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- Perhaps we cursed RP Yoshi Hirano with our praise of his performance and likely anointment as closer in a now by-committee bullpen, as he blew yesterday’s game by allowing a single and a two-run walk-off home run to Rockies 2B DJ LeMahieu, which will likely end up being the death blow for Arizona’s chances to win the NL West. They would’ve been 1.5 games back if they held on to win this one, and now they are 3.5 games back with just 16 games to play. They’ll get one more crack at the Rockies at home next weekend in a three-game set.
- RP Jonny Venters got the save yesterday in a 2-1 win at San Francisco, throwing a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout. RP Arodys Vizcaino is set to be activated from the disabled list tomorrow after missing two months with a shoulder issue, and he should split closer duties the rest of the way with Venters and RP A.J. Minter.
- SP Luis Ortiz will make his first major league start tomorrow night against the White Sox. Ortiz was the primary return piece in the deal that sent 2B Jonathan Schoop to Milwaukee, and he moved pretty quickly through the minors, making it to Triple-A this year at age 22 and posting a 3.69 ERA in 31 2/3 innings and six starts.
Boston Red Sox
- SP Chris Sale will start Sunday against the Mets and fellow ace SP Jacob deGrom, and the plan is for him to throw three innings. His final two starts will come on September 21 in Cleveland and September 26 at home against Baltimore.
- 3B/OF Kris Bryant went 2-for-3 yesterday with a walk and an RBI. He’s got three doubles in his last four games, but he still has not homered in 11 games since coming off the disabled list.
Chicago White Sox
- 2B Yoan Moncada is dealing with a sore hip, so SS Tim Anderson was back in the leadoff spot yesterday and went 2-for-6 with a home run, two RBI, and a run scored.
- OF Billy Hamilton went 2-for-3 with a double and a triple yesterday. He’s got five hits in his last three starts after a prolonged slump to open September.
- SP Carlos Carrasco was finally slowed down by a red-hot Tampa Bay team yesterday, who beat him for the second time in two weeks. Carrasco allowed three runs on six hits and two walks over seven innings, striking out five, his lowest total in nearly two months.
- SP Jon Gray hasn’t had a good start in his last four outings; though he was able to get his strikeout total back up to six yesterday after recording just six Ks total in his previous three starts, he allowed four runs on four hits and two walks over four innings. Gray has allowed a home run in each of his last nine starts, as well, including seven in his last four.
- SS/3B Niko Goodrum suffered a deep quad bruise yesterday after a collison with teammate OF Christin Stewart and will “be out a bit” according to manager Ron Gardenhire. He can safely be dropped in all leagues, as it looks like the best-case scenario is a return to the lineup late next week.
- OF George Springer went 2-for-5 with a run scored yesterday, giving him six multi-hit games so far this month, but his power still hasn’t returned since he came back from a thumb injury, which is still bothering him to the point where he was given Tuesday off to deal with the discomfort. Springer is hitting .349 in September but has only one home run and two RBI. He’s scored 11 times, though.
Kansas City Royals
- 2B/SS Adalberto Mondesi went 4-for-5 with two RBI and his 22nd stolen base of the year yesterday.
- Mondesi is now hitting second behind 2B/OF Whit Merrifield, who continued to produce yesterday with a double, a walk, two runs scored, and two stolen bases.
Los Angeles Angels
- C Francisco Arcia went 3-for-4 with two solo home runs, four RBI, and two runs scored yesterday.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- RP Kenley Jansen worked yesterday for the first time in a week and threw a perfect inning, striking out a batter. He still has not earned a save since August 31.
- SP Trevor Richards was hit hard for the second consecutive start last night, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits and a walk over five innings. Richards has seemingly run out of gas after a decent season overall, and he should have a spot in the Miami rotation to open next season.
- The Brewers bullpen carried them to a series win over the Cubs yesterday, pulling them just one game out of first place in the NL Central and equal in wins with Chicago. RP Corey Knebel stayed hot with 1 2/3 perfect innings, striking out two and allowing one hit, and RP Josh Hader earned his sixth win of the season with a dominant eighth inning where he struck out three and allowed a single. Hader has now struck out 14 of the last 17 batters he’s faced.
