Betts Busts Loose

Betts Busts Loose
Brad Johnson reviews the past week of home runs and takes a look ahead at some juicy matchups.
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Aaron Nola earned a win over the Pirates by holding them to two runs in seven innings while recording nine strikeouts on Saturday.

He gave up a solo homer to Sean Rodriguez leading off the first inning. The second run came on a fluke play when his defense let a routine pop-up fall in for an RBI single. Nola yielded six knocks and did not issue a free pass. The strikeouts were nice to see because his K rate was quite low entering the game compared to previous seasons. He improves to 2-1 with a sterling 2.30 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. Still just 24 years old, Nola could be developing into an ace before our eyes.
Apr 21 - 7:52 PM

Hector Neris closed out the game to earn a save against the Pirates on Saturday.

The Phillies brought him in to get the last out of the eighth inning and he stayed in to finish off the ninth as well. He's now saved four games in five chances. He has a 4.00 ERA with nine strikeouts in nine innings pitched.
Apr 21 - 7:44 PM

Corey Dickerson went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles in a loss to the Phillies on Saturday.

The two-hit days boosted his batting average up to .306 for the season. He's hit one home run, driven in 12 runs and scored ten runs. It still makes no sense why the Rays gave this guy away for essentially nothing over the winter.
Apr 21 - 7:39 PM

Sean Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with a homer and two runs scored in Saturday's loss to the Phillies.

He led off the game with a solo dinger against starter Aaron Nola. He singled in the sixth inning and then raced home from first when the Phillies' defense misplayed an easy pop-up that should have been caught. Rodriguez has a .222 batting average with three homers and six RBI while serving as a part-time outfielder for the Pirates.
Apr 21 - 7:35 PM

Steven Brault took a no-decision after allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Phillies on Saturday.

He allowed just two hits and three walks while striking out four in the fine effort. He kept the Phillies off the scoreboard through five innings then faltered in the sixth. He retired the first batter in the frame, then hit Carlos Santana with a pitch and surrendered a single to Odubel Herrera before being relieved. Rhys Hoskins then belted a three-run bomb off the bullpen with two of those runs being charged to Brault. His record holds at 2-1 with a 4.44 ERA after four starts. He has a wobbly 15:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 24 1/3 innings.
Apr 21 - 7:31 PM

Mike Clevinger tossed a complete-game, two-hit shutout against the Orioles in Saturday's 4-0 win.

He didn't blow them away but the Orioles just couldn't figure him out. He limited the O's to a pair of harmless singles and two walks while recording three strikeouts. It took him just 107 pitches to complete the shutout. Clevinger had a surprisingly strong season last year but has taken his game to a whole new level in 2018. He moves to 2-0 with a 1.75 ERA and 1.05 WHIP after four starts. He will try to keep it rolling against the Mariners on Thursday.
Apr 21 - 7:19 PM

Anthony Rendon (toe) was not in the Nationals' lineup for a seventh straight game Saturday, but manager Dave Martinez said he's available to pinch-hit.

That's an interesting revelation, since a pinch-hit appearance would reset the clock on any potential DL stint. What it says is, the team thinks he's close, despite having not played in the past week. Rendon fouled a ball off his toe in a game on April 13 but X-rays came back negative and he's been day to day ever since. The infielder is likely a day or two away from a return to the lineup.
Apr 21 - 7:13 PM

Yonder Alonso went 2-for-3 and drilled a solo home run in Saturday's win over the Orioles.

He hit a long bomb to center field off Chris Tillman in the sixth inning. The nice day boosted the first baseman's batting average over the Mendoza Line, which is a step in the right direction for the Indians' struggling free agent signee. He is slashing .206/.286/.413 with four homers and 10 RBI through 18 games.
Apr 21 - 7:09 PM
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