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Player Notes

  • Anthony Rizzo goes deep in win over Nationals
    Anthony Rizzo clubbed his 11th home run of the season on Sunday night, powering the Cubs to a 6-5 victory over the Nationals.

    Advice: Rizzo victimized right-hander Jeremy Hellickson for his solo shot in the third inning, increasing the Cubs' early advantage to 3-0. He also walked in the ballgame, finishing the evening 1-for-4. The 29-year-old has definitely stepped up his game offensively in recent weeks, hitting .308 (20-for-65) with seven homers and 16 RBI over his last 16 ballgames. Yesterday, 7:55 pm
  • Albert Almora collects three hits in victory
    Albert Almora went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored as the Cubs topped the Nationals on Sunday night in Washington.

    Advice: Almora normally does his damage against left-handed pitching, but performed admirably against right-hander Jeremy Hellickson in this one. With the three-hit attack, Almora is now hitting .270/.308/.421 with four homers, 13 RBI and a pair of stolen bases on the season. Yesterday, 7:51 pm
  • Steve Cishek records seven outs to earn save
    Steve Cishek slammed the door on the Nationals on Sunday night, recording the final seven outs to protect a one-run advantage to earn his fourth save of the season.

    Advice: Cishek was summoned from the Cubs' bullpen with a man on and two men out in the seventh inning, getting the dangerous Anthony Rendon to line out to the shortstop. He remained in for the next two innings as well, allowing only a two-out single to Gerardo Parra in the eighth inning while striking out two. He now boasts a 2.45 ERA and 1.05 WHIP across 22 innings on the season. It's unlikely that he'll be used on Monday after throwing 27 pitches on Sunday night, but it's clear he's the preferred option for manager Joe Maddon when the game is on the line. Yesterday, 7:49 pm
  • Kyle Hendricks gives up four runs in victory
    Kyle Hendricks picked up his fourth victory of the season on Sunday night, despite allowing four runs on six hits over his 5 2/3 innings against the Nationals.

    Advice: The right-hander fanned four and walked two on the night. Hendricks cruised through the first four innings virtually unscathed, until the Nationals broke through and pushed a run across in the fifth inning. They made things interesting in the sixth though, when Anthony Rendon's three-run homer made it a two-run game. Even with this outing, Hendricks will carry a terrific 3.21 ERA and 1.18 WHIP into Friday afternoon's start against the Reds at Wrigley Field. Yesterday, 7:44 pm
  • Anthony Rendon clubs three-run homer in loss
    Anthony Rendon clubbed a three-run homer on Sunday night, but it wasn't enough to lead his club to victory over the Cubs.

    Advice: Rendon blasted his three-run shot off of Kyle Hendricks in the sixth inning, pulling the Nationals to within two runs at 6-4. He also drew a walk in the contest, finishing the night 1-for-3. He continues to be one of the hottest hitters in all of baseball, slashing a robust .331/.416/.669 with eight homers and 26 RBI on the year. Yesterday, 7:41 pm
  • Jeremy Hellickson struggles in loss to Cubs
    Jeremy Hellickson struggled in Sunday night's loss to the Cubs, allowing three runs on four hits in only three innings of work.

    Advice: The veteran right-hander also issued three free passes on the night while striking out only one. The Cubs scored single runs against him in each of the first three innings, the last of which came on a solo blast off the bat of Anthony Rizzo. He now owns a cringe-inducing 6.23 ERA and 1.72 WHIP over 39 innings in his nine appearances (eight starts) this season, and you have to wonder if the Nationals are considering cutting bait. He'll try to right the ship in a premium matchup against the Marlins at home on Friday. Yesterday, 7:38 pm
  • Javier Baez day-to-day with heel contusion
    Javier Baez is considered day-to-day after leaving Sunday's game against the Nationals with a heel contusion.

    Advice: Fantasy owners can breathe a major sigh of relief that the injury wasn't more serious and that the superstar shortstop will be able to avoid a trip to the injured list. Expect to see him back in the Cubs' lineup as early as Monday's series opener against the Phillies. Yesterday, 7:23 pm
    New Player Note
    Javier Báez ChC - 2B,3B,SS
  • Sandoval's homer in 10th downs Diamondbacks
    Pablo Sandoval hit a pinch-hit, opposite-field solo home run in the 10th inning Sunday to help the Giants edge the Diamondbacks 3-2.