- The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported yesterday that 1B Joe Mauer is considering retirement at the end of this season. That move would increase the value of 1B Tyler Austin for next season.
New York Mets
- 2B Jeff McNeil is now hitting .405 (15-for-37) in September after going 3-for-5 with a triple, a run scored, and two RBI yesterday. McNeil is looking like a very intriguing fantasy option for next season, with a strong plate discipline profile – he has just 15 strikeouts compared to 10 walks – that props up his potentially high batting average.
- SP Zack Wheeler struck out seven over eight shutout innings last night to win his 11th game of the year. He allowed only four singles and has now won eight of his last 10 starts, with nine of those being quality starts.
New York Yankees
- RP Aroldis Chapman may be ready to return from his knee “sometime next week,” according to manager Aaron Boone.
- SP Trevor Cahill is likely to miss his start this weekend against the Rays due to back stiffness.
- SP Daniel Mengden threw five no-hit innings after entering in the second inning of yesterday’s 10-0 win at Baltimore. He struck out three and walked one. Mengden has settled nicely in to the bulk innings guy in support of the A’s attempt at using an “opener,” as he’s allowed just one hit in his last 9 2/3 innings.
- SS/3B J.P. Crawford made his first start since June 18 yesterday and went 3-for-4 with a solo home run. Crawford could see some regular playing time down the stretch with the Phillies now pretty much out of the playoff race and 3B Maikel Franco dealing with a sore wrist.
- OF Gregory Polanco, who was shut down for the year earlier this week due to a left knee issue, also had surgery yesterday to repair a dislocated left shoulder. His preparedness for spring training is unclear right now.
San Diego Padres
- OF Hunter Renfroe hit his 22nd home run of the season yesterday, a two-run shot, for his lone hit in five at-bats. Renfroe now his five homers this month, though the poor lineup around him has limited him to driving in just six runs so far in September.
San Francisco Giants
- 2B Joe Panik went 3-for-5 yesterday with a run scored; he had entered the game with only five hits this month in 26 at-bats, and four of those came at Coors Field. Despite a career-high 91.2 percent contact rate, which places him squarely among the league leaders, Panik is hitting just .248 on the season, due primarily to a complete lack of power, as his slugging is a career-low .340.
- SP James Paxton is dealing with an illness that is bad enough to prevent him from traveling with the Mariners to Los Angeles for their series that starts tomorrow, so his start will likely be skipped. There’s a chance he could improve and throw later in the weekend, though.
St. Louis Cardinals
- 2B/SS/3B Jedd Gyorko was activated off the disabled list yesterday after missing the previous 13 games with a groin issue. He’ll be a platoon guy for the rest of the way and has limited value in NL-only leagues.
Tampa Bay Rays
- 1B Ji-Man Choi homered again yesterday, going 2-for-4 with a two-run shot and a single. Choi has four homers in his last eight games and hits in eight of his last nine starts.
- SP Blake Snell won his league-leading 19th game yesterday, no-hitting the Indians for six innings before 2B/3B Jose Ramirez homered to lead off the seventh. That ended up being the only hit and run Snell allowed on the day over seven innings, and he also struck out nine and walked two.
- 1B/3B/OF Joey Gallo hit his 36th home run of the season yesterday, a solo shot that stood as his only hit in four at-bats. He’s got five extra-base hits in his last five games.
Toronto Blue Jays
- SP Aaron Sanchez can’t shake his control issues, as their plaguing him even during strong starts like last night where he limited the Red Sox to one run on three hits over seven innings. Sanchez was able to throw just 57 strikes on 91 pitches, though, walking three batters and allowing the lone run of the game to score on a wild pitch. Still, Sanchez now has back-to-back quality starts and is lined up for a nice matchup next time out at Baltimore. He’ll then close his season with a two-start week against Houston and at Tampa Bay.
- SP Stephen Strasburg had his best start in more than three months yesterday, striking out nine over seven innings to beat the Phillies. He allowed just one run on a solo homer, along with a double and three singles. He’s posted a 2.55 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 27 strikeouts in his last four starts over 24 2/3 innings, and he gets a great matchup next time out at Miami.