Mercer did exactly what a leadoff man should do Wednesday, getting on base and scoring three times over the course of the night. He raised his batting average to .282 with the three-hit game, and the runs brought his total to 43 on the season. He's spent most of the year batting towards the bottom of the order, but should have significant run-scoring potential if he continues to bat atop the Pirates' order.
McCutchen lead the offense while starter Gerrit Cole threw a dominating three-hit complete game. McCutchen entered the game mired in a 4-for-26 slump, which he broke out of with authority. Despite hitting just .241/.314/.405 entering Wednesday's contest, the Pirates have kept faith in their star centerfielder, continuing to bat him third in the order. Fantasy owners should keep faith as well, and hope Wednesday's performance is a sign of better days ahead for McCutchen.
Manager Clint Hurdle confirmed Wednesday evening that Brault will be the starter for Friday's game. Outside of a July 5 outing for the Pirates, he has spent the majority of his season with Triple-A Indianapolis. He has sported a solid 2.15 ERA with the club.
Cole was quite efficient on Wednesday, needing just 93 pitches to retire 27 Mariners as the Pirates cruised to a 10-1 blowout win. The complete game was Cole's first of his four-year career and came at a much-needed time for fantasy owners. Cole had lost his previous two starts since returning from a month-long DL stint in late June and early July. Cole now has a 2.78 ERA and a solid 73:23 K:BB ratio on the season. He'll look to keep things going next week in Atlanta.
Washington's been searching for production from the leadoff spot, and perhaps the club has found it with Turner. Hitting atop the lineup over the last three games, the 23-year-old sophomore is 6-for-13 with two doubles, one triple, three RBI, three runs and two stolen bases. Turner played the outfield for the second straight day in this one, but manager Dusty Baker wouldn't commit to playing Turner out there once the team returns to NL parks and loses the DH. If Turner does in fact earn an everyday spot, he's worth a pickup in most formats, especially if Baker inserts him in the leadoff spot.
His seventh-inning homer gave Cincinnati the lead for good. He now has six bombs in the last five games. Bruce also has a nine-game winning streak, and during that stretch, he's hitting 12-for-37 (.324) with seven homers, 15 RBI and 10 runs. He is slashing .271/.323/.572 with 25 home runs, 79 RBI and 59 runs in 362 at-bats.
He threw 11 of his 17 pitches for strikes on his way to inducing a ground out, fly out and foul out. Cingrani has converted his last seven save opportunities since June 10. He also has a 1.86 ERA this month.
It's the second time since June 20 that Bumgarner lost a game where he only allowed one earned run. Unfortunately, he hasn't won since the All-Star break, but his other numbers aren't terrible. Bumgarner has a 3.00 ERA with 24 strikeouts in his last 21 innings over three starts. His next outing will be Tuesday versus the Phillies.
The only run Straily allowed was a solo bomb to Conor Gillaspie. The right-hander retired the side in order the first two frames and only allowed three of the first 24 batters he faced to reach base. Straily hasn't allowed more than two runs in any of his last three starts. He will try to keep this going in his next outing against the Cardinals on Wednesday.
He had a one-run lead in the fourth, but he tossed up a two-run homer to Evan Longoria and then allowed another run on a double. It was good to see McCarthy back out there after he left Friday's game with an apparent cramp, but McCarthy threw the shortest outing of his brief season. He is 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in 26.1 innings over five starts. His next outing will be Tuesday against the Rockies.