Kirk Nieuwenhuis swatted a go-ahead two-run homer in a 5-3 win over the Nationals on Friday.
Keon Broxton tied things up with his first MLB homer in the fifth before Nieuwenhuis took Max Scherzer deep in the sixth to put the Brewers in front. It was a bit of a flashback for the Nationals, as he hit a crushing go-ahead homer against them last September while with the Mets. Nieuwenhuis struck out in his other three at-bats on Friday, which has been the norm for him this year. The 28-year-old has provided some patience and speed, but he's hitting just .224 through 64 games.
Cody Reed was hit hard for five earned runs on nine hits in five innings on Friday against the Padres to absorb the first loss of his career.
Reed was making his second start since being called up from the minors. The home run hit by Wil Myers was the third one Reed has allowed in his 12 innings. Reed's BABIP is sitting at .400, indicating he has been unlucky in a very small sample. On the plus side, Reed has fanned 15 batters already. The Reds' top prospect has a bright future once he adjusts to the majors. He has a tough matchup versus the Cubs on tap for Wednesday.
Wil Myers went 3-for-5 with a home run and five RBI on Friday night.
The home run was his 17th. He has a .289 batting average to go with 49 runs, 50 RBI and 10 stolen bases. After three injury-plagued seasons, the 25-year-old Myers is finally turning into the fantasy stud we all expected when he was a prospect. He may surpass his career high of 335 at-bats before the All Star break.
Jeremy Jeffress worked around some trouble against the Nationals on Friday for his 20th save of the season.
Asked to hold a two-run lead, Jeffress hit Ben Revere with a pitch to begin the inning and gave up a two-out single to Daniel Murphy, but he struck out Wilson Ramos swinging to end it. The 28-year-old was unavailable earlier this week due to an eye infection, but he’s feeling better now. Jeffress is 20-for-21 in save chances this season while posting a 2.76 ERA and 26/8 K/BB ratio over 32 2/3 innings.
Zach Davies yielded three runs over five innings Friday in a no-decision against the Nationals.
All three runs scored in the third inning. Still, it was another solid start for Davies, who tied a season-high with nine strikeouts and walked just one batter. It’s getting harder and harder to ignore him in mixed fantasy leagues. He’ll bring a 3.74 ERA into a start against the Dodgers next week.
Max Scherzer struck out 10 batters Friday against the Brewers, but he took the loss after giving up five runs over six innings.
The Nationals grabbed the lead in the third inning, but Scherzer’s issue with the home run ball reared its ugly head yet again, as he gave up a solo homer to Keon Broxton to tie the game in the fifth inning before Kirk Nieuwenhuis added a go-ahead two-run blast in the sixth. Scherzer has reached double-digits in strikeouts in four out of the last five games and ranks second in the majors with 138 strikeouts overall, but he also leads the majors with 20 homers allowed. He’ll bring a 3.52 ERA into a start against the second-place Mets next week.
Anthony Rendon went 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts in Friday’s loss to the Brewers.
It looked like Rendon was finally getting on track earlier this month, but he’s hitting just .170 (9-for-53) with 20 strikeouts over his last 15 games. His batting line sits at a disappointing .248/.330/.393 for the year.
Billy Hamilton netted two hits, a run, a walk and his 17th stolen base of the season on Friday.
One of the hits was a triple. After a brutally bad season at the plate last year, Hamilton has made modest strides this year. He will never help his fantasy owners in the home run or RBI categories, but his ability to steal bases by the dozen could make him a fantasy star if he could just score some runs and hit for a decent batting average. He hit .226 last year and has improved to .261 this year.