Daily Dose: Strasburg Stymied

Daily Dose: Strasburg Stymied
Nate Grimm recaps another Stephen Strasburg setback, a breakout for Josh Hamilton and Scott Feldman's absence in Saturday's Daily Dose.
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John Axford worked around trouble Saturday against the Phillies to convert his ninth save of the season.

Handed a three-run lead, Axford allowed back-to-back singles to Cody Asche and Jeff Francoeur to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. However, he got Carlos Ruiz to line out and Cesar Hernandez to hit into a fielder's choice before striking out Ben Revere looking to end it. While it wasn't the original plan, Axford has done well in the closer role for Colorado this season, going a perfect 9-for-9 in save chances while posting a 0.64 ERA and 10/6 K/BB ratio over 14 innings. The Rockies have now won six out of their last seven games.
May 30 - 6:34 PM

Nolan Arenado went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and an RBI single against the Phillies on Saturday.

Arenado went into a bit of a slump earlier this month, but he has turned things around in a hurry, going deep four times in his last six games. The 24-year-old is batting .285/.328/.552 with 11 home runs and 33 RBI through 45 games this season.
May 30 - 6:33 PM

Ben Paulsen slugged a solo homer Saturday against the Phillies.

It looked like Wilin Rosario would get most of the playing time at first base with Justin Morneau (concussion) sidelined, but Paulsen has changed things with his hot-hitting. He's batting .359 (14-for-39) with three home runs and eight RBI over 12 games. Look for him to continue to start against right-handers.
May 30 - 6:33 PM

Ryan Howard had an RBI double in Saturday's loss to the Rockies.

His first-inning double gave the Phillies an early lead, but the Rockies quickly answered in the second and didn't look back. Howard, who finished the day 1-for-4, was 0-for-12 over his last three games coming into Saturday's action. While he has slowed down a bit this week, the veteran first baseman has had a very impressive month.
May 30 - 6:32 PM

Manny Machado went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk in Saturday's loss to the Rays.

Machado struggled, but so did everybody against a lights-out Erasmo Ramirez. Sometimes, it's just one of those days. Machado's hitting .261/.327/.433 with six homers, 19 RBI and 26 runs scored. His power has waned of late (.479 slugging in April, just .415 in May), but ups and downs are to be expected with young players.
May 30 - 6:30 PM

Joey Butler went 2-for-3 with a solo homer in Saturday's win over the Orioles.

Butler smacked his solo shot off of Wei-Yin Chen in the third inning. At the time, it pushed the score to 3-0 Rays. That's all a dominant Erasmo Ramirez would need, as the Rays would win by that final score. Butler's hitting .309/.347/.500 over 68 at-bats, plus three homers, eight RBI and eight runs scored. With Desmond Jennings on the shelf, it's likely that Butler will continue to see plate appearances, though there's no reason to expect major production.
May 30 - 6:23 PM

Erasmo Ramirez pitched superbly in a 3-0 win over the Orioles on Saturday, allowing just three hits and striking out seven across seven innings.

The Orioles had no answer here. In addition to the seven strikeouts, Ramirez walked just one. It was a much-needed rebound for the righty, who allowed five runs to the A's in his last start and is working with a 5.53 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 36/17 K/BB ratio over 42 1/3+ innings. He'll try to build off this outing when he takes to the road against the Mariners in his next start.
May 30 - 6:20 PM

Wei-Yin Chen overcame some early troubles against the Rays on Saturday, eventually lasting seven innings while surrendering three runs on six hits.

There was talk of Chen being pushed back from this start with undisclosed soreness, but he was able to give it a go. He surrendered solitary runs in each of the first three innings and served up solo home runs to Steve Souza and Joey Butler in the second and third innings, respectively, before settling down to give the Orioles seven innings. The home run continues to be a dark shade on what's been a very good season--he's allowed 10 long balls in 61 2/3 innings. Homers aside, Chen is posting rock solid numbers across the board, with a 3.21 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 48/15 K/BB ratio. He's been the model of consistency this season, having allowed three or fewer earned runs in nine of his 10 starts. Assuming there's no setback with his injury, he'll face the Astros in his next outing.
May 30 - 6:17 PM
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