On the same day, in two separate games, two players were struck in the face by a pitch. Atlanta's young talent Jason Heyward and Houston’s Max Stassi were both removed from their respective games after being struck in the face by pitches. Heyward was the recipient of a Jonathon Niese fastball to the right side of his cheek, fracturing his jaw and causing him to be out for the next four-to-six weeks. No reports have been issued on how long Stassi (who was playing in his second career game since being called up) will be out. Obviously, Heyward going down for weeks just as he had started to heat up from the leadoff spot is not what any fantasy owner wants, but you have to feel for Stassi as a baseball fan. Replacing Heyward in your outfield could be tough at this point. The Braves will likely go with a platoon of Jordan Schafer and Evan Gattis with a sprinkle of Joey Terdoslavich. That spells a fantasy "meh." Check out the waiver wire, as maybe no one noticed a guy like Will Venable in your league. And seriously, pitchers: if you cant keep the ball away from dudes' heads, you don’t belong in the majors making millions.
“Hunt”-ing for a closer
Orioles Manager Buck Showalter tip-toed around questions regarding the closer role Wednesday-- and it’s no surprise as to why: the team's Opening Day closer Jim Johnson has been one of the best and one of the worst closers in all of baseball this year. He does have 39 saves to his credit, but he’s also amassed nine blown saves. As long as the team is within five games of playoff contention, those blown saves loom large, ultimately forcing the manager to make a change. Last night Showalter went with a committee approach which failed miserably as Darren O’Day and Brian Matusz both allowed base runners before Buck called on Tommy Hunter who took 11 pitches to clean up the mess. It was Hunter’s fourth save on the season and he could be worthy of more opportunities. There’s a catch however-- the O's haven’t used Hunter on back-to-back days and are reluctant to do so.
AL Hot Shots
- Alfonso Soriano woke back up after an 0-15 slump with a huge game-winning two run tater in the bottom of the eight. It was a nice way to cap off a night where we saw Ichiro Suzuki collect his 4,000th* career hit (spanning his Japanese and MLB careers).
- Dayan Viciedo launched a grand slam in a 3-for-4 night as the Pale Hose topped the Royals.
- Nick Swisher popped a two-run homer from the two-hole and has four HR in the last 10 games.
- Jayson Nix was placed on the DL with a fractured left hand after being plunked. Derek Jeter is scheduled to return this weekend.
- Felix Doubront pitched eight innings of one-run ball as the Red Sox torched the Giants 12-1. Doubront has allowed more than three earned runs just once in his last 18 starts.
- Will Middlebrooks played 2B, Stephen Drew played SS, and they both homered.
- Danny Farquhar notched his ninth save and has only one blown save to his credit. He’s been pretty lights-out and he receives a lot of opportunities since Seattle is often involved in close games.
- Josh Reddick will have an MRI on his troublesome right wrist on Thursday. Chris Young will get an uptick in PT if Reddick goes on the DL.
- Adam Jones went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI in the Orioles' 4-2 win over the Rays on Wednesday.
NL Hot Shots
- Giancarlo Stanton, the week after I trade him away, is heating up. He was 2-for-4 with a home run against the Dodgers on Wednesday. He also homered the Tuesday and is now hitting .250 with 16 bombs. I hate my fantasy-self.
- Shin-Soo Choo went 4-for-5 with a home run and three runs scored as the Reds held on to beat the Diamondbacks 10-7.
- Anthony Rizzo hit two bombs from the two-hole on Wednesday, but the Nats still pulled out the win in DC as Jake Arrieta tossed up a six-ER dud.
- Rex Brothers owners: keep a firm grasp on your lefty-- Rafael Betancourt blew his second save as the Phillies pounded him for three hits and a walk in the bottom of the ninth.
- Ian Kennedy tossed his best start of the season with eight K over seven scoreless innings to defeat the Pirates.
- Ian Desmond missed Wednesday’s game due to back tightness. Hopefully Des can get back on the field ASAP.
- Daniel Murphy went 2-for-4 with a stolen base and is now hitting .277 while riding an eight game hitting streak.
- Allen Craig homered and doubled Wednesday driving in two RBI after not nocking in a run over his last six games.
- Aramis Ramirez went 2-for-3 with a homer and two walks against the Cardinals on Wednesday.
- Chris Johnson hit a three-run round-tripper to propel the Braves to victory and Craig Kimbrel locked up save numero 40.
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