Around the Majors: July 2

Derrek Lee was the player of the game, picking up 7 RBI.  Javier Vazquez & Aaron Harang pitched well, but neither can catch a break and get a victory.  CC Sabathia put up a terrible line.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.

Seattle 8, New York (AL) 4

  • Speaking of CC Sabathia, for the money that he signed for, he needs to pitch better than this.  He allowed 6 runs on 10 hits and 3 walks, striking out 8, over 5.2 innings to fall to 7-5 on the season.  I know he was amazing in his last time out, but let’s be honest, that was against a weak Mets line-up in the comfy confines of Citi Field.  He’s being paid like an ace, but he’s just not really performaing like one.  Obviously, he’s still a good starter, but he was drafted to be a lot more than “good”.
  • Robinson Cano went 3-3 with 2 R.  Nice game, but where have the RBI gone?  Hitting in the middle of the Yankees line-up, he’s now going through a 12-game RBI drought.  He’s an above-average 2B and should come around, so stay patient.
  • Ichiro Suzuki went 2-4 with 2 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB.  He has his average up to .370 and already has 114 hits on the season.  The runs are down, with just 40 scored so far, but they’ve certainly been coming lately, scoring in 9 of his last 11.  If he can keep this up, he may reach 100 runs yet.

Chicago (AL) 4, Kansas City 1

  • Mark Buehrle was spectacular, pitching into the ninth inning before giving up a run.  His final line was 8.1 innings giving up 1 run on 6 hits and 0 walks, striking out 1, to improve to 8-2 with a 3.09 ERA.  He’s had a few rough outings at times of late, but overall he has done little to complain about.  For owners who have a few good strikeout options, he has emerged as a must start pitcher in all formats.
  • David DeJesus extended his modest hitting streak to 5-games, going 1-4 with 1 RBI.  Over the streak he’s gone 7-22 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R.  It’s a decent streak, but he’s nothing more than an AL-only option at this point.  For him to emerge as anything more, he’s going to have to do a whole lot more.
  • Jermaine Dye went 0-3, seeing his 9-game hitting streak come to an end.  During the streak he went 17-35 with 3 HR, 9 RBI and 7 R.  Let’s see if he can get a new streak going tomorrow, but the good news is that he’s once again on pace for a 30+ HR, 100+ RBI season.

Los Angeles (AL) 5, Baltimore 2

  • Matt Wieters went 1-3 with 1 RBI.  He has hits in three straight games, going 3-11 with 2 RBI.  He hasn’t lived up to they hype quite yet, but just give him time to settle into the major league game.
  • Bobby Abreu went 2-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R.  He’s up to hitting .299 with 6 HR, 48 RBI, 39 R and 17 SB.  He’s been between 15-20 HR each of the past three seasons, and it appears that he’s likely going to end up in the same range once again.  He’s also been a 100 RBI guy every season since 2003, another mark he’s on pace to reach.  The one number that’s a real dropoff for him is the runs scored, now at just 39.  The puts him on pace for right around 80, after being at 98 or avoce for every season since 1999.  A healthy Vladimir Guerrero would certainly help, but don’t let the one poor number worry you.  He’s still a must use option in all formats.
  • John Lackey allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk, striking out 7, over 8 innings of work.  He’s finally put two strong starts together and is looking like the top of the rotation pitcher that he was drafted to be.  His next start is a tough match-up against the Rangers, but he is still a must start option in all formats.

New York (NL) 9, Pittsburgh 8 (10 innings)

