Just what is going on with Roy Halladay? Can you count on Clay Buchholz? Who is hotter, Carlos Pena & Miguel Cabrera are catching fire? Let’s look at these questions and all the rest from yesterday’s games.
Philadelphia 6, New York (NL) 2
- Cliff Lee went 7 innings allowing 2 runs (0 earned) on 6 hits and 0 walks, striking out 5, to improve to 5-0 with a 0.68 ERA since being acquired. He’s been absolutely unbelievable and certainly has proved all of his preseason doubterw wrong.
- Ryan Howard had the big day at the plate, going 2-5 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R. What is there left to say about this guy?
- Bobby Parnell allowed 5 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks, striking out 3, over 5 innings. He made two big mistakes, allowing both of Howard’s HR. Since being moved to the rotation he’s allowed 16 runs in 16.1 innings and has been anything but impressive. He had been solid in the bullpen, so maybe that’s just where he belongs on a major league pitching staff. At this point the Mets have nothing to lose by trying him out to see if there is any hope he can develop into a usable starting pitcher, but do not follow their experiment. He’s not worth using in any format right now.
- It took Yovani Gallardo 108 pitches to get through 5 innings, but he allowed just 1 run on 4 hits and 4 walks, striking out 8, to improve to 12-10 with a 3.51 ERA. He’s now 2-2 in his last 4 starts, posting a 3.00 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. He has proven this season that he is among the top pitchers in the league this season and should certainly be considered nothing less then a #2 starter in all formats.
- Josh Willingham went 0-4, putting him at 0-11 in his last three games and 2-23 over his last six with 0 RBI and 0 R. It’s just a cold streak and is going to happen to everyone. He’s done more than enough to warrant some patience. He’s hitting .292 with 19 HR on the season and should get things back on track soon.
- Eugenio Velez went 3-7 with 2 RBI, 2 R and 2 SB. Now, there’s the speed we’ve been waiting for as he doubled his SB output for the season in this one. He had been 1-19 over his previous five games, so I wouldn’t consider him a must use by any stretch, especially since he’s a leadoff hitter who never walks (6 BB in 152 AB). Still, if you are in need of speed, he has the potential so keep an eye on him.
- If you’re looking for saves from Brian Wilson, you may have to wait a few days. He went 2.2 innings allowing 4 hits and 1 walk, striking out 3. Solid performance, it’s just going to likely earn him a day or two off.
- Ryan Spilborghs went 2-7 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R, hitting a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 14th. If he were an everyday player he would have value for fantasy owners, but since he’s just a spot player he’s not worth owning.
- Jason Marquis allowed 1 run on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5, over 8 innings. He was denied his third consecutive win but gets another shot at the Giants later this week. He’s clearly emerged as a must start pitcher thanks to his 3.47 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, just don’t expect many Ks from him.
- Is there some connection between Roy Halladay’s struggles and the fact that he was not dealt at the deadline? I don’t buy it, considering he had some solid starts in early August, but this was his second consecutive sub par outing. He allowed 8 runs (7 earned) on 12 hits and 1 walk, striking out 8, over 6 innings. What are you going to do? It happens to everyone, though his next match-up in Boston so hopefully he gets things straightened out in a hurry.
- Ben Zobrist went 3-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 4 R as he continues to roll this season. He now has four home runs in his last six games and 23 on the season. Couple that with 15 SB and eligibility all across the diamond and how can you go wrong?
- Randy Ruiz went 3-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 3 R. He’s playing well, but with just Utility eligibility, his value is extremely limited. The power potential is there, however, so make sure to keep your eye on him.
- Carlos Pena is starting to streak. He went 1-2 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R, extending his hitting streak to 6-games. Over the streak he’s gone 8-17 with 4 HR, 10 RBI and 6 R. I’ve been talking about him getting things turned around and so far he’s making me look smart. If you had him on your bench for whatever reason (low average, for instance), make sure to get him in there ASAP.