    Advice: Sandoval stepped in against D'backs reliever Yoshihisa Hirano in the 10th inning and slapped a liner to left that got out quickly, giving the Giants the lead. The homer was Sandoval's seventh of the year, and he's been especially hot lately, smacking four in his last six games. The 32-year-old is hitting a healthy .301/.326/.675 on the year but is still without a true defensive home and is probably best suited for an American League team. For the time being, his best work will likely continue to come as a pinch-hitter and designated hitter in interleague contests. Yesterday, 6:57 pm
  • Ahmed has RBI double in loss to Giants
    Nick Ahmed hit a ground-rule RBI double in Sunday's loss to the Giants.

    Advice: Ahmed got the D'backs on the board in the fourth inning with his RBI double, which might have plated an additional run had his opposite-field shot not bounced over the right field wall. It was his only hit in three at-bats in the game, and he's got just one extra-base hit in his last 10 games while batting .194 (6-for-31) in that span. The 29-year-old is hitting .246/.301/.401 with three homers and two steals through 47 games. Yesterday, 6:50 pm
  • Longoria has RBI walk, stolen base in victory
    Evan Longoria went 1-for-4 with an RBI walk and a stolen base in Sunday's extra-innings win over the Diamondbacks.

    Advice: Longoria walked with the bases loaded in the third inning -- one of nine walks issued by the two teams' starters -- after he singled and stole a base in the first inning. The stolen base was a rarity, just his second of the year, and he hasn't stolen more than five in a season since 2010. At the plate, the 33-year-old does have six homers but has knocked in just 17 runs while also scoring 17. Longoria is hitting a pedestrian .231/.290/.420 overall. Yesterday, 6:43 pm
  • Smith strikes out the side to earn 12th save
    Will Smith struck out the side Sunday against the Diamondbacks to earn his 12th save of the season.

    Advice: With a slim one-run lead and the heart of the Diamondbacks order due up, Smith faced a challenge if he was going to get his 12th save. He proved up to the task, striking out Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar and David Peralta to finish it off. Smith has largely been terrific this year as the Giants' unquestioned closer, posting a strong 2.89 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 26/4 K/BB ratio across 18 2/3 innings. Yesterday, 6:36 pm
  • Ray goes just four innings against Giants
    Robbie Ray allowed just two runs but lasted only four innings Sunday, taking a no-decision against the Giants.

    Advice: Neither Ray nor Giants starter Drew Pomeranz was long for this one, as both failed to get through the fifth inning to even quality for a win. Of course, the game went into extra innings, so it's a moot point anyway. Ray did strike out six and allowed just three hits, but four walks hurt his cause and his pitch count. That's old hat for the 27-year-old, who has walked a National League-high 29 in 52 2/3 innings this year. His stuff is so good that he owns a 3.25 ERA in spite of the 1.35 WHIP, and he's 3-1 in 10 starts this year. Ray will get another shot at a punchless Giants lineup Saturday when the two sides meet again in San Francisco. Yesterday, 6:30 pm
  • Pomeranz walks five D'backs in no-decision
    Drew Pomeranz held the Diamondbacks to two runs but walked five and didn't make it out of the fifth inning Sunday, settling for a no-decision.

    Advice: Pomeranz was what is called effectively wild in his first start off the disabled list, as the D'backs could muster just two hits but didn't really need a lot of hits when Pomeranz was handing out free passes. He's now got 18 walks in 35 innings and owns a 1.60 WHIP through eight starts overall. His 5.66 ERA is equally uninspiring, and the Diamondbacks will get another shot at the southpaw Friday when the clubs reconvene in San Francisco. Yesterday, 6:22 pm
  • Moran homers, drives in four in win over Pads
    Colin Moran went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI to lead the Pirates to a 6-4 win over the Padres on Sunday.

