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Baseball Daily Dose

Ohtani Fans 13 One Night After 8 RBI Display

by Mark Lindquist
Updated On: June 23, 2022, 5:03 pm ET

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Shohei Ohtani has done a spectacular job showcasing his many-faceted game over the last two days. On Tuesday, it was an offensive fireworks show, with Ohtani blasting a pair of three-run homers against the Royals – including one to tie in the ninth – on his way to a career-best eight RBI night. The Angels, being the Angels, lost that game in extras. And, perhaps understanding that he really couldn’t rely on anybody other than himself, he turned in a beauty on the mound on Wednesday.

It didn’t look great at first, with Whit Merrifield and Andrew Benintendi singling to give the Royals a pair of runners in the first inning. Ohtani struck out two of the next three batters to get out of that early jam. Then he just kept striking out guys. And the hit thing? Yeah, that wasn’t happening again. Ohtani tossed no-hit ball (with one walk) over the next seven innings. He finished with a career-best 13 strikeouts. And the outcome? 

Even this outing seemed for the first half to be another example of Ohtani doing everything for nothing, as the contest was scoreless until the Angels finally broke through with a sacrifice fly by rookie David MacKinnon to go up 1-0 on the scoreboard. The contest would remain at 1-0 into the seventh, when the Angels plated a couple of runs to finally (finally) give Ohtani a little breathing room.

Despite the underwhelming nature of this team, the Angels are still just five games out of the Wild Card and hold a positive run differential of nine. It really is not inconceivable that Ohtani and Mike Trout might drag them through a contending summer, whether the organization is ready to play with the big boys or not. 

 

Hitters with an EDGE

Aaron Judge – 2-for-5, 2 HR, 2 RBI

Judge very nearly homered in the ninth to tie the game on Tuesday, coming up a few feet short. Let’s say he recalibrated his sensors, because he connected twice for solo home runs in New York’s 5-4 comeback win against the Rays on Wednesday. Judge is now up to 27 home runs in just 67 games played. Buckle up because we could see some majestic numbers by summer’s end.

Nolan Arenado – 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R

Arenado earns glory in this space after swatting a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s 5-4 win over the Brewers. Arenado’s current triple-slash (.278/.348/.508) would best every mark on his batting line for the 2021 campaign. Arenado finished that “down” 2021 campaign hitting 34 runs and driving in 105 runs. He is currently sitting at 14 dingers and 48 RBI in 67 games. 

Amed Rosario – 4-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R

Rosario’s line is disappointing only in that three of his four hits were singles. Kind of difficult to knock a four-hit day. The four knocks tied a season-high for Rosario, who also achieved the feat against the Royals way back in April.

Austin Hays – 4-for-4, 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R

Hays hit for the cycle in a game that was called after six innings. Now that’s impressive. Hays has now cracked 10 homers and driven in 40 runs in what has been an All-Star-caliber season. Four of his 10 home runs have come in June.

Jurickson Profar – 4-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 R

Profar has been pretty good this season. Maybe not to his prospect hype, but respectable. He is now hitting .255/.353/.422 with eight homers, 38 RBI and four steals in 70 games. That will work 

Alfonso Rivas – 2-for-4, HR, 5 RBI

Rivas socked a grand slam in the top of the ninth inning – off Diego Castillo – to put the exclamation point on Chicago’s 14-5 deconstruction of the Pirates. Stat-padding off a position player, sure, but also, a grand slam. Rivas had entered the game with just two homers and 13 RBI in 106 at-bats this season. 

Bo Bichette – 2-for-5, HR, 4 RBI

Like Rivas, Bichette clobbered a grand slam on Wednesday. His turned a competitive 3-0 contest against the White Sox into a 7-0 laugher.

 

Pitchers with an EDGE

Shohei Ohtani – 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 13 K, 1 B

We would just like to marvel at this line one last time. Ohtani has four double-digit strikeout games in 12 starts this season.

George Kirby – 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 6 K, 1 BB

Shohei Ohtani was not the only pitcher in the AL West to throw a shutout on Wednesday, as Kirby tossed a minor gem of his own against the A’s. This was Kirby’s third shutout showing in 10 starts this season.

Charlie Morton – 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 11 K, 0 BB

First- and fourth-inning solo homers by Mike Yastrzemski and Darin Ruf marred Morton’s fantastic performance by slight degree, but it was otherwise a stellar showing. Daily fantasy managers take note – Morton has now struck out double-digit batters in two of his last three starts and has at least eight strikeouts in each of his last four tips to the mound.

