The Braves' ace had been dealing with some back issues dating back to his last start July 22 when he felt discomfort in his lat. After being given a few extra days rest, Teheran will be able to take the mound for Saturday's matchup with the Phillies.
After a successful first outing with Low-A Hagerstown last Sunday, Ross is now set to advance his rehab to the top minor league affiliate for Saturday's start. Nothing's definite, but the expectation is that Ross will need at least one additional start beyond Saturday to prepare for a return the majors, as he only built his pitch count up to 43 in his appearance with Hagerstown.
The 22-year-old will oppose Jake Peavy in his second career start at the major league level. Lopez gave up 10 hits in his debut earlier this month, but also fanned nine over 4.2 innings, with his fastball averaging over 96 mph in the outing. The matchup Saturday makes him appealing as a streamer in a lot of leagues, as the Giants have scored just 41 runs since the All-Star break (second-fewest in the NL), although they are getting Hunter Pence back.
Samardzija actually looked to be on his way to a quality start for the first time since the All-Star break after shutting out the Nationals for the first three innings. However, Washington would catch up to him the second and third times through the lineup, saddling Samardzija with another loss. While his fantasy owners know that he has been struggling of late, pointing out his 6.29 ERA and uncharacteristically low 5.3 K/9 over his last 11 starts may help owners decide what they want to with the Shark going forward. Looking on the positive side of things, he gets a great matchup against the Phillies on Thursday.
Jackson has had trouble missing bats in all three Padres starts. His three strikeouts Friday gave him eight in 17.1 innings in his three starts. When that many balls are in play, he's subject to the whims of positioning and the amount of hard contact allowed. The good news is that he's allowed just one homer in those three starts.
He got some help from his defense, including the first triple play in Nationals' history, but Mad Max still did his part to record his sixth straight quality start and 17th in 22 outings this season. Scherzer will next take the mound Wednesday in Arizona.
It certainly wasn't the prettiest of performances for the veteran righty, despite the fact that he was handed a lead as large as 9-1 at one point. Leake promptly allowed that advantage to evaporate in the fifth, giving up RBI doubles to Miguel Rojas and Kelly Johnson before Martin Prado took him deep for a three-run homer. The blast led to Leake's exit after 87 pitches, and marked his second consecutive rough outing after an 11-strikeout gem against the Padres on July 18. The 28-year-old has now given upn 13 runs (12 earned) on 19 hits over his last two starts and will try to bounce back when he takes on the Reds next Thursday.
Before Friday's start, Finnegan changed the grip on his changeup, and that eliminated the cutting action that he had been getting on the pitch. In the last month prior to Friday, he had reduced his changeup usage to 4 percent, but it was back up to 16.7 percent Friday.
The sinker is Nola's primary pitch and is critical to his success. He began the year throwing the pitch at 91 mph and has seen his velocity decline each month, reaching its lowest point in his last start. There has been no talk of an injury, but there has been some indication that Nola was dealing with a "dead arm" earlier this month. He has also been tinkering with his mechanics, which could also be impacting his velocity.
The ace southpaw has gotten the second half off to a relatively solid start after a pair of worrisome efforts immediately before the All-Star break. Lester induced 13 swinging strikes in Friday's victory, pitching well for the second time in three post-All-Star-break trips to the mound. The 32-year-old also recorded seven strikeouts for the second straight appearance and will look to continue building momentum when he takes on Jose Fernandez and the Marlins at Wrigley next Wednesday.