Articles by bogfella

A listing of all the articles written by bogfella for the RotoWire Blog.

Side Sessions

Pitchers throw side sessions between starts. They use them to stay sharp, to experiment with possible additions to their repertoire, and to work on issues related to mechanics. Bogfella, is no different, there are things that need to be discussed between Notebooks and this is the forum to do just that. This won’t be in-depth stuff, it’s for short takes on all the latest mound happenings. Feel free to comment. Agree? Disagree? Let’s talk about it!

– The trade deadline action is in full swing. A couple of deals have already impacted a few pitcher’s values, and more are sure to follow. Top of the list is the situation in St. Louis. They acquired Edwin Jackson – bump him up a notch – and that allowed them to move Kyle McClellan back to the pen – bump him down a notch … maybe. There are rumors circulating that McClellan might be given a chance to close, so his value might be different, not necessarily lower. Monito that situation.

– How ’bout them Metropolitans? They dealt Carlos Beltran, good for the Giants, but they netted Zack Wheeler in the deal, an outstanding pitching prospect. He won’t be major league ready for awhile, but he is a blue-chip add to the Mets system. Well played.

Trevor Bauer is now an Arizona Diamondback, and I am sure there were plenty of corks popping when that signing was completed. He is extremely advanced for his age and experience, but there is a chance the D’Backs could give him a September taste. He is a very good one to grab and stash in long term keeper and dynasty leagues as he will probably be on the fast track.

– The Rays recently promoted Matthew Moore to Triple-A Durham, and I made the following comment in last week’s Side Sessions: "I know they are notoriously conservative with their developing young pitchers, but don’t they have to give us a sneak peak in September?" Maybe the Rays were listening? They have said a September call-up to pitch a few innings in relief is the current plan.

– It should interesting to see how the contenders play the Erik Bedard card. He has been on the disabled list since June 27, but the injury was a knee, not a shoulder or elbow. He is potentially the highest impact pitcher on the market (especially if Ubaldo Jimenez stays in Colorado) so the Yankees and Red Sox are both paying close attention. Wouldn’t Seattle love to see those two get into a grudge-match bidding war for his services? Especially since he reportedly loves Seattle, and could theoretically resign with the Mariners after the season.

– The Royals are supposedly fielding offers for either Jeff Francis or Bruce Chen. It doesn’t sound like the phone lines are jammed, but the biggest news out of Kansas City is the likely move of Aaron Crow to the rotation for 2012. They have several very talented young arms, but Crow would move right to the top of the food chain as a starter.

– Sometimes the trade deadline derby can be a little like election night, well here’s my preliminary contribution … Bogfella is projecting that the race for Heath Bell will go to Texas. I don’t think the Cardinals are ready to concede just yet, but the ballots are being counted and Texas is building a substantial lead. Notably, if Texas does grab Bell, recent comments regarding Neftali Feliz suggest Bell might be in line to close for the Rangers.

– The Blue Jays netted a big prize in outfielder Colby Rasmus, and in the same whirlwind, restructured their entire bullpen. Jason Frasor, Mark Rzepczynski, and Octavio Dotel are all gone, and the incoming arms aren’t likely to be in the closer mix (although I do like some things I have seen from P.J. Walters). That leaves Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco, and neither of them are guaranteed to be in Toronto when the dust settles. Will the last guy in the Toronto bullpen please shut off the opponents lights? Thanks.

– And, still in the bullpen, I hear Kevin Gregg is working the phones to try and line up a deal involving Koji Uehara. The Orioles are shopping him and have entertained some thoughts of moving Jim Johnson into the rotation. If both happen, it might just "save" Gregg’s title as the most dangerous closer in baseball.

– Next week’s Bogfella’s Notebook will cover all of the repercussions of the deadline week deals as they relate to pitching roles and opportunities. It’s always an exciting (or frustrating) time for fantasy owners in the thick of a pennant race!

Stephen Strasburg Watch – Another successful simulated game moves him a step closer to a rehab assignment. The Nationals are understandably approaching this cautiously, but the possibility remains that he could get a few major league innings in September. The thought of he and Jordan Zimmermann in the same rotation has to be making lips curl into smiles in the nation’s capitol.

