• After his second poor appearance in a row Dusty Baker was concerned with Aroldis Chapman‘s velocity down and now the Reds are going to give Chapman a few days off to “rest his tired pitching shoulder.” Chapman, whose average fastball velocity is 98 mph this year, only hit 96 mph on the radar gun last night. As ridiculous as that might sound for any other pitcher, it is definitely a cause for concern for the Reds. With Chapman resting, Jonathan Broxton received the save tonight and he should be a must add as he is the preferred replacement for Chapman.
• Frank Francisco had a rough ninth inning tonight against the Nationals, letting four batters reach base without recording an out. Before tonight’s outing Francisco had pitched inseven consecutive scoreless appearances and without anyone waiting in the wings on the Mets, Francisco’s job remains relatively safe. Also, while Frank Squared has pitched better than his 5.80 ERA would suggest (4.06 xFIP), he’s still a closer prone to some rough outings on a struggling Mets team — not necessarily the most enviable closing situation.
• Unfortunately for Wilton Lopez the Astros don’t give him too many chances to close the door but Lopez did his job tonight recording his fourth save since taking over as closer from Francisco Cordero. As I mentioned yesterday, Lopez won’t rack up gaudy save totals in the final weeks of the season, but his excellent control should be able to help out your team’s ratios.
• Tyler Clippard recorded his 31st save of the year tonight against the Mets, giving up one run while striking out two batters. Clippard is entrenched as the Nationals closer for this season, but it will be interesting to monitor what the Nationals do with their bullpen next year with Drew Storen still around.
For those of you who play daily fantasy games like FanGraphs: The Game, or just like to stream players, here is a matchup you may be able to exploit.
A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Jason Motte (STL) @ SD
Motte’s season hasn’t been jaw-dropping but he’s been solid all year and has flown a little under the radar. With a 3.08 xFIP and a K/9 over 10 playing at San Diego, Motte could be a nice play tomorrow.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]