Wei-Yin Chen pitched a strong game against the Red Sox on Saturday, allowing just two runs over eight innings.
Chen surrendered just four hits while striking out five and walking one in the contest. Despite his sterling start, he didn't factor in the decision, though his team did ultimately pick up a 5-4 extra-innings win. Both runs Chen allowed came courtesy of a Mike Napoli two-run homer in the second inning. The 29-year-old's ERA now sits at 2.78 and he holds a 16/9 K/BB over 22 2/3 innings. He's been incredibly consistent since entering the majors in 2012, having never posted a single-season ERA higher than 4.07. Chen will try to keep on keepin' on against Rays in his next start.
Just Masterson surrendered three runs in seven innings in Saturday's extra-innings loss to the Orioles.
This was one of Masterson's stronger starts of the season, though he did not come away with a decision. Jimmy Paredes had his number in the contest, hitting an RBI double and a solo home run, but Masterson was mostly able to limit the non-Paredes damage. Saturday's outing marked the first time that Masterson's pitched seven innings this season. He currently holds a lackluster 5.16 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 22 2/3 innings pitched, but both of his last two starts have been solid and he's looked healthy thus far, which probably matters more than the early numbers. Masterson has a home date with the rival Yankees next time he takes the mound.
Ryan Howard hit a two-run homer in Saturday's loss to the Braves.
The dinger was Howard's second of the season. He hit the two-run shot off of Braves starter Shelby Miller in the fourth inning and put the Phillies out to a 2-0 lead, but that home run would represent the only runs the 6-12 Phillies scored in the 5-2 loss. Howard's now hitting just .189/.246/.358, with two home runs and six RBI and has shown little evidence that his bat might suddenly regain its glory of yore. If we're stretching for signs of life, he does have two home runs in his last four games.
Jason Grilli pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up his seventh save of the season in Saturday's win over the Phillies.
Grilli struck out Ryan Howard to open the ninth, then induced outs by Cody Asche and Carlos Ruiz to secure the save. The veteran has filled in admirably following the loss of Craig Kimbrel and is now 7-for-7 in saves, with a sparkling 1.59 ERA and 11/2 K/BB ratio over seven innings. If you picked him up on the waiver wire, pat yourself on the back.
David Buchanan allowed just three runs over 6 2/3 innings against the Braves on Saturday, but his team was unable to lend him enough run support for the victory.
Buchanan struck out three and walked three, while surrendering only two hits. He was cruising until a solo Andrelton Simmons homer in the seventh inning broke up the shutout. The other two runs on his line came after Buchanan had already exited the contest. After an awful open to the season (11 runs allowed in his first 8 2/3 innings), Buchanan's now pitched well in back-to-back starts. There's not much fantasy value here, but at least he's no longer bleeding runs left and right. Buchanan will take to the road to face the Cardinals in his next start.
Shelby Miller held the Phillies to two runs over six innings on Saturday, picking up his third win of the season.
Miller struck out three, walked two and allowed three hits. The only blip on the radar came when Ryan Howard hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Otherwise, Miller showed a quiet effectiveness over his six innings of work in improving to 3-0, with a 2.05 ERA and 1.09 WHIP across 22 innings. The 25-year-old was pulled with just 71 pitches thrown. If he's able to stay relatively efficient, he'll start to see the later innings soon enough. A home start against the Reds is next on the docket.
Russell Martin hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning on Saturday, but it was not enough to secure the win against the Rays.
Martin's solo home run off of Steve Geltz in the seventh inning temporarily gave the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead, but the bullpen was unable to hold it and the Jays eventually lost 4-2. The home run was Martin's third of the season. He also has 10 RBI and 10 runs scored. Over his last 24 at-bats, Martin's hitting .291 and, despite some early struggles, it appears that he's starting to settle in with his new team.
Evan Longoria hit an RBI double and three singles in Saturday's win over the Blue Jays.
With the game knotted at 1-1 in the eighth inning, Longoria singled to right with two outs to start a rally that would ultimately lead to a three-run inning for the home team. Longoria also slapped an RBI double off of Daniel Norris in the first inning. The third baseman came into the contest with a slash-line of just .218/.343/.382, but raised his average to a respectable .270 in just one day's work. Ah the joys of April averages. While Longoria remains a productive hitter in terms of home runs and RBI (especially for his position), he's seen his average, OBP and slugging drop in each of the last three seasons. Hopefully the 4-for-4 effort starts him on a hot streak.