Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw both pitched well, but neither was able to get a victory. Aaron Harang’s struggles continued. Aramis Ramirez is showing no signs of his shoulder injury. Let’s look at these stories and all the best from yesterday’s games.
Los Angeles (AL) 9, Cleveland 3
- Howie Kendrick went 3-4 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 1 R. He had been hitless in his previous two games (0-7), but prior to that he had been on a six-game hitting streak, including five multi-hit games. Could he finally be living up to the potential that we’ve all been waiting on? It’s certainly possible, so if you are in a deeper format I wouldn’t hesitate grabbing him if he’s still available. He has the potential to emerge as a power/speed option usable in all formats, so we’ll keep a close watch on him.
- John Lackey has now put four straight solid starts together, giving up 1 run on 3 hits and 4 walks, striking out 8, over 7 innings. He’s gone 4-0 having allowed just 5 earned runs over 30.2 innings. We all knew he’d come around sooner or later, so it’s nice to see it coming to fruition. He should be used with confidence in all formats.
- Roy Halladay allowed 3 runs on 11 hits and 0 walks, striking out 6, over 7 innings, but it just wasn’t enough on this night. Will this prove to be his final start as a Blue Jay? Time will certainly tell…
- Jose Lopez went 3-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R. He hadn’t homered in 15 games, having gone 16-61 with 2 RBI over that stretch. He was supposed to be a solid, late-round second baseman in all formats but he has fallen well short of that to say the least. Does he have the potential to heat up and be a quality player over the season’s final two months? He does, but at this point there are numerous other options that I’d rather be focusing on with more upside. Consider him, depending on the format, but he’s by far not a must use option.
- Zack Greinke allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 7, over 6 innings in a no decision. Too bad the bullpen blew this one…
- Adam Jones went 2-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R. He’s homered in three straight games, as well as four in his last seven. Over the past three he’s going 4-13 with 3 HR, 7 RBI and 3 R. If anyone is looking for a negative, it’s the speed, as he has swiped just 8 SB on the season while some thought he was a potential 20/20 player. Given everything else he’s done, there’s nothing to complain about.
- Joba Chamberlain tossed 8 shutout innings, giving up 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5. That’s two straight wins, allowing just 1 earned run over 15 innings. Could he finally be pitching like one of the top pitchers like many expected? Possibly, but the term “innings limit” is beginning to be tossed around in New York, which certainly has to be a concern. That’s something that needs to be watched carefully.
- Evan Longoria went 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, as he continues to prove those who took him early in their draft right. He’s hitting .276 with 21 HR and 78 RBI as he continue to prove that he’s among the elite producers in the league. At this point he seems like a sure fire first round pick, doesn’t he?
- Brett Anderson allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks, striking out 8, over 6 innings. No, it’s not a great start, but considering the opponent it is impressive, especially when you factor in that it is the second time he faced the Red Sox this month. His last four starts have come against the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays, going 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA and 27 K. Needless to say, it appears he’s turned a corner of sorts. He’s still not a must use option, but if the match-up is a good one I wouldn’t hesitate to use him.
- Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-4 with 3 R and 1 SB. He has a six-game multi-hit streak, going 13-28 with 4 RBI, 5 R and 5 SB. Think he’s on a hot streak at this point? That seems like a bit of an understatement.
- The Tigers offense was clicking on all cylinders, with Curtis Granderson (2-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) and Miguel Cabrera (4-6, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R) leading the way. Carlos Guillen’s 1-3, 2 RBI and 2 R performance may be more important for fantasy owners. He now has a hit in all six games since coming off the DL, going 9-23 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 3 R. He’s not going to be a fantasy stud by any stretch, but given his flexibility he is worth owning in all formats. While he’s hot like this he is worth using.
- Justin Verlander allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits and 0 walks, striking out 13, over 7 innings. What an impressive year it’s been.
- Elvis Andrus continued to hit, going 2-4 with 1 R. I spoke about him yesterday, so I won’t gush over him again today.
- Gordon Beckham was batting second, going 2-4. If he sticks in that line-up spot, his value is going to increase slightly, so keep an eye on this.
- Joe Mauer went 0-3 and is 1-10 over is past three games, dropping his average to .354. It happens, but no one could’ve expected him to stay up around .400 as a catcher, could they?
- Alexi Casilla went 2-3 with 2 RBI and 1 SB, but is hitting just .171 on the season. He had gone just 3-33 since returning from the minors, but he also had 4 SB over that span. He has the potential to be a solid option in deeper formats that require a middle infielder, so definitely keep your eyes on him and see if this game is the beginning of a hot streak or just an aberration.
