Only the weather could get to Hunter Greene on Monday.
Greene had a rain-shortened, seven-inning complete game against the Diamondbacks in the Reds’ 7-0 victory. The rookie right-hander struck out eight batters on the night while recording 17 swinging strikes on 87 pitches.
Daulton Varsho led off the night with a bunt single on the game’s fifth pitch but was quickly erased on a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play. It wound up being the only baserunner Green permitted in his seven brilliant frames as he faced the minimum.
It wasn’t just the strikeouts and whiffs and lack of baserunners, either. Amazingly, Greene didn’t allow a single batted ball which qualified as hard hit (95+ mph). It’s just the seventh time in the Statcast era that a pitcher has gone seven innings without allowing a hard-hit ball, and only two of those seven have come in the last three seasons. The average exit velocity on the night for the D-backs was a measly 79.5 mph. And that’s after Greene entered the outing ranking in just the 23rd percentile in exit velo at 90.2 mph.
Moreover, it had been Greene’s high-octane fastball which had been getting crushed, with batters tattooing the offering at 94.3 mph and a .478 xwOBA. He had been cutting back on the usage of the pitch, but on Monday the usage went back up and with excellent results. Twelve (on 25 swings) of Greene’s 17 whiffs came on the fastball, and the pitch had an elite 41 percent CSW rate.
It’s been an up-and-down first couple months in the big leagues for Greene, who is sitting on a 5.40 ERA and 1.35 WHIP even after Monday’s gem. Clearly, he’s still trying to find a pitch mix which consistently works for him, and he’ll have to limit the long ball (he’d surrendered 15 in 10 starts coming into this one). The upside with the 22-year-old is obvious, though, and he resides in a good division in which to pitch in the National League Central. Greene takes on the Cardinals in St. Louis this weekend.
Starting Pitchers with an EDGE
Michael Wacha vs. LAA – 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 6 K
Wacha notched his second career shutout and first since 2017 on Monday in Anaheim, handing the Angels their franchise record-tying 12th straight loss. The tall right-hander has pitched well this season but had not been providing length, having gone six innings just once in his first eight starts. Wacha’s six strikeouts were a season high, as were his 12 swinging strikes on 105 pitches. His ERA on the season now sits at 1.99.
Carlos Carrasco vs. SD – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 10 K
Carrasco recorded double-digit strikeouts for the first time since 2020 and limited the Padres to just two runs over seven superb innings on Monday in San Diego. The veteran right-hander picked up a season-high 19 swinging strikes on a season-high 105 pitches. Carrasco has been a little hit-or-miss lately, but this was one of his best efforts of the season as he lowered his ERA to 3.52 and moved his record to 7-1.
Noah Syndergaard vs. BOS – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 K
Syndergaard put up a fine effort of his own on Monday in Anaheim, but he was matched up against Wacha and, thus, was saddled with a tough-luck loss. The right-hander’s velocity was up a tick in this one, although he picked up only six swinging strikes on 99 pitches. Syndergaard’s results have mostly been good this season, but the lack of swing-and-miss stuff has been glaring. His next matchup will come this weekend against his former team, the Mets.
Hitters with an EDGE
Eduardo Escobar vs. SD – 4-for-5, HR, 3B, 2B, 6 RBI
Escobar continued his recent run of hot hitting on Monday, hitting for the cycle as the Mets took down the Padres. The veteran infielder plated two in the first inning with a single and another pair in the eighth with a homer, adding a double in between for good measure. He then finished off the cycle with a two-run triple in the ninth. Across his last 14 games, Escobar is batting .333 with three long balls and 15 RBI. He’s got his OPS on the season up to a more respectable .725, which is the first time since May 8 that’s it’s been over .700. The cycle was the first for a Mets player since 2012.