– How about a little more Side Sessions trivia? Maybe the Diamondbacks should be taking a look at Erik Bedard? A few years ago, another lefty who had made a name for himself in the Pacific Northwest came to the desert. In his first four years with the Diamondbacks, he went 81-27 and was a centerpiece of the franchise’s first World Series championship. Can you name this big southpaw?

Side Sessions is intended to generate discussion. Throw out your thoughts on my comments or chip in with observations of your own, it’s an open forum on all things pitching!

Be sure to follow @bogfella on Twitter and have a look at

Side Sessions

Pitchers throw side sessions between starts. They use them to stay sharp, to experiement with possible additions to their repertoire, and to work on issues related to mechanics. Bogfella, is no different, there are things that need to be discussed between Notebooks and this is the forum to do just that. This won’t be the in-depth stuff, it’s for short takes on all the latest mound happenings. Feel free to comment. Agree? Disagree? Let’s talk about it.

Brandon Morrow is sooo close to becoming the strikeout chasers dream pitcher. Just a bit better command – its getting there – and he can step into the elite staring pitcher category. I’ve been touting Morrow for years so this isn’t news to bogfella followers, but I had to say it again.

– Next week’s Notebook will cover the pitchers to stay away from in the second half. Is it any surprise Ricky Nolasco will be near the top of that list? Teasing fantasy owners for years, he’s got to be one of the most frustrating pitchers in MLB.

– I think more than a few people would be surprised to learn that the starter with the best ERA on the Phillies staff (2.02) is Vance Worley. He’s a solid guy, but I don’t think his command will allow him to continue at this pace. Roy Halladay or Cole Hamels might be slightly better bets to end up with the team’s ERA title.

– The Orioles came into 2011 with high hopes. They were looking at a rotation with Jeremy Guthrie and four very talented young arms – Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, and Chris Tillman. Just heading into the second half, Matusz is attempting to find his lost velocity in Triple-A, Britton is there too, making the necessary adjustments most young arms are challenged to make, Arrieta is gamely fighting to keep his season moving forward despite some minor elbow issues, and Tillman has proven to need more time to develop. Sometimes this game can throw a team some nasty curves.

– In his most recent column, my good friend Bernie Pleskoff – you want to be sure to check out his weekly column here on RotoWire – mentioned the incredible depth of pitching in this year’s draft. He’s spot on! Not since 2006 (when names like Brandon Morrow, Tim Lincecum, and Clayton Kershaw were the talk of MLB towns) have there been so many quality pitchers to get excited about. Set your DVR now for the 2012 Futures Game.
– The Rays promoted Matthew Moore to Triple-a Durham last week. I know they are notoriously conservative with their developing young pitchers, but don’t they have to give us a sneak peak in September? He should arrive (for good) in 2012, but he will be fun to watch whenever he shows up in Tampa Bay.

– Here’s another recent promotee to watch: The Twins just moved Liam Hendriks up to Triple-A Rochester. He’s not quite as flashy as some of the more publicized prospects, but I think he could be on his way to carving out a spot in the Minnesota rotation featuring incredible command of pretty good stuff.

Jason Isringhausen has a win and a save since Francisco Rodriguez left for Milwaukee. The Mets get a double bonus by using Izzy as their closer – they get him closer to career save #300, and they showcase him to contenders who might be trading partners. He could help several bullpens.

– It’s going to be difficult for the Phillies to justify taking the ball out of Antonio Bastardo‘s hands in the ninth inning when Brad Lidge returns. He’s been about as successful as you can be while filling in for the banged up Philly pen, but I do think they will work Lidge back into the mix, at least in a save sharing role.

– And, still in the bullpen, I am usually very forgiving when it comes to the decisions made by on-field team management, but I had to scratch my head when the Astros asked their promising young closer, Mark Melancon, to come out for a third inning of work the other night. The Astros lost the game. There are reasons a team has the worst record in baseball.

Stephen Strasburg Watch – He was reportedly hitting 95 mph with relative ease in his last session. It’s looking more and more like he’ll get a few September innings just to let him have a feel again, and to spur the Nationals fanbase into a 2012 frenzy. I’m putting an autographed picture of the trio Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, and Drew Storen on my Christmas list this year.

