Before going to sleep, it appeared the on field exchange between Max Muncy and Madison Bumgarner would be the lead for this column. However, events which transpired in the Dominican Republic affecting “Big Papi”, David Ortiz move the forefront. Initial reports suggested Ortiz being shot in the leg, but, as information evolved, a bullet entered and left his body from his back. Luckily, it did not damage any vital organs and Ortiz remains in stable condition. Here’s a statement from the Red Sox regarding the situation:


Prayers for a speedy recovery. Back to Muncy and Bumgarner, it seems to divide fans on how events transpire in baseball. However, one can laugh at Muncy’s response to Bumgarner while appreciating an expression of anger trumps throwing at a player as retaliation. In case you missed it, here’s a snapshot of what happened on the only run scored in San Francisco yesterday:


When asked after the game about the exchange, the Muncy quote grabbed national attention:


Amidst the baseball campaign of lets the kids play, which opens itself for plenty of arguments related to manipulation of service time in the minors, there’s not really a need to take sides. Muncy hit an impressive home run, responded to his opponent in a funny way and moved on. Bumgarner did not throw at anyone and talked after the game about not liking players pimping home runs as a part of his nature. Things happen, time to move on the action on the field.

Hitter Highlights: Alvarez homers in his debut

As alluded to above, suddenly, Yordan Alvarez did enough to warrant a promotion to the Astros after the Super 2 date lapsed. Through 56 games at Triple-A, Alvarez slashed a robust .343/.443/.742 with 23 home runs. He debuted hitting fifth and in his second at-bat:


There’s no doubt the kid can rake, how Alvarez adjusts to the majors will be intriguing to monitor, but, if for some reason he’s on a waiver wire, amend this.

Knowing the Twins offense getting off to a hot start would warrant more fantasy attention, now Nelson Cruz seems to hit a home run daily, or at least, in each of the last four contests he’s appeared in:


Worth noting, Cruz crushes Tigers pitching with 28 career home runs against them in only 423 plate appearances (one every 15.1) and owns 10 more games against them this year. Eddie Rosario (19), Byron Buxton (8) and Miguel Sano (6) added home runs in a rout.

Speaking of four home runs, check out what the Nationals did in the eighth inning yesterday:


Turning a tied game into a four run lead, Howie Kendrick (11), Trea Turner (4), Adam Eaton (6) and Anthony Rendon (12) all homered in succession off of Craig Stammen leading to a win over the Padres.

Knowing Ronald Acuna Jr.’s history with the Marlins, he enjoyed turning a former four run deficit into extra innings with this three-run blast in the ninth inning, his 14th of the season:


Tampa Bay moved to 14 games over .500 with a win over Boston. Brandon Lowe paced the offense with two home runs, his 12th and 13th of the year. Over his last 10 games, Lowe’s hitting .341 (14-for-41) with four doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI. Yandy Diaz showed signs of life with four hits including his 10th home run.

Ketel Marte set a career high for home runs in a season with his 15th on Sunday. This marks the ninth home run off of left-handed pitching. Marte’s hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games with a .306 average, six home runs and 14 RBI in this stretch. Carson Kelly added his seventh home run. Of Kelly’s 30 hits so far, 15 resulted in extra-bases (eight doubles, seven home runs).

Flying well below the radar, Austin Dean hit lead-off versus a southpaw for Miami finishing 3-for-4 with two runs and his second home run driving in three.

Many criticized getting Todd Frazier back in the lineup upon his return to the Mets, but he paced them on Sunday with a double, his sixth home run and four RBI. Over his last 15 games, Frazier’s hitting .352 (19-for-54) with 13 runs, four home runs and 12 RBI.

There’s four players in the majors with at least 20 home runs this season. Two reside in Milwaukee. Christian Yelich hit his 24th while Mike Moustakas launched his 20th leading the Brewers to the win. With a fast start to June, Yelich owns a .552 average in eighth games with seven extra-base hits (three doubles, one triple and three home runs). Moustakas has homered nine times in his last 15 contests with a .344 average, 15 runs, 14 RBI and a 1.214 on-base plus slugging percentage.

Yoan Moncada racked up four hits and extended his hit streak to 10 games on Sunday during which he’s hitting .366 with five extra-base hits. Jorge Soler homered for the fifth time in his last 11 games. He’s hit 17 this year, eight on the first pitch of the at-bat.

Oakland’s Ramon Laureano moved his on-base streak to 28 games with two hits and a run. He’s hitting .318 in the streak. Matt Olson (9) and Khris Davis (14) homered in the win. Although the Rangers lost, Rougned Odor displayed a pulse with three hits, two doubles, a walk and three RBI. He also stole home:


Last, but not least, Edwin Encarnacion turned in a double dong game with his 20th home run this year representing the 400th of his career. That’s a lot of parrots on parade. Tom Murphy also launched two home runs with three RBI and Daniel Vogelbach added his 16th dinger.

Starting Pitcher Spotlight: Ray Enjoys Interleague

For the third time this season, Robbie Ray drew an interleague match-up. He fired 6.2 innings giving up five hits, two earned runs and a walk with 10 strikeouts en route to his fifth win in Toronto. Ray owns a 1.56 ERA in three games versus the American League this year. If only he can translate this into a full season of results for his fantasy owners.

