Sandy Alcantara somehow ended up with a no-decision on Wednesday after firing nine innings of one-run ball against the Mets, limiting them to one run on four hits and one walk while racking up 14 strikeouts. The 14 whiffs were a season-high for Alcantara, who battled to a 1-1 tie through nine after allowing a game-tying solo homer to Michael Conforto in the seventh. He ultimately threw 81 of his season-high 114 pitches for strikes, resulting in his fifth outing with double-digit Ks this year. Four of those have come since the beginning of August, as Alcantara has emerged as the most dominant strikeout pitcher in baseball recently with 68 whiffs over his last eight starts. While his record remains an impressive 8-13, Alcantara improved his ERA to 3.24 with Wednesday's dominant outing. He'll look to keep it up in a friendly road matchup against the Nationals in his next start.
Bryce Harper went 1-for-1 with a homer, two RBIs, and three walks in a 4-3 loss to the Brewers on Wednesday. Despite reaching base in all four of his plate appearances, the only time Harper scored was when he drove in himself with his first-inning solo shot. The big fly was Harper's 29th of the year, three of which have come in his last four games. He also extended his hitting streak to five games and raised his NL-leading OPS to 1.012. That mark would be the second-highest of Harper's career if the season ended today, behind only his epic MVP-winning performance from 2015. His next home run will give him four seasons with at least 30, although this one has produced the fewest RBIs by far with just 68 to date.
Brandon Crawford powered the Giants to a 7-4 win over the Rockies on Wednesday by going 1-for-4 with a three-run homer and a walk. Crawford put San Francisco on the board with his game-tying three-run jack in the sixth, setting the stage for their eventual four-run rally in the ninth. The dinger was Crawford's 20th of the season but first since August 11, snapping a 22-game stretch without a long ball. Despite the recent power outage, he's gotten off to a strong start in September by going 10-for-28 with four extra-base hits and six RBIs in seven games. The 34-year-old veteran is now just one home run and four RBIs shy of his career highs of 21 and 84 from 2015. His .293 average and .877 OPS are both personal bests as well, as he seems likely to receive MVP consideration for just the second time in his 11-year career.
Elias Diaz went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a solo homer, and two runs scored vs. the Giants on Wednesday. Diaz broke out of a 1-for-15 slump with his first three-hit game since August 3, lifting his average to .232. The three extra-base hits were a season-high for the 30-year-old backstop, who swatted a go-ahead homer in the bottom of the sixth for his 16th long ball of the year. Like many veterans who join the Rockies, Diaz is enjoying the best season of his career thus far with personal bests in numerous categories. While much of that production has come at Coors Field (where his OPS is over 200 points higher), his solid overall numbers have launched him into fantasy consideration in deeper mixed leagues and two-catcher formats. Diaz has also been especially lethal in the second half with 19 extra-base hits over his last 36 games, making him a fantasy bat to rely on down the stretch.
Juan Soto went 2-for-5 with a solo homer and a stolen base against the Braves on Wednesday. Soto connected for the go-ahead homer in the top of the seventh to give Washington a 3-2 lead, which expanded to 4-2 by the time the game ended. The dinger was Soto's 25th of the year and third already in September as he continues his second-half resurgence. Even more impressively, the 22-year-old has already collected 11 RBIs and nine walks in eight games this month, boosting his RBI total to 82 and his walk total to an MLB-high 114. The steal was Soto's ninth of the season, three of which have come in his last 11 games. Soto has been doing everything well lately and is having a tremendous finish despite his team's second-half struggles.
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