  • Ryan Church went 3-6 with 2 RBI and 2 R.  He has a modest 4-game hitting streak, going 10-18 with 3 RBI, 3 R and 1 SB.  With the slew of injuries the Mets are dealing with, he’s finally getting everyday at bats and he’s clearly making the most of it.  He was a must-start option in five outfielder formats prior to his concussion problems last season and he is starting to show signs of that again.  If someone in your league has given up on him, he’s certainly worth stashing.
  • Jerry Manuel has been stuffing Fernando Tatis down Mets fans throats, and he finally got a bit of a pay off for it.  He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R and 1 SB.  Great game, but he’s still far from a usable option right now.
  • To show you how important this game was to the Mets, even after blowing the save, the Mets left Francisco Rodriguez in there to throw 46 pitches in two innings to ultimately secure the game.  He was shakey, but he got the job done in the tenth and was credited with the win.  Unfortunately, he’s likely not available for the first game in the Phillies series, so those in daily leagues may want to keep it in mind.  Of course, he’s going to say he’s available, but I’d have my doubts.
  • Adam LaRoche went 2-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, with the home run tying the game in the bottom of the ninth.  It broke a 7-game homerless streak, where he had just 1 RBI.  He has the potential to really take off, known as a second half player, so if he’s still available for some reason, grab him immediately.
  • Matt Capps took the loss, giving up 1 run on 1 hit and 0 walks, striking out 1, over his 1 inning of work.  He’s given up runs in three of his last six appearances, but he’s not going to be replaced as the Pirates closer unless he’s traded.  He’s still an option in all formats.
Cincinnati 3, Arizona 2 (10 innings)
  • Mark Reynolds went 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R.  He’s now hitting .270 with 22 HR and 57 RBI.  He just continues to perform, going 9-27 with 3 HR, 8 RBI and 6 R over his last seven games.
  • Where’s the love for Doug Davis?  He allowed 1 run on 7 hits and 4 walks, striking out 5, over 7 innings and has been tremendous over his past three starts.  He’s gone 21 innings allowing 2 earned runs, yet hasn’t picked up a victory.  The walks are a serious concern, now having walked three or more in each of his last six starts.  That makes it impossible to pitch to a usable WHIP, yet he’s got a 3.15 ERA on the season.  He’s getting the job done, but still is just a low-end option in deeper formats.
  • Tough no decision for Aaron Harang, who allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks, striking out 8, over 7 innings.  It was a great bounce back start, but he’s now gone 7 consecutive starts without a win (his last came on 5/25 against the Brewers).  That has to be a huge concern for fantasy owners and significantly impacts his value.
  • Joey Votto went 4-6 with 1 RBI.  He entered the game with a .402 BABIP, so chances are that a cold spell is going to come sooner or later.
Houston 7, San Diego 2
  • Wandy Rodriguez rebounded, giving up 1 run on 7 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5, over 7 innings.  He’s traded good and bad starts over his past six, though he has a chance to string together solid outings with the Pirates on the schedule next.  He’s usable, but he’s got a little ways to go to rebuild the value he had earlier in the year.
  • The first five hitters in the Astros line-up all had two hits.  Lance Berkman was one of the more impressive, with a 2-3, 1 RBI, 3 R game.  He’s now scored 6 runs over his last four games and has his average up to .265.
  • Geof Blum was also impressive, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R, though his fantasy appeal is minimal at best.
  • Kyle Blanks started in LF and batted fifth, going 0-4.  He’s hitting .194 and his days are likely numbered, barring a trade by the Padres.  As I’ve said, don’t let his struggles in his first taste of the majors discourage your long-term expectations.
Atlanta 5, Philadelphia 2
  • J.A. Happ pitched well, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5, over 7 innings in a no decision.  He’s given up just 4 earned runs over his past three starts (22 innings), but has just 1 win over that span.  He’s still better suited for deeper mixed leagues and NL-only formats.
  • Once thought of as an ace reliever, Ryan Madson got bombed again, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits and 0 walks, striking out 0, over 1 inning of work.  He’s given up runs in four of his last seven outings and no longer is a must start option in leagues that value middle relievers.  He’s likely to get back on track sooner rather than later, so don’t give up on him in those formats.
  • Javier Vazquez just cannot catch a break.  He gave up 2 runs on 7 hits and 0 walks, striking out 5, over 5.1 innings to take a no decision.  His ERA is at 3.05, yet he has just 5 wins on the season.  That’s almost unbelievable to think of, but that’s what it is.  On this day his problem was throwing too many pitches (109 to be exact), but that hasn’t been the case for most of the season.  He’s a must start option and hopefully a few wins start to come his way.  He’s certainly due.
  • Jimmy Rollins went 2-4, breaking an 0-28 stretch.  Is he finally going to get something going?  I’m not holding my breath.
St. Louis 5, San Francisco 2
  • Randy Winn went 2-4 and is now 11-27 over a 6-game hitting streak.  That’s a great average, but he has 0 HR, 3 RBI and 5 R over the streak.  When you’re this hot, you certainly want to see a little bit more run production during it.  He’s a solid short-term fill-in for deeper league owners, but that’s about it.
  • Barry Zito allowed 5 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks, striking out 7, over 4.1 innings to take the lose and fall to 4-8 with a 4.82 ERA.  Shocking, I know.
  • Rick Ankiel found himself on the bench for the second straight game.  Until he shows something at the plate, he should be on your bench.
  • Ryan Franklin’s special season continued, tossing a perfect ninth to pick up save #19 and lower his ERA to 0.87.  Keep in mind, he entered the game with a BABIP of .211, so a regression is likely to come sooner or later.  Would that really surprise anyone?  His job is safe, but if you can really cash in and sell high on him, it may be the perfect time to do so.
Chicago (NL) 9, Milwaukee 5
  • What a game for Derrek Lee, who went 2-4 with 2 HR, 7 RBI and 2 R.  That wasn’t a typo, he had a grand slam and a 3-run home run on the day.  He’s now up to 14 HR and 48 RBI on the season.  He had just 20 HR last season, so needless to say, this is a pleasant surprise.
  • Geovany Soto went 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, extending his hitting streak to 4-games (6-14 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R).  As I’ve been saying, he still has a long ways to go, but he’s certainly making it worth the wait right now.
  • J.J. Hardy went 0-5 with 3 K.  I guess we can’t expect hits in every game, huh?  He’s shown signs of fully breaking out, but then has a game like this and you just have to wonder.  Obviously, he is better than a .228 hitter, having hit .278 or better each of the past two seasons.  He’s also hit 50 HR over the two years, but has just 8 this season.  All you can do is continue to be patient at this point.

Anyone have any thoughts?  Anything to add?

To read the previous article, click here.

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

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