The Nationals and Phillies were rained out for the second consecutive night on Tuesday, but that bizarre occurrence was relegated to a minor footnote, because Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer suffered a broken nose when he fouled a ball into his face while trying to lay down a bunt in batting practice earlier that afternoon. The good news for fantasy owners is that a CT scan came back negative and he isn’t expected to miss any significant time. However, the Nationals have not said anything official about his status. At this point, it seems unlikely that Scherzer will take the mound for his regularly scheduled start in the second game of Wednesday’s twin billing. However, if there was one pitcher on the planet who would be undeterred by a broken nose (and willing to pitch through pain) it’s Scherzer. The 34-year-old righty has been arguably the most durable workhorse in the game over the last decade, making at least 30 starts in every season during that span, dating back to the 2009 campaign. He simply doesn’t miss starts.
Nationals manager Davey Martinez told reporters that he still expected Scherzer to start one half of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Phillies, but that statement came prior to the rainout and official diagnosis of a broken nose. Veteran southpaw Patrick Corbin, who was originally slated to pitch on Monday, will take the mound for the front-end of the doubleheader, but it remains to be seen what the Nationals’ elect to do in the nightcap. They have several options. If they decide that Scherzer could use an extra day of rest, which seems like the obvious course of action here, it’s likely that the assignment will go to either Erick Fedde or spot starter Austin Voth, who is expected to be called up from Triple-A Fresno to serve as the 26th man. Fantasy owners should stay tuned for further updates on Scherzer, but there’s a strong possibility that he’s ready to go in the series finale on Thursday.
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Pete Pummels Braves
On a night in which reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom was utterly sensational, striking out 10 batters over 8 1/3 innings of two-run ball, it was rookie sensation Pete Alonso who stole the spotlight. The 24-year-old slugger went 4-for-4 with a two-run homer, a pair of doubles, three RBI and three runs scored in the Mets’ - blowout win over the division-rival Braves on Tuesday. He also walked twice, reaching base safely in all six of his plate appearances in the contest. He got the Mets on the board in the third inning with an RBI double, one of his two doubles on the night, and clobbered a mammoth 426-foot two-run homer off Braves starter Julio Teheran in the fourth inning. Alonso has certainly lived up to the lofty preseason prospect hype, delivering top-of-the-scale 80-grade light-tower power in his first exposure to major-league pitching. He’s up to 24 round-trippers on the season and owns a sublime .274/.359/.624 triple-slash line to go along with 46 runs scored and 57 RBI. He’s already cemented his status as a legitimate four-category fantasy superstar and has a realistic shot at eclipsing the 50-homer plateau this season. To put that in context, only four hitters have accomplished that feat since 2010. He’ll be the unquestioned centerpiece of the Mets’ offense for years to come and a likely late-first, early-second round selection in fantasy drafts next spring.
Max Kepler delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the 17th inning to propel the Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Red Sox. The 17-inning affair lasted a grand total of five hours and 45 minutes. The two teams combined for 32 hits, stranded 30 baserunners, used a grand total of 18 pitchers and threw 487 pitches in this marathon contest. The two teams went into extra-innings tied at two runs apiece. Mookie Betts launched a solo homer -- his 12th of the season -- to put the Red Sox ahead in the 13th inning, but Max Kepler, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning and finished 3-for-5 with three RBI, responded with a game-tying solo shot in the bottom of the frame to keep the Twins alive. Considering how much these bullpens were taxed, there is a lot of pressure on Wednesday’s starters Eduardo Rodriguez and Kyle Gibson to soak up some innings. No matter how you look at it, this was easily the craziest game of the 2019 campaign so far.
Cincinnati Quashes Controversy
Reds manager David Bell expressed confidence in closer Raisel Iglesias after pulling him in favor of Michael Lorenzen to close Monday's game against the Astros. The 29-year-old right-hander was summoned in the eighth inning to attempt to preserve a one-run lead and secure a five-out save. Iglesias managed to work around a walk and a wild pitch to escape the eighth inning, but got wild again in the ninth. He issued a leadoff walk to pinch-hitter Myles Straw before bouncing back to retire Alex Bregman. With the tying run on-base, and Iglesias already at 21 pitches (10 strikes) Bell elected to turn the ball over to Lorenzen, who got Michael Brantley to line out to center field and whiffed rookie sensation Yordan Alvarez to end the contest. “We’re just trying to do whatever we can to give us our best chance to win. Raisel’s done it before, he’s going to do it again. He’s a great pitcher. He’s going to be ready next time,” said Bell after Monday’s game.
When a nearly identical situation presented itself against the Astros on Tuesday, Iglesias was once again summoned to protect a one-run lead in the eighth inning. He whiffed Yuli Gurriel and Robinson Chirinos to escape the jam created by lefty Amir Garrett. Instead of coming back out for the ninth inning to attempt to complete the five-out save, Bell once again turned to Lorenzen, this time to face the bottom of the Astros’ lineup. He managed to retire the side in order to secure his fourth save of the season. Despite the odd events in this series, fantasy owners shouldn’t draw any significant conclusions. Iglesias remains firmly entrenched as the Reds' primary closer. However, they aren’t afraid of using him (and Lorenzen to a greater extent) in a non-traditional manner. He made some noise about his abnormal usage patterns, complaining to reporters that the team was using him “horribly wrong” in early May. The Reds have clearly made an effort to scale back his portfolio, using him in a more traditional one-inning closer role ever since, but they still want to use him in high-leverage, multi-inning situations outside of the ninth inning. This is a situation worth monitoring moving forward, but it doesn’t look like there will be a significant change anytime soon in Cincinnati.
