Fantasy Baseball Final: June 9, 2015
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Today was the day of aces, as we saw many big names take the mound, including Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber, Sonny Gray, Masahiro Tanaka, and Jon Lester. The name that grabbed headlines today, however, was Giants’ starter Chris Heston, who threw his first career no-hitter tonight against the New York Mets, while tallying 11 strikeouts.
What’s not mentioned below: The Baltimore Orioles shutout the Boston Red Sox 1-0 tonight at home, though the two teams combined for just ten hits in the game. Corey Kluber fell to 3-7 on the year following the Indians 3-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners. The Atlanta Braves were able to take down James Shields and the Padres, 6-5; Justin Upton and Matt Kemp combined to go 2-10 in the loss. Albert Pujols went 3-4 with his 16th home run to help propel the Angels over the Rays, 8-2. Mike Trout went 2-5 with two runs scored in the win. Royals’ starter Chris Young flirted with a no-hitter, and though he didn’t get it, he pitched well enough to help shutout the Minnesota Twins and improve to 5-2. Royals’ catcher Salvador Perez hit his ninth home run in the win. Nolan Arenado’s 15th home run helped lift the Rockies over the Cardinals, 4-3. Johnny Peralta went deep for the Cards’ in the loss. Sonny Gray fell to 7-3 despite pitching six strong innings, as the Rangers edged the A’s 2-1. Howie Kendrick drove in all three Dodgers’ runs as they beat the Diamondbacks, 3-1.
IF YOU ONLY READ ONE THING…
San Francisco Giants’ pitcher Chris Heston threw a perfect game tonight against the New York Mets, striking out 11 batters in the dominant win. On a day in New York that featured Mashiro Tanaka and Max Scherzer facing off in the Bronx, Heston wasn’t the pitcher in the Big Apple that we expected to toss a no-no. It actually would have been a perfect game had Heston not plunked three batters, but he was absolutely brilliant otherwise. It has been an up and down season in what is Heston’s rookie campaign, but the shutout brought his ERA down to 3.77 on the year. Not only did Heston spin a gem on the mound, he also helped himself out offensively, going 2-4 with two runs batted in. Joe Panik hit a solo home run for the Giants in the seventh inning, his fifth of the season. His counterpart, Noah Syndergaard, fell to 2-4 after letting up four runs across his six innings of work, striking out just two batters.
JUST AS WE EXPECTED…
The New York Yankees made it seven wins in a row as they took down the Washington Nationals 6-1 at home on Tuesday. Masahiro Tanaka was outstanding once again in his second start since being activated from the disabled list, as he tossed seven innings of one run ball with six strikeouts. There was no point to send Tanaka back out for the eighth inning, as the Yankees offense exploded in the bottom of the seventh to give Tanaka a 5-1 lead. Tanaka threw 87 pitches (63 for strikes) and lowered his ERA to 2.48. This is exactly the kind of start that both the Yankees and fantasy owners love to see, as they hope Tanaka health issues are behind him and he can return to ace form for the rest of the season. Stephen Drew blasted two home runs for the Yankees to help lead them victory, while catcher Brian McCann collected three hits and two runs batted in. Max Scherzer was on the bump for the Nationals, though he failed to pitch like his ace self in this one. Scherzer lasted six and two thirds innings, giving up four runs on eight hits while striking out seven. Scherzer fell to 6-5 after the loss, though his ERA still sits at an impressive 2.13 on the year. The lone Nats’ run came off the bat of Bryce Harper, who hit his 20th home run of the season.
Giancarlo Stanton really likes playing in Toronto. After going 3-4 with a home run last night against the Blue Jays, Stanton belted two home runs, both solo shots, in the Marlins eventual 4-3 loss on the road. Stanton now leads the National League in home runs, though Bryce Harper sits just one home run behind him in second place. Fellow outfielder Christian Yelich hit a solo home run in the game, though that was the only hit that he recorded in his four trips to the plate. The Marlins took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth, but closer A.J. Ramos was unable to record the save, as he gave up a walk off home run to struggling Jays’ slugger Edwin Encarnacion. The Marlins continue to disappoint this season, as they are now 11 games below .500 and sit in second to last place in the NL East. Dan Haren was in line to get the win for the Marlins though he ended up taking the no decision after tossing seven innings of two run ball with seven strikeouts.
Cincinnati Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto had a monster night, going 3-4 with three home runs in the Reds 11-2 rout of the Philadelphia Phillies. This was a career night for Votto, as he continues to tear the cover off the ball this year, following a injury riddled 2014 season for the slugger. Teammate Todd Frazier had a big night as well, going 3-5 with a solo home run that he hit in the third inning, his 17th of the season. Anthony DeSclafani picked up his fifth win, letting up two runs across 6.1 innings while striking out seven batters. The damage could have been worse for the Reds’ starter, though he was able to hold the Phillies to two runs despite giving up ten hits in the start. Phillies starter Aaron Harang gave up seven runs across six innings of work, walking two and striking out five. Harang has been one of the few pleasant surprises on this Phillies team, though today’s start was a rough one for the veteran right-hander. There’s a good chance that the Phillies ship Harang out before this year’s trade deadline, so they’re going to need him to get things together as we enter the dog days of summer.
BUT WE DIDN’T SEE THIS COMING…
The Chicago White Sox took down Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros tonight, 4-2. Keuchel pitched well for the Astros, tossing seven innings of two run ball with five strikeouts, though he fell to 7-2 on the season thanks to Carlos Rodon and his six shutout innings. Rodon gave up just four hits, walking two and striking out five. White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu opened up the scoring in the sixth inning with his two run home run, his 10th of the season. Astros’ rookie sensation Carlos Correa went 2-4 in the game, including his first career home run. It was a special moment for Correa, who the Astros continue to hope will provide them with the spark they need to get things back on track after their recent skid.
Jon Lester was tagged for five runs across 4.1 innings of work on the road against the Detroit Tigers, falling to 4-5 on the season. Lester struck out five while giving up nine hits, and watched his ERA jump to 4.25 in his first season with the Chicago Cubs. Tigers’ starter Anibal Sanchez was able to silence the Cubs’ offense, as he tossed 7.2 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts to collect his fourth win. Miguel Cabrera went 3-3 with a walk and a run batted in, while second baseman Ian Kinsler went 2-4 with two runs batted in.
THE REST OF THE DETAILS
Zach Britton (16)
Francisco Rodriguez (12)
A.J. Ramos (blown save)
Carson Smith (2)
Jason Grilli (16)
David Robertson (12)
Greg Holland (11)
John Axford (11)
Shawn Tolleson (7)
Kenley Jansen (7)
Hunter Pence held out of the lineup.
Matt Holiday – 15-Day DL – (quadriceps)
Jake Odorizzi – 15-Day DL – (oblique)
Hunter Pence – day-to-day- (wrist)
Nelson Cruz – day-to-day- (back spasms)
David Freese – day-to-day – (hamstring)
RUMORS & TRANSACTIONS
Early Tuesday morning, the Chicago Cubs announced that they had signed veteran reliever Rafael Soriano to a minor league deal. Chicago is rolling the dice on the right-hander, who faded away at the end of the 2014 season, eventually losing his job to Drew Storen. The Cubs currently sit 20th in terms of reliever ERA, so its not a surprise to see them sign the veteran reliever, especially given his track record of ninth inning dominance. The Cubs are still linked to relief help, though this time via trade, Bruce Levine of 670 “The Score” reported on twitter. This is just speculation on my part, but names like Jonathan Papelbon and Francisco Rodriguez are intriguing names that the Cubbies might have interest in; but again, that’s just speculation.