MLB In Full Bloom - Tyson Ross Dominates & Padres Offense Erupts - 7/25/2014

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Tyson Ross continued his dominance Thursday night against the Cubs over six innings to earn the victory. Ross was in control from the first inning and he piled up a season-high 11 strikeouts over six innings in a victory over the Cubs. He surrendered just one run on five hits and a walk last night. Ross began missing bats at an impressive rate during his breakout 2013 campaign, and has carried over that success right into this season. Through Thursday, his 143 strikeouts tie him with teammate Ian Kennedy for third in the National League, trailing only Johnny Cueto and Stephen Strasburg. With Thursday’s victory at Wrigley, Ross now owns a 1.89 ERA over 19 innings in his last three starts away from Petco Park. He’ll try to earn his 10th victory when he faces the Cardinals at home on Tuesday. As for Padres offense which ranks last in the National League in runs scored, batting average, and on-base percentage, they erupted in the sixth inning. In that frame, they scored nine runs on eight hits, all singles, in 15 plate appearances. The Padres won 13-3 and won the three game series against the Cubs.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Corey Kluber had a perfect game going into the seventh inning and he pitched nine innings of one-run (unearned) ball, but the Indians lost in 14 innings to the Royals on Thursday. Kluber's bid for a perfect game ended with one out in the seventh inning when Omar Infante singled on a line drive to center field. Kluber lost his shutout in the eighth when a poor defensive play by Ryan Raburn allowed Mike Moustakas to round the bases on a double and a two-base error.  Kluber went nine innings but the Indians needed 14 before they were dispatched. Kluber allowed two hits, walked none, and struck out 10. He now has a 2.77 ERA and will face the Mariners next week.
  • Matt Garza threw eight innings of one-run ball against the Mets and got a win on Thursday. Garza had a miserable outing last Saturday against the Nationals, but bounced back nicely against the Mets. He made only one damaging mistake, serving up a solo home run to Lucas Duda in the seventh. Overall, he allowed two hits, walked one, and struck out four. He now owns a 3.87 ERA. He'll face the Rays on the road in his next start.
  • Brandon McCarthy pitched six innings and allowed just one run Thursday in a win over the Rangers. Combining his last two starts with the Diamondbacks and his first three with the Yankees, McCarthy is 4-0 with a 1.72 ERA since June 27. He has benefited from an easy schedule and that will continue Monday when he faces the Rangers again.
  • Brandon Moss hit a grand slam, drew a walk and scored two runs Thursday against Houston. That's his third grand slam this season, which is the most in the majors. Moss has an eight-game hitting streak going and he's had exactly one hit in each of those eight games. Half of those hits have been homers.
  • Phil Hughes (contusion) left Thursday's game due to a right shin contusion. He limped off the field after being struck with a comebacker in the fourth inning, and the ailment is now officially being called a shin contusion. He may end up questionable for his next start, but it will likely depend on the severity of the bruise and how well he's able to push off that leg. Hughes had allowed two earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts before exiting.
  • David Ortiz (back) will be re-evaluated on Friday before it's determined how much time he might miss. Ortiz left Wednesday's game after feeling "like a little pop or something" in his upper back during his final at-bat. Fantasy owners should expect the worst, but hope for the best.
  • Cooperstown will host the annual Hall of Fame inductions this weekend and they are expected massive crowds. Brad Horn, the Hall's vice president of communications and education, said the best guess is that some 40,000 fans will find their way to the museum and various festivities. Cooperstown, N.Y., has a little more than 1,800 full-time residents. A typical induction weekend crowd runs between 15,000 and 20,000. The population will change dramatically this weekend when six honorees that includes Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, and Joe Torre.

MLB In Full Bloom - Joakim Soria Traded To Tigers - 7/24/2014

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On Wednesday night, the Texas Rangers sent their closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers for right-handed pitching prospects Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel. Last week, the San Diego Padres got a nice return from the Los Angeles Angels last week for Huston Street and Soria didn’t come cheap either. Thompson was a second-round pick in 2012 and currently has a 2.96 ERA in 200 2/3 career innings between rookie ball and Double-A. Knebel was drafted in 2013 out of the University of Texas at Austin and made his major league debut in Detroit earlier this season. The 22-year-old owns a dominant 1.26 ERA in 64 1/3 career minor league innings. After the deal was completed, the Tigers announced that Joe Nathan will continue to be their closer, but that is not likely to last long. Nathan has an ugly 5.89 ERA this season and he has blown five saves in 25 opportunities. Nathan has been pretty good of late and has closed his last three save opportunities, but it is quite possible that Soria will be the Tigers closer sooner than later.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Yoenis Cespedes (thumb) was diagnosed with a right thumb sprain on Wednesday night after he hit two home runs in another Athletics victory. Cespedes suffered the injury swinging the bat on Wednesday night.  X-rays were negative, but Cespedes is likely to miss the game today with the Astros. The A's are calling him day-to-day so fantasy owners should monitor this situation based on that report.
  • Hunter Pence was 0-for-3 with a walk until clearing the bases with a double to break a scoreless tie in the top of the ninth in Wednesday's win over the Phillies. Pence has destroyed his former team this week and entered Wednesday's game with six hits in 13 at-bats. He now has 6 RBI in the series and can help the Giants wrap up a four-game sweep this afternoon. Pence has been among the most productive hitters in baseball this year with a .304 BA with 13 home runs, 41 RBI, and 10 stolen bases.
  • Neftali Feliz is expected to take over as the Rangers' closer in the wake of the Joakim Soria trade. Feliz is still working to regain his dominant stuff, but he owns an impressive 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings of relief since rejoining the Rangers' active roster on July 4. He needs to be owned in all standard fantasy leagues even though his save opportunities may be few and far between for a Rangers team that has clearly mailed it in this year.
  • Ervin Santana allowed just one run in 7 1/3 innings and he earned the win against the Marlins on Wednesday. This was his second double-digit strikeout game this season. Santana struck out 10 Marlins and was in control throughout the game. His last double-digit strikeout game came in his second start on April 14. Santana improved his ERA to 3.87 and he was face the Padres on Monday in his next start.
  • Starling Marte (concussion) was placed on the 7-day DL on Wednesday by the Pirates. There were some differing reports about Marte's status, but his concussion tests came back positive, and he will be out until at least July 28. It's been a challenging year for Marte who has struggled at the plate and been in and out of the lineup for a variety of issues. Brent Morel was called up as a corresponding move.
  • It was a wacky night last night around Major League Baseball. Hunter Pence gave the Philly Phanatic mouth-to-mouth after the legendary mascot was struggling to complete a sit-up. Did you see the epic standoff between Aaron Barrett of the Nationals and Brandon Barnes of the Rockies? The two men participated in this epic standoff in which both refused to leave where they stood for the national anthem. After sunscreen was applied and energy drinks were provided by teammates, the two continued to stand at their positions. Denard Span actually stepped in the batter's box to start the game. The winner was Barrett, who was standing near the dugout railing while Barnes stood at the edge of the warning track in foul territory down the first-base line. Barnes was forced to move by first-base umpire Jordan Baker made him move. Finally, did you see that cheese crackers were delivered right to home plate? It happened during Wednesday's Rays-Cardinals game in St. Louis, where  St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina had third-base coach Jose Oquendo take two packages of cheese crackers and set them on home plate for his brother Jose Molina, the Rays catcher. The elder Molina seemed to appreciate the fine gesture from his brother and he tucked them in his back pocket, perhaps for late-inning snack.

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