    Advice: Moran turned around a chest-high fastball from Padres rookie Cal Quantrill in the first inning, barely clearing the center field wall -- and a leaping Wil Myers -- for a three-run shot. He tacked on an RBI single in the eighth inning for good measure. Moran didn't win the third base job out of spring but has performed better than Jung Ho Kang and has taken over the everyday duties as such, batting .243/.313/.398 with four homers and 20 RBI in 41 games. Yesterday, 6:15 pm
  • Renfroe blasts three-run shot in loss to Bucs
    Hunter Renfroe went 2-for-4 with a three-run home run in a loss to the Pirates on Sunday.

    Advice: Pirates starter Joe Musgrove was cruising along before Renfroe's three-run lightning strike in the seventh inning made things interesting. Renfroe also singled in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate, but he was left on first base. The homer was the 11th of the year for the 27-year-old, and he's got 23 RBI and 16 runs scored in 42 games. He's something of a streaky hitter, but the power is legitimate and comes in waves, making him a frustrating but rewarding fantasy asset. Yesterday, 6:10 pm
  • Frazier has two hits, two runs against Padres
    Adam Frazier went 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored in Sunday's win over the Padres.

    Advice: Frazier assumed his usual spot atop the Pirates' lineup and helped give Padres starter Cal Quantrill a headache early with a leadoff single that turned into a run, part of a four-run first inning. He later doubled leading off the fifth inning and scored on a Melky Cabrera single. Frazier has been serviceable but not the fantasy asset some hoped he might be heading into the season, batting .255/.314/.354 with a pair of homers and a pair of steals in 41 games played. Yesterday, 5:59 pm
  • Danny Duffy fine after he's hit by comebacker
    Danny Duffy said after Sunday's start that he's perfectly fine after being hit on the top of the foot by a comebacker.

    Advice: Duffy remained in the game afterwards and it didn't seem to effect him at all. He'll be fine to make his next scheduled start on Sunday against the Yankees. Yesterday, 5:58 pm
  • Vazquez strikes out three to earn 13th save
    Felipe Vazquez allowed a hit but struck out three Sunday to shut the door on the Padres, earning his 13th save of the year.

    Advice: After a pair of strikeouts by Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer, a Hunter Renfroe single brought the tying run to the plate. Austin Hedges, who has power to spare, pinch-hit with an eye on tying the game, but Vazquez won the battle, fanning Hedges to end the threat and the game. He's good at that, having now struck out 35 batters in 21 2/3 innings of work this year. The 27-year-old southpaw has a 1.25 ERA and 1.06 WHIP to go with his 13 saves to date. Yesterday, 5:56 pm
  • Cal Quantrill gives up eight hits, five runs
    Cal Quantrill allowed eight hits and five runs over five innings Sunday in a loss to the Pirates.

    Advice: The Pirates got on the recently recalled Quantrill early in this one, when, after a leadoff single, they strung together a pair of two-out singles and a big three-run Colin Moran homer to grab the early advantage. Quantrill settled down a bit from there, but the bulk of the damage was done, especially with Joe Musgrove dealing on the other side. The loss was his second in three appearances this year, leaving him with a 5.40 ERA and ugly 1.73 WHIP on the whole. With Nick Margevicius sent out, Quantrill appears to have an opportunity in front of him, although Sunday’s turn didn’t help. If he is given another look, it will likely come Saturday in an interleague tilt with the Blue Jays. Yesterday, 5:51 pm
  • Musgrove manages quality start against Padres
    Joe Musgrove allowed four runs -- three earned -- over 6 1/3 innings in Sunday's win over the Padres.

    Advice: Musgrove rolled through six innings, allowing just a lone hit, and appeared on his way to an easy day before he ran into trouble in the seventh. In that frame, a leadoff double and an RBI single got the Padres on the board, and a throwing error by Musgrove preceded a three-run Hunter Renfroe homer that suddenly cut the Bucs' lead to one. Musgrove exited and the Pirates bullpen snuffed out the rally, though, securing him his third win of the season. After a rough two-game stretch earlier this month the 26-year-old seems to have gotten straightened back out, and he owns a 3.67 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 44/17 K/BB ratio in 54 innings of work. We'll see just how right he's feeling Saturday when the National League-best Dodgers come to town. Yesterday, 5:49 pm
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