MLB In Full Bloom - Zack Wheeler Steels Spotlight - 6/20/2014

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On Thursday night, Miami Marlins rookie left-hander Andrew Heaney commanded most of the attention from fantasy owners for his major league debut against the New York Mets, but it was his opponent Zack Wheeler who delivered the gem. One year and one day removed from his major league debut, Wheeler threw his first career shutout in a 1-0 victory over the Marlins in Miami. Wheeler allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out eight batters. He faced one batter over the minimum with the help of three double-play grounders and needed 111 pitches to finish off the gem. His final pitch was clocked at 96 mph. The Mets spoiled Heaney's MLB debut, but the best left-handed prospect in baseball was impressive for the Marlins. He held the Mets to a run on four hits, walked one and struck out three. His only mistake came in the first inning when he gave up a David Wright homer to center.

MLB NEWS & NOTES 

  • Chris Archer held the Astros scoreless over 6 2/3 innings on Thursday night in a rare Rays win. Archer rebounded nicely after allowing six runs (only one earned) in Saturday's start, also against the Astros. Last night, Archer allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out eight. Archer now owns a 3.14 ERA in 86 innings and is quietly putting together a solid season. Archer will take on the Pirates at home in his next start.
  • Scott Kazmir turned in another gem Thursday night against the Red Sox as he held them to two runs on four hits and no walks over seven innings, while striking out eight. He improved to 9-2 on the season with the victory. Kazmir was cruising until the sixth inning, when he allowed Dustin Pedroia's two-run homer.
  • Jesse Hahn allowed only one unearned run over seven innings as the Padres defeated the Mariners 4-1 on Thursday to earn his second major league victory. Hahn turned in his second consecutive dominant outing. He gave up the one unearned run in the fifth inning after issuing a walk to Brad Miller and then advanced on a throwing error by Everth Cabrera. Hahn will take a 2.16 ERA into next week's start against the Giants in San Francisco.
  • Chris Johnson went 2-for-4 with three RBI in Thursday's win over the Nationals. Johnson knocked in two runs with a single in the fourth inning and another with a single in the eighth. It was more than enough for Gavin Floyd and the bullpen. Johnson has had multiple hits in seven of his last 11 games, and is now owns a .278 BA with 20 RBI.
  • Alex Wood may soon be called up to join the Atlanta rotation after Gavin Floyd suffered a fracture in his throwing elbow last night in the Braves victory in Washington against the Nationals. Once Floyd is officially placed on the disabled list, the Braves will recall Wood who was already ready to rejoin the Braves rotation before Floyd got hurt last night. Fantasy owners should expect to see Wood pitch Wednesday night in Houston.
  • Baseball America's Ben Badler reports that Cuban outfielder Yasmani Tomas has defected from his native country in order to pursue a contract with a major league team. Badler says Tomas "was arguably one of the top 10 or so players left in Cuba in terms of major league potential" and that he his raw power is impressive. It's unlikely Tomas will sign with an MLB club before the end of the season, but he figures to be one of the bigger free agents over the winter.
  • San Rafael Pacifics of the Independent League will be wearing pink dresses for their game on June 27th to honor breast cancer survivors. They are women's baseball uniforms much like the ones worn in the movie A League of Their Own.

MLB In Full Bloom - Kershaw With Total Domination In No-Hitter - 6/19/2014

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Clayton Kershaw pitched his first no-hitter Wednesday night, striking out a career high 15 and allowing his only baserunner on a throwing error by Hanley Ramirez in the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies. Kershaw's no-hitter gave the Dodgers the only two no-hitters in the majors this season. Josh Beckett threw one on May 25th in Philadelphia. Normally we watch pitchers gain momentum in a no-hit bid, but on this magical night, Kershaw had that momentum from the first inning and never lost it. In addition to the 15 strikeouts, Kershaw allowed only three balls to be hit out of the infield -- Brandon Barnes flew out to center in the first inning, Troy Tulowitzki flew out to left in the third inning, and Charlie Culberson flew out to right in the ninth inning. That's it. Every other out was recorded on the infield. Kershaw's performance was total domination and it did not come against any other team. The Rockies currently lead the National League in runs scored and Kershaw no-hit them and racked up the 15 strikeouts. An announced crowd of 46,069 were at Dodger Stadium to witness history and something tells me this won't be the last no-hitter that the left-hander will throw in his career.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Brian McCann went 2-for-3 with a bases-clearing triple and a two-run home run in Wednesday's win over the Blue Jays. McCann is starting to heat up, but he still has a long way to go to get his numbers to a respectable level. He is hitting .226 with 8 home runs and 33 RBI. His fourth-inning homer off of Mark Buehrle was his eighth of the season, and his third in his last three games. He also unloaded the bases with a seventh-inning triple off of Chad Jenkins.
  • Alfredo Simon improved to 10-3 by allowing three runs over 6 1/3 innings in Wednesday's win over the Pirates. Simon left with one out in the sixth after a rain delay. Simon allowed five hits, walked three, and struck out five Pirates. He is the first in the National League to double-digit wins and owns a 3.05 ERA. Simon will face the Cubs on the road in his next start.
  • On Wednesday, Bartolo Colon got his first hit since 2005 and it was a double! Let's just give him the Silver Slugger now! Colon even scored when Eric Young followed with a double to center and the Mets won 3-2. The double snapped a 0-43 drought at the plate and at 41-years old, Colon can still get it done!
  • Giancarlo Stanton (wrist) will be in the lineup for Thursday's game against the Mets according to Marlins manager Mike Redmond. Stanton's left wrist, which he hurt in a collision with the outfield wall Wednesday, was swollen after the game but the marlins did not feel the need to send him for any tests. Stanton homered after suffering the injury in the first, but the wrist got tighter as the game went on.
  • Andrew Heaney will make his major league debut tonight when the Marlins face the Mets. One of the top prospects in baseball, Heaney should be picked up in all fantasy leagues where he is still available. The 23-year-old left-hander has a 2.47 ERA  in 76 2/3 innings this season between Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans. He carries front-line starter potential and must be owned in all fantasy formats.
  • The Kansas City Royals won their 10th straight game on Wednesday afternoon in Detroit as they completed a three-game sweep of the Tigers. The win increased the Royals lead to 1 1/2 games over the Tigers in the American League Central. The last time the Royals were in first place after 70 games or more since August 29th, 2003. The Royals are 15-4 in their last 19 games and after pummeling Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer and scoring 22 runs in the first two games, Wednesday's contest was a pitching duel that Jeremy Guthrie was better than Drew Smyly. Meanwhile, the Tigers have lost 12 of their last 17 games.
  • Since we had a no-hitter thrown last night by Clayton Kershaw, the first 20,000 registered MLB.com users are eligible for a free Dominos pizza which begins at 12pm Pacific Time today. The promotion is called the DOMI-NoNo! Just got to  back to MLB.com/dominos at that time to redeem. To become eligible, simply create an account at MLB.com and win free pizza today!

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