Another packed Friday night of high leverage events makes for a busy Saturday trying to sift through them. Starting with a wild game in Coors Field, the Rockies blew a seven run lead after the seventh inning, the largest blown lead, win or lose, since June 15th of 2017 according to Elias Sports. Mike Dunn started the ninth inning with the Rockies ahead by six. However, he served up four hits, including a three-run home run to Hunter Renfroe, before departing with four runs against while recording one out. Wade Davis entered allowing back-to-back singles to Wil Myers and Ian Kinsler before getting Austin Hedges to lineout. But, a wild pitch during Manuel Margot’s at-bat ending up in a walk loaded the bases for a Fernando Tatis Jr. two-RBI single before ending the inning with a strikeout of Josh Naylor.
Since returning from the injured list, Davis has yet to round into form. Through 3.2 innings spanning four appearances, he’s given up seven hits, three earned runs and a walk with three strikeouts resulting in a 7.36 ERA and 2.18 WHIP. Scott Oberg kept things tied with two shutout innings of relief yielding a hit and striking out three. So far in June, Oberg’s been the only reliable pitcher in high leverage for the Rockies with a 9:1 K:BB in 6.1 innings allowing one earned run (1.42 ERA) and a 0.79 WHIP. Jairo Diaz takes the loss coughing up five hits, five earned runs and Renfroe’s third home run in the 12th inning. Craig Stammen nets the win with a scoreless bottom of the 11th giving up a hit with two strikeouts. Kirby Yates pitched the 12th in a non-save appearance allowing his first home run of the season to Charlie Blackmon. It’s a very minor blip on a breakout year for Yates, but it remains to be seen if the Padres will follow their old template and trade Yates with his value peaking. Stay tuned.
Tough night in New York with Edwin Diaz taking the mound in the suspended game after suffering his third blown save on Thursday. To make matters worse, he gets his fourth loss serving up a solo home run to Paul DeJong in the 10th inning of the resumed game. Diaz has yielded five home runs in 27.2 innings this year matching his total over 73.1 innings in 2018. This also marks his third blown save in 29 appearances. While the reliever can be streaky, his slow start gets further exacerbated by the hot start turned in by Jarred Kelenic for the Mariners in the minors. Making matters worse, Jeurys Familia gets his first loss, and fourth blown save, in Friday’s scheduled contest coughing up two home runs leading to four earned runs. Familia battled shoulder soreness earlier this season and does not appear to be healthy, along with the Mets bullpen who owns a cumulative 9.48 ERA (46 earned runs) over its last 16 games dating back to May 27th.
Benefiting from the Mets miscues, Carlos Martinez gets the win in the suspended game while John Gant wins his sixth decision in the latter one. Jordan Hicks secured his 14th save with a clean ninth inning for Martinez. Gant entered with the bases loaded but could not pull a Houdini, letting all three inherited runners score resulting in his second blown save. But, Gant’s sixth win more than cushions the blow. Andrew Miller appeared in both games striking out the side on Thursday but struggling on Friday allowing two hits, three runs (one earned) and a hit batter in the night cap. All being told, the Cardinals bullpen outperformed the Mets in both wins.
Off to a strong start this year, Hector Neris blew his first save snapping a streak of 17 consecutive saves dating back to last year. His ninth started allowing a single to Dansby Swanson but Neris bounced back striking out Freddie Freeman and inducing Josh Donaldson to ground out. But, a walk to Nick Markakis with two outs led to an Austin Riley double driving in a run then the go ahead single by Brian McCann. Neris finishes giving up three hits, three earned runs and a walk with a strikeout for his third loss of the season. Due to past results, Neris should rebound quickly from this setback, but his setup bridge remains shaky due to a myriad of injuries. Jerry Blevins gets his first win with Atlanta after working a scoreless top of the ninth walking two and striking out one.
Two three inning saves occurred as bullpens continue to transition this year. Drew Smyly, demoted to relieving status by Texas, allowed a solo home run to Nick Senzel, but settled in striking out five over three innings giving up three hits and one walk. This represents Smyly’s first save since 2013, also the last time he’s appeared in back-to-back games. If Smyly can pitch well as a reliever, he could either take the Mike Minor path to redemption going forward or be dealt for more pieces of a Rangers rebuild if he rebounds versus left-handed hitters. Houston promoted Rogelio Armenteros and threw him into the fire versus the Blue Jays. Armenteros responded with three shutout innings yielding two hits and striking out three with six swinging strikes of his 45 pitches. There’s no word if Armenteros will stick with the team or be sent out for another fresh arm, but he’s another arm to track in this talented bullpen.
Welcome back Taylor Rogers. He made his first appearance since notching his sixth save on June sixth. Rogers fired a clean ninth with a strikeout for his seventh save on Friday night preserving a shutout win for the Twins. With the right handed arms trading high leverage moments along with bouts of ineffectiveness, it’s apparent with health, Rogers remains the arm to own in this fluid situation. Here’s hoping his back holds up since Rogers 38 strikeouts against six walks in 29 innings this year should translate to a majority share of the save chances.
Quick Hits: Making his 30th appearance, Sean Doolittle worked around a hit and a walk for a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts in a non-save outing. Normally not a newsworthy outing, but, Doolittle’s on pace for 70 innings with a known injury laden past. Tanner Rainey did record his third hold retiring the only batter he faced stranding two runners in the eighth inning…Josh Smith, who saved the last game for Boston, worked mop up duty allowing three hits and an earned run with a strikeout in a Red Sox blowout win…Brett Martin gets his first career win for the Rangers working two scoreless innings giving up a hit with two strikeouts working after the opener in Cincinnati…Emilio Pagan garnered his second win with 1.1 clean innings striking out two for the Rays…Ty Buttrey continues to struggle of late yielding two hits, an earned run, letting two inherited runners score and striking out one in two-thirds of an inning. This marks three blown save and his third loss this year. Buttrey’s allowed runs in three of his last four outings. Cody Allen imploded giving up four earned runs on four hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning. He should not be rostered (And was designated for assignment after this posted)…Jake Diekman takes the loss, his fourth, coughing up a two-run home run to Mitch Garver in Minnesota…Kenley Jansen rolls to his 20th save striking out the side against the Cubs. Jansen’s converted eight straight saves. Over his last 10 games, he’s allowed four hits, no runs and a walk with 16 strikeouts in 10.1 innings…Adding to his trade stock, Will Smith not only recorded his 17th straight save this year, he struck out Christian Yelich and Mike Moustakas in the process. Smith did give up a walk to Yasmani Grandal, but since taking over as the closer last year, Smith’s converted 31 of 34 save opportunities. Pretty sure scouts took note of his nasty sequence to Yelich.
Avid fantasy baseball player and writer. You can find my work here chasing the next save or as the lead fantasy analyst on Fantasy Alarm. Any questions, hit me up on the Twitter machine, @gjewett9