Zack Wheeler settled for a no-decision on Friday against the Padres despite tossing 7 2/3 scoreless innings, limiting San Diego to four hits and no walks with nine strikeouts. Wheeler appeared to have his seventh win sewed up when he handed a 3-0 lead over to Philadelphia's bullpen with four outs to go, only to watch Philly surrender three runs in the ninth. Wheeler has pitched much better than his 6-4 record would indicate, however, as he has a 2.05 ERA, a 0.94 WHIP, and a 139:25 K/BB ratio in 114 innings this year. He's been even better lately, too, allowing no earned runs in four of his last five starts. He'll look to keep rolling against the scuffling Cubs at Wrigley Field in his next start.
Max Scherzer settled for a no-decision on Friday despite holding the Dodgers to one run on four hits and one walk with eight strikeouts over six innings. Scherzer was his usual dominant self, limiting the opposition to one earned run or less for the 11th time in 16 starts this year and lowering his ERA to 2.10. He left with a 3-1 lead, only to watch it immediately evaporate as Washington's bullpen imploded for nine runs in the seventh. Regardless, Scherzer is still having a tremendous season. He's allowed more than two earned runs only twice this year, and both were back in April. Over his last 11 starts, he has a sterling 1.68 ERA with a 12.5 K/9 rate. The former Cy Young winner will look to stay hot at the Padres in his next outing.
Justin Turner helped pace LA's 10-5 win over Washington on Friday, going 3-for-4 with a solo homer. Turner's fourth-inning solo shot was the only run the Dodgers could muster against Max Scherzer over the first six innings before exploding for nine runs in the seventh against Washington's bullpen. The big fly was Turner's 13th of the year but first since June 11, ending a 15-game homerless drought. While his power stroke has been MIA lately, Turner's still been red hot at the plate, batting .386 over his last 19 games. With multiple hits in seven of his last 12 games, he's raised his average 21 points over the last two weeks to .296. Throw in his solid power numbers (13 homers, 41 RBIs), and Turner is still a top fantasy option at the hot corner at age 36.
Sonny Gray ended up with a no-decision after limiting the Cubs to one run on five hits and one walk with eight strikeouts in five innings on Friday. Gray was excellent against Chicago's struggling lineup, but unfortunately for him Cincinnati didn't score at all until after he left the game, leaving his record stuck at 1-4. His ERA improved to 3.27, however, as he's allowed one earned run or less in three of his last four outings. The key to his recent success has been better command, as he's issued just three walks total over his last four starts after giving up multiple free passes in his first seven outings of the year. Gray will carry an elite 11.9 K/9 rate into his next scheduled outing at the Royals.
Drew Smyly improved to 6-3 on the season after winning a 1-0 pitching duel against the Miami Marlins, limiting Miami to just three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 scoreless innings. While he fell one out shy of a quality start, he was still good enough to make Atlanta's 1-0 lead stand up. He's now allowed one earned run or less in three straight starts and two earned runs or less in each of his last five. After finishing April with an 8.05 ERA, Smyly has gotten it all the way down to 4.42. The key for him has been keeping the ball in the park, as he surrendered nine home runs in four April starts but has given up only six bombs in his last 10 starts. He'll look to stay hot against the Pirates in his next scheduled start.
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