by Will Overton
It was a night of redemption for some pitchers who have had horrible years and are just trying to finish strong. Derek Holland and Ervin Santana both hit double-digits in strikeouts as they continue trying to redeem themselves for the horrible seasons they have had thus far.
We also saw some big hitting performances from young call ups like Matt Dominguez and Russ Canzler who could prove to be useful fantasy players for deep league owners. We cover all of that and more in this roundup of last night’s action:
1. Derek Holland – SP, Texas Rangers: Last year Derek Holland rattled off an amazing second half to the season. Holland hasn’t come near that same second half this season, but he’s still gotten better as the season has gone on and last night was probably the best game he’s pitched all season. Holland went eight innings allowing just one run on two hits while striking out 11 batters. Holland now has 39 K’s in his last 41.1 IP over six starts with a 3.05 ERA as well. Holland is currently available in over 50% of fantasy leagues right now. The overall numbers merit that kind of ownership rate, but with the way he’s pitching lately and knowing what he’s capable of, he could offer help to fantasy teams down the stretch.
2. Lorenzo Cain – OF, Kansas City Royals: Two nights ago Lorenzo Cain stole two bases in one game and last night he hit two home runs as an encore. Cain has been a bit up and down since coming back from his injury. Cain is turning things back around again though now after a rough stretch in August. Cain is 11 – 35 in his last 9 games and with a few weeks left in the season he may still have value. If nothing else he still has a few weeks to prove to the Royals and fantasy owners that he is worth having on their team going into next season. I still don’t think we’ve had the chance to see the best out of Cain that there is.
More Quick Thoughts
- The results haven’t been overwhelming, but in five games back off the DL Alex Rodriguez has a hit in each game. He had two of them last night along with his first HR since coming back. If you didn’t get him back in your lineup this week you should feel safe doing it next week.
- That last start for Paul Maholm was a bit rough, but with exception of that he’s been pitching very well as a Brave. Maholm pitched 5.1 scoreless innings last night with 6 K’s. Maholm has a 3.48 ERA in seven starts in Atlanta despite allowing seven runs in two innings in his last game. He also has 38 K’s in 44 IP which is considerably better than the K rates he usually posts.
- A couple of weeks ago Justin Ruggiano hit a cold spell that had owners questioning whether the magic had run out, now he is 14 – 39 in his last ten games after going 2 – 5 with 2 R last night. Ruggiano has 7 R in these last 10 games hitting near the top of the order.
- In seven of his last eight starts Travis Wood has only allowed three runs or fewer after throwing six shutout innings with just one hit last night. Wood also struck out five hitters. Wood has a 2.45 ERA in his last four starts.
- Since being called up to the big leagues by the Astros on August 30th, Matt Dominguez is 9 – 24 with 5 R, 2 HR and 4 RBI. Dominguez has been a rather highly ranked prospect for a couple years now, though his value was always his power not his average which was never very high in the minor leagues. I expect Dominguez to hit a couple more HR’s, but I don’t know that he keeps racking up hits.
- Last night makes back to back games for Homer Bailey striking out nine batters. Bailey allowed two runs in 6.2 IP last night with his nine K’s. It’s pretty clear that when Bailey is good, he can be very good, he just needs to be good a bit more consistently.
- Despite three straight solid seasons in the minor leagues Russ Canzler has yet to get a good crack at the majors. The Indians are giving him a chance and so far he’s got a hit in all five of his games, 8 – 20 overall. Canzler was 3 – 4 last night with a HR and 3 RBI. Canzler doesn’t have significant average upside, but he has shown good power in the minors and he could provide cheap power in deep leagues down the stretch.
- Well here’s a surprise, another good start turned in by an A’s young starting pitcher. A.J. Griffin took the mound last night and allowed just one run over 5.1 IP with 7 K’s. This lowers Griffin’s ERA to 2.21 for the season and he’s yet to allow more than three runs in any of his ten starts so far.
- We can speculate on whether Chase Headley’s ridiculous hot streak will end soon, but enjoy it while it lasts. Headley was 2 – 5 last night for his fifth straight multi-hit game. Both hits last night were HR’s giving him 26 total and 14 since the start of August.
- Yet another big start turned in by Max Scherzer last night who went 8 IP while allowing just 2 R and striking out 9. This makes 10 games in a tow for Scherzer striking out 8 or more batters.
- I don’t think Ervin Santana can make owners forget how awful he was at the beginning of the season, but a few strong starts down the stretch couldn’t hurt. Santana struck out 10 over 6.2 IP allowing 2 R last night.