Alternative Handcuffs

Alternative Handcuffs
Adam Levitan examines some non-RB handcuffing opportunities that can save a season, such as pairing Cody Latimer with Demaryius Thomas or Wes Welker.
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Matt Garza held the Rays to one run on five hits over seven innings but settled for a no-decision against the Rays on Tuesday.

Garza has now allowed two runs over his last 15 innings after allowing five while recording just one out against the Nationals on July 19. Unfortunately Alex Cobb matched him frame for frame, depriving Garza of his eighth win. The right-hander walked two while striking out two in the outing. Garza will carry a 3.74 ERA into his next start, Tuesday against the Giants.
Jul 29 - 10:11 PM

Ben Zobrist went 2-for-4 with a home run and an RBI double in Tuesday's win over the Brewers.

Zobrist got the Rays on the board with his solo shot in the sixth inning, and he gave them the lead in the eighth with his RBI double. The homer was his ninth of the season, and Zobrist has scored nine runs in his last 10 games. After a slow start to the year, the 33-year-old has his line up to a respectable .271/.361/.421.
Jul 29 - 10:11 PM

Jimmy Rollins hit a solo home run and walked in five plate appearances in Tuesday's win against the Mets.

Rollins broke a scoreless tie in the third inning, hitting a fly ball just over the fence in right field off of Mets starter Dillon Gee. It's the sixth homer of the month, and the 14th overall, for the shortstop. His numbers continue to hover around the league average for shortstops, as he owns a .239/.321/.398 slash line with 47 RBI and 19 stolen bases.
Jul 29 - 10:11 PM

Grady Sizemore went yard for the first time as the member of a National League team, hitting a solo home run to right field in Tuesday's win against the Mets.

It was the 142nd career home run for the veteran outfielder. The prior 141 had all come as a member of an American League squad. Sizemore took starter Dillon Gee out to right field in the fourth to pad the Phillies' lead to 2-0. Since joining the Phillies, Sizemore is slashing .314/.352/.451 in 54 plate appearances. Should the Phillies trade Marlon Byrd, Sizemore would be in line for even more playing time.
Jul 29 - 10:08 PM

Chase Utley blasted a grand slam into the upper deck in right field at Citi Field on Tuesday. It was his only hit in four plate appearances as the Phillies went on to an easy victory.

Utley took reliever Josh Edgin out to right field to break the game wide open at 6-0 in the seventh. It's the fifth grand slam of the veteran second baseman's career, and his first since 2010. The 35-year-old is having another productive year, slashing .291/.353/.439 with nine home runs and 54 RBI.
Jul 29 - 10:05 PM

Cole Hamels picked up his eighth win of the season after shutting the Mets out over eight innings on Tuesday.

Hamels' name has been bandied about in trade rumors lately, but the lefty was able to ignore the distractions and continue his run of strong pitching. Including Tuesday's outing, in which he allowed six hits, walked none, and struck out eight, Hamels has a 1.58 ERA in 12 starts since the beginning of June. Overall, he has a 2.55 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 133/39 K/BB ratio. Hamels will wrap up the Phillies' road trip on Sunday against the Nationals.
Jul 29 - 10:02 PM

Dodgers activated LHP Scott Elbert from the 60-day disabled list; designated him for assignment.

Elbert's career has been sabotaged by injuries, as he's had three elbow surgeries since his last big league appearance in 2012 and also missed a year in the minors due to shoulder surgery. The lefty has posted a 4.26 ERA over 15 rehab appearances while working his way back from his latest operation, and the Dodgers have apparently decided just to cut bait. He's 28 and throws left-handed, so someone will give him a shot.
Jul 29 - 10:02 PM

Todd Frazier knocked in what turned out to be the deciding run, finishing 2-for-4 overall in Tuesday's 3-0 victory over the D'Backs.

Frazier singled in Billy Hamilton in the first inning, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead. It would be all the offense Mike Leake needed, as the Reds' starter blanked the D'Backs over 7 2/3 innings. Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman combined to get the final four outs for the shutout. With Joey Votto out, Frazier and Devin Mesoraco have been the lifeblood of the struggling Reds' offense. The third baseman has a .280/.340/.475 slash line with 20 home runs, 55 RBI, and 16 stolen bases.
Jul 29 - 9:58 PM
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