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Dan Dobish

Baseball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Denver Dynamite

Thursday, July 12, 2018


It was the final Wednesday before the All-Star break, and there were some huge fantasy performances. The Cleveland Indians and the Colorado Rockies each put up 19 runs apiece in their home parks, taking out some frustrations on their rivals. The day wasn't all about offense, though, as a few pitchers were doing their thing and making fantasy owners smile. There were two pitching performances that really stood out above the others, as one came from a perennial All-Star, and another from an emerging star. Let's get started!

 

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Wednesday's Fantasy Five

 

Carlos Gonzalez finished the 19-2 rout of the Diamondbacks with a pair of home runs and six RBI. He was one of three Rockies players to either set or tie a career high with four runs scored, a franchise record for a single game. Charlies Blackmon finished 3-for-3 with a homer, four runs, a walk and three RBI, while DJ LeMahieu was 3-for-5 with two doubles, four runs and a walk. While those performances were nice, it was CarGo doing the heavy lifting with his six RBI. He had entered the game with just six RBI over his past 25 games dating back to June 8.

 

Ozzie Albies has been a huge reason why fantasy owners are at the top of the standings this season, and he's a major reason why the Braves are enjoying quite the resurgence, too. He swatted two homers for his first-career multi-homer game while piling up four RBI in the victory over the Blue Jays. He had a homer from each side of the plate, just the sixth played in franchise history to accomplish the feat. Nick Swisher last did it on Aug. 22, 2015. Albies, who extended his hitting streak to eight games, has home runs No. 19 and 20. He is 16-for-36 (.444) with three homers, six RBI and eight runs scored during the impressive stretch.

 

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Jose Ramirez ended up 2-for-4 with a pair of home run and five RBI, as the Indians took out their frustrations on the Reds after a pair of bad beat losses in the first two meetings. He tied Albert Belle for the most homers by an Indians player prior to the All-Star break, socking No. 26 and 27. Belle accomplished the feat back in 1996, belting 27 homers. He and Francisco Lindor have 52 extra-base hits each, and are on pace to be the first teammates with 90-plus extra-base hits in a single season since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig did it in 1927. They're the only two teammates to date to accomplish that feat.

 

Chris Sale was confusing the Rangers hitters on Wednesday, allowing just six hits and a walk with 12 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings to pick up his 10th win of the season. He has posted a 0.94 ERA with 78 strikeouts over 48 innings across his past seven starts, posting 11 or more strikeouts with one or no walks in five straight starts. That's the longest streak of that nature in Major League Baseball history. A large part of his success has been his ability to keep the ball in the park, as he has yielded zero homers over his past 51 innings. He recorded his 10th strikeout of the evening in the fourth inning. Wow.

 

Marco Gonzales has been a godsend for the Mariners, emerging from relative obscurity this season after bouncing back and forth between the minors and majors with the Cards and M's in parts of three seasons. He entered the year 5-3 with a 5.47 ERA over 22 appearances (14 starts). To say his performance this season is a surprise would be an understatement. He allowed two hits and no walks with four strikeouts across seven innings to move to 10-5. He is just the 10th player in franchise history to rack up double-digit wins before the All-Star break. He ranks 12th in the American League in ERA (3.41), 16th in the AL in innings pitched (113 1/3) and 13th in the AL in WHIP (1.16).

 

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Fantasy Game of the Night

 

The Indians allowed seven runs in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday night, with some miscommunication between the dugout and bullpen. Everyone in Cleveland was a bit ticked off, and they took it out on the Cincinnati pitching staff on Wednesday. We mentioned Mr. Lapara's huge two-homer performance above. Lindor went 1-for-5 with a three-run homer with a walk and two runs scored. Mr. Smiles now has 25 bombs on the season, and he is sailing along with a .295/.370/.571 slash line. Michael Brantley got into the act going 2-for-4 with a pair of two-out RBI and three runs scored, as he shows what he can do when he is healthy. Dr. Smooth is now up to 52 RBI on the season. Jason Kipnis continues to trend in the right direction after a brutal start, going 2-for-3 with a two-run homer, two walks, two runs scored and two RBI. Tyler Naquin got busy, too, going 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, two runs scored and three RBI in the blowout, giving Cleveland seven separate hitters with two or more hits, including a pair of knocks from Erik Gonzalez, who did not even start the game. Now that he needed it, but Carlos Carrasco had all the support he needed and then some. Cookie allowed one earned run, five hits and a walk with seven strikeouts over five innings and then the Indians shut him down. They called down to the bullpen, correctly this time, for Adam Plutko, and he worked four innings for the old-fashioned save despite his team winning by 15. Hey, it wasn't Wes Littleton of the Rangers earning a save in Aug. 2007 with a save despite a 30-3 score, but anyway…