Carlos Rodón – 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 10 K, 1 BB

Essentially a carbon copy of opposite numbers Charlie Morton’s line, here, but Rodón had the misfortune of being on the losing team. This was Rodón’s third double-digit strikeout performance in 14 starts this season.

Pablo López – 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 6 K, 3 BB

López struggled with his control a little in this one, but managed to give the Marlins nice length and a generally clean performance. This start made for a welcome rebound performance after López was rocked for seven runs (six earned) against the Mets last time out.

 

EDGE Priority Pickup – Oneil Cruz, SS, Pirates – Available in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues

All apologies to fantasy managers who are a touch behind the pace with Cruz, who has seen a predictably monster jump in ownership since the Pirates finally stopped keeping him down to “develop.” Cruz has already driven in six runs since being called up earlier in the week – that includes a slick four-RBI debut performance – and has one stolen base to his young name. Still available in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues, Cruz should be rostered even in more shallow fantasy formats. He has the upside to contribute across the fantasy board. While Cruz has yet to connect on his first big league home run, but we’re predicting some titanic shots this summer.

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Closing Time

Emmanuel Clase – SV (17), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB

Clase has yet to allow a run in 12 appearances for the month of June. He has now recorded saves in each of his last seven appearances and 10 of his last 11.

Clay Holmes – SV (12), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB

Holmes got back on track after allowing his first run of the season since the opening week two games ago against the Rays. 

Ryan Pressly – SV (14), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB

Pressly has now recorded saves in each of his last three appearances. He has gone five straight appearances without allowing a run.

Nick Vespi – SV (1), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 K, 1 BB

Vespi picked up the save in Baltimore’s 7-0, rain-shortened win over the Nationals on Wednesday. He has pitched well in limited chances this season – a run on five hits over 10 1/3 innings with an 8/3 K/BB ratio – and it would not be a surprise if he saw some higher leverage work on a more consistent basis at some point this summer. It’s the Orioles, after all.

 

Thursday’s Matchup of the Day

Framber Valdez (HOU) at Jameson Taillon (NYY)

In this author’s book, Yankees-Astros has surpassed Yankees-Red Sox as the biggest rivalry in the American League. The two teams do not like each other, have taken repeated shots at each other in the media and have (most importantly) played in a number of fantastic, drama-filled baseball games, often in October. For his part, Valdez has not allowed more than three runs in a game since his third start of the season. Taillon, meanwhile, will be looking to improve to 9-1 on the season in what’s turning up as a career year.
 

AL Quick Hits: Daniel Lynch walked five. … Tyler Wells tossed five shutout innings but also walked four. … Jose Trevino rocked the Rays with a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth. … Carlos Correa homered twice and is up to seven for the season. … Isaac Paredes homered yet again, his fourth in his last two games.. … Triston McKenzie was melted for six runs. … Jacob Barnes latched on with the Mariners via a minor league contract. … Matt Harvey is set to begin a minor league rehab start at High-A Aberdeen on Thursday (he’s with the O’s now, if you were wondering). … Jon Gray allowed two runs into the sixth … Enrique Hernandez (hip) has yet to play in a rehab contest at Triple-A. … Christian Arroyo (Covid-19) will rejoin the Red Sox on Friday. … Salvador Perez (thumb) remains in limbo regarding a possible IL stint. … Miguel Sano (knee) is almost ready for live batting practice. … Lucas Giolito was shredded for seven runs by the Blue Jays. … Reid Detmers was optioned to Triple-A; it's not often you see a pitcher with a no-hitter optioned.

NL Quick Hits: Quite the buzz about a possible Max Scherzer (oblique) return this weekend; even if it doesn’t happen on Sunday, it’s just a matter of time. … Patrick Wisdom homered and drove in four runs. … Jerad Eickhoff was disintegrated to the tune of 10 runs against the Cubs. … Freddie Freeman mashed his seventh homer of the season. … Jazz Chisholm connected on his 14th homer of the season. … Madison Bumgarner was lit up for six runs (four earned) by the Padres. … Luis Gonzalez was scratched with back pain. … Carlos Carrasco (back) will undergo an MRI. … Hanser Alberto was placed on the paternity leave list. … Tyler Matzek (shoulder) is closing in on a minor league rehab assignment. … Greg Allen (hamstring) is not expected back until after the All-Star Break.

Mark Lindquist

Mark Lindquist covers MLB, NHL and NASCAR for NBC Sports EDGE. Reach out to him at @markrlindquist on Twitter.