Fantasy Baseball Final: April 8, 2015
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Despite the rain on the east coast, we were luckily able to get all 15 games underway today. In case you missed it this morning, the Detroit Tigers officially placed starting pitcher Justin Verlander on the 15-day DL for the first time in his career (retroactive to March 29). Verlander has been dealing with a triceps injury since leaving his last spring training start early against the Blue Jays on March 27.
IF YOU ONLY READ ONE THING…
The Tigers were all over the Twins Wednesday afternoon, collecting 15 hits on their way to an 11-0 victory at home. The top of the order did most of the damage for the Tigers, combining to go 7 for 14 (.500) with 9 RBI. Anibal Sanchez took home his first win of the season, going 6.2 innings while giving up three hits and striking out six. On the other side, Ricky Nolasco’s struggles since joining the Twins last offseason continue as he only lasted three innings, giving up six earned runs and striking out just two batters. Over the first two games of the season, the Twins have only nine hits and have yet to score a run. Fun fact: as of right now, Brandon McCarthy has more runs batted in than the Twins. The two teams will finish off the series Thursday afternoon with Kyle Gibson and Shane Greene slated to start.
JUST AS WE EXPECTED…
The pitching duel between Jordan Zimmermann and Jacob DeGrom did not disappoint with the Nationals earning their first win of the season 2-1 at home against the New York Mets. DeGrom’s lone mistake came in the first inning when he gave up a two run home run to Ryan Zimmerman, though he settled in nicely after that, striking out six over six strong innings. Despite the solid outing, DeGrom falls to 0-1 on the new season as the Mets offense was unable to figure out the Nationals’ pitching. As for Jordan Zimmermann, he also went six innings, striking out four and giving up the lone run in the second inning via a Travis d’Arnaud RBI single. Drew Storen pitched a clean ninth inning, striking out two, to pick up his first save of the season.
Behind Jake Arrieta’s strong start Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs shutout the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 to pick up their first win of the season. Arrieta went seven innings, walking three and striking out seven. There wasn’t a whole lot of offense in this game, just five hits total between the two clubs, though the Cubs were able to get on the board in the seventh inning on a Starlin Castro RBI single that was later followed with a SAC fly from Miguel Montero to score the second, and final, run of the game. Lance Lynn took the loss, though he put together a nice outing striking out nine over six innings of two run ball.
BUT WE DIDN’T SEE THIS COMING…
The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Boston Red Sox 4-2 behind 6.1 shutout innings from starting pitcher Aaron Harang. Harang gave up only two hits while striking out eight and walking one on his way to his first win of the season on Wednesday. The game was scoreless going into the bottom of the sixth, but that didn’t last long thanks to a three run home run from Jeff Francoeur, his first since June of 2013. Rick Porcello took the loss in his first start since joining the Red Sox in the offseason, going six innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out four.
Scott Kazmir was nearly untouchable for the Oakland Athletics, going seven innings, giving up just one hit and striking out ten batters to lead the A’s to a 10-0 home victory against the Texas Rangers. A’s first baseman Mark Canha drove in four of the A’s ten runs in his major league debut, going 3-for-5 in the game. Southpaw Ross Detwiler got the start for the Rangers, lasting just 4.1 innings, letting up eight runs (six earned) on nine hits. Brett Lawrie had a nice night, going 3-for-5 as well, just one night after striking out four times on only 12 pitches.
Los Angels Dodgers’ first baseman Adrian Gonzalez continues to rip the cover off the ball, as he hit three home runs, all solo shots, and all off San Diego Padres’ starter Andrew Cashner. Gonzalez already has five home runs on the season, more than any other team in all of baseball. Not only that, Gonzalez has at least three hits in each of the Dodgers’ three games this season. You cannot stop Adrian Gonzalez, you can only hope to contain him.
THE REST OF THE DETAILS
Hector Rondon (converted & 1-of-1 in save chances)
Andrew Miller (converted & 1-of-1 in save chances)
Jonathon Papelbon (converted & 1-of-1 in save chances)
LaTroy Hawkins (blown save, 1-of-2 in save chances)
Drew Storen (converted & 1-of-1 in save chances)
Jason Grilli (converted & 2-of-2 in save chances)
Brad Boxberger (converted & 1-of-1 in save chances)
Cody Allen (converted & 1-of-1 in save chances)
John Axford (converted & 1-of-1 in save chances)
Greg Holland (converted & 1 of 1 in save chances)
Santiago Castilla (converted & 2 of 2 in save chances)
Huston Street (converted & 2 of 2 in save chances)
Joel Peralta (converted & 1-of-1 in save chances)
James Loney – 15-day DL – (strained oblique)
Justin Verlander – 15-day DL – (triceps strain)
RUMORS & TRANSACTIONS
Early Wednesday morning, the Pirates and third baseman Josh Harrison agreed to a contract extension worth roughly $27 million over the next four seasons. The contract includes two club options for the 2019-2020 seasons that could bring the total value of the deal to $50 million if exercised. Harrison has rather quietly been very productive for the Pirates, especially in 2014, playing a great defensive third base while putting up strong offensive numbers, including a .315/.347/.490 slash line with 13 home runs and 18 stolen bases.