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The matchup of the day going into Wednesday was not up for dispute. Shohei Ohtani versus Kevin Gausman was expected to be an epic showdown between two elite starting pitchers, and it did not disappoint. However, it was what took place after they both departed the game that turned this pitcher's duel into a bizarre, explosive, and memorable extra innings contest.
Shohei Ohtani took a day off from hitting bombs to show off what the hybrid superstar can do on the mound. The right-hander was able to collect 21 swings and misses and a 32 percent CSW during the game. Ohtani generated a 40 percent whiff rate on his four-seam fastball, 55 percent whiff rate on his slider, and 43 percent on the splitter.
On the other side of the field, Kevin Gausman matched Ohtani every step of the way. The Giants righty generated an amazing 53 percent whiff rate on his splitter, which accounted for 49 percent of the pitches thrown by Gausman. The 30-year-old earned 19 swings and misses and 16 called strikes for a 35 percent CSW.
Both pitchers performed well enough to win, but both would end up with no decisions due to a wild set of events in extra innings that started when the Angels ran out of catchers and forced Dylan Bundy to pinch-hit, giving up the designated hitter slot.
Kurt Suzuki took a foul ball off his mask in the 12th inning and was forced to leave the game. However, Max Stassi, who was already out of the game after pinch-hitting in the 10th, was unavailable. This forced Angels manager Joe Maddon to put emergency catcher Taylor Ward, who had no major league experience behind the plate, in at catcher. This left an opening in left field, but due to a short bench (Justin Upton injured), starting pitcher Griffin Canning was given the assignment.
This left the Angels with two American League pitchers in their batting order, despite this being an American League game, during a contest in which they were down one in the bottom of the 12th inning due to an RBI double by Steven Duggar at the top of the frame. The improbable almost happened with the Angels tying the game against reliever Dominic Leone on Juan Lagares RBI single, who would then go on to score the game-winning run on a fielder's choice!
Or so everyone thought. Including the Angels, who fired off victory fireworks.
Instead, replay confirmed that Lagares, who attempted to slide around the grasp of Giants catcher Buster Posey at home, was not able to avoid the tag and was ruled out. It was then, in the 13th and final inning that San Francisco would score seven runs on a bases-loaded walk, a wild pitch, a two-run single from Steven Duggar, and finally a three-run home run by Mike Tauchman.
Tauchman walked to the plate having gone 0-for-5 with five strikeouts and came within one strike in the 13th inning of tying the all-time record with six strikeouts in a game. Instead, he turned what would have easily been the worst game of his career, and an 0-for-14 slump, into a positive memory he and Giants fans will always remember.
What a game.
Pitchers with an EDGE
Brandon Woodruff vs Diamondbacks
7 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 9 K
Woodruff retired the first nine batters he faced before Josh Rojas reached on an infield single to lead off the fourth. The only damage done against the right-hander was a solo blast off the bat of Christian Walker. In 15 starts this season, Woodruff has allowed two or fewer runs 13 times and now carries a 1.89 ERA as one of the top pitchers in the league.
German Marquez vs Mariners
8 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 7 K
Marquez generated a 32 percent CSW during the game thanks to 19 called strikes. The only damage done to the right-hander was a solo home run off the bat of Taylor Trammell in the sixth inning. Marquez now carries an ERA under four (3.99) with a 1.28 WHIP over 90 1/3 innings this season.
Jose Urquidy vs Orioles
7 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 6 K
A total of 69 of Urquidy’s 84 pitches were strikes and this was the third straight start in which he has reached the seven-inning mark. Urquidy now sits at 6-3 with a 3.32 ERA on the season.
Hitters with an EDGE
Trevor Story vs Mariners
2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 Runs
The first of his two home runs came off Seattle starter Justus Sheffield and carried a 110.2 mile per hour exit velocity, with the pair of home runs traveling a combined 791 feet. Story is not having the elite year fantasy managers were hoping for, batting .259/.332/.444 with eight home runs and 13 stolen bases, but it's hard to be too upset with that kind of production.
Jonathan Schoop vs Cardinals
2-for-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, Run, SB
The veteran infielder doubled to the right-center in the third inning and led off the fifth inning with his 15th long ball of the season and 10th home run this month. Schoop is on fire right now and has been a difference-maker to anyone who was smart enough to pick him up off the waiver wire.
Adolis Garcia vs Athletics
2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 Runs
Garcia took Athletics starting pitcher James Kaprielian yard in the sixth with a 108.8 mile per hour blast to center field and later smashed his 20th home run of the year off Cam Bedrosian in the eighth. The 28-year-old is slashing .276/.308/.552 with 20 homers, 52 RBI, and seven stolen bases over 263 plate appearances.
