MLB In Full Bloom - Wainwright Becomes NL's First 11-Game Winner - 7/3/2014

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Adam Wainwright played stopper to the Cardinals' three-game skid as he used the two runs of support he received and made it stand in a 2-0 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Wednesday night. The victory made Wainwright the National League's first 11-game winner, and with 7 2/3 scoreless innings, he lowered his ERA to an NL-best 1.89. Wainwright kept Giants hitters off-balance all night and he has allowed only two runs combined in his last four starts. Wainwright is flat embarrassing major league hitters at the moment, going 3-1 with a 0.93 ERA in five starts since the beginning of June. He'll face the Pirates on Monday.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Gregory Polanco went 2-for-4 with a double and a two-run home run in Wednesday's win over the Diamondbacks. He doubled and scored in the first inning, then belted a two-run homer to right field in the second as the Pirates took a 3-0 lead. Polanco is having a great start to his major league career as he is batting .306 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 98 plate appearances.
  • Adam Jones went 2-for-3 with an RBI single and a solo home run in Wednesday's victory over the Rangers. Jones has been a roll at the plate lately and it continued and now he has 16 homers, 52 RBI, and a .307 BA.
  • Julio Teheran allowed one run over seven innings as the Braves defeated the Mets 3-1 on Wednesday night. The right-hander improves his record to 8-5 and is quietly putting himself into the NL Cy Young discussion. Teheran limited the Mets to four hits and three walks while striking out five, and he lowered his ERA to 2.29. He will face the Mets again in his next start when the Braves will be in New York.
  • Tyson Ross threw his first major league shutout Wednesday in the Padres' 3-0 defeat of the Reds. Ross was fantastic as he gave up just three hits with no walks while striking out nine Reds hitters. He is now the owner of a 2.93 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 116 2/3 innings this season for San Diego. He'll try to keep it going next week at Coors Field. The Padres have suddenly won four games in a row.
  • Angel Pagan (back) will receive and epidural shot Thursday in an attempt to relieve some of his back pain. He suffered a setback in his recovery while running Monday, and the Giants probably won't have a solid timetable for his return until the effectiveness of the epidural is apparent early next week.
  • The Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, and the Seattle Mariners all completed three-game sweeps on Wednesday. These are teams we don't usually mention in the same sentence with the word "sweep" unless they are being swept. On Wednesday night, the Cubs finished the sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway Park 16-9. It's the most runs they have ever scored in an interleague game and the most runs the Red Sox have allowed in interleague play. Meanwhile, the Padres swept the Cincinnati Reds at home and the Mariners swept the Astros in Houston.
  • During the Cubs/Red Sox game, Red Sox color analyst on NESN - Jerry Remy - lost his tooth mid-broadcast. Don Orsillo, play-by-play announcer on NESN and Remy's found the entire situation hilarious, encouraged Remy to put the tooth back in during the broadcast. All of a sudden, Orsillo became a dentist and with a pair of pliers and some tape and tried to insert the tooth back into Remy's mouth.

Have a happy and safe July 4th!

MLB In Full Bloom - Jake Arrieta Almost Untouchable - 7/1/2014

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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

  • Dan Haren threw seven shutout innings and allowed just one hit and one walk in a 1-0 win Monday against the Indians. Haren struck out five and came out after 103 dominant pitches. He entered Monday's game with a 2-0 record in his last four starts despite posting a 4.98 ERA in those outings. This time, he didn't need much offensive help. Haren began the season by working at least six innings in 11 of 12 outings, but he failed to do so in three of his last four coming into tonight. Haren will take the mound in Colorado on Saturday for a date with the Rockies.
  • Bryce Harper went 1-for-3 with one RBI with a run scored and one walk Monday against the Rockies. Harper was able to put together a productive night in his first game back from the disabled list and fantasy owners who have patiently been waiting for his return should make sure he is back in their lineups.
  • Taijuan Walker earned the victory in his 2014 debut after allowing three runs in six innings against the Astros. George Springer and Marwin Gonzalez took him deep early in the game, but Walker avoided any other damage and received plenty of help from the Mariners offense. He threw 94 pitches, 58 of them for strikes. Next up for him is a start against the White Sox in Chicago.
  • Jose Bautista (hamstring) is back in the Blue Jays' lineup as the designated hitter for Tuesday's game against the Brewers. Bautista appeared as a pinch-hitter on Sunday, but this will be his first start since June 22 due to a mild left hamstring strain.
  • Oscar Taveras will be recalled from Triple-A Memphis and join the Cardinals on Tuesday. Taveras homered in his first big league game during a previous stint with the Cardinals this season, but went on to hit just .189 over 37 at-bats. Over his last 10 games in the minors, Taveras has hit .333 with three doubles and six RBI, which brings his season average for Triple-A Memphis up to .318 over 62 games. The Cardinals are hoping he will provide a much needed spark to a struggling Cardinals offense. Fantasy owners can expect to see Taveras playing everyday. Allen Craig has had every opportunity to turn things around this year and has been unable to do so to this point. Matt Adams will play first base and Taveras will be in right field.
  • For the second time this season - and in June, the San Diego Padres won a game with just one hit in the contest. The Padres became the first team to win two games with one hit in a single season since 1965, when the Dodgers did so. As Padres manager, Bud Black, said after the game, "There's a lot of ways to win a ballgame and that is one of them."June was a horrendous month for the Padres, who finished it with a 10-17 record. They team also compiled the lowest single-month batting average (.171) in any month since the 192os.
  • Jose Altuve stole two bags on Sunday in a Astros victory over the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park. The two stolen bases raised his American League-leading total to 36 just over halfway through the season. With multiple steals in four straight games, Altuve has the franchise record and leads the league with nine such games this season. He is only the third player in modern Major League history with multiple steals in four straight games, the last being Cleveland's Ray Chapman in 1917. On Monday night, Altuve stole just one base ending the streak of multiple stolen bases in consecutive games.

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