– How about a little more Side Sessions trivia? Earlier I mentioned three top of the rotation starters from the 2006 draft class – Morrow, Kershaw and Lincecum – can you name the THREE pitchers who were drafted before any of those three were taken? Morrow was taken with the fifth pick, Kershaw with the seventh, and Lincecum with the tenth, but there were three pitchers taken BEFORE Morrow came off the board. Ooops!

Side Sessions is intended to generate discussion. Throw out your thoughts on my comments or chip in with observations of your own, it’s an open forum on all things pitching!

Be sure to follow @bogfella on Twitter and have a look at

Side Sessions

Pitchers throw side sessions between starts. They use them to stay sharp, to experiement with possible additions to their repertoire, and to work on issues related to mechanics. Bogfella, is no different, there are things that need to be discussed between Notebooks and this is the forum to do just that. This won’t be the in-depth stuff, it’s for short takes on all the latest mound happenings. Feel free to comment. Agree? Disagree? Let’s talk about it.

Derek Holland can make a fantasy baseball analyst crazy. You talk him up one week, and he gets torched. As soon as everyone forgets you said he could be a good one, he twirls a gem. I’m going to say it again, I love the guy, and he is probably going to be a very good one. Beware his next start after that comment.

Max Scherzer looked pretty good in his last outing, and Rick Porcello was also much better recently. Nothing negative against former Tigers pitching coach Rick Knapp, but sometimes a change just clicks with a few guys on the staff and I have a hunch that may happen here.

– He’s not going to end the season with a 1.87 ERA (at least I don’t think he will), but Jair Jurrjens is for real folks. A few more strikeouts would be nice for fantasy purposes, but if he just keeps that WHIP and ERA down while ringing up victories, I’ll deal with the lower K rate.

– I watched the first start back for Phil Hughes, and even though his stat line was pretty ordinary, he looked like the Hughes of old, albeit with less command as he shakes off some expected rust. He could give the Yankees (and his fantasy owners) a big boost in the second half.

– One my most anticipated arrivals might be about to show up on the horizon. Much as I love to watch him, I think Josh Collmenter might see the halo tarnishing as teams catch on to his delivery and two-pitch repertoire, possibly leading to a future in the bullpen, and it’s only a matter of time before the Diamondbacks realize Zach Duke is Zach Duke. Could Jarrod Parker be very far away?

– Here is a name to ponder – Yu Darvish. Japan’s undisputed ace has indicated he will probably be coming to the United States in 2012. What kind of impact do you expect, and where (or for what dollar value) does he go in your league’s draft?

– My favorite pitcher with almost no name recognition? Louis Coleman of the Royals. I like his stuff, and I like his attitude. It’s not going to happen with Joakim Soria and Aaron Crow around, but I think he could close in the right situation.

– If you are one of those fantasy owners who is constantly on the lookout for cheap saves, like me, now would be a good time to stash Kenley Jansen on your bench. He’s the end game of the future for the Dodgers, and the future is probably right around the corner. If he can just keep the plate in the cross-hairs (admittedly still a BIG if), he will be the guy.

– Speaking of future saves, it certainly looks like Heath Bell will be leaving San Diego fairly soon. Mike Adams would appear to be the heir apparent so keep him in mind as the trading deadline approaches.

– And, still in the bullpen, I always professed that even closers on bad teams would get a decent number of save opportunities over the course of a season. The Astros are making me question that philosophy. I still believe in Mark Melancon, but that poor guy makes more appearances to "get some work in" than he does to garner the occasional save.

Stephen Strasburg Watch – Will the Nats let him throw a few innings in September? Many say no, but I think if his rehab continues to go smoothly, they might let him have two or three innings-limited starts. Yes, the attendance numbers would skyrocket, but more importantly, it could allow him to go into this winter with the post-injury doubts behind him. Thats a huge psychological barrier to get past.

– How about a little Side Sessions trivia? It was purely unintentional, but I just realized that two of the pitchers mentioned in this edition of Side Sessions share something in common that is relatively uncommon in MLB, can you say what it is?

