by Will Overton
It looked like it’d be a tale of two half’s for Yu Darvish, but he is making an attempt to salvage his second half. Last night we also saw some others making an impression in the second half with some extra playing time such as Kris Medlen, Wilin Rosario and Chris Carter just to name a few.
All of that and more in this roundup or last night’s games:
1. Yu Darvish – SP, Texas Rangers: It’s good to see the first half version of Yu Darvish coming back around right now. Darvish missed his last start with a quad injury, but came out last night showing no signs of injury at all. Yu threw seven scoreless innings in which he racked up 10 K’s for the second start in a row. Darvish has seen his ERA and WHIP balloon a bit as we have gone deeper into the summer, so back-to-back strong starts like he has turned in are encouraging. Control has been a big issue for him lately, but last night he walked just two and in his previous start it was just one. So he may be figuring that out a bit too. I’d be more cautious with him than in the first half, but I certainly wouldn’t be shutting Yu down in fantasy leagues based on his struggles, because you never know when a game like this will happen.
2. Chris Carter – 1B, Oakland A’s: After slowing down a bit for two weeks, Chris Carter is back to hitting the ball and hitting it hard. Last night Carter went 3 – 5 with 2 R, 1 HR and 2 RBI. This was the second HR in three games for Carter who also has 5 R and 5 RBI in his last four games. The HR was also the 12th of the season for Carter who is still hitting a HR once every 12.8 AB’s, a very impressive number, especially for someone playing in Oakland. A lot of people doubted whether Carter could have success at the major league level, and the strikeouts are still a concern (34% K rate), but if he can sustain this kind of power, he can be a useful fantasy option. As he starts heating back up this would be a good time to grab him.
More Quick Thoughts
- Another solid start turned in by Chris Tillman last night, allowing just one hit and no runs over seven innings. He did walk four, but he struck out five as well and picked up his seventh win. There have been a few rough starts along the way, but Tillman is now 7 – 2 with a 3.26 ERA and is deserving of some extra attention in leagues.
- Despite picking up the loss it was a nice bounce back start for Ricky Romero last night allowing 2 R on 5 H with just 2 BB and 6 K. In his last start Romero walked 8 and struckout no one. I still don’t think this start is enough to make me trust him at this point.
- I wouldn’t touch him except for in deep two catcher leagues, but Kelly Shoppach is seeing a fair amount of AB’s in New York as a platoon catcher for the Mets. He was 3 – 5 last night with a HR and is now 7 – 22 with a pair of HR’s and 5 RBI for the Mets.
- With an ERA over 6.00 since the all-star break it was good to see James McDonald settle down a bit last night for a solid outing. He pitched 7 scoreless innings of two hit ball with 1 BB and 6 K’s. Control has been the big issue lately, so the one walk was encouraging. This was the second time in three games not allowing an ER, so he’s working his way back to being a useful pitcher.
- With a guy like Pedro Alvarez sometimes you have to play the hot streaks, and he’s starting another one it seems. Alvarez had four hits last night including 2 HR’s along with 3 R and 4 RBI. He now has 9 hits in his last four games, and while he’s hot he should be used in all formats.
- He was supposed to cool off at some point, but Justin Ruggiano just keeps on hitting. Last night Ruggiano was 4 – 4 with 2 R, 1 HR and 2 RBI. Ruggiano has struggled some in August, but still has a .271 average and 5 HR’s for the month despite that. He may hit a slump again soon, but right now I’d still be using him.
- Inconsistency has been the name of the game for Ricky Nolasco this year. After allowing 4 runs or more in 7 of his last 8 starts, last night he went out and pitched a complete game shutout. Nolasco didn’t walk any and struck out 6 on the night. This start is a good sign, but I still can’t trust him.
- The quality starts are racking up for Yovani Gallardo now as he turned in another one last night allowing one run over 7 IP with 9 K. Gallardo now has six starts in a row allowing three runs or less over 7 IP or more. Four of the starts have been one run games.
- It has been insane what Kris Medlen is doing since joining the rotation in Atlanta. After 8 more scoreless innings last night he now has a 27.1 inning scoreless streak going. He has only allowed three runs total in his last six starts. I can’t see this lasting, but this guy has to be used in every format right now.
- Officially, Wilin Rosario should be owned in all league types right now. With the power he is showing he’s a top ten catcher at the moment and should be owned like one. Rosario went deep last night for the second game in a row and the third time in six games. In August he is hitting .292 with 15 R, 6 HR and 16 RBI.
- The ups and downs of Bud Norris is enough to drive an owner crazy, but he proved again last night that when he’s at home he has fantasy value. Going up against the Giants last night Norris allowed just one run in 6.2 IP with 7 K’s. Norris is a completely different pitcher at home with a 2.09 ERA there. Use him at home, ignore him on the road.