The biggest stories from yesterday were the performances of two young, potential ace pitchers in Matt Harvey and Dan Straily. Let’s dive into their performances as well as all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Matt Harvey – New York Mets – Starting Pitcher – Harvey has impressed since being recalled, but his start last night against the Reds may have been his best yet. He carried a perfect game into the fifth inning and finished allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 8, over 7.2 innings. His control was going to be under the microscope, especially after he walked 5 in his previous outing, but he didn’t have an issue at all with 63 strikes out of 89 pitches. He now has 34 K over 30.0 innings of work. Yes, control is going to be an issue at times, but he has continued to show that he could be a strikeout machine (112 K over 110.0 innings at Triple-A this season). He is going to be shutdown prior to the end of the season, but he is proving that he can help teams while he’s on the mound. Roll with him in yearly formats and in keeper leagues he obviously is a must own.
- Dan Straily – Oakland Athletics – Starting Pitcher – He earned his first career victory last night as he went 6.1 shutout innings against the Royals. He allowed 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 2. Straily has been solid since being recalled, posting two good outings and one stinker. He also hasn’t quite brought the strikeout numbers fantasy owners had hoped for, with 12 K over 17.0 innings (he had 175 in 138.1 innings in the minors). He should be a solid option, though I wouldn’t consider it a lock that the strikeouts get back to his minor league numbers (it also isn’t impossible). Just keep that in mind moving forward.
More Quick Thoughts:
- It was another poor outing for Ivan Nova, who allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 4 BB, striking out 2, over 5.2 IP. He’s now allowed 22 ER over his last 23.1 IP (and that includes allowing 2 ER over 7.1 innings in his previous start). While he may not have given up a ton of runs, his past 7 starts have not been great, allowing 53 H and 15 BB over 41.0 IP. That’s an awful lot of base runners to try and strand. Nova has increased his strikeouts significantly this season, but he’s been hit harder (20.9% line drive rate) and has given up a ton of HR (1.42 HR/9). Unless he corrects those issues, more strikeouts or not, he is going to struggle.
- Garrett Jones had a monster day, going 2-3 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 2 R as he led the charge against Joe Blanton (4.1 IP, 8 ER, 7 H, 4 BB, 4 K). Jones now has 11 RBI over his past 5 games and hasn’t struck out in his past 6 games (20 AB). With 19 HR and 64 RBI, he has been a tremendous under-the-radar option for those in deeper formats. He may not be able to maintain the 16.8% HR/FB he entered the day with, so keep that in mind moving forward.
- Francisco Liriano earned a victory over the Blue Jays, allowing 2 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 6.1 innings of work. It was a nice outing, though we all know how decimated the Blue Jays offense currently is (Edwin Encarnacion ultimately missed the game as well). In other words, don’t let this outing get you overly excited. He still has potential, but he is unpredictable.
- Will Frank Francisco be able to maintain his closer’s role? In a non-save situation he was rocked again, allowing 3 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 1, over 0.2 IP. He’s now allowed 5 H and 3 BB over his last two appearances. Jon Rauch came in to clean up the mess and has arguably been the Mets best reliever of late. If you are desperate for saves he is worth grabbing.
- It was Chipper Jones bobblehead night in Atlanta, and Jones definitely gave the fans something to cheer about. He went 2-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R, giving him 12 HR and 53 RBI on the season.
- Kris Medlen tossed a complete game shutout, allowing 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 6. He now has a 2.03 ERA on the year, working as a starter and reliever. In his past four appearances (all starts) he is 3-0 allowing 3 ER on 10 H and 4 BB, striking out 22, over 25.2 IP. While he should remain a good option, he entered the day with a 90.4% strand rate as a starting pitcher. Does anyone really believe that’s maintainable? That said he has been generating groundballs while limiting the walks and striking people out. He should be good, just not this good.
- Many fantasy owners gave up on Clay Buchholz after he struggled early on, but those who stuck with him have reaped the benefits. He allowed 3 ER on 8 H and 3 BB, striking out 7, over 8.0 innings putting him at 6-1 with a 2.15 ERA over his past 10 starts. Is he ever going to be an elite option? No, as he doesn’t bring enough strikeouts (5.88 K/9 entering the day) but he should be a viable option the rest of the way.
- The Brewers went back to Jim Henderson in a save situation and he delivered, allowing 0 ER on 1 H and 0 BB, striking out 1, over 0.2 innings to earn his third save. It appears Henderson could keep the closing job, for now, but this situation is a complete mess and better left for those desperate for saves.
- Michael Cuddyer returned to the Rockies lineup, playing first base and hitting cleanup, as he went 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R. It appears that Eric Young Jr. (1-3, 1 RBI) has earned a spot in the Rockies outfield, at least for now. He brings more than enough speed and run potential to the table and therefore is worth owning in deeper formats.
- David Price (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 K, W) was great in earning win 16. Dan Haren was not, however, allowing 5 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 2, over 3.2 innings of work. After it appeared like his trip to the DL had helped Haren turn things around, he’s now allowed 10 ER over 7.0 innings in his past two starts. Is there still an injury at play or is it just two poor outings? Who knows, but given his overall struggles it’s getting hard to figure out. Do I recommend benching Haren? No, but if you have enough starting pitching to do so then I would at least consider it.