Return of the Closers

Return of the Closers
With the All-Star Game and the first closer trade in the rearview, it's time to do some good old fashioned closer talk.
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A.J. Burnett had one of his best starts of the season on a rain-soaked night against the Giants, tossing eight shutout innings in a no-decision.

With the two clubs short on relievers due to Tuesday's 14-inning affair, Burnett sat through a rain delay and pitched through eight innings on 130 pitches. He allowed four hits, walked four, and struck out six. Depending on what the Phillies do over the next few days, it may have been his last start in red pinstripes. If he's still around on Monday, he'll open a road series in New York against the Mets, sporting a 3.86 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and 119/62 K/BB ratio.
Jul 23 - 11:21 PM

Madison Bumgarner shut the Phillies out over eight innings, picking up his 12th win on Wednesday.

Bumgarner had to sit through a rain delay but the Phillies were still no match for the talented left-hander when he came back out to finish his start. He allowed just five hits while walking zero and striking out six. Bumgarner has won three starts in a row and now has a 3.19 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP and 141/34 K/BB ratio. He'll open up a series at home against the Pirates in his next start.
Jul 23 - 11:18 PM

Hunter Pence was 0-for-3 with a walk until clearing the bases with a double to break a scoreless tie in the top of the ninth in Wednesday's win over the Phillies.

Pence has killed his former team in this series, entering the night with six hits in 13 at-bats. He now has 6 RBI in the series and can help the Giants wrap up a four-game sweep on Thursday afternoon. Pence has been among the most productive hitters in baseball, slashing .304/.361/.479 with 13 home runs, 41 RBI, and 10 stolen bases.
Jul 23 - 11:14 PM

Twins prospect RHP Kohl Stewart was scratched from his scheduled start at Low-A Cedar Rapids on Wednesday due to shoulder soreness.

Twins director of minor league operations Brad Steil said Stewart is dealing with "a little shoulder soreness," an affliction he dealt with toward the end of the 2013 season as well. It's not a huge cause for concern for the No. 4 overall pick in 2013, and he should be back on the mound sooner than later. Stewart owns a 2.42 ERA through 81 2/3 innings of work at the minor league level this season.
Jul 23 - 11:03 PM

Brett Gardner's solo home run in the bottom of the third inning turned out to be the deciding run as the Yankees defeated the Rangers 2-1 after the game was called with one out in the bottom of the fifth.

Gardner took Yu Darvish out to right field, which allowed the Yankees to claim victory after the grounds crew had trouble applying the tarp and the rain kept coming down. Gardner joins the double-digit home run club for the first time in his career, now with 10, and sports a .278/.359/.428 slash line with 41 RBI and 17 stolen bases.
Jul 23 - 10:51 PM

Leonys Martin hit safely in both of his at-bats in Wednesday's rain-shortened game against the Yankees, going 2-for-2 with a triple and a run scored.

Martin singled and scored in the third, then tripled and was stranded with one out in the fifth, when the game was called. Martin owns a substandard .273/.328/.382 slash line with five home runs, 28 RBI, and 18 stolen bases.
Jul 23 - 10:48 PM

Yu Darvish allowed two runs in 4 1/3 innings and took the loss on Wednesday against the Yankees in a rain-shortened affair.

Darvish made a couple of mistakes in the third inning, talking in Francisco Cervelli to tie the game at 1-1, then allowing a solo home run to Brett Gardner to make it a 2-1 game. Overall, Darvish allowed four hits, walked none, and struck out five. Darvish now owns a 2.92 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and a 159/42 K/BB ratio. He'll face the Yankees again in his next start, this time at home on Monday.
Jul 23 - 10:45 PM

David Phelps held the Rangers to one run over five innings and earned the win in a rain-shortened game on Wednesday.

The game was called with one out in the bottom of the fifth. The Yankees already had the lead, of course. Phelps allowed five hits -- the only extra-base hit was a triple to Leonys Martin -- without issuing a walk and striking out three. The right-hander hasn't lost since June 7. Now with a 3.77 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and a 86/37 K/BB ratio, Phelps will open up a road series against the Rangers on Monday.
Jul 23 - 10:43 PM
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