Although Muncy and Bumgarner received most of the notoriety from Sunday’s game, Walker Buehler yielded five hits and one walk over seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts. He generated 17 swinging strikes and 15 called of his 91 pitches for a 35.2 CSW (Called plus swinging strikes) percentage. Since his ERA spiked at 4.95 last month, Buehler’s whittled it down to a tidy 3.35 since with strong outings. Perhaps he’s healthy? Of course, with the Dodgers staff doing the heavy lifting of late, could Ross Stripling get a few spot starts soon to provide rest?

Here’s the rest of the notable starting pitcher performances from Sunday:

  • Blake Snell, Tampa Bay: 105 pitches, 19 swinging strikes, 17 called, 34.3 CSW%. Snell won his fourth game allowing five hits, one earned run and a walk with seven strikeouts in Boston.

  • Pablo Lopez, Miami: 90 pitches, 13 swinging strikes, 14 called, 30 CSW%. Lopez deserved a better fate, but his bullpen let him down. After getting shellacked for 10 earned runs, he pitched well in Milwaukee and at home in this outing versus the Braves.

  • Jake Odorizzi, Minnesota: 99 pitches, 14 swinging strikes, 14 called, 28.3 CSW%. En route to his ninth win, Odorizzi gave up five hits, an earned run and a walk with eight strikeouts in Detroit.

  • Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets: 98 pitches, 17 swinging strikes, 13 called, 30.6 CSW%. Thor returned to form limiting the Rockies to a hit and two walks over seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts for his fourth win.

  • Wade Miley, Houston: 95 pitches, 12 swinging strikes, 16 called, 29.5 CSW%. Still unsure how to assess Miley’s success, but, he won his sixth game working around six hits and two walks in six shutout innings with five strikeouts.

  • Reynaldo Lopez, Chicago White Sox: 96 pitches, 16 swinging strikes, 17 called, 34.4 CSW%. Winning his first road start since last September, Lopez worked six innings allowing four hits, an earned run and a walk with eight strikeouts. He’s so volatile, but outings like this keep him on the periphery of fantasy.

  • Frankie Montas, Oakland: 97 pitches, 17 swinging strikes, 16 called, 34 CSW%. Montas matched a career best with 10 strikeouts in six innings. He did give up seven hits, three runs (two earned) and a walk during his eighth win.

  • Stephen Strasburg, Washington: 104 pitches, 16 swinging strikes, 19 called, 33.7 CSW%. When the Nationals win, it feels like Strasburg gets critiqued. With them struggling, he’s been their most consistent starter winning his seventh game lasting seven innings allowing six hits and an earned run while striking out six, lowering his ERA to 3.36 in the process.

  • Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs: 98 pitches, 10 swinging strikes, 15 called, 25.5 CSW%. Working efficiently, Hendricks yielded an earned run on eight hits with three strikeouts for his seventh win. Over his last eight starts, Hendricks owns a 1.99 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 50:6 K:BB in 58.2 innings.

Bullpen Notes: Jansen Surging

Combining with the Dodgers rotation pitching well, Kenley Jansen notched his 19th save with a clean ninth inning striking out two on Sunday. Scoreless in his last nine appearances, Jansen’s reverted to old form in them. Over his last 9.1 innings, Jansen owns a 13:1 K:BB, a 36.4 strikeouts minus walks percentage, 0.54 WHIP, 22.1 swinging strike percentage and 62.5 contact rate yielded.

Here’s the rest of the high leverage moments of note from Sunday:

  • Raisel Iglesias recorded his 13th save working 1.1 scoreless giving up a hit and striking out one. Amir Garrett continues to pitch well getting his ninth hold striking out two in a clean inning of work.

  • Tough day for Sergio Romo. He entered a non-save outing with a four run lead and coughed it up on three hits and a walk culminating in Acuna’s home run. Adam Conley absorbs his sixth loss allowing two hits and a walk leading to the winning run.

  • In this same game, Luke Jackson incurred his fifth blown save serving up two hits and an earned run with three strikeouts. Josh Tomlin gets his first save working around a hit with two strikeouts in the 12th inning.

  • Blown save number two for Aroldis Chapman, his first since April 22nd and an error by Didi Gregorius contributed to the unearned run scoring. However, in this game, Tommy Kahnle coughed up four earned runs on two home runs and Adam Ottavino also gets tagged with a blown save serving up a homer to Jake Bauers. Stephen Tarpley records the save striking out the side in the 10th inning.

  • Ryan Pressly entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs. He retired the side in order not allowing an inherited runner to score preserving the win for Houston. Roberto Osuna secured his 17th save retiring the only hitter he faced with two runners on in the ninth inning.

  • Save number 16 for Josh Hader and three more strikeouts. His 55 percent strikeout rate over 32.2 innings seems ridiculous.

  • Another bumpy ride for Blake Treinen, but he held on for his 14th save. Treinen allowed three hits, two runs (one earned) and a walk with a strikeout. Lou Trivino imploded again giving up four hits and three earned runs in two-thirds of an inning.

What To Watch For

Jared Eickhoff will try to bounce back against a surging Diamondbacks offense while Jason Vargas faces Masahiro Tanaka in the Subway Series.

A battle of southpaws in Fenway with Mike Minor looking to add to his trade resume opposing Chris Sale in a game where swings and misses could pile up. Will J.D. Martinez return to the lineup?

Oakland faced delays traveling from Texas due to weather and get to face Charlie Morton on short rest, less than optimal.

Kyle Schwarber seems to be heating up, can a trip to Coors wake up his power as well? Stay tuned.

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Statistical Credits: - Game Notes