Cal Raleigh vs. HOU – 2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI
Raleigh cranked a three-run home run in the second inning and added an RBI single in the fourth as the Mariners took down the Astros on the road Monday. The rookie catcher is up to five home runs now on the season, and all five have come across his last 15 contests. He’s unfortunately not doing much outside of the long balls during that stretch and is still striking way too much. Still, we can’t be too picky at catcher especially if you have to roster two of them, and Raleigh is getting more and more playing time.
Brandon Drury vs. ARI – 2-for-4, HR, 2 R
Drury extended his hitting streak to a modest six games in fine fashion on Monday with a first-inning, opposite-field home run off of Madison Bumgarner. He later added a single and scored an additional run. It was the team-leading 10th home run of the season for Drury, who has been a pleasant surprise for the Reds after making the Opening Day roster as a non-roster invitee. Seven of those 10 dingers have come across 30 games since the beginning of May.
Edward Cabrera, SP, Marlins – Available in 60 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues
The Marlins didn’t exactly do Cabrera any favors by having him make his season debut for them at Coors Field last Wednesday, but he was up for the challenge and then some. Cabrera took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and finished six scoreless frames having allowed just one base knock while striking out nine. He did walk four and hit two batters, so it certainly wasn’t perfect, but Cabrera also added 17 swinging strikes on 94 pitches in the impressive outing. The 24-year-old has had trouble staying healthy and also throwing strikes at times in the minors, but he has loads of upside. Cabrera faces the Nationals on Tuesday.
Diego Castillo pitched around a walk to post a scoreless inning and notch a save on Monday in Houston. It’s his third save of the season and they’ve all been very spaced out, with the first coming in his first appearance of the year and the second coming on May 15. Paul Sewald was likely unavailable after pitching three of the last four days. Sewald is still probably the favorite for saves in the Mariners’ bullpen.
Tuesday’s Matchup of the Day
One guy is in the midst of a breakout season and the other guy is doing his best to show he still has something left in the tank. Skubal’s 2.15 ERA is the seventh-lowest mark in baseball among qualifiers, and he’s also posted a 0.96 WHIP and 61/10 K/BB ratio over 58 2/3 innings. A key has been limiting the home run ball, as he’s allowed just two so far this season after serving up a whopping 44 in his first 39 major league appearances. Meanwhile, Quintana has a 2.32 ERA himself in 10 starts, showing that he’s not cooked just yet. The Pirates no doubt are hoping the veteran southpaw can continue pitching well so they can trade him for prospects at the deadline.
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American League Quick Hits: Kyle Tucker homered and stole a base as part of a three-hit day Monday versus the Mariners. He’s the first player this season to reach 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases. … Julio Rodriguez clubbed a two-run homer and added a single Monday in Houston. … Jose Altuve went 3-for-5 with his 11th home run on Monday. … The Astros officially announced their six-year, $115 million contract extension with Yordan Alvarez on Monday. … Bailey Ober went back on the IL Monday with the same right groin strain which sent him there earlier this season. … Andrew Benintendi (calf) didn’t start Monday but it sounds like there’s a good chance he’ll be back in there Tuesday. … The Red Sox optioned Jarren Duran on Monday to make room for Jackie Bradley Jr.’s return from paternity leave. … Ross Stripling yielded just one hit over five shutout frames Monday in Kansas City.
National League Quick Hits: Fernando Tatis Jr. (wrist) will have another scan later this week and is hoping to be cleared to resume swinging a bat at that time. … Tylor Megill (biceps) has rejoined the Mets on the road and is likely to return this weekend in Anaheim. … The Diamondbacks have signed Dallas Keuchel to a minor league contract. … The Reds put Mike Moustakas on the IL without an injury designation. … Jonathan India (hamstring) will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Louisville. … David Peralta had to exit Monday’s game in Cincinnati because of back spasms. … The Reds activated Jose Barrero (wrist) from the IL and optioned him to Triple-A. … The Padres have elected to activate and option both Adrián Morejón (elbow) and Michel Baez (elbow).