over the last 11 games Stanton has hit 10 home runs and launched 22 in is last 34 starts.
- Three Yankees reach 40 career home runs in comeback win
Having three Yankees homer in the same game at home does not raise an eyebrow, but Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez all recorded their respective 40th career home run last night in their win over the Mets. Judge did extend his dubious strikeout per game streak to 31 in the first inning. He bounced back to draw a walk and hit an opposite field home runs (his 36th of the season), but only his sixth since the All-Star break. For the course of the strikeout streak, 31 games, Judge is 19-for-107 (.178) with six home runs, 13 RBI, 28 walks and 52 strikeouts.
Breakthrough performer Aaron Hicks put the Yankees ahead in the eighth inning with his solo shot. His 12th home run sets his career high in a season in spite of missing 39 games to a strained oblique. He will be a key component to the Yankees playoff chase. Last, Gary Sanchez once owned the power spotlight upon his promotion to the Yankees with a hot start in the power department. Sanchez mashed his 20th of the season and he’s in the midst of a six-game hit streak going 9-for-23 (.391) with five runs, a double, three homers and five RBI in it.
- Double E hits two homers in Fenway tilt
During a rain makeup game in Fenway yesterday, Edwin Encarnacion crushed two home runs powering the Indians past the Red Sox. Encarnacion has homered four times in his last four games driving in six. He’s up to ninth in the American League in home runs (26) and second in walks (73) raising his on-base percentage to .370 on the season. It feels like a power surge from “EE” carrying the parrot often over the next two weeks remains in the offing.
- Rafael Devers setting records for Boston
In the same game, Rafael Devers also hit two home runs for Boston. He’s hit six in only 16 games since his ascension from the minors. No Red Sox player in the last 100 years has hit three or more home runs with 20 or more hits until Devers this season through 16 games. He has hit six homers with 21 hits in his first 16 with an impressive .339/.397/.677 slash line.
- Justin Upton does yard work in Texas
Although the Tigers lost on the road to the Rangers last night, Justin Upton hit his 23rd home run of the season driving in both of Detroit’s runs. Much maligned due to being a streaky performer and disappointing fantasy owners last year, Upton has been terrific the last statistical year. Over the last 365 days Upton has played 154 games with 101 runs, 41 home runs, 126 RBI, 11 stolen bases, and a .282/.368/.579 slash line for the Tigers. Odds remain high he will use his opt-out clause at the end of the season to test free agency.
- Kris Bryant’s surging
Kris Bryant seemed to be on-base almost every plate appearance in the three-game series in Arizona, reaching 13 of the 15 times he stepped to the plate. He carried the hot streak home and has now reached base 16 times during his last 20 plate appearances. Bryant has recorded multiple hits in four straight games and in six of his last seven starts. Plus, the power’s returning as well with three doubles, home runs in two straight, and five RBI in his last three games.
In an effort to save space but highlight some other strong performances last night, here’s some fun facts from Monday’s games with other players of interest.
- Trevor Bauer became only the second pitcher to record six-plus innings against the Red Sox in August, going 6.2 innings allowing seven hits, three earned runs and two walks with 11 strikeouts for his 11th win.
- Curtis Granderson hit his 18th home run last night, the 311th of his career, and 69th in Yankee Stadium. He has hit 22 percent of his career home runs in the comfy confines of the Bronx.
- Roberto Osuna notched his 30th save and second of four outs or more this year. It’s his first since July against the Tigers.
- Joey Votto extended his streak of reaching base at least two times in a game to 19 in Chicago with a double and a single against a four-outfield alignment. Votto is within one of Barry Bonds 20-game on-base twice streak set in 2004 and two of Ted Williams all-time record of 21 in 1948.
- Odubel Herrera’s hit streak reached 17 last night; he finished 2-for-5 and is hitting .379 (25-for-66) within it.
- Teammate Rhys Hoskins hit his first major league home run, and liked it so much he doubled up in San Diego with two on Monday night. His first home run went 410 feet with an exit velocity of 110.2 MPH.
Statistical Credits: Fangraphs.com, MLB.com, ESPN.go.com
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