After silencing the Boston Red Sox and their fans for 7 2/3 innings Monday night, Jake Arrieta received the ultimate compliment at sold-out Fenway Park after falling short in his bid for a no-hitter - a standing ovation. Arrieta came within four outs in his latest no-hit bid before Steven Drew hit Arrieta's career-high 120th and final pitch for a clean single to right field. Since coming off the disabled list on May 3rd, Arrieta is 5-1 with a 1.81 ERA in 11 starts. More impressive, he posted a 4-0 record and 0.92 ERA in six starts in June and has struck out 39 in his last 28 2/3 innings. Monday's performance was Arrieta's first since he threw six perfect innings before allowing two runs on three hits in the seventh in a 7-3 win over the Reds on June 24. Injuries have been and will continue to be a concern until he can consistently prove he's healthy, but while he's pitching like this Arrieta needs to be owned in any mixed leagues where he's still available.
MLB NEWS & NOTES
Bryce Harper is set to return to the Washington Nationals today after missing the last 57 games due to surgery on his left thumb. The outfielder has been on a rehab assignment since June 23 and is ready to go after he blasted three home runs in his game with Double-A Harrisburg on Saturday. The homers gave Harper a .643 batting average with four home runs and 22 total bases in five minor league rehab games. Harper will be back with the team on Monday, at which time some lineup shuffling will be in order. When Harper was placed on the disabled list, Ryan Zimmerman was also on the disabled list. Since returning, Zimmerman has made a home in Harper's spot in left field. Nationals manager Matt Williams said he will use Harper in all three outfield spots and he also said he'll use Zimmerman at third base and first base to supplement his playing time when not in left field. The players hurt most in that scenario are likely to be Denard Span, who may see Harper cut into his time in center field, and Danny Espinosa, who will sit when Zimmerman returns to the hot corner. Adam LaRoche could end up seeing some added days off as well.
MLB NEWS & NOTES