It’s the 51st season for the New York Mets and, given some of the pitchers who have come through Queens (like Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden & Pedro Martinez), it’s amazing to think that they had never thrown a no-hitter… Well, that was until last night. That wasn’t the only story around the league, however, so let’s take a look at all the news from yesterday’s games:
- Johan Santana – New York Mets – Starting Pitcher – Yes, he walked 5 batters and yes, there was a bad call on a Carlos Beltran hit that was ruled a foul ball. At the end of the day Santana finished off the first no-hitter in Mets history, striking out 8 in the process. It’s the highlight of what has been a tremendous renaissance campaign after he missed the entire 2011 campaign. He entered play with a 2.75 ERA and 1.10 WHIP courtesy of a .283 BABIP and 75.8% strand rate. Yes, he’s not the same pitcher that he once was, but he clearly has re-emerged as one of the better starting pitchers in the league.
- Felipe Paulino – Kansas City Royals – Starting Pitcher – We keep waiting for the other shoe to drop for Paulino, yet he keeps getting the job done. He tossed 6.0 shutout innings yesterday, allowing just 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 5. While he entered play with a believable .296 BABIP, he also had a 92.0% strand rate. In other words, while he has continued to show a tremendous strikeout rate, the ERA is going to regress. That doesn’t make him unusable, just keep that in mind.
- Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels – Outfielder – He went 2-4 with 3 RBI and 1 R yesterday, pushing his season totals to .309 with 5 HR, 19 RBI, 22 R and 8 SB in 123 AB. He also has done a much better job of late making consistent contact, with just 2 K over his last 20 AB. We can argue that he can’t maintain his .367 BABIP or 23.7% line drive rate, but I wouldn’t necessarily expect a significant decline in either category. The fact of the matter is that Trout has always been hyped as one of the premier prospects in baseball and he is putting it all on display. He has a chance to be something special.
More Quick Thoughts:
- How many players are doing more than Jason Kipnis right now? You can count them on one hand. He went 2-5 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R and 1 SB yesterday, putting him at .283 with 9 HR, 34 RBI and 12 SB. While he may not maintain this pace, he’s clearly one of the top players at his position.
- Lonnie Chisenhall made owners want to forget him after his first taste in the Majors, but right now he is making people remember his name. He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB last night and is now hitting .385 with 2 HR in his first four games. Obviously he isn’t going to maintain this type of pace, but if you need a 3B he is worth grabbing.
- Clay Buchholz posted his second straight strong outing, allowing 2 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, over 8.0 innings (both runs came courtesy of solo home runs). He’s now allowed just 4 ER over his last 15.0 innings. As I’ve said before, if someone in your league gave up on him I wouldn’t hesitate to grab him as long as you don’t need strikeouts.
- While Hideki Matsui has just 2 hits in his first three games with the Rays, both have been home runs (he has 4 RBI). Nice start, though I wouldn’t expect him to produce enough to be a viable option.
- Is there a better relief pitcher than Aroldis Chapman right now? He was perfect yet again, striking out the side, to pick up his fourth save. I know there are still going to be calls to move him to the rotation, but how could the Reds possibly?
- Casey Crosby has the potential to be a viable option at some point in his career, but now isn’t the time. He got rocked by the Yankee in his Major League debut, allowing 6 ER on 4 H and 4 BB, striking out 3, over 3.1 innings. At Triple-A he had been sporting a 4.26 ERA with 57 K vs. 26 BB over 50.2 IP. Monitor him, but unless you are in a keeper league he can be ignored.
- Huge night for Gordon Beckham, who went 2-5 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R. He’s now on an 8-game hitting streak, going 12-37. He has been scoring runs, with 9 R, though he hadn’t had an RBI during the streak. It’s a nice game, but I still wouldn’t get too excited.
- Pedro Alvarez has had some nice stretches this season (well, maybe it was just one impressive stretch), but things have hit the skids once again. He went 0-5 with 2 K yesterday and is now 0-12 in his past three games, pushing his average down to .199. The power potential is appealing, but he really is nothing more than a bench option until he makes better contact (58 K in 156 AB).
- Lost in all the Carlos Gonzalez (2-4, 1 RBI yesterday, giving him six straight multi-hit games) has been the impressive play of Dexter Fowler. He went 3-5 with 2 RBI and 2 R, giving him a 6-game hitting streak and a streak of 5 games where he has scored at least 2 runs. During his hitting streak he’s gone 14-23 with 3 HR, 9 R, 12 R and 2 SB.
- Madison Bumgarner’s final line was impressive, as he allowed 2 ER on 8 H and 0 BB, striking out 11, over 8.0 innings. Both runs came in the ninth, when he allowed 2 H and then was pulled in favor of Santiago Casilla (who promptly allowed a 3-run home run to Alfonso Soriano and ultimately had to be pulled due to a knee injury). It’s the first run Casilla has allowed since May 15, so don’t look at him as being in any risk of losing his job.