• Just a few hours after last night’s Bullpen Report was published, the Rangers touched up Angels’ closer Ernesto Frieri for four runs (three earned) on three hits and a walk to be charged with his first blown save of the season. As an Angel, Frieri held opponents scoreless in 26.1 consecutive innings up until July 15th, but hasn’t been his dominant self as of late. The struggles seem to stem from the 1.8 K/BB (2.77 K/BB on the year) and the three long balls he’s surrendered in the last seven outings as his ERA with the Angels climbed from 0.00 to 1.95 over that short time. Despite the recent bumps in the road, Frieri is still the reliever to own in Anaheim, especially with Scott Downs hitting the DL.
• Tyler Clippard locked down his sixth consecutive save and 21st on the season in a 3-0 Nationals victory over the Phillies. It’s worth noting that Clippard gave up two free passes in the ninth, but fanned pinch hitter Ryan Howard on three consecutive pitches to seal the victory. The right-hander has been fairly dominant since his last blown save on July 20th, going 6-for-6 in save chances allowing just one earned run and tallying a 2.0 K/BB.
• Frank Francisco is expected to return from the disabled list on Friday and join the Mets in San Diego in time for their series opener against the Padres. The Mets’ closer, shelved since late June with a strained oblique, is expected to regain the closer’s role immediately upon his return. Bobby Parnell owners should note that manager Terry Collins suggested he could see some infrequent save opportunities should Francisco pitch “multiple days in a row.” I’m holding Parnell until after the weekend to be sure Francisco doesn’t suffer an additional set back, but plan on sending him packing to the waiver wire shortly thereafter.
• The Dodgers made a last minute push at the trade deadline to acquire Twins’ lefty Glen Perkins, presumably due to his recent success and reasonable contract, “but nothing materialized” according to beat writer Dylan Hernandez. Perkins appeared tonight for the first time since the rumors of his potential trade to the left coast and didn’t disappoint. The six-foot Minnesota native entered in the eighth inning and trotted back out in the ninth to finish off the Red Sox and earn the six-out save, his sixth on the year.
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: Aroldis Chapman (CIN) vs. PIT
Mat Latos will face off against the Pirates’ and Wandy Rodriguez tomorrow in Cincy. The Reds were able to defeat the Padres this evening without using their dominant closer, so with a days rest under his belt, one could assume Chapman will be fresh for tomorrow’s contest.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]