Jonathan India (Available in 55% percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues)
Typically this spot is reserved for a player that is rostered in fewer leagues, but the fact that India is still this widely available is absurd. The Reds infielder is batting .333/.459/.522 in June and is one of only eight players to carry an O-Swing under 25 percent, Z-Contact over 85 percent, and line-drive rate over 20 percent over the last 30 days. India is batting leadoff for a strong offense in an incredible hitters park. Be sure Jonathan India is rostered.
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Liam Hendriks vs Pirates
1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1K (19th Save)
Hendriks came in to protect a one-run lead and made quick work of the Pirates lineup, collecting a strikeout, lineout, and groundout. The 32-year-old hasn't walked a batter over the past month and now carries a 49/3 K/BB ratio over 31 1/3 frames this year.
Hector Neris vs Nationals
1 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 0 K (5th Blown Save)
This was Neris' third blown save in the last five games and you have to wonder how long Joe Girardi will stick with the right-hander.
Daniel Bard vs Mariners
1/3 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K (10th Save)
Carlos Estevez was called on to start the ninth inning but was pulled after allowing a two-out RBI single to Kyle Seager. Bard then came into the game and immediately walked Ty France, but was able to strike out Jake Bauers swinging to end the game. The right-hander now has 10 saves on the year with a 4.15 ERA and 1.58 WHIP over 30 1/3 innings with 38 punchouts.
Josh Hader vs Diamondbacks
1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K (19th Save)
The 27-year-old has been ice cold all season and is now a perfect 19-for-19 in save chances, allowing just two runs.
Greg Holland vs Yankees
1/3 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 1K (4th Blown Save; Loss)
Aroldis Chapman vs Royals
1 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K (3rd Blown Save; Win)
Chapman intentionally walked Carlos Santana to bring up backup catcher Sebastian Rivero with the bases loaded, only to walk Rivero on four pitches to tie the game. Kansas City then went on to take the lead on an RBI single from Ryan O'Hearn. Chapman has allowed seven earned runs over his last 5 1/3 frames, raising his ERA from 0.39 to 2.54.
Edwin Diaz vs Braves
1 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K (16th Save)
Diaz was asked to come in and pick up a five-out save for the Mets and was able to cruise through the Braves lineup with relative ease. The only blemish was a walk to Freddie Freeman, who reached base five times during the contest. Diaz now carries a 2.73 ERA over 29 2/3 innings with 40 punchouts.
Jordan Romano vs Marlins
1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K (5th Save)
Romano has not allowed an earned run since May 16 and now carries a 1.37 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over 26 1/3 innings.
Joely Rodriguez vs Athletics
1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K (1st Save)
Rodriguez got the call in the ninth inning to protect a two-run lead and induced three groundouts to close out the game. It was the first save of the season for the 29-year-old, who could see more save opportunities going forward, especially if Ian Kennedy is moved before the trade deadline.
Thursday’s Matchup Of The Day
Chris Bassitt (7-2, 92 2/3 IP, 3.40 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 98 K)
Kolby Allard (2-2, 40 IP, 2.93 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 43 K)
Bassitt has been having a strong season, allowing two runs or less in 11 of his last 15 outings. The right-hander will face off against Rangers southpaw Kolby Allard. The 23-year-old made the shift from the bullpen into the rotation and now carries a 2.93 ERA with just over a strikeout per inning. This is shockingly the matchup of the day.
American League Quick Hits: Aaron Civale will miss 4-5 weeks with a sprained right middle finger … Kurt Suzuki left Wednesday’s game after taking a foul ball off his catcher mask … Rays shortstop Taylor Walls was scratched Wednesday due to a sore right wrist … Matt Manning picked up his first big league win, allowing two runs over 5 2/3 innings against the Cardinals ... Rich Hill held the Red Sox to one run over five innings ... Wander Franco walked twice and scored a run while batting third in his second major league game ... Gary Sanchez hit a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning in the Yankees win over the Royals ... Danny Duffy tossed a pair of scoreless innings during his return from the injured list.
National League Quick Hits: Brandon Belt left Wednesday game after suffering a knee injury trying to score on a throwing error … Mookie Betts sat out Wednesday’s game with stomach flu symptoms … The Mets transferred pitchers Joey Lucchesi (Tommy John) and Robert Gsellman (lat) to the 60-day injured list … Mets optioned pitchers Sean-Reid Foley and Yennsy Diaz to Triple-A Syracuse … Tylor Megill made his major debut for the Mets on Wednesday, allowing two runs over 4 1/3 innings with four strikeouts … Ronald Acuna was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup with lower back tightness … Alec Bohm collected his first four-hit game vs the Nationals … Dodgers activated Cody Bellinger (hamstring) from the injured list … Mets activated Michael Conforto from the injured list and he went 2-for-4 with a double versus the Braves … Brewers placed Daniel Vogelbach on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain and recalled Keston Hiura from Triple-A Nashville … Marcus Stroman’s MRI (hip) showed no structural damage and is not expected to go on the injured list.