Side Sessions is intended to generate discussion. Throw out your thoughts on my comments or chip in with observations of your own, it’s an open forum on all things pitching!

Be sure to follow @bogfella on Twitter and have a look at

Side Sessions

– As I sat down to write this week’s edition of Side Sessions, the first comment that came to mind was the need for Brian Matusz to get some time in the minor leagues to work through his significant problems. I then read where the Orioles has sent him to Triple-A Thursday night following his latest shellacking. I’ll be talking about his struggles in some detail in next week’s Notebook.

– A quick and heartfelt apology to Pirates fans everywhere, but their starting pitching is not this good. Jeff Karstens, Kevin Correia, Paul Maholm, and Charlie Morton all appear headed for a downward adjustment in their performance levels for the second half.

– Don’t the Tigers look like they should be buyers as the trade deadline approaches? On a positive note, they have sent Phil Coke to the bullpen and moved Charlie Furbush into the rotation, but Rick Porcello has been horribly erratic and Brad Penny is not really the guy you want on the rubber in a heated pennant race. One solid starting pitcher – how about Hiroki Kuroda or Wandy Rodriguez – could put them over the top (assuming the White Sox continue to be the paramount under-performers of the year).

Dustin McGowan was right at the top of my man-crush list a few years ago, and then all the arm troubles set in. A lot of people pretty much wrote him off, but the Blue Jays decided to wait it out. They may be rewarded. He is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment this weekend and has been hitting 95-96 on the gun. If his slider is also back and he can stay healthy, he could be a big boost to Toronto and a few fantasy owners before this season is through.

– Will Jonathon Broxton be back this year? I think this latest setback (which will keep him out at least another month) might be the end of his tenure as a closer in Los Angeles. Javy Guerra is wearing the mantle today, but Kenley Jansen is just a touch better command from claiming the job long term. If you have the roster flexibility to stash him for a bit, the rewards could be considerable.

– The Strasburg Watch is officially underway for those of us who have him rostered and are anxiously awaiting his return. This past week he was throwing fastballs just like the good ol’ days and he even mixed in a few curves at 50|PERCENT| effort. Even though he could be ready to pitch in September, odds are the Nationals will play it very conservatively and hold him back until next spring. The NL East should be dreading the prospect of seeing Strasburg and Zimmermann together.

Chris Carpenter made some adjustments in his pitch selection and the results have been impressive. He could be setting up for a big second half. If you can create an opportunity to buy low, now is the time to do it.

– I read where Erik Bedard had been placed on the disabled list, and I admit, I let out a brief gasp. Fortunately, it was a sprained knee, and not elbow or shoulder issues. Even at that, there are a lot of whispers suggesting it was just a convenient way to give him a breather going into the All-Star break. Probably a pretty good idea. He’s been amazingly effective so far, and the Mariners certainly don’t want to wear him down.

– My prediction for first closer to get dealt to a contender is Francisco Rodriguez. He may not be any more likely than a few others, but I want to see Jason Isringhausen surpass 300 career saves (he’s currently at 293), and this scenario could bring that about. Izzy! Izzy! Izzy! It has a nice ring to it.

Ubaldo Jimenez is quietly getting his act together after a very "rocky" start to the season. I don’t think he will be the Ubaldo of the first half of last year, but he looks like he might be a solid starter the rest of the way in 2011.

– With Roy Oswalt enduring more back problems and Joe Blanton on the shelf, the Phillies have to be relieved that Cole Hamels hand injury is not very serious. There is a very good chance that he will make his next start. When they are all healthy that talk of the baseball world rotation has pretty much lived up to the preseason billing.

– And, the Futures Game is just around the corner (during the All-Star break) and that’s always a highlight of the season for me. The list of top young arms on the rosters this year is long and distinguished. Want a really interesting Bogfella semi-sleeper to watch in that game? Look for Liam Hendriks (Twins). He generally has the kind of strike zone command you want to see when considering a young pitcher’s potential.

Side Sessions is intended to generate discussion. Throw out your thoughts on my comments or chip in with observations of your own, it’s an open forum on all things pitching!