 

Things got so bad for the Reds that Alex Blandino was called upon to finish the game. The third baseman allowed a single while striking out two batters, throwing 10 of his 15 pitches for strikes. Not bad. He was the third position player of the day to take the mound. See more below. Tyler Mahle had been humming along, but he was humbled the Indians power hitters. He allowed seven runs - five earned - and six hits with two walks over just 2 1/3 innings in the loss, as his ERA mushroomed from 3.66 to 4.02 in his first loss since May 20. Despite the lopsided score on the board, Scooter Gennett was getting busy. The Cincinnati native went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and two runs scored, bumping his average up to .326. Jesse Winker also got into the act, going 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, as he extended his hitting streak to eight games. He is 11-for-23 (.478) during the impressive eight-game run. Other than that, it wasn't really a banner day for the Redlegs and those with exposure to their hitting studs.

 

American League Quick Hits: James McCann was 2-for-4 with a home run in a loss in Tampa Bay, his first multi-hit game since June 16. … C.J. Cron smacked a game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning, and he finished 3-for-4. The homer was his 18th of the season. … Kevin Kiermaier went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and two runs scored. Fantasy owners are hopeful this will jump-start his offense. … Mike Moustakas bagged a pair of home runs, No. 18 and No. 19 on the season. He finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored. … Logan Morrison belted his 11th home run of the season, which makes him a good source cheap power in AL-only leagues, but he is still hitting just .193. … Jake Cave went 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored and an RBI, extending his hitting streak to save games. He is 10-for-21 during the impressive span. … Whit Merrifield took the collar with a walk and two strikeouts, snapping a 12-game hitting streak, longest active in the AL. … Brian Dozier went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBI. … Elvis Andrus continues to prove his health, going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, a run and his first stolen base of the season. … Joey Gallo and Ryan Rua had an awful day at the plate. The eight and nine hitters in Texas each took golden sombreros, striking out in each of their four at-bats. … Craig Kimbrel struck out four batters in 1 1/3 scoreless innings for his 28th save. … Greg Bird's seventh homer of the season was good for a grand slam. … Tyler Wade went 3-for-5 with a double and his first major league homer. … Giancarlo Stanton collected four hits in five at-bats with a walk, a run scored and a pair of RBI, but no homers. … Sonny Gray had a nice outing, allowing just three hits and a walk with eight strikeouts over six scoreless innings in a win. Of course, it was against the lowly Orioles, but a win is a win. … Khris Davis collected two more extra-base hits, but he had a double and a triple, and not one of his titanic homers. He ended up with three RBI. … Chris Bassitt outdueled Lance McCullers in Houston. … Yuli Gurriel went 1-for-4 with two RBI and he has an eight-game hitting streak going. … Carlos Rodon allowed no earned runs over 7 1/3 innings, three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in a rare victory. … David Freitas belted his first-career major league homer. He and Chris Hermann are splitting time behind the plate until Mike Zunino (ankle) is well.

 

National League Quick Hits: Starling Marte provided the only offense in a 2-0 win, smacking a two-run homer, his 11th of the season. Jordy Mercer did have a nice day, however, posting a pair of doubles with a run scored. He entered the day just .148 in the month of July, so perhaps this gets him going. He still has no RBI in the month, however. … Trevor Williams allowed four hits and three walks with three strikeouts over five scoreless in a win, his first since June 18. … Felipe Vazquez nailed down his 20th save, and he has converted all but four of his chances to date. He is working on a 12 2/3 innings scoreless streak with his last blown chance back on May 31. … Jason Heyward went 3-for-6 with a solo homer, a walk and two runs scored. … Johnny Cueto allowed three earned runs, six hits and three walks with seven strikeouts over five innings. They were so-so results despite an extra day to rest after being pushed back. … Jesus Aguilar made the fans look smart for choosing him in the online final vote for the All-Star Game, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI. … Justin Bour smashed his 15th homer, and he now has six RBI over the past six games. … Vince Velasquez and Jacob DeGrom each were super, as the Phillies and Mets battled to a scoreless tie through nine innings. Brandon Nimmo broke the 0-0 tie with a three-run pinch-hit homer, as someone somewhere had the run-line and New York and they're still going bananas. … Daniel Descalso came on to pitch for the Diamondbacks…in the fourth inning. He served up a homer to German Marquez, becoming the first position player to allow a homer to a pitcher since June 23, 1986. Alex Avila also pitched for the Snakes, throwing two scoreless innings. Descalso was actually the earliest position player to appear on the mound since Sal Bando of the Brewers back on Aug. 29, 1979. … Joey Lucchesi suffered a loss to the Dodgers, and he has now endured losses in back-to-back starts for the first time in his career.

 




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