It was all about the pitching last night as Matt Cain, R.A. Dickey & Lance Lynn all continued their amazing seasons with some unbelievable performances. In fact, all three struck out at least 12 en route to victories! The capper, of course, was Cain’s perfect game, one of the best performances you will ever see. Let’s look at their stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Matt Cain – San Francisco Giants – Starting Pitcher – Cain was perfect in every sense of the word last night. Long overshadowed by Tim Lincecum and some poor luck, he has grasped the spotlight this season and added the exclamation point with the 22nd perfect game in MLB history. Stymying the Astros, Cain needed just 125 pitches and amassed a whopping 14 K. Yes, we can point to a .240 BABIP, as well as career best 9.09 K/9 and 1.52 BB/9, and claim that he’s going to regress. Maybe he will, but he has long proven to be among the better starting pitchers in the game and last night had one of the best performances in baseball history.
- R.A. Dickey – New York Mets – Starting Pitcher – He just keeps getting the job done. Yes, he ultimately allowed a run in the ninth inning (albeit an unearned run), but that was the only real blemish. He went the distance allowing the 1 R on 1 H (which came in the first inning) and 0 BB, striking out 12, against the Tampa Bay Rays. He is now 10-1 with a 2.20 ERA on the year and, over his past 5 starts, he’s gone 5-0 allowing 1 ER with 50 K and 3 BB over 39.2 IP. In other words, the things he is doing as a knuckleball pitcher are just unbelievable. He obviously won’t maintain these types of numbers but it is clear that he is pitching like an ace in 2012.
More Quick Thoughts:
- Lance Lynn just continues to get the job done. He went 7.1 shutout innings yesterday allowing 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 12, against the Chicago White Sox to outduel Jake Peavy (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K). Lynn is now 10-2 with a 2.42 ERA and the metrics have become more believable (.275 BABIP, 81.4% strand rate). We’ll talk about him in a bit more detail in the next few days, but if he can maintain his strikeouts (9.48 K/9), he’s making me into a believer. That’s the big question, however…
- It was the Tyler Moore show for the Nationals, as he went 3-4 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R while manning 1B in place of Adam LaRoche. Nice game, but Moore doesn’t play nearly enough to hold fantasy intrigue.
- The final line for David Price was definitely ugly. Taking on a Mets team that is suddenly hitting the ball well, he allowed 7 ER on 9 H and 3 BB, striking out 8, over 5.0 innings of work. Considering he had allowed a total of 3 ER over his past three starts (26.1 IP), I wouldn’t be too concerned.
- Jake Arrieta dominated the Pirates for 7.0 innings, allowing 1 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 9. It’s a great performance, but hard to get excited about. Remember he allowed 9 ER over 4.0 IP and 19 ER over his last 13.0 IP. We all know he has a ton of upside, but he’s still sporting a 5.89 ERA on the year. I could see stashing him in the deepest of formats, but that’s it right now.
- Don’t look now, but Ike Davis may finally be warming up. He went 2-3 with 1 RBI and 2 R yesterday, putting him at 6-10 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 3 R over his past four games.
- Brandon Phillips went 3-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R, his third straight multi-hit game and fifth in his past seven. While we’d like to see a few more SB from him (only two), it’s hard to argue about a second baseman hitting .284 with 7 HR, 34 RBI and 33 R.
- While Felix Dubront had a poor outing against the Nationals his last time out (6 ER over 4.0 IP), it appears that it was just a small blip on the radar. He came back strong against the Marlins allowing 2 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 9, over 7.0 IP. It’s the sixth time in his past seven starts where he has allowed 2 ER or less. He has been hit hard (entered with a 24.5% strand rate), though he’s been aided by a 9.77 K/9. If he can maintain the latter, he should have some success.
- Matt Harrison has now gone 16.1 consecutive shutout innings in his past two starts. Yesterday it was Arizona that he stymied, going 7.1 innings allowing 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 3. He’s pitched great this season, with a 3.54 ERA and 1.24 WHIP, though he offers next to nothing in the strikeout department (5.32 K/9). That leaves him as a low-end option, at best.
- On June 6 Brennan Boesch went 0-4, dropping his average to .222. Since then he’s really heated up, raising his average to .252 by going 12-22 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 6 R. Yesterday was the biggest day of them all, going 4-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R. Hitting second in the order, he should continue to thrive and now may be your last chance to buy low on him.
- In his first start since coming off the DL Jonathan Sanchez allowed 1 ER on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 IP. He should be better than he’s shown this season (5.93 ERA), but he’s always going to be a high WHIP, high strikeout guy. In other words, he fits for someone with a specific need, otherwise he’s likely going to hurt you too much.
- Jim Thome is taking advantage of the Phillies playing in an AL park. He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R and is now 10-21 with 2 HR, 10 RBI and 6 R in his past five games. Would it surprise anyone if he starts seeing a little more time at 1B? If you need power, he’s worth grabbing.
- The A’s can talk about a committee as much as they want, but they’ve had two save chances this week and both have gone to Ryan Cook. He got the job done yesterday, allowing just 1 H in his inning to lockdown his second consecutive save. As we’ll discuss soon, I’d be cautiously optimistic about Cook, but there are questions about him. Still, he’s clearly the closer and the reliever worth owning in Oakland.
- Nate Eovaldi was solid, though unspectacular, for the Dodgers. He allowed 1 ER on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 innings against the Angels. He’s posted a 1.82 ERA and 1.22 WHIP over his first 4 starts, though he has benefited from an 88.2% strand rate. While there is probably a regression in order, it may not matter because he’ll likely lose his rotation spot once Ted Lilly returns.
- Brandon League didn’t allow a run in his inning of work, but he did allow 1 H and 2 BB, striking out 1. It would definitely appear like Tom Wilhelmsen is safe in the closers role for now.