by Will Overton
We saw some strong pitching performances last night from some familiar names like Justin Verlander and some not so familiar ones like Steve Johnson. We also some power displays from a lot of guys who are still available as free agents in a lot of leagues for those chasing HR’s still this season.
Here’s the breakdown of last night’s action:
- The average of Austin Jackson has drifted a bit south to the lower end of the .300’s in the second half. But he is still putting up decent numbers and he was 3 – 4 last night with an RBI. He has cut down on his K’s, though he could still cut it some more, and he has increased his walks this season. The lift in offensive numbers seems real and with his power numbers improving he could be a borderline top 30 outfielder next season.
- For a minute there it looked like Justin Verlander was human eight runs and two starts later another six runs. Verlander is back on track though throwing a complete game last night allowing two runs. He has now allowed just those two runs in his last three games covering 21 IP.
- Fantasy owners were wondering what was happening with Ryan Zimmerman in the first half, but the second half has proven that he is still a top option at third base. Zimmerman went 3 – 4 yesterday with 2 R, 1 HR and 4 RBI. This was Zimmerman’s 24th HR of the season and his 16th of the second half.
- The Orioles continue to get contributions from unexpected sources, this time Steve Johnson who pitched five scoreless innings allowing three hits and three walks with six strikeouts. He is now 3 – 0 in his three starts this season with four runs allowed in 17 IP and 22 K’s. Johnson has pitched in 11 games total and has a 1.62 ERA and 43 K’s in 33.1 IP. It’s unclear if he’ll start again, but if he does he’s worth a spot start.
- It seems only fitting that Adam Jones end this season on a roll after the career year he has been having. Jones went 6 – 9 in two games last night with 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 SB. Jones is 18 – 47 in his last ten games and has 3 HR’s in his last six games. Jones now has 32 HR’s and 15 SB’s for the season along with 101 R, 81 RBI and a .292 average.
- If you’re making a late push to catch someone in HR’s one guy to think about adding is J.P. Arenciabia. He was 3 – 3 last night with a HR and 5 RBI. Arencibia has had a horrid month of September, but he still has a good amount of power in his bat and he can still help you in HR’s.
- Speaking of help in the power department, Ike Davis is still available in a lot of leagues. Ike went deep twice last night to raise his season total to 30. He hasn’t been everything fantasy owners hoped for with his troublesome batting average, but any question about his power and whether he could he could be a power hitter in Citi Field have been answered.
- The A’s blew the game late, but Dan Straily pitched a heck of a game against a dangerous Rangers offense. Straily went 6.2 IP allowing two runs, only one earned, on five hits and two walks, striking out eight batters. He’s not gone at least six innings in four of his six starts and three have actually been on the road where you think he’d far worse. He’s got another start coming up this weekend at home versus Seattle and would make a nice spot start option.
- It’s been an up and down season for Lance Lynn. He started the season white hot putting up solid numbers. He cooled off and eventually got demoted to the bullpen. Last night he made his third start since returning to the rotation and he’s been lights out in all three. Last night he went 7 IP with 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB and 9 K to pick up his 17th win of the season. In these last three starts he has allowed just 2 R in 19.1 IP with 21 K’s. He’s safe to use the rest of the way this season.
- Injuries seem to have slowed down Adam Dunn this month, but he certainly looked healthy last night as he cleared the fences twice against the Indians for HR # 40 and 41. The old Adam Dunn has resurfaced this year, lots of HR’s, lots of K’s and a low average. If you need the power this week he seems safe to insert back in your lineup regularly.
- In two starts since returning from a June injury, Andy Pettite has now pitched 11 scoreless innings. Pettite threw six shutout innings last night, doing well to get out of trouble as he scattered seven hits. He looks healthy and strong and even though his next start is in Toronto he could be a useful spot start there.
- Getting a start in each of the last five games for the Rockies, outfielder Andrew Brown has looked pretty good. He hit a HR last night and it was his second in three games. Brown had 24 HR’s when he was recalled from Triple-A at the end of August and has hit 20 HR+ in the minors the last three seasons, so he has some real power. In deep leagues he could be a useful pickup for the last few games.