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Mariners picks up 13th win in a row in extras

Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

After a promising 2021 season that had the Mariners a heartbeat away from breaking their postseason drought, many Mariners fans thought this year was finally the year. The 2022 season started off well but after losing four out of five games against their AL West rivals, the Los Angeles Angels, and falling a demoralizing 10 games below .500 on June 19th, many fans were calling the season a bust. They didn’t let the team know as they have only lost three games since then and have a league-high 13-game win streak after sneaking past the Rangers in extra innings Saturday night.

Logan Gilbert was effective in his five innings of work. The right-hander picked up four strikeouts while scattering four hits across five innings of work. The Mariners bullpen has been tough as nails the entire season and racked up eight punchouts across five innings of one-run ball. Ty France went 3-for-5 and smacked his 18th double of the year and red-hot Carlos Santana clobbered a 425-foot homer for his eighth of the season and is hitting .245/.383/.449 with four homers since being traded from the Royals in late June. After the All-Star break, the Mariners face a tough road as they face the Rangers, Yankees, and Astros twice in their next four series.

Hitters with an EDGE

José Ramírez vs. Tigers

2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR (18, 19), 5 RBI

José Ramírez belted a 103 mph three-run homer to right field in the bottom of the first. He would then destroy a changeup from Tigers starter Michael Pineda that came off the bat at 107 mph. It was the 19th multi-homer game for the 29-year-old All-Star. Hopefully, these two blasts gets the first-round pick back on track as he was hitting .232/.295/.375 in the month of July.

Michael Harris II vs. Nationals

2-for-3, 1 R, 3 SB (10, 11, 12)

Since being called up in late May, Harris II hasn’t missed a beat. The 21-year-old was at it again Saturday against the Nationals. After singling in the fourth, he swiped his tenth bag of the year but was stranded on second. He later walked, and stole second again, before coming around to score on a Dansby Swanson double in the seventh inning. The phenom wasn’t done and doubled and then stole third base for his third swipe of the game. The rookie is slashing .284/.320/.503 with eight homers in his first 47 big league games and has locked himself into Atlanta’s everyday starting lineup.

Aaron Judge vs. Red Sox

3-for-3, 3 R, 2 HR (32, 33), 3 RBI

Judge picked up three hits, scored three runs, and collected three RBI in a blowout win against the Red Sox Saturday night. In Nick Pivetta‘s seventh pitch of the night, the All-Star smashed a ball 401 feet. He would later destroy another pitch from Pivetta, this time hitting it 444 feet with an eye-pop 108 mph exit velocity off the bat. The 30-year-old bet on himself this spring as he didn’t sign an extension with the Yankees and that bet seems to be paying off. He will head into the last game before the All-Star break with a stupendous slash line of .281/.360/.618 across 385 plate appearances.

Pitchers with an EDGE

Justin Verlander vs. A’s

6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K

31% CSW, 19 swinging strikes

The 39-year-old veteran put up yet another excellent performance on Saturday. He did have to throw 106 pitches to make it through six innings but collected his 13th quality start of the year. He moved to 12-3 with a 1.89 ERA and used all four of his pitches on the night. While the Astros haven’t officially announced their rotation coming out of the break, it appears that Verlander will face the white-hot Yankees next Thursday.

Miles Mikolas vs. Reds

7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

23% CSW, 7 swinging strikes

Mikolas was effective against the Reds on Saturday. The 33-year-old served up a leadoff homer to Jonathan India but that was the extent of the damage. Mikolas generated seven whiffs over 95 pitches and wrapped up his spectacular first half with a 2.54 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 92/23 K/BB over 120 1/3 innings. The Cardinals will face the Reds again after the break but this time it will be at Great American Ballpark.

Max Scherzer vs. Cubs

6.1 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 11 K

39% CSW, 21 swinging strikes

Max Scherzer matched a season-high 11 strikeouts over 6/13 innings in a no-decision against the Cubs. The veteran didn’t seem threatened by the Cubs batters as he filled the strike zone and threw 74 of 102 pitches for strikes. The 37-year-old has missed a significant amount of the season with an oblique injury but will enter the All-Star break with a beautiful 2.23 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 90/12 K/BB ratio across 69 innings.

Priority Pickup

Jose Miranda (Twins) 1B, 3B - Available in 80% of Yahoo leagues

Miranda got off to a poor start to his major league career, but Lin-Manuel Miranda’s cousin has been on fire as of late. Since the start of July, he has a respectable .308/.357/.564 slash line with an impressive three moonshots in 42 plate appearances. The 24-year-old broke out last year and reminds me a bit of early career Ty France. He doesn’t have a defensive home but will remain in the lineup with his innate ability to put the bat on the ball. The Twins will also face off against their AL Central rivals, the Tigers after the All-Star Break so he will have plenty of chances to fill up the stat sheet.

Closing Time

Jhoan Duran vs. White Sox

2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (sixth save)

Duran came into the game in the top of the eighth inning with a three-run lead. He picked up two punchouts and then another in the ninth en route to his sixth save of the year. After Emilio Pagán lost the role as closer in June, the Twins have been searching for the “closer”. The 24-year-old’s fastball consistently reaches 100 mph and looks like their best option for the ninth going forward.