Be sure to follow @bogfella on Twitter and have a look at

Side Sessions

Pitchers throw side sessions between starts. They use them to stay sharp, to experiment with possible additions to their repertoire, and to work on issues related to mechanics. Bogfella, is no different, hey, there are things that need to be discussed between Notebooks and this is the forum to do just that. This won’t be the in-depth stuff, it’s for short takes on all the latest mound happenings, so please feel free to comment. Agree? Disagree? Let’s talk about it.

– I always watch for pitchers with a free and easy, repeatable delivery. I don’t know that anyone fits that profile better than Justin Verlander. Take a look at him sometime. While a lot of pitchers come out of their shoes to get up to 92 mph, Verlander hits triple-digits on the radar gun and looks like he’s playing long toss. He’s the favorite for the AL Cy Young in my book.

– The Padres have been thin with regard to left-handed relief pitching, and that has made them reluctant to move southpaw Cory Luebke into the rotation. They have called up Josh Spence from Double-A and that probably means Luebke will take a regular turn for the foreseeable future. Consider him in deeper leagues – he might help you, especially in his Petco starts.

– Did anyone else ride the Andrew Miller roller-coaster when he was a super-hyped prospect? If you did, you remember all those walks and big hits in critical situations. I know he has mysteriously found the plate recently, but I am not quite convinced. His first 2011 Red Sox start was not THAT encouraging.

Charlie Morton is being skipped this time through the Pirates rotation. They are calling it "fatigue," but I am inclined to think they are hoping that MLB hitters will forget that making him get the ball up is working really well.

Brandon Lyon is likely done for the season (no, I mean because he will be on the DL, not because he really has pitched THAT badly). Mark Melancon should be the guy for at least the rest of this year, and I continue to like what I see in him.

– Every now and then I see a pitcher who blows me away with his progress in his stuff, approach, command, or any combination of those. That guy right now is Jordan Zimmermann. His last few starts suggest he is moving to the next level right now. The Nationals have to be giddy at the thought of he and Stephen Strasburg anchoring their rotation for the next few years. Unfortunately, there is one huge downside for this year – rumors say Zimmermann could be capped at around 160 innings.

Rich Harden has been turning heads in his rehab the past couple of weeks. The A’s rotation has been torn apart with injuries so he might get a shot soon. I don’t know if it’s still there or not, but I have to pass on the handful of starts he could make before getting hurt again. I just can’t go there … again.

– With Bruce Chen and Kyle Davies due back soon for the Royals, there is a good chance Danny Duffy will be sent back down. He showed some very nice upside so he’ll be back, but he really could use some Triple-A time to refine his command of the zone.

– A few closers who weren’t the end game first choice on opening day have established themselves as the go-to guy heading for the second half. The above mentioned Melancon, Jordan Walden with the Angels, Drew Storen with the Nationals, and Sergio Santos with the White Sox all come to mind. They should all have solid job security right now.

– I am generally skeptical when a wildcard pitcher gets off to a hot start so I watched Ryan Vogelsong a couple of times expecting to label him a flavor-of-the-month, but as I reported in the Notebook a few weeks ago, he surprised me with better stuff and presence than I anticiapted. I said it then, and I’m going to say it again, he has the tools to keep pitching very well – not at the level he has been (who could?) but I think you can expect solid outings more often than not.

– How about Erik Bedard? There was no question he could be pretty good when (if) he ever stayed healthy, but he has been better than good so far this season. That curve is still a thing of beauty. His 2011 motion is smoother and hopefully less stressful so we, his owners, can hope for a long and productive season.

– Flashbacks are always fun – I just had one when someone mentioned the 18 strikeout game by Ron Guidry (Louisiana Lightning has always been a Bogfella favorite) in 1978. The fans were in a frenzy with every two-strike count. It was electrifying!

Side Sessions is intended to generate discussion. Throw out your thoughts on my comments or chip in with observations of your own, it’s an open forum on all things pitching!

