Chad Qualls retires Oakland 1-2-3 for another save
by Marty Gitlin |
(10:15 am ET) Astros closer Chad Qualls continued to shut down team after team Tuesday night in Oakland by nailing down his 11th save.

Qualls has just three saves since June 9, but only due to a lack of opportunity. He got the Athletics in order in the 12th inning, striking out Coco Crisp to end it.

Kyle Gibson out, Anthony Swarzak in as Wednesday starter
by Marty Gitlin |
(9:29 am ET) Twins starter Kyle Gibson has been scratched from his Wednesday start against visiting Cleveland due to back stiffness. Anthony Swarzak is set to move from the bullpen to replace him.

Swatzak has been a bit of a disappointment this season with a 4.34 ERA in 30 appearances. He posted a 2.91 ERA a year ago while working a major league-high 96 innings. The right-hander has been particularly poor against the Indians, who have battered him for five runs on nine hits in 1 2/3 innings in 2014.

Zach Britton strikes out two in 18th save
by R.J. White |
(1:23 am ET) Orioles pitcher Zach Britton recorded two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 ninth inning Tuesday, picking up his 18th save in his team's 4-2 win over the Angels.

Britton threw nine of his 12 pitches for strikes and got ahead 0-1 against all three of the batters he faced. He was rocked in the second-half opener but has settled down since, tossing 2 1/3 perfect innings with four strikeouts. Britton owns a 1.78 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 42:14 K:BB ratio in 50 2/3 innings.

Mike Morin takes loss Tuesday vs. Orioles
by R.J. White |
(1:20 am ET) Angels pitcher Mike Morin was stuck with a loss Tuesday after giving up three earned runs on three hits in one inning of action and striking out two in his team's 4-2 defeat against the Orioles.

Morin (2-3) struck out the first two batters he faced Tuesday, but a two-out infield single was followed by an RBI double and then a two-run home run. It was the first home run Morin has surrendered since June 20. He owns a 2.63 ERA and 35:10 K:BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.

Phil Coke takes loss after walking two Tuesday
by R.J. White |
(12:57 am ET) Tigers pitcher Phil Coke was charged with a loss after walking two batters in one-third of an inning Tuesday in his team's 5-4 defeat against the Diamondbacks.

Coke (1-2) retired the first batter he faced in the eighth inning on a comebacker to the pitcher, but he walked the next two guys he faced before being removed. Both would eventually come around to score. Coke owns a 4.79 ERA and 23:14 K:BB ratio in 35 2/3 innings.

Jeff Francis picks up first win Tuesday in extra innings
by R.J. White |
(12:24 am ET) Yankees pitcher Jeff Francis tossed a scoreless 14th inning Tuesday before earning his first win of the season in his team's 2-1 victory over the Rangers.

Francis (1-1) made 10 appearances with the A's before joining the Yankees, and he was able to earn a victory in his first appearance with his new team. He owns a 5.59 ERA and 14:3 K:BB ratio in 19 1/3 innings.

Joakim Soria blows save in 13th inning Tuesday
by R.J. White |
(12:17 am ET) Rangers closer Joakim Soria blew a save opportunity in the 13th inning of Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Yankees.

Soria gave up an earned run on a double and two singles in the 13th, but he was able to record an inning-ending double play to get out of the inning with the score still tied. He owns a 2.70 ERA and 42:4 K:BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings.

Anthony Swarzak set to start Wednesday
by R.J. White |
(7/22/2014) Twins pitcher Anthony Swarzak will serve as an injury replacement for Wednesday's start against the Indians, reports.

Swarzak has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen this season, going 1-0 with a 4.34 ERA and 25:16 K:BB ratio in 47 2/3 innings. If Kyle Gibson appears to be on track to miss more starts, the team could turn to a different option after Wednesday.

Brett Cecil earns fourth save Tuesday
by R.J. White |
(7/22/2014) Blue Jays pitcher Brett Cecil picked up his fourth save Tuesday, throwing just two pitches before recording the final out of his team's 7-3 win over the Red Sox.

Cecil was called upon to clean up a ninth-inning mess with two runners already home and two more on base. He successfully did his job to earn his first save since May 24. Cecil owns a 3.77 ERA and 39:19 K:BB ratio in 31 innings.

Your daily White Sox closer assessment
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/22/2014) You may recall White Sox manager Robin Ventura had this to say after Zach Putnam bailed out Jake Petricka with two outs in the ninth inning Saturday for his second save in as many days:

"Unfortunately, I don't have a guy that you're just going to leave out there, saying that's your closer," Ventura said.

But the second half of that quote may actually say more:

"I like Put's swing-and-miss ability with some lefties, and that's the reason."

"Put," of course, is Putnam, who struck out left-handed hitter Jason Castro with two runners on to secure the save Saturday. But looking back on it, the most interesting part of Putnam bailing out Petricka is that it happened immediately after the second out, not after the second runner reached base. If a right-handed hitter was due up instead of Castro, Ventura may have just let Petricka finish out the inning.

Which explains why Ventura went back to Petricka in the ninth inning Monday. Two right-handed hitters were due up.

After weeks of trying to discern what's happening at the back end of the White Sox bullpen, we may finally have an answer: It's a lefty-righty platoon. Considering they're not so great individually anyway, perhaps you should leave both Putnam and Petricka for the deepest of Rotisserie leagues.

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