- Gordon Beckham went 1-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R. He had been struggling, going 1-18 before breaking out with a 2-4 game on Sunday followed by this performance yesterday. He is hitting .289 with 8 HR and 47 RBI on the season and has a chance to win the Rookie of the Year Award. He’s definitely worth using in all formats.
- Clay Buchholz allowed 7 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 3, over 4.2 innings in a no decision. He had been strong over his past three starts (4 ER over 19 innings), but these types of blow-ups have come a little too often (he allowed 7 earned runs in 4 innings against the Orioles on 8/2), making him a very tough play right now. We all know he has tremendous upside, so he’s worth owning, but if you are battling for a title, you need to be sure before throwing him out there.
- Dustin Pedroia went 3-4 with 2 RBI and 1 SB putting him at .303 with 10 HR, 55 RBI, 91 R and 17 SB. Those are strong numbers, but they are definitely off of his MVP campaign in 2008. Did anyone expect anything less?
- Chris Tillman allowed 2 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 1, over 5.1 innings to take the tough luck loss. He’s been alright, for the most part, in his five starts, though this one was clearly his best. Still, is he really someone you want to depend upon as the season nears an end, especially considering how erratic young pitchers can be? His next start comes against the Twins.
- Scott Baker improved to 12-7 after giving up 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk, striking out 5. He’s now won three straight decisions and finally appears to have gotten things on track. He’s definitely experienced some bad luck this season, but has lived up to the hype as being a great source of WHIP, currently carrying a 1.15 despite a 4.47 ERA. He’s a pitcher we’ll take a much closer look at shortly.
- Luis Valbuena went 1-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R, giving him a 7-game hitting streak. Over that span he’s gone 10-26 with 3 HR, 7 RBI and 6 R. He’s certainly hot right now and is definitely worth considering in deeper formats while he’s streaking. He’s still hitting just .249 on the season, so be ready to move on when he falls into a slump once again.
- Tough outing for Joakim Soria, who came in during the 8th inning looking for yet another 6-out save. He lasted just 0.2 of an inning, however, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits and 0 walks, striking out 0. It happens, and I certainly wouldn’t let it deter you for any reason. The problem is that his opportunities are few and far between, meaning he really needs to make the most of the few chances he does get. Overall he has 20 saves with a 2.97 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 48 K in 39.1 innings, making him a solid option in all formats. Hopefully you have another option who has been racking up the saves, however.
- Miguel Cabrera went 3-5 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R. He’s now on a 9-game hitting streak, as well as homering in back-to-back games. We all know he’s one of the best hitters in the game, so none of this should come as a very big surprise.
- Justin Verlander was far from dominant, giving up 4 runs on 10 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7, over 5.2 innings, but it was enough to get a W. He’s 14-7 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 211 K over 181 innings on the season and has an outside shot of reaching 20 wins on the season. Would anyone have expected that heading into 2009?
- Jered Weaver allowed 5 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks, striking out 2, over 5.1 innings. That’s not the type of follow-up owners wanted to see from his complete game victory against the Indians his last time out, that’s far sure. He’s now allowed 4 earned runs or more in six of his last eight starts, though with his next outing coming against the A’s, there’s a chance he should get things back on track. I say only a chance, because in his one start against them this season he allowed 5 earned runs over 3.2 innings. Still, he’s too good to bench, so just run him out there and hope he turns things around.
- Vin Mazzaro took the loss allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks, striking out 4, over 5 innings. He’s sporting a 5.32 ERA and 1.75 WHIP on the season and with his next start coming against the Angels, there’s no way he should be in your line-up.
- Ian Snell allowed 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 2, over 6 innings. This is the type of outing we were all hoping for once he got out of Pittsburgh, but he has been a bit inconsistent. Still, over his last two starts he’s allowed 2 earned runs over 11.2 innings, earning a pair of wins. His next start comes against the Royals, so the potential is there for him to continue his positive streak. He’s certainly worth considering as a pitch-and-ditch option, if nothing else, for that one, depending on your needs.
What do you think? What was the biggest story from yesterday? Was there something I missed?
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