Be sure to follow @bogfella on Twitter and have a look at

Stay For a Nightcap! – Hot Corner Homecoming Edition

Indians 0 @ Tigers 4

Justin Verlander flirted with his second no-hitter of the season before Orlando Cabrera broke it up in the eighth inning. Still, Verlander continued his pursuit on an AL Cy Young award with a dominating performance, allowing just two hits while striking out 12 on the night.
– The Tigers stole three bases in the game, including the first of the season for Miguel Cabrera.
– Indians starter Justin Masterson dropped to 5-5 on the year, and hasn’t won since April 26.
– A true workhorse, Verlander has exceeded 100 pitches and has gone at least six innings in each of his 14 2011 starts.
– W: Verlander (8-3)
– L: Masterson (5-5)
– SV: None
– HR: None
– SB: M. Cabrera (1), Jackson (10), Dirks (2)
– CS: None

Rangers 4 @ Yankees 12

Curtis Granderson swatted his 21st home run, tying him with Jose Bautista for the American League lead. He’s now hitting .282 and has 51 runs batted in.
– C.C. Sabathia was staked to a big lead and cruised to his eighth win allowing four runs (all earned) while striking out six without issuing a walk.
Alexi Ogando dropped his first decision in a big way, allowing six earned runs without making it out of the second inning. The outing jumped his ERA to 2.71 on the year.
Brett Gardner had his sixth multiple hit game of the month (he was 3-for-4). He hit in the lead-off spot and will remain an excellent source of runs and stolen bases as long as he stays hot.
– W: Sabathia (8-4)
– L: Ogando (7-1)
– SV: None
– HR: Swisher (6), Granderson (21), Cano (13)
– SB: Gardner 14)
– CS: None
– INJURIES: Derek Jeter was placed on the disabled list with a strained calf muscle just prior to the game.

Orioles 5 @ Blue Jays 6 (11 innings)

Adam Lind smacked a two-out, walk-off home run, his 12th of the year, off of Koji Uehara in the 11th inning. He was 2-for-4 on the night and is now hitting .331 on the season.
J.J. Hardy continues his hot hitting since moving to the lead-off spot. He was 3-for-6, with two doubles, in the game and is now hitting .296.
Aaron Hill hit just his second home run of the season, his first since May 29.
Carlos Villanueva pitched six innings, allowing three runs (all earned), but was left with a no-decision in a respectable start while filling in for the Jays decimated starting rotation.
– W: Camp (1-1)
– L: Uehara (1-1)
– SV: None
– HR: Wieters (6), Hill (2), Lind (12)
– SB: None
– CS: None

Red Sox 0 @ Rays 4

James Shields tossed his third shutout of the season, dropping his ERA to 2.60, scattering five hits with  three walks and five strikeouts.
– Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford went 0-for-3 in his first game against his former team since signing with Boston last winter.
– Justin Ruggiano was 2-for-4 and got the Rays scoring started with his third home run of the season, a solo shot off of Tim Wakefield in the fifth inning
– Entering the game, the Red Sox had been on a tear, outscoring Toronto 35-6 in their most recent three-game series, and had run off nine consecutive victories.
– W: Shields (6-4)
– L: Wakefield (3-2)
– SV: None
– HR: Ruggiano (3)
– SB: None
– CS: None

White Sox 0 @ Twins 0

– Postponed, rain. No make-up date announced.

Royals 7 @ Athletics 4

Danny Duffy logged his first major league victory limiting the A’s to two runs (both earned) on four hits over six innings. He did walk four, so command is an ongoing concern.
Trevor Cahill continues to struggle, allowing four runs (all earned) on four hits over 4.1 innings. Even more distressing, the normally in control Cahill walked seven, tossed in two wild pitches, and did not register a strikeout.
Joakim Soria was briefly removed from the closer’s role, but has since reclaimed the job, and has a win and three saves over his last six appearances. in those appearances, he has not given up a run and has allowed just four base runners in eight innings.
Hideki Matsui hit his second home run in his last five games and after going 2-for-5 on the night, has his average up to .221. He has struggled all season but may be showing some signs of life.
– W: Duffy (1-2)
– L: Cahill (6-5)
– SV: Soria (10)
– HR: Matsui (5)
– SB: Francouer 2 (9), A. Escobar (9)
– CS: Gordon (4)