- Aramis Ramirez continued to rake, going 2-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R. He’s on a seven-game hitting streak, while also homering in four of his last six games. As I’ve said before, he’s clearly fully recovered from the shoulder injury and is a must start option in all formats.
- Randy Wells went 8 shutout innings allowing 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 1. He just continues to get the job done, though when you have a 6-0 lead after the first inning it certainly is a lot easier. I know he’s sporting a 2.84 ERA, and enjoy it while you can, but as I’ve said before I just don’t see him being able to maintain this long-term. Prior to this season he just has never shown this type of ability, so a regression is certainly in order.
- Mike Hampton got bombed for 9 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks, striking out 1, over 4 innings. Enough about him and his come back this season already.
- Zach Duke was terrific, tossing 7 shutout innings allowing 6 hits and 1 walk, striking out 1, in a no decision. He seems like the last man standing in Pittsburgh now, doesn’t he? He has been tremendous all year long, but with little left to help him, how many wins can we really expect from him? That is certainly going to diminish his value.
- Now this is the Matt Cain luck we’re used to. Throw 9 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4, and don’t notch a victory. Ah, just like old times.
- Kenshin Kawakami allowed 6 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, striking out 4, over 4.2 innings. He had been pitching extremely well, having given up more than 3 earned runs in a start just once over his past 14 starts, so don’t let this one poor start deter you. Depending on the match-up he is still a solid play in most formats.
- Leo Nunez picked up save #8, allowing 1 hit and striking out 1 over 1 innings. He has a 3.91 ERA and has been pretty good since taking over the role. With Matt Lindstrom on his way back, is it possible that Nunez holds onto the job? Consider that he had posted a 6.52 ERA and 1.90 WHIP prior to going down and it certainly is possible that he returns to a set-up role. Don’t be so quick to cut bait with Nunez for the time being.
- Mat Latos was terrific, allowing 1 run on 1 hit and 1 walk, striking out 4, over 7 innings to improve to 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA. This one came in a hitter’s park too, not the friendly confines of San Diego. He’s in-line to be a 2-start option next week, both of which coming at home. Is he must start? No, because we all know that prospects are extremely inconsistent and could blow-up at any time. Is he worth considering? At this point, I have to say yes. He is among the top pitching prospects in baseball and certainly has lived up to the hype thus far.
- What is going on with Aaron Harang? Seriously, enough is enough. He allowed 7 runs on 9 hits and 4 walks, striking out 5, over 7 innings to fall to 5-12 with a 4.50 ERA. Remember, on 6/16 he was sporting a 6/16 ERA. Depending on your other options he is no longer a must use option.
- Kyle Blanks went 1-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R as he continues to show his immense power potential. The average hasn’t come around yet, but it should in time. Those in five outfielder formats certainly could stash him if you have the room on your bench immediately. He could prove quite valuable down the stretch.
- Manny Parra got the win, but he did so by giving up 5 runs on 9 hits and 5 walks, striking out 7, over 6 innings. After looking good in his first two starts in July, he’s now allowed 9 earned runs on 19 hits and 8 walks over his last 11 innings. At this point, I have little hope for him coming around this season. How about you?
- Christian Guzman went 2-5 with 1 RBI and 1 R. That gives him a six-game hitting streak, going 12-26 with 2 HR, 8 RBI and 9 R.
- Clayton Kershaw owners must despise Jonathan Broxton right now, huh? Kershaw was fantastic, tossing 8 shutout innings giving up 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7. Instead of getting a win, however, Broxton went out and allowed 1 run on 2 hits (and one vital wild pitch), striking out 1, to blow the save. Kershaw, meanwhile, is undefeated in his last nine starts allowing just 4 earned runs over 56.2 innings. He has been unbelievable of late and clearly has emerged as one of the top young pitchers in baseball.
- Joel Pineiro nearly matched Kershaw, allowing 1 run on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7, over 8 innings. He’s given up 3 earned runs or less in each of his last 10 starts now. The only knock is the strikeouts, as this is only the third time this season he’s had at least 5 Ks. If that’s what you need, then he’s not your man, but otherwise he’s a good play in all formats right now.
- J.A. Happ took the loss, but he didn’t necessarily deserve it. He allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5, over 6 innings. With Pedro Martinez & Cliff Lee on their way to Philly, will Happ still have a spot in the rotation? Time will tell, but certainly monitor that situation.
- Chris Snyder returned from the DL to go 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R. Will he be able to steal at bats back from Miguel Montero? Time will tell, but Montero is the better fantasy option at this point.
- Justin Upton went 3-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R and 1 SB. He’s certainly become a fixture of this column, hasn’t he?
What do you think? What was the biggest story from yesterday? Was there something I missed?
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