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Closing Time: More Justin Turner props; Nationals go for 17

It's the end of the (fantasy) world as we know it, and I feel fine. Let's throw some Friday Night Bulletry your way, just in case humanity makes it through the weekend:

• We're still looking at a very small sample of data for Justin Turner(notes), so we'll stay from any solid conclusions. Let's just have some fun with his recent binge: 13-for-29 at the plate, RBIs in six straight games, and a 3-for-4 showing in Friday's win over the Yankees. Turner is making a lot of his own luck (21 percent line-drive rate, strong contact numbers) and he's going to have third-base eligibility soon. In the medium and deeper-mixed world, this guy can help you. The Mets have to consider a spot for Turner somewhere even when David Wright(notes) returns.

• It's always exciting when the Nats and Orioles get together for a Beltway Throwdown; Adam LaRoche(notes) and Luke Scott(notes) can compare bad shoulders, among other things. Someday this series will also feature Stephen Strasburg(notes) facing Matt Wieters(notes), which might just shut down the Internet completely. The Nationals broke out of their hitting slump in a big way Friday, throwing a Conversation 17 at the Orioles; six Washington batters went deep. Toolsy outfielder Roger Bernadina(notes) (6-1-2-2, .280) and intriguing catcher Wilson Ramos(notes) (4-5-3-2, .289) are worth considering as possible pickups here; it's harder to trust second baseman Danny Espinosa(notes) (.209 average, 38 strikeouts) but he's at least bringing category juice to the table (23 runs, six homers, 27 RBIs, three strikeouts).

• There's an interesting thing going on with Chris Perez(notes) this season — he's 11-for-12 on saves, but he's really not pitching all that well. His strikeout rate has fallen through the floor (11 whiffs in 18 innings) and he's also walked 10 batters, including five in his last five appearances. On the plus side for Perez: the Indians keep winning and there's no major threat to his job. But I think there might be an opportunity to sell high on him in some groups.

• The Red Sox had a hit party at Fenway on Friday (19 knocks, 15 runs) and everyone was invited — every starter figured in the scoring and eight of the nine had base hits. The homers weren't cheap either: Kevin Youkilis(notes) drove one over the Monster seats, while Uncle Salty blasted his off the Volvo banner in left-center. Carl Crawford(notes) crashed the party late, offering a seeing-eye two-run single in the eighth. Get Carlos Zambrano(notes) to your bench for Saturday; Boston's won seven in a row and the offense has been terrific in May (.290/.354/.460 with 94 runs, all tops in the majors).

Closing Time: More Justin Turner props; Nationals go for 17• The first Sergio Santos(notes) blown save had a lot of messy numbers in it (five hits, four runs), but it looks worse on the page than it did on the field. Russ Mitchell's(notes) game-tying homer in the ninth barely stayed fair down the left-field line, and the two key hits in the tenth were of the cheap variety (Juan Castro(notes) dunked one just inside the chalk, and James Loney(notes) two-hopped a knock through the infield). My opinion of Santos isn't diminished at all from this outing.

Things were smoother in the LA bullpen, albeit this situation is  a lot more complicated. Kenley Jansen(notes) was the relief star on Friday, retiring six of seven batters in a two-inning stint in the eighth and ninth, working in a tie game. Matt Guerrier(notes) entered in the bottom of the tenth with the cushiest of assignments — get three outs before the opponent scores three times — but he was lifted after two singles and an infield grounder. Lefty Scott Elbert(notes) got the second out (Adam Dunn(notes)), Mike MacDougal(notes) retired Paul Konerko(notes), and fantasy owners got more to chew on. Here's how I'd rank the Dodgers committee as of Saturday morning: Jansen, Guerrier, MacDougal, punt.

Carlos Gonzalez(notes) (groin) was able to pinch-hit Friday and he might be able to start Saturday's game at Milwaukee. There's no guarantee we'll see Todd Helton(notes), however; he rested his back again Friday, which paved the way for another Jason Giambi(notes) home run. Ty Wigginton(notes) (three hits) started the game in left field but eventually moved to first; he's now collected five outfield appearances for the season.

• Brian Fuentes(notes) is the nominal closer for the Athletics while Andrew Bailey(notes) is out, but I like to think of Fuentes more as a "finisher." When he comes in, the game is probably getting resolved one way or another. Fuentes picked up his fifth loss of the year Friday at San Francisco, getting beat by a seeing-eye single, a bunt, and an Aubrey Huff(notes) line-drive to the gap. I'm carrying Fuentes's 4.35 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in the Friends & Family League because I need every handshake I can get, but I'm probably kicking the lefty to the curb as soon as Bailey shows he's ready for the ninth (Bailey has already started a rehab assignment). The Fuentes Defense Team has been passionate in our comment section this year, but I can't watch this guy pitch anymore.

Closing Time: More Justin Turner props; Nationals go for 17Speed Round: I was lukewarm on Trevor Plouffe(notes) when he was recalled — his minor-league profile made that call — but he's done a nice job through his opening 10 games (.289, three homers, six walks over 38 at-bats). He's making the case to stay in the lineup even when Tsuyoshi Nishioka(notes) returns. … Let me know when and where the Prince Fielder(notes) walk-off shot lands. Mercy. (Check that, I see some happy Wisconsin lass has come down with the ball. Good for her.) … The Indians missed an opportunity with recent callup Ezequiel Carrera(notes): why isn't he wearing 25 or 17? … The Phillies didn't think much about Ryan Madson(notes) closing a few months ago, but he's been super in the role thus far (8-for-8, and terrific stats under the hood). … Poor Jo-Jo Reyes(notes) can't get a victory. He threw seven scoreless innings at the Astros, but Jon Rauch(notes) made a mess of the eighth (three baserunners, two runs) and Frank Francisco(notes) botched the ninth (one out, three runs). … Royals get victory, Eric Hosmer(notes) gets two more hits; lather, rinse, repeat. … Mark Trumbo(notes) clocked his seventh homer in Anaheim's laugher, but it's hard to trust a guy who strikes out five times for every walk. At least he's throwing in some bags (three steals in five attempts) to offset some of that. … Erik Bedard(notes) posted eight bagels at San Diego (add his name to the list) and has been superb in his last four turns (27 IP, 4 ER, 6 BB, 24 K). We'll endorse him for next week's start at Minnesota. Mat Latos(notes) continues to be an enigma; he wasn't terrible in Friday's loss (6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 4 K), but that's not a useful line in today's pitcher-driven world. … Pedro Alvarez(notes) is dealing with a sore groin and a DL stint can't be eliminated yet. … Mandatory Blog Mention Trevor Cahill(notes) was limited to six innings and 83 pitches because of life in an NL park; the Athletics pinch hit for him in the top of the seventh at San Francisco, trying to break open a tie game. Cahill was outstanding, as usual (1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K), but Ryan Vogelsong's(notes) music kept playing on the other side (6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K). Will the Giants use Vogelsong next week against Florida, no matter that there's an off day Monday? I think he's earned that right. … Travis Hafner(notes) (oblique) is down for 3-4 weeks, but Grady Sizemore(notes) (knee) is already back taking batting practice.


Images courtesy Associated Press

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