Angels 4 @ Mariners 0

Jered Weaver tossed a five-hit shutout in running his record to 8-4 and dropping his ERA to 2.06. He walked one and struck out six. While he has pitched reasonably well of late, it was just his second win in his last nine starts.
Doug Fister allowed four runs (all earned) as the Angels batted around in the first inning, but then settles down and did not allow another run while giving the Mariners seven innings.
– After a two-home run game on Monday, Vernon Wells was the only Angels batter to go without a hit (he was 0-for-4 with a walk) leaving his average at .192 on the season.
Erick Aybar was 1-for-5, a first inning double, and remains in a June slump that has seen his average drop to .288 after a hot start.
– W: Weaver (8-4)
– L: Fister (3-8)
– SV: None
– HR: None
– SB: None
– CS: None

Marlins 1 @ Phillies 9

Cole Hamels was masterful again in notching his ninth win on the season. He did leave the game in the ninth inning with back tightness, but the Phillies were up big so hopefully it was precautionary.
Domonic Brown launched two home runs, the second a majestic shot into the upper deck, giving him three long balls in his last four games, and four for the season in just 72 at-bats.
Chris Volstad was shelled for eight runs (all earned) on 10 hits including four home runs, and two walks in just 5.2 innings. The outing leaves him with an ugly 6.07 ERA on the year.
Hanley Ramirez was 0-for-4 in his return from the disabled list, dropping his average to .205 for the year.
– W: Hamels (9-2)
– L: Volstad (2-7)
– SV: None
– HR: Howard (14), Utley (3), Rollins (5), Brown 2 (4)
– SB: None
– CS: None
– INJURIES: Cole Hamels left the game in the eighth inning with tightness in his middle back, but expects to make his next start.

Cardinals 6 @ Nationals 8

– The Nationals rallied from a 6-2 deficit with a six-run sixth inning to pick up the 8-6 win.
Miguel Batista relieved starter Jaime Garcia in the sixth and allowed five runs, all earned, while recording just two outs. He picked up his second loss of the season.
– Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman returned to the lineup after missing 58 games with an abdominal strain. He went 1-for-5 with an RBI double in the Nationals big inning.
Albert Pujols continues to heat up as he launched his 15th home run of the season, a two-run shot off of Nationals starter Yunesky Maya in the first inning.
– W: H. Rodriguez (2-1)
– L: Batista (3-2)
– SV: Storen (16)
– HR: Pujols (15), Berkman (17)
– SB: None
– CS: None
– INJURIES: Rick Ankiel left the game with a strained intercostal muscle. He is currently listed as day-to-day but may be headed to the disabled list. Additionally, Dave LaRoche announced that he will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery which should assure regular at-bats for Mike Morse all year.

Mets 4 @ Braves 3

Jair Jurrjens last just 5.1 innings, his shortest outing of the season, breaking a streak of 11 consecutive quality starts. He walked five in the game, having not walked more than two in any of his previous 11 starts.
Jose Reyes continued his torrid hitting witn a 3-for-5 night, his seventh multiple hit game in his last nine starts. He added two runs, an RBI, and two stolen bases.
Dan Uggla smacked his ninth home run of the season off of Jason Isringhausen in the eighth inning, cutting the Mets lead to 4-3, but he continues to struggle hitting just .181 on the year.
Francisco Rodriguez picked up his 19th consecutive save (he is 19-for-20 on the season) with a clean ninth inning that included two punch outs.
– W: Niese (6-5)
– L: Jurrjens (8-3)
– SV: Fr. Rodriguez (19)
– HR: Uggla (9)
– SB: Reyes 2 (22), Harris (2), Beltran (2)
– CS: None
– INJURIES: Freddie Freeman sat out Tuesday’s game with a slight oblique strain but hopes to be back in the lineup Wednesday.

