It’s a Hard Tanaka Life

It’s a Hard Tanaka Life
Nobody was safe in a dangerous Week That Was, as Masahiro Tanaka, Yadier Molina and Brandon Phillips can attest
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Clay Buchholz struck out 12 while allowing just three hits in an 11-0 shutout of the Astros on Sunday.

It's been a season to forget thus far for the 29-year-old, but Sunday reminded fans just how dominant Buchholz can be when he's on. The right-hander allowed just three singles and didn't walk a batter, using 109 pitches to finish his first shutout of 2014. The start could give him some confidence heading into the season's second half.
Jul 13 - 7:26 PM

Xander Bogaerts had an RBI and scored two runs in a win over the Astros on Sunday.

Bogaerts actually went hitless in the game, but he found ways to contribute nonetheless. The 21-year-old hit an RBI sacrifice fly in the third inning, and he scored in the second and seventh innings in the Red Sox' rout. He finishes the first half with a meager .235/.311/.348 line, but he's talented enough to turn that around in the second half.
Jul 13 - 7:24 PM

Christian Vazquez went 2-for-4 with two RBI in Sunday's win over the Astros.

Vazquez is now 5-for-11 with five RBI, three doubles and three runs scored since being recalled on July 9. Despite his offensive output thus far, Vazquez isn't in the majors for his offense. This is likely just a flash in the pan, but a welcome one from the Red Sox' perspective.
Jul 13 - 7:21 PM

Astros optioned RHP David Martinez to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

The 26-year-old appeared in three games with the Astros, allowing four run over his seven innings of work (5.14 ERA). He should get another chance with the big league club at some point in the second half of the season.
Jul 13 - 7:16 PM

Daniel Nava went 2-for-4 with two runs scored in Sunday's win over the Astros.

Nava's second two-hit day raised his average to .238 to finish what's been a forgettable first half for the 31-year-old. More was expected out of Nava after he put up a .303/.385/.445 line in 2013, but he owns just a .628 OPS this year and has been up and down from Triple-A. He's a non-factor for fantasy purposes.
Jul 13 - 7:16 PM

Brad Peacock was pulled after facing just five batters on Sunday, taking the loss against the Red Sox.

The yanking was so abrupt that one would expect an injury announcement shortly after, but one never came -- rather, Astros manager Bo Porter had simply seen enough. Peacock allowed a leadoff home run to Brock Holt and loaded the bases with one out after surrendering a single, walk and HBP before being yanked. He'd actually been pretty good in recent starts before Sunday's head-scratcher, owning a 4.39 ERA through 84 innings. He should remain in the Astros rotation in the second half.
Jul 13 - 7:13 PM

Brock Holt finished 5-for-6 with a home run and two runs scored against the Astros on Sunday.

Holt put an exclamation point on a breakout first half, hitting his third home run of the season to go with four singles. The 26-year-old has been a revelation for the Red Sox this season, batting .327/.371/.463 and serving as the team's primary leadoff hitter. Look for him to continue his strong season in the second half.
Jul 13 - 7:08 PM

Todd Frazier hit his 19th home run of the season, a two-run blast, as the Reds bested the Pirates 6-3 on Sunday.

The homer was Frazier's second in as many days, and it was his only hit in five at-bats. His 19 home runs are fourth-most in the National League at the break, and he's also among the league leaders in runs scored (57) and slugging percentage. Perhaps no player had a bigger breakout in the first half -- Frazier will take a .290/.353/.500 line with 14 stolen bases and 53 RBI into the second half.
Jul 13 - 6:56 PM
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