I had the joy of watching Stephen Strasburg square off against division rival Cole Hamels and the Phillies on Sunday at Nationals Park in the Nation’s Capital. What a joy it was. Strasburg was fantastic, capitalizing on a weak lineup, as he struck out nine on a day the Phillies were without Utley and Howard. He gave up only five hits (all singles) and the lone run scored came on a balk with a runner on third. Strasburg went eight innings and dropped his ERA and WHIP to a nifty 2.49 and 1.06 respectively. The fastball was sitting in the mid to upper 90’s and Stras’ will get the Braves next time out.
Clay Buchholz was scratched from his start on Monday due to a collarbone issue on his right side. Alfredo Aceves will be recalled to make the start in his absence.
Justin Smoak has a minor oblique strain but has stated he would like to avoid the DL, he’ll probably be day-to-day and miss a start or two this week with Michael Morse and Kendrys “Walk-off wounded” Morales manning first.
Chris Perez left Sunday’s game against the Red Sox with shoulder discomfort and has been placed on the DL. He walked three, gave up a double and a single before being pulled with the injury. The Indians have capable arms in the bullpen with Vinny Pestano the favorite for saves. However, Pestano has failed miserably when given the chance to close games out. Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith are some names being tossed around but my favorite to take the job is Cleveland’s future closer, Cody Allen. Allen is rocking a 30/7 K/BB ratio over 23.3 innings and already has a save to his name.
Mariners’ top prospect Nick Franklin is trending on Twitter and the buzz is that the Tacoma Short Stop is on his way to the Show! Hallelujah! The obvious move would be to send down the struggling Dustin Ackley. The M’s are in a youth movement currently and have brought up players who have been excellent in Triple-A in favor of players who are underachieving at the Major League level. If Franklin indeed is called up that would make 3 callups in 8 days for the M’s.
AL Hot Shots:
Jim Johnson imploded yet again coughing up a three-run lead and getting the loss. Johnson has been shaky after a brilliant start so one has to wonder if there’s a hidden injury. Darren O’Day is next in line.
Bartolo Colon went seven scoreless in an A’s victory over the Astros. He allowed 9 hits, all singles with 9 strikeouts and no walks.
Nate Freiman went 2-for-3 with a walk, double, home run, three RBI and two runs scored to help the A's beat Houston 6-2 on Sunday.
Joe Nathan allowed a solo homer to Raul Ibanez in the 11th inning and blew a save for the first time in 2013.
Jurikson Profar hit his first homer since being called up. It was a solo shot off Hisashi Iwakuma. Iwakuma would allow only one more run on the day as he struck out 8 and walked none in the no-decision.
Ernesto Frieri earned his 10th save of the year Sunday as the Angels defeated the Royals.
Chris Perez had to leave the game, and this morning was place on the DL. Francona has said that Vinny Pestano will get the first chance at saves. If he falters, Joe Smith or Cody Allen could see some chances.
NL Hot Shots:
Bryce Harper left Sunday’s game and is likely to miss some time this week due to a sore knee.
Dan Uggla was 1-for-2 with his third homer in the past six games, He now has 10 homers and a .190 BA
Ike Davis was 2-for-3 with a walk and the game winning RBIs on Sunday, he still could be sent down so if you have another option at 1B or Corner Infield you may want to opt for that player this week in weekly formats.
Julio Teheran was fantastic again after taking a shutout into the ninth his last time out. He pitched into the seventh on Sunday striking out five, walking three and allowing one run on five hits to the Mets. The Mets would eventually come back to win. Teheran is going to give the Braves a difficult choice to make as Brandon Beachy nears a return.
Matt Cain allowed two runs with six strikeouts over five innings in his start Sunday against Colorado. Mike Kickham will be called up to make a start for the Giants. He’s been the best pitcher for Triple-A Fresno and deserved the chance. He has 29 K through 32 IP and a 4.33 ERA in the hitter-friendly PCL.
Shelby Miller was not stellar as he allowed 3 ER in a no-decision in the matchup with the Dodgers on Sunday. He gave up a two run homer to Adrian Gonzalez and had only three K’s. He hasn’t gone beyond six innings in three straight starts.
Clayton Kershaw fell to 5-3 on the year with a loss to the Cardinals. He allowed a bases clearing double to Pete Kozma in the second and an RBI infield single to Matt Carpenter in the seventh inning. He allowed 4 ER on seven hits, three walks and five Ks. This is the first time he’s allowed more than 3 ER since July 24 last season.
Patrick Corbin gave up three earned runs on seven hits over six innings in Sunday's win over the Padres. It was another solid outing from Corbin, who is coming off a complete game three-hitter at Coors Field. He improved to 8-0 with a 1.71 ERA this season.
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