Brewers 4 @ Cubs 5 (10 innings)

Yovani Gallardo had the Cubs number for seven innings but came away with a no-decision when the Brewers bullpen coughed up a 4-1 lead in the eighth inning. Gallardo allowed one run on three hits and struck out 10 while walking just two.
– Starlin Castro was 3-for-5 and singled in Tony Camapana with the winning run in the 10th inning of a come-from-behind Cubs win.
Ryan Braun now has 16 stolen bases after stealing just 14 all season in 2011 – a nice bonus to his batting average and the other counting stats.
– The Cubs had three more errors (two by Castro) and have the worst fielding percentage in the National League having committed 56 miscues so far this season.
– W: Samardzija (5-2)
– L: Dillard (1-1)
– SV: None
– HR: Soto (5), Ar. Ramirez (5)
– SB: Gomez (15), Braun (16), Jo. Wilson (1), Morgan (3)
– CS: None

Pirates 1 @ Astros 0

Jeff Karstens combined with five Pirates relievers on a four-hit shutout of the Astros. Karstens allowed three hits, did not allow a walk, and struck out three.
Joel Hanrahan notched his 18th save with a clean ninth inning. He is perfect in save opportunities on the year and now boasts a 1.42 ERA.
Garrett Jones singled in Neil Walker with the only run of the game in the second inning. Jones was 2-for-4 and also stole his second base of the year.
Bud Norris was the hard luck loser in the game, allowing just six hits and one run while walking two and striking out nine over seven innings.
– W: Karstens (4-4)
– L: Norris (4-5)
– SV: Hanrahan (18)
– HR: None
– SB: G. Jones (2)
– CS: None

Padres 3 @ Rockies 6

Juan Nicasio tossed a solid game picking up his second win since being inserted into the Rockies rotation. He allowed two runs (both earned) over six innings and struck out nine while lowering his ERA to 3.38.
Huston Street allowed a run on two hits in a non-save situation. He has been a little shaky of late, perhaps because he was used too frequently over an extended stretch, but he remains one the most reliable closers.
Chris Iannetta drilled a three-run home run off of Pat Neshek in the sixth inning to break open a 3-2 game leading to a 6-4 Rockies win.
Cameron Maybin picked up two hits, both doubles, giving him four base knocks in his two games back since returning from the disabled list.
– W: Nicasio (2-1)
– L: LeBlanc (0-2)
– SV: None
– HR: Denorfia (5), Iannetta (9)
– SB: Bartlett 2 (12), Tulowitzki (6), Nelson (2), Blackmon (4)
– CS: Tulowitzki (2)

Giants 6 @ Diamondbacks 5

Matt Cain was staked to a 5-1 lead but had to rely on his bullpen to preserve a 6-5 win. Cain allowed five runs (all earned) on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts over 6.2 innings.
Brian Wilson made it interesting issuing two walks in the ninth inning, but he shut the door and picked up his 19th save
Pablo Sandoval went 1-for-5 with a walk, a run, and an RBI in his first game back since breaking a hamate bone in his hand April 29. He played third base in this game, but the Giants have indicated he might see some time at catcher going forward.
Josh Collmenter logged his worst outing of the season allowing five runs (all earned) on eight hits while walking three and striking out four over five innings. He has been outstanding since joining the rotation, however it may be that the league is beginning to catch on to his unusual over-the-top delivery.
– W: Cain (6-4)
– L: Collmenter (4-2)
– SV: Wilson (19)
– HR: Montero (8)
– SB: Upton (12)
– CS: Crawford (3)

Reds 3 @ Dodgers 2

Johnny Cueto out-dueled Clayton Kershaw to  pick up his fourth win of the year. He allowed just an unearned run on five hits and walk while striking out five over seven innings.
– Kershaw pretty much matched Cueto pitch for pitch allowing a run (earned) on four hits and two walks in seven innings. It was an encouraging outing for Kershaw who was coming off two poor performances.
Francisco Cordero allowed a run (earned) on a hit and a walk while striking out one, but managed to collect his 14th save of the season.
– Despite a slow start to June, Drew Stubbs put up a 3-for-4 line with a run, an RBI, and two stolen bases giving him 20 bags on the year.
– W: Cueto (4-2)
– L: Hawksworth (1-2)
– SV: Cordero (14)
– HR: None
– SB: Stubbs 2 (20), Oeltjen (2), Kemp (16), Gordon (3)
– CS: None