Edwin Díaz vs. Cubs

1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (20th save)

Díaz didn’t enter the game until the 11th inning but quickly disposed of the Cubs batters to rack up his 20th save of the season, which leads the NL East. The 28-year-old fireballer has been pretty much unhittable this year and is striking out batter 51% of the time.

Daniel Bard vs. Pirates

1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (20th save)

Bard left off the ninth inning with a walk to Daniel Vogelbach but quickly picked up three outs for his 20th save in 22 chances. The 37-year-old has been a huge win for fantasy managers who took a chance on him during draft season. The right-hander had a 2.08 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 41/17 K/BB across 34 appearances out of the bullpen.

Kenley Jansen vs. Nationals

1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (22th save)

After a 1 hour, 49-minute rain delay, Jesse Chavez worked a quick eighth inning and handed the reigns to Atlanta’s closer, Kenley Jansen. The veteran right-hander made quick work of baseball’s worst team, the Nationals, to collect his 22nd save in 26 attempts.

Matt Festa vs. Rangers

1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (first save)

Matt Festa struck out the side in the 10th inning to pick up his first career save. The 29-year-old has an impressive 34/7 K/BB ratio across 22 ⅔ innings but got the save opportunity because the game went into extra innings.

Joey Krehbiel vs. Rays

0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (first save)

Krehbiel replaced Cionel Pérez with two Rays on base and two outs in the 11th inning. He got Luke Raley to fly out and collected his first career save. The Orioles closer, Jorge Lopez tossed two innings and is still the “closer”. There are many rumors that Lopez could be on the move but Félix Bautista would be the next man up before Krehbiel.

Ryan Weber vs. Red Sox

3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (first save)

Ah. The rare three-inning save as your team is up by 13 runs. The Red Sox were no match for the Yankees pitching on Saturday and Ryan Weber made his old team look foolish en route to his first save of his career.

Dominic Leone vs. Brewers

1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (second save)

Things got a bit hairy in the bottom of the ninth after Willy Adames reached first on an infield single and Leone’s pickoff error allowed Adames to scamper to second base. Andrew McCutchen ground out, moving Adames to third but Leone would strike out Kolten Wong looking on a 96-mph fastball to pick up his second save of the season.

Taylor Rogers vs. Diamondbacks

1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (26th save)

Rogers quickly struck out Carson Kelly and Josh Rojas before getting Ketel Marte to pop out to second base in the top of the ninth inning in San Diego. The 31-year-old southpaw has been awful in July and was sporting a 10.80 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, and one blown save across five innings prior to tonight’s easy outing.

Sunday’s Matchup of the Day

Chris Sale (Red Sox) vs. Gerrit Cole (Yankees)

It will be the second game back for Chris Sale after missing three months following a stress fracture in his rib cage suffered in spring training. Sale was decent in his first start as he tossed five scoreless innings while striking out five and walking one against the Wander-less Rays. While he only had four whiffs in the outing, it was encouraging to see his fastball velocity averaging 95 MPH, which was a tick and a half harder than the previous year. His matchup Sunday will be more challenging as he faces the best team in baseball, the New York Yankees, in Yankee Stadium. As for Cole, he has had few more bumps in the road than many fantasy managers expected this year, especially from the pitcher who was first off the board during draft season. He struggled against these same Red Sox, giving up five runs over six frames on July 7.

American League Quick Hits: Ryan Jeffers will miss 6-8 weeks with a fractured thumb. … Chase Anderson opted out of a minor league deal with the Tigers. … Michael Brantley shut down from hitting after experiencing renewed soreness in his right shoulder. … Óscar Gonzaléz resumed hitting off a tee and is nearing a rehab assignment…Alex Faedo shut down from throwing due to hip soreness. … Sergio Romo was designated for assignment by Blue Jays. … Rays activated Brandon Lowe from the 10-day injured list. … Shane Baz and Kevin Kiermaier were transferred to the 60-day injured list. … Yonny Chirinos begins rehab assignment. … Red Sox placed Trevor Story on the 10-day injured list with a right-hand contusion. … Luis Severino (shoulder) shut down from throwing for two weeks. … A’s catching prospect, Shea Langeliers was named MVP of the 2022 Futures Game.

National League Quick Hits: Juan Soto reportedly rejected a 15-year, $440 million contract extension offer from the Nationals. . ..Paul Goldschmidt became the second first baseman in MLB history to reach 300 homers and 145 stolen bases. ... Austin Riley smashed his 27th homer and is one home run shy of tying a Braves franchise record for home runs hit in the first half of a season. ... Kirby Yates (elbow) began a rehab assignment for the Braves’ rookie-level Florida Complex league affiliate. … Cubs designated Matt Swarmer for assignment…Mickey Moniak optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. … Phillies activated Johan Camargo from the 10-day injured list. … Jacob deGrom will face hitters on Tuesday. … Juan Yepez was diagnosed with a Grade 2 forearm strain. … Lance McCullers Jr. (forearm) threw a 40-pitch, two-inning simulated game. … Carlos Ródon will miss the All-Star game due to blister and nail issues.