by Will Overton
There were division titles and playoff spots clinched in a couple of spots in the baseball world last night. And perhaps there were a few fantasy titles clinched as well with some clutch performances. We saw several players reaching base four times last night, and we also saw several balls leaving the park. Plus a handful of really good pitching performances along the way. Here’s a recap of what went down last night in baseball:
- Consistency hasn’t been a big plus for Dayan Viciedo this season, but when you look at his overall numbers at the end of the day, they’re solid. Viciedo went 2 – 4 last night with a HR and 5 RBI. He now has 23 HR’s and 75 RBI with a .252 average on the year. At just 23 Viciedo hasn’t come close to his peak yet, he needs to find that consistency he has lacked, but he could be a regular 30 HR per year guy.
- No performance last night was more impressive than the one put on by Hector Santiago. The lefty threw seven scoreless innings of one hit baseball against the Indians. He also posted 10 K’s to just one walk. Santiago struggled earlier this season as the team’s closer, but he seems to have found his place in the rotation. In four starts Santiago has allowed only 4 R in 19.1 IP with 26 K’s. He needs to reign in the walks a bit, but he could have a spot in this rotation next season.
- There have been plenty of ups and downs for Starling Marte since being called up, but we’ve seen flashes of his potential. Marte was 2 – 4 last night with a HR and a 3B as well, knocking in one and scoring two more runs. Marte now has 5 HR’s in his 45 games, but he also has 6 3B’s which is impressive. He hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, but I think he’s done enough t where he’ll be in the Pirates opening day lineup next season.
- If you’re looking for a hot bat to plug in your lineup for the last two days, Fernando Martinez of the Astros may be your guy. Martinez was 2 – 3 last night with 2 R, 1 HR and 1 RBI. He has now homered in three straight games and is 5 – 10 in those three games. Martinez was once a heralded prospect in the Mets system, and at 23 he may not have lost all that potential yet.
- It must be a real thrill for pitchers to see the Cubs on their schedule. Lucas Harrell took them on last night and shut them down throwing six shutout innings, allowing only two hits and striking out seven. Harrell has quietly put together a very nice second half with a 2.87 ERA since the all-star break and 75 K’s in 91 IP.
- Every once in a while this time of the year a pitcher gets to face a team who is out of it and given up on the season. Alex Cobb wasn’t facing one of those teams as he shut down the Orioles who are chasing a division title. Cobb allowed one run on two hits over 7 IP. Cobb also struck out 7 batters along the way. There have been some ups and downs for Cobb this season, but I think he has certainly earned his spot in next year’s rotation.
- Looking to end this season on a high note, Howie Kendrick has been red hot these last few days. Last night he was 4 – 4 with a R and 2 RBI. In his last four games he is 9 – 15 with 4 R, 1 HR and 8 RBI. Kendrick hasn’t been as good as hoped this season, but the numbers have been good enough to where he should be in the top 15 2B mix again next season.
- After basically missing the last month of the season with an injury, Mark Teixeira came back last night and went right to work hitting a two run HR. This brought Teixeira’s season totals to 24 HR and 83 RBI now. I think you can safely plug him back in your lineups for these last couple games as the Yankees need him to clinch that division.
- The slump of Mike Trout seems to be over at this point. Trout was 4 – 5 last night with 2 R and 3 RBI. Trout is now 8 – 17 in his last four games with 5 R and 5 RBI. It’s still a long way from next season, but I think I can safely say I know who I will pick number one in next season’s drafts.
- He couldn’t quite secure win number 17 last night, but Wade Miley pitched another great game allowing three runs in 7.2 IP with 10 K’s and 0 BB’s. September was a bit of a struggle for Miley as he likely started to wear down, but I am glad to see him end on a positive note. Miley finished the season with 16 W’s and a 3.33 ERA. He also showed flashes of real strikeout potential which is an enticing sign for owners going into next season.