Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw turned a random Wednesday into something special and historical last week, throwing the first no-hitter of his career against the Rockies. Seven days later, the National League West-leading Giants held their own on-field party.
Tim Lincecum limited the Padres to a mere Chase Headley walk over nine innings Wednesday afternoon at AT&T Park for his second career no-hitter. He fanned six batters in the dominant outing and tossed 73 of his 113 pitches for strikes. Lincecum, who also no-hit the Padres last July, is just the second pitcher in the long and storied history of the Giants to record two no-hitters.
The other: Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson.
Now it’s time to get practical, for fantasy purposes. Lincecum was facing a San Diego club that has produced by far the fewest runs in the major leagues this season and he still owns a rough 4.42 ERA in 91 2/3 total innings this year. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him return to mediocrity in his next outing against the Cardinals.
In his previous start before Wednesday’s no-hitter -- last Friday night in Arizona -- Lincecum was knocked around for four earned runs on seven hits and struck out just one batter across six rough innings. He was also blown up for eight earned runs in 4 1/3 innings earlier this month by the Reds.
Let’s give “Big Time Timmy Jim” his moment, but be cautious about buying in completely.
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Good Wood Shows Up In Return
The Braves finally added talented 23-year-old left-hander Alex Wood back to their starting rotation on Wednesday after his month-long stint as a reliever and another three-week stay stretching out in the minors. And he killed it.
Wood tossed seven scoreless innings, yielding only three hits and one walk while striking out four as the Braves blanked the Astros in Houston. Wood probably could have worked much longer -- he was pulled at 79 pitches -- but it’s understandable that the Braves didn’t want to push it in his first major league start since May 4.
Wood owns a 3.07 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 67/16 K/BB ratio in 67 1/3 total innings (eight starts and 11 relief appearances) this season for Atlanta. He had a 3.13 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings last year. The southpaw obviously needs to be owned in all standard mixed fantasy leagues. He gets the Mets and Diamondbacks next week.
Nathan Earns Save, But Not Cleanly
Experienced fantasy ballers know it’s wise to stash setup men who might be on the brink of taking over closer duties, and there’s not a better candidate for such action right now than Tigers right-hander Joba Chamberlain.
Tigers closer Joe Nathan earned his 16th save of the season on Wednesday night against the Rangers, but he did so with a three-run lead and it wasn’t without danger. Nathan gave up a one-out double to Shin-Soo Choo and then yielded an RBI single to Adrian Beltre in the bottom of the ninth inning, cutting Detroit’s lead to two. The 39-year-old reliever rallied from there, inducing a fielder’s choice groundout from Alex Rios and then fanning 36-year-old strikeout machine Carlos Pena to end the game. But the scene was all too familiar.
Nathan has already blown five save opportunities in 2014 and he owns a hideous 6.28 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 28 2/3 total innings. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus is going to have to pull the chord at some point.
National League Quick Hits: Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips missed a second straight game Wednesday because of a bruised heel … Dee Gordon had four hits, a stolen base, and two runs scored Wednesday in the Dodgers’ victory over the Royals … Gerrit Cole (shoulder) has been cleared to rejoin the Pirates’ rotation Saturday against the Mets … Scooter Gennett slugged a grand slam and drove in five total runs in the Brewers’ rout of the Nationals on Wednesday … The Padres are receiving trade interest in reliever Huston Street and Joaquin Benoit … Hanley Ramirez remains day-to-day because of irritation around the A/C joint in his right shoulder … Mat Latos earned his first win of the season on Wednesday, yielding only one run over seven innings as the Reds topped the Cubs … Cardinals left-hander Marco Gonzales surrendered five earned runs over five innings Wednesday in his major league debut at Coors Field … The Giants placed center fielder Angel Pagan on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a strained back … Marlins closer Steve Cishek earned his 18th save of 2014 in Wednesday’s win over the Phillies … Starling Marte is day-to-day with mild head and finger injuries … Matt Adams homered again Wednesday and is now batting .340 (16-for-47) with six home runs and 16 RBI in 13 games since returning from a calf injury … Reds left-hander Sean Marshall had season-ending shoulder surgery on Wednesday … An MRI taken Tuesday on Kolten Wong’s sore left shoulder came up negative … Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a triceps strain … Stephen Strasburg was shelled for seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings Wednesday in a loss to the Brewers … Juan Uribe (hamstring) is expecting to be activated from the disabled list Thursday … Reds outfielder Jay Bruce went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI doubles in Wednesday's defeat of the Cubs.
American League Quick Hits: Rays ace David Price struck out 11 batters over 8 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a win over the Pirates on Wednesday … Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista missed a third straight game Wednesday due to a mild left hamstring strain … Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-4 with an RBI single and a run scored in the Yankees’ defeat of the Blue Jays on Wednesday … Indians right-hander Corey Kluber struck out eight batters over seven shutout innings Wednesday to beat the Diamondbacks … Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Wednesday that Taijuan Walker is "in the discussion" to be recalled next week … J.D. Martinez homered again Wednesday in the Tigers’ defeat of the Rangers and is now batting .320 with a 1.004 OPS, nine home runs, and 31 RBI in 38 games since his April 21 promotion to the majors … Mike Carp (foot) is set to begin a rehab assignment this weekend … White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton finished 4-for-5 with a double, an RBI triple, and a stolen base in Wednesday's extra-innings loss to the Orioles … Torii Hunter returned to the Tigers’ starting lineup on Wednesday after missing over a week with a tweaked right hamstring … Royals pitching prospect Kyle Zimmer (lat) is on track to begin a throwing program on July 15 … Coco Crisp went 3-for-5 with an RBI single and a solo home run in Wednesday's win over the Mets … Astros shortstop prospect Carlos Correa underwent season-ending surgery this week for a fractured right fibula … The Red Sox designated left-hander Chris Capuano for assignment … Jose Abreu slugged his 23rd home run of the season on Wednesday … Angels third baseman David Freese is day-to-day with a sore left elbow … Justin Masterson has been scratched from his scheduled start Sunday against the Mariners due to right knee discomfort … Shane Victorino’s rehab has been stalled again by lingering back soreness … Clay Buchholz allowed four runs over 7 1/3 innings in his return to the Red Sox rotation Wednesday versus the Mariners … A’s closer Sean Doolittle picked up his 11th save of 2014 on Wednesday against the Mets … Twins shortstop Danny Santana left Wednesday’s loss to the Angels with a sore left knee.