When the news on Twitter surfaced suggesting a Max Scherzer injury as a result of a bunting drill, it seemed innocuous at first. However, once the video surfaced, along with the diagnosis of a broken nose, it now seems to encapsulate how this fantasy baseball season feels:

Without delving into the potential ramifications of going through the motions during a drill, the Nationals may need to shuffle their pitching following two straight games postponed due to rain. This afternoon, they can use either Erick Fedde in the second game or Austin Voth as reported by beat writer Dan Kolko. Also, with Stephen Strasburg slated for Thursday, it could be Fedde if he does not pitch in the doubleheader and Aníbal Sánchez slotting in the next two games with Scherzer getting extra rest until Sunday. Less than optimal for Scherzer owners, but with no other fractures around his face, they do catch a break, no pun intended. *Editor's note: Reports do suggest that Scherzer will make his start today. 

As for the pitcher’s actually in action on Tuesday night, Jacob deGrom led the way going 8.1 innings in Atlanta giving up five hits, two earned runs and striking out 10. deGrom generated 16 swinging strikes and 17 called ones of his 113 pitches for a 29.2 CSW (Called plus swinging strikes) percentage. He also moved into seventh on the all-time Mets strikeout list with 1,112 in his career.

Cole Hamels did not factor in the decision, but worked seven innings allowing six hits, one earned run and two walks with eight strikeouts. His 31.7 CSW percentage led the way last night with 14 swinging strikes and 19 called of his 104 pitches. Plus, some history for Hamels:

Speaking of history, two rookies made some noise last night starting with seven more shutout innings by Jordan Yamamoto against the Cardinals:

Kudos to Logan Allen as well who won his first career start, recorded his first major league hit and scored a run. He also fired seven shutout innings yielding three hits and two walks with five strikeouts along with a cool CSW percentage of 30 with 10 swinging strikes of his 90 pitches. Plus, Allen wins a bet with John Cena:

Here’s the rest of the pitching highlights from Tuesday night:

  • Mitch Keller , Pittsburgh: 93 pitches, 15 swinging strikes, 12 called, 29 CSW%. For starters, Keller made it out of the first inning without being scored upon. He did give up four runs (two earned) with six strikeouts over five innings. Keller may have been dropped in leagues after his slow start, it’s time to stash him if possible.

  • Tyler Skaggs , Los Angeles Angels: 87 pitches, eighth swinging strikes, 13 called, 24.1 CSW%. Skaggs evened his record with his sixth win working 7.1 innings giving up three hits and an earned run with six strikeouts.

  • Zach Plesac , Cleveland: 102 pitches, 10 swinging strikes, 16 called, 25.5 CSW%. Despite walking five, Plesac did record seven strikeouts and allowed two hits with one earned run over seven innings for his second win this season.

  • Brett Anderson , Oakland: 98 pitches, nine swinging strikes, 15 called, 24.5 CSW%. Does anyone know Anderson’s won seven games this year? He yielded four hits, two runs (one earned) and a walk with two strikeouts in seven innings.

  • Homer Bailey , Kansas City: 121 pitches, 10 swinging strikes, 26 called, 29.8 CSW%. Wait, Bailey logged 7.2 shutout innings giving up five hits and two walks with six strikeouts for his sixth win? And he threw 121 pitches in Seattle?

  • Clayton Kershaw , Los Angeles Dodgers: 100 pitches, 12 swinging strikes, 16 called, 28 CSW%. Boring old Kershaw tossed seven shutout innings ceding three hits and two walks with six strikeouts for his seven win in eight decisions, ho hum.

Bullpen Notes: Chapman surging

Making a liar out of me, Aroldis Chapman continues to surge this year. He locked down his 19th save striking out the side and hit 101.6 MPH on the radar for his fastest pitch this year. Hansel Robles notched his 11th save with a clean ninth and a strikeout in Toronto, plus seems to be messing with hitters with a hitch at times in his delivery:

It’s too early to call it a committee, but Michael Lorenzen racked up his second save in as many nights in a clean ninth inning versus the Astros. Raisel Iglesias pitched in the eighth inning for the second straight game for his third save striking out both hitters he faced. This could be sheltering Iglesias from left-handed hitters, so keep tabs on how this evolves. Yes, Iglesias did face Yusiel Gurriel with the game in the balance but he’s openly complained about not being used as a traditional closer as well this season. Stay tuned but those desperate for saves can add Lorenzen with hopes this trend continues.

Here’s other notable high leverage notes from Tuesday:

  • Shane Greene worked around a hit and a walk for his 21st save. He’s converted his last six in a row.

