by Will Overton
Baseball is a long season and it’s full of ups and downs and streaks both good and bad. Last night we got to see a lot of guys on hot streaks keeping the mojo going. Pedro Alvarez and Hanley Ramirez both kept their hot bats rolling with HR’s and more. Streaking pitchers like Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza also did their thing and kept their own streaks going.
All of that happened last night and more. Enjoy the roundup of all the action and everyone have a happy and safe Fourth of July.
- For the sixth time in seven games Kyle Lohse threw a quality start, the only game not a quality start was his last start when he was pulled after 1.2 IP because of a rain delay. Lohse only allowed one run in eight innings yesterday and struck out a season best seven batters. You won’t get too many strikeout nights like this from Lohse, but he’s turning in another solid season.
- This is turning into quite a hot streak for Pedro Alvarez who after last night has multiple hits in seven out of his last 11 games. He also hit his sixth homerun in 11 games last night bringing his season total up to 21. I think we’re finally seeing the potential of Alvarez as an Adam Dunn type of guy without as many walks. His average is hard to stomach, but you just can’t ignore the power.
- Solid pitching dual between Edinson Volquez and Jon Lester last night. Volquez allowed one run in six innings. Volquez now has a 2.73 ERA his last five starts with 36 K’s in 29.2 IP. He’s only owned in 1.7% of leagues right now on ESPN. Lester meanwhile finally got back on track allowing one run in seven innings. Lester had given up 21 ER in his last 22.1 IP before this game.
- Solid first impression made last night for Scott Feldman as an Oriole. Feldman allowed just 2 ER in 6 IP with 6 K. Feldman has quietly been putting together a nice season, now sporting a 3.43 ERA. AL only owners will certainly be lining up for Feldman, but other leagues should be as well with the way he’s pitching right now.
- On the opposite side against Feldman last night was Hector Santiago pitching a gem allowing two runs in seven innings and striking out nine. Santiago’s last start was pretty rough, but he’s been solid overall as a starter with 33 K’s in his last 29 IP as a starter. He’s only owned in 3.5% of ESPN leagues and his next start is against the Cubs, prime spot start real estate.
- It’s odd, fantasy owners watched Gordon Beckham closely for the first few years of his career waiting for something that wasn’t happening. Now that he’s breaking out, no one seems to notice much. Beckham has been hitting the ball extremely well since coming off the DL at the beginning of June and after going 2 – 4 last night he is 14 for his last 33. Beckham is owned in very few leagues at a premium position in second base.
- Recently it was looking like Justin Ruggiano could be on the verge of his losing his job, he’s been picking it up a bit and was hitting leadoff last night when he went 2 – 4 with 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 SB. Ruggiano is actually hitting .320 since June 9th and he is still on his way to a 20/20 season so it might not exactly be time to give up on him yet.
- Up and down is the story of Ricky Nolasco’s career and we’re seeing it again. Nolasco was up last night allowing just two runs in seven innings and striking out seven with no walks. He gave up eight runs in 10.2 IP over his last two starts before this though. Nolasco has stepped up his strikeouts this season compared to the last couple, but it’s always a guessing game when you use him.
- Maybe a little time on the DL is just what the doctor ordered for Alex Avila. Last night Avila went 2 – 4 with a HR and 3 RBI. He now has three hits and five RBI in his first two games back off the DL, and maybe the time he spent in the minor leagues “rehabbing” helped him figure out his swing. In deep leagues you might want to take a chance on him.
- No win last night for Derek Holland, but it was a great game allowing two runs and striking out 10 in six innings. Holland has had two great starts in a row now after allowing four runs in three straight. If he can become more consistent and spread out the bad outings a little further he could be a solid number two fantasy pitcher. Right now he’s still more of a three or four guy who shows flashes of ace stuff.
- The reigns were turned back over to Tom WIlhelmsen as closer for the Mariners last night. Wilhelmsen recorded the save with a perfect inning. Wilhelmsen went through a really rough patch, but he’s now had five outings in a row without a run allowed and he’s only given up one hit and no walks in his last five outings.
- A couple more bombs delivered last night by Chris Carter who now has 17 total homeruns on the season. It had been a couple of weeks since Carter went deep, but I don’t think anyone questions his power. Like Alvarez who was mentioned earlier, Carter’s average hurts, but it’s hard to turn down the power. Unlike Alvarez though Carter is unowned in a lot of leagues still. If you need power you might just have to take the hit in average.
- The man who has taken over the game of baseball lately, Yasiel Puig, went down last night crashing into the wall making a play in the outfield. Puig left the game in the sixth inning and X-Rays after the game indicate it was just a hip bruise. Still, he could be at risk of missing a few games. Thankfully it shouldn’t be much more than that though.
- All the attention in LA is focused on Puig, and he deserves the attention, but Hanley Ramirez is getting ignored a bit. Ramirez was 4 – 5 last night with 3 R, 1 HR and 1 RBI, his fifth multi-hit game in his last eight and his fourth HR in his last ten games. Ramirez is now hitting .500 since June 19th and he has 16 R, 6 HR, 16 RBI and 3 SB in that time frame. Outside of Puig he might be the best hitter in baseball the last 2 – 3 weeks.
- Taking on the rookie phenom Matt Harvey may have seemed like a daunting task, but Randall Delgado was up for the challenge. Delgado only allowed two runs in seven innings and struck out nine. This was Delgado’s fourth start of the season and he has three quality starts. Delgado also has 22 K’s in 25 IP as a starter. He’s unowned in almost every league and the upside makes him a nice grab in deep leagues at least.
- I don’t think there are any lasting effects from Matt Garza’s injury. Garza only allowed one run in eight innings last night and he’s now given up just three runs in 30 innings his last four starts. He hasn’t exactly faced the most potent offenses in baseball, but this is a whole other level of domination. I really hope you didn’t drop him after he got bombed in the start before this streak, and if you did I hope you learned your lesson.