Nationals righty Jeremy Hellickson won after allowing two hits and no walks with eight strikeouts over 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Padres on Tuesday. Hellickson retired the first 18 Padres he faced before Travis Jankowski singled to center to lead off the seventh inning. Hellickson retired two more batters before a single by Franchy Cordero ended his outing at 91 pitches (59 strikes). This was easily Hellickson's longest and best outing this season -- he even added an RBI double at the plate. The victory and quality start were both Hellickson's first of the year, lowering his ERA to 2.28. He lines up to make his next start at the Diamondbacks on May 13.
The Mets traded Matt Harvey to the Reds on Tuesday for catcher Devin Mesoraco and cash. Mesoraco has been injury prone in the past, playing just 90 games from 2015-2017 due to injuries. He's been healthy this year, however, hitting .220 with one home run in 18 games for the Reds. He's expected to assume regular catching duties in New York with Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki both injured. To clear roster space for him, the Mets placed third baseman Todd Frazier on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain and shifted reliever Anthony Swarzak to the 60-day DL. The move ends the saga between Harvey and the Mets, who designated the pitcher for assignment on Saturday. Harvey was 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA in eight games for the Mets, including a 10.50 ERA in four relief appearances.
Phillies righty Aaron Nola won after allowing one run on five hits and no walks with 12 strikeouts over seven innings vs. the Giants on Tuesday. Nola won his fourth straight start and turned in his sixth consecutive quality start with one of the most dominant outings of his career on Tuesday. The dozen strikeouts and 26 swings and misses were both career highs for Nola, who threw 75 of his 109 pitches for strikes. The 24-year-old seemed to be pitching to contact earlier in the season with 15 strikeouts through 24 1/3 innings in his first four starts, but that hasn't been the case lately as he's tallied 32 whiffs in 28 1/3 innings over his last four starts. Nola has logged at least seven innings in each of his last four starts and will look to keep rolling vs. the Mets at home on May 13.
Reds righty Luis Castillo won after allowing two runs on three hits (one homer) and one walk with seven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings vs. the Mets on Tuesday. After an up-and-down start to the year, Castillo put it all together for perhaps his best start of the season. He set down the first 14 batters he faced, as he attacked the strike zone and limited hard contact with no batted balls at 100 mph or harder. He was able to get ahead in the count with first-pitch strikes to 14 of 21 batters and put them away with a devastating changeup low and out of the zone to pick up six of his seven strikeouts. Overall, he resembled the rookie with a 3.12 ERA last year than the second-year pitcher who came into Tuesday's game with a 7.01 mark. Although Castillo did allow a home run for the fourth consecutive start, it was only a solo shot in the sixth inning. And Castillo did not issue a walk until the final batter he faced, two hitters later. Castillo ended the night with a season-low three hits allowed as well. The 25-year-old sophomore will look to build on this outing in his next scheduled start at the Dodgers on May 13.
Braves lefty Sean Newcomb won after allowing two hits and three walks with six strikeouts in six shutout innings Tuesday against the Rays. Coming off seven scoreless innings against the Mets in his previous outing, Newcomb stayed hot against Tampa Bay by throwing 68 of his 108 pitches for strikes. Newcomb has now allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his last six starts. With a 48:18 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings thus far, the 24-year-old sophomore will look to keep rolling at the Marlins on May 13.
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