  • A loss for Pedro Strop serving up a two run home run leading to an Alex Colomé save in Chicago. Colome fired a clean ninth for his 15th save of the season but could be traded as the trade deadline draws closer.

  • Kirby Yates converted his major league leading 26th save tying a Padres record for the most saves before the All-Star break. It’s still June. Plus, he’s recorded 33 straight saves dating back to August 28th of last year.

Hitter Highlights: Whit drives in six

When one thinks of Whit Merrifield , it’s usually associated with his ability to hit for a high average with stolen base upside. But, he launched two home runs driving in six during a Royals rout over the Mariners:

Merrifield’s in the midst of an eight game hit streak, hitting .306/.353/.510 while pacing towards 115 runs, 22 home runs (insert eye emoji), 87 RBI and 24 stolen bases. Jorge Soler added his 20th home run in this contest. He’s homered in back-to-back games and in three of his last four. Adalberto Mondesi did swipe his 27th base, but left with groin tightness. He’s considered day-to-day like most of us.

After a team meeting for the Mets, Pete Alonso went 4-for-4 with three runs, two doubles, hit his 24th home run, drove in three and walked twice. He’s recorded 24 extra-base hits this year with an exit velocity of at least 108 MPH, credit to Sarah Langs for the research on this nugget. Alonso’s nearing the team record for home runs by a rookie set by Darryl Strawberry who hit 26 in 1983 and on pace for 53 with 124 RBI.

Stay hot Charlie Blackmon who racked up three more hits last night. Blackmon’s reached base in 28 straight contests with a .402/.445/.856 slash line in the streak. He’s the first Colorado player with at least three hits in five straight games, the 12th in major league history and first since Jose Altuve did it in 2017. Nolan Arenado added his 18th home run among his three hits and drove in three.

Six Oakland hitters hit a home run during a 16 run outburst versus the beleaguered Orioles pitching staff. Leading the way, Ramón Laureano with his 11th home run during a 4-for-5 game scoring three runs with three RBI. Since May eighth, Laureano’s accrued 143 at-bats with 24 runs, eight home runs, 22 RBI, five steals and a .308/.340/.552 slash line. Beau Taylor (1), Khris Davis (16), Robbie Grossman (5), Stephen Piscotty (9) and Chad Pinder (6) also homered.

Both Jesse Winker (12) and Derek Dietrich (18) homered in the first inning versus Justin Verlander leading to a Reds win. Winker’s homered in two of his last three games. As for Dietrich, he owns 38 hits this year, 18 of them homers for a ridiculous 47.3 percent of his outcomes.

Cleveland went back-to-back-to-back home runs off of Drew Smyly with Jake Bauers (9), Roberto Pérez (12) and Tyler Naquin (3) in the seventh innings. José Ramírez hit his fifth home run and first since May 14th spanning 125 plate appearances without one. Oscar Mercado stayed hot with two more hits and stole two bases while scoring three runs. He’s hit safely in 11 of his last 12 going 18-for-49 (.367) with 12 runs, three doubles, three home runs and nine RBI.

Perhaps revenge is a dish best served with a win on a broken bat home run?

Eloy Jiménez hit his first home run in Wrigley Field for a game winner versus his old franchise. He’s also hitting .379 over his last eight games with five home runs and 11 RBI.

Although Max Kepler did not start last night, he tied the game twice with RBI then provided the game winner in the 17th inning of a marathon in Minnesota:

Kepler went 3-for-5 with his 18th home run and three RBI. On the opposite end of the spectrum, J.D. Martinez went 0-for-8 with five strikeouts. He had not struck out four times in a game since 2015 and has done so twice in the span of a week.

Hidden in the Blue Jays loss, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit his eighth home run since his recall on May 24th. In the 23 games since returning from Triple-A, Gurriel’s appeared in 23 games with 18 runs, eight homers, 17 RBI, a stolen base, a .325/.374/.699 slash line, .373 isolated power and hard hit rate of 46 percent.

What To Watch For

Well, it appears the Phillies and Nationals will actually play games on Wednesday, so enjoy. Also note who pitches as Washington will reset its rotation with the Scherzer injury.

Can Blake Snell rebound with a strong outing in the Bronx? He’s opposed by C.C. Sabathia still in pursuit of his 250 wins.

Trevor Williams will return from the injured list to face the Tigers at home.

Lucas Giolito will try to win his 10th straight decision against the Cubs on the road. He will be opposed by Jon Lester .

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Statistical Credits:



MLB.com - Game notes