MLB Closing Bell: A Tip of the Cap to Justin Verlander
Greg Jewett rings the Closing Bell on Memorial Day with a look at Justin Verlander and some strong pitching performances.
After a Greg Bird home run ruined his chance to record the first shutout of the Yankees this season, Justin Verlander was still able to notch his seventh win of the season. Verlander limited New York to five hits and the one earned run over 6.2 innings with five strikeouts to lower his ERA to 1.11 on the year. He also dominated the Yankees in the playoffs on the way to a World Series win in 2017. As he left the mound, Yankee fans rained down boos from the rafter prompting Verlander to tip his cap to the crowd, recognizing the boos meant he pitched well.
Teammate José Altuve stayed hot hitting his fourth home run, second in three games. He did snap his consecutive four-hit game streak at two, but fantasy owners will happily accept his 9-for-14 (.643) with five runs and five RBI. Evan Gattis drove in two runs with a single, scored a run and walked twice. Over his last six games, Gattis has eight hits in 22 at-bats with seven runs, two doubles, two home runs and seven RBI. It’s too early to give up on El Oso Blanco.
That Just Happened
Southpaw Gio González hurled 7.2 shutout innings in Camden Yards en route to his sixth win and lowered his ERA to 2.10 in the process.
Once again, the Mets offense and bullpen let down Jacob deGrom in Game 1 of the doubleheader. deGrom worked seven innings allowing five hits, one earned run and three walks with eight strikeouts. His last seven outings have produced a 0.45 ERA in 40.1 innings with only two wins to show for it. By the way, deGrom lowered his season ERA to 1.52. He deserves better.
Mike Montgomery ascended into the rotation for Yu Darvish and could force his way into the conversation to stay with Tyler Chatwood struggling. As for Montgomery, he limited the Pirates to two hits in 5.1 shutout innings with five strikeouts.
Anthony Rizzo racked up three hits including his seventh home run and drove in three runs. However, most will focus on his slide into home clipping the Pirates catcher.
Andrew Benintendi filled in admirably for Mookie Betts atop the Red Sox lineup going 3-for-5 with a triple, home run and four RBI. J.D. Martínez launched his 17th home run and drove in his American League leading 44th RBI. He’s still second in home runs since some guy named Mike Trout hit his 18th home run in Detroit.
It appears Christian Yelich could be adjusting to his new surrounding. He hit his sixth home run, scored three times and stole two bases in the Brewers rout of the Cardinals. This puts Yelich on a 18 home run and stolen base pace but he should exceed 20 in each category at season’s end. Ryan Braun looked spry also scoring three runs and swiped his sixth base of the year.
After a slow start, Anthony Rendón ’s heating up at the plate. He homered for the second straight day, a three-run shot in the third inning.
Matt Carpenter recorded his third straight two-hit game and also hit his sixth home run. Carpenter’s raised his average 21 points during this stretch with two doubles and two home runs. Yairo Munoz went 1-for-3 with his first career home run and has hit safely in five of his last six games, 9-for-18 with three runs and four RBI.
Closer Edwin Díaz took over the major league lead notching his 19th save. He’s been terrific to start the year and has struck out 47 of the 105 total batters faced for a 44.8 strikeout percentage.
Ronald Acuna Jr. landed on the disabled list but only with a sprain to his knee. He could return as soon as the June 8th series versus the Dodgers. If Acuna only misses two weeks, his owners dodged a major bullet after his awkward fall in Boston.
Pittsburgh placed Iván Nova in the 10-day disabled list due to a sprained finger. There’s no timetable for his return and Nick Kingham rejoined the team taking his spot in the rotation. Closer Felipe Vázquez said he felt a pop in his elbow on Sunday prompting him to leave the game. According to the team, he will not need a disabled list stint, but his words and recent performance make one’s spider senses tingle. Tread lightly here. And stash Edgar Santana .
Colorado’s Adam Ottavino landed on the disabled list due to a left oblique strain. Tough news since he’s been their best setup reliever this year.
Wil Myers could resume baseball activities on Tuesday if his meeting with team doctors goes well. This could mean a crowded Padres outfield, but fantasy owners invested in Myers look forward to his blend of power and speed back in the lineup sometime in June.
Cleveland will promote top prospect Shane Bieber to start on Thursday. In 10 starts in Triple-A, Bieber’s won five games with a 1.10 ERA, 2.19 FIP, 0.70 WHIP and ridiculous 63 strikeouts against three walks. There’s no dominant pitch, but he mixes his arsenal well. Will fantasy owners get Bieber fever?
Food for thought. Byron Buxton ’s slashing .119/.140/.167 in May. Major league pitchers have hit .118/.147/.152 this year.
Minnesota claimed super-utility player Taylor Motter from the Mariners.
All of Monday’s night action will be covered in Fantasy Alarm’s Round Up. Be sure to check back every day to stay ahead of the competition.