AL Quick Hits: Adalberto Mondesi left Tuesday night's game against the Mariners with right groin tightness. … The Indians are optimistic that Mike Clevinger (ankle) will be able to make his next scheduled start Saturday against the Tigers. … Joey Gallo (oblique) could return to the Rangers' active roster next Tuesday for the start of a series against the Tigers. … Jose Altuve (hamstring, knee) will be activated from the 10-day injured list on Wednesday. … George Springer (hamstring) is set to begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday with Double-A Corpus Christi. … Aaron Judge (oblique) homered Tuesday in his fourth rehab game with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … Tyler Glasnow (forearm) threw another successful bullpen on Tuesday. … Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Monday that Ken Giles (elbow) is expected to return from the 10-day injured list when he's first eligible. … Domingo German (hip) began throwing off flat ground on Monday. … Luis Severino (shoulder) hopes to start throwing from a mound on either June 25 or 26th. … Twins placed Byron Buxton on the 10-day injured list with a right wrist contusion. … Blue Jays placed Justin Smoak (quad) on the 10-day injured list. … White Sox placed Welington Castillo on the 10-day injured list with a strained left oblique. … Yoan Moncada (back) remained out of the White Sox starting lineup Tuesday. He’s expected to return on Wednesday. … Yandy Diaz was held out of the Rays' lineup Tuesday because of a hamstring issue. … Giancarlo Stanton went 0-for-4 in his return from the injured list on Tuesday. … Whit Merrifield went 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs, a career-high six RBI to lead the Royals to a blowout victory over the Mariners. … Eloy Jimenez socked a go-ahead two-run homer to propel the White Sox to a win over the crosstown-rival Cubs. … Jose Ramirez walloped a three-run homer to power the Indians to a rout of the Rangers. … Oscar Mercado swiped a pair of bases in the victory. … Luke Voit went 3-for-3 with an RBI in the Yankees’ win over the Rays … Edwin Encarnacion launched his 22nd homer of the year, his first in a Yankees’ uniform, in that one .. Tyler Skaggs struck out six batters over 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a win over the Blue Jays. … Hansel Robles converted his 11th save in that one. … Shane Greene netted his 21st save in the Tigers’ win over the Pirates. … Alex Bregman slugged his 20th homer in the Astros’ loss to the Reds. … Ramon Laureano went 4-for-5 with a three-run homer in the A’s blowout win over the Orioles.. … Hunter Dozier (chest) went 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI, and a run scored Tuesday in his second rehab game with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. … Hunter Pence (groin) could return from the 10-day injured list when first eligible. … Joe Palumbo will start for the Rangers against the Indians on Wednesday. … Jordan Zimmermann (elbow, glute) is expected to start for the Tigers against the Pirates on Wednesday. … Andrelton Simmons (ankle) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with the Angels' rookie league affiliate. … Jordan Montgomery shut down a bullpen session Tuesday in Tampa after experiencing discomfort in his surgically-repaired left elbow. … The Angels have requested release waivers on Cody Allen.
NL Quick Hits: Craig Kimbrel worked a scoreless inning for Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday. … Dodgers manager Dave Roberts noted Tuesday that Joc Pederson will play first base at some point this season. … A.J. Pollock (elbow) could begin a minor league rehab assignment over the All-Star break. … Kyle Hendricks has been diagnosed with a right shoulder impingement. … Jay Bruce (hamstring) remained sidelined Tuesday against the Nationals. … Caleb Smith (hip) will make a rehab start before returning to the Marlins rotation. … Scooter Gennett (groin) was scratched from a scheduled rehab game on Tuesday due to wet field conditions at High-A Dayton … Brandon Nimmo (neck) will be shut down completely from baseball activities for the next month. … Mike Moustakas was removed from Tuesday night's game against the Padres due to a left hand contusion. He’s expected to remain out of the Brewers’ lineup on Wednesday. … Logan Allen tossed seven scoreless innings to earn a victory over the Brewers in his major-league debut. … Kirby Yates recorded his major league-leading 26th save in the Padres’ win over the Brewers. … Clayton Kershaw struck out six batters over seven shutout innings in a win over the Giants. … Nolan Arenado went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBI in the Rockies’ lopsided win over the Diamondbacks. … Charlie Blackmon notched his fifth consecutive three-hit game in that one. … Jordan Yamamoto whiffed seven batters over seven scoreless frames in a win over the Cardinals. … Jack Flaherty fanned eight batters over seven innings of three-run ball in a loss to the Marlins. … Josh Bell launched his 20th homer in the Pirates’ loss to the Tigers. … Jeff McNeil went 3-for-5 with a solo homer, stolen base and three runs scored in the Mets’ lopsided win over the Braves. … Freddie Freeman swatted his 20th long ball in the losing effort. … Mets placed Jeurys Familia on the 10-day injured list with a Bennett lesion in his right shoulder. … Adam Wainwright (hamstring) will return to the Cardinals' starting rotation on Thursday against the Marlins. … Tyler Chatwood will start for the Cubs on Thursday against the Mets. … Brandon Morrow (elbow) has begun throwing from a distance of 135 feet. … Rockies designated Mike Dunn for assignment.