Miguel Cabrera & Carlos Pena continue to surge. Zack Greinke struck out 15. Adam Wainwright continues to show why he’s among the best pitcher’s in the NL. Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.
Pittsburgh 6, Philadelphia 4
- Brad Lidge didn’t record an out, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits to blow his 9th save of the season and put him at 0-6 with a 7.33 ERA and 1.80 WHIP on the season. The difference between this season and last is almost unbelievable and at this point Lidge, who many drafted as a #1 closer, is borderline usable. You can blame last night’s performance on pitching for the fourth straight game, but that doesn’t explain the other 8 blown saves he’s had this season. If you are desperate for saves you might as well keep rolling him out there at this point, but I have to question how much longer he’s going to remain in the role at this point.
- Steve Pearce went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R. Many people have been waiting for him to get regular AB, but hitting .223 with 3 HR and 10 RBI over 94 AB is not very awe-inspiring. He was once thought to have a lot of potential, but at this point it just doesn’t appear like he’s going to live up to it.
San Diego 2, Atlanta 1 (12 innings)
- Mat Latos, after struggling in his last two starts), got things back on track in a big way. He tossed 7 shutout innings allowing just 2 hits and 0 walks, striking out 4, in a no decision (Heath Bell blew the save in the ninth). He’s tough to trust to begin with, but talk is that his start on Sunday may be his last for the season as the team tries to conserve his usage. With that in mind, he’s really only an option in keeper leagues.
- Jair Jurrjens allowed 1 run on 5 hits and 4 walks, striking out 7, over 7.2 innings. He’s now allowed 5 earned runs over his last 20.2 innings, though he has been rewarded with just 1 win over that span.
Florida 2, New York (NL) 1
- Nelson Figueroa pitched fairly well, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and 0 walks, striking out 2, over 5 innings. He was pulled after just 78 pitches, though it didn’t matter. Sean Green & Francisco Rodriguez did the job, tossing 3 shutout innings, but the Mets offense is putrid right now. Fernando Tatis & Daniel Murphy filled the #5 & 6 spots, which should tell you all you need to know. Despite the good start from Figueroa, don’t expect it to continue. Don’t bother even considering him.
- Sean West allowed 1 run on 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 2, over 6 innings to improve to 5-5 with a 4.44 ERA. He had failed to go at least 5 innings in four of his previous six starts, so I wouldn’t put much stock in a dominant performance against the Mets. Even with his next start coming against the Padres, he’s not worth considering.
- Leo Nunez pitched a perfect ninth, striking out 1, to pick up save 15 on the season. At this point I would continue to use him as a borderline #2 closer, but more of a #3 in all formats.
- Josh Willingham had the big day, going 4-4 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 5 R. Now that’s how to snap out of a slump, huh? I meantioned him the other day, saying that he needs to remain in your line-up, and this is exactly why. He’s re-emerged as a solid option in most formats, but definitely should be used in five-outfielder formats.
- Elijah Dukes went 2-3 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 1 R to break a 1-20 slump. He has upside, but still is hitting just .238 with 8 HR and 2 SB on the season. He’s better to have stashed then to be used, despite the big day yesterday.
- Carlos Zambrano allowed 8 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, striking out 4, over 4.1 innings in his first start since 8/1. This is a good example as to why I don’t recommend using pitchers in their first start off the DL. He’s going to prove usable, so I wouldn’t worry much, especially with the Mets next up on the schedule.
- Laynce Nix went 2-7 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R. In his last four starts he’s gone 8-20 with 3 HR, 4 RBI and 3 R. In August he’s hitting .310 with 4 HR in 58 AB. Clearly, he’s playing well, but it’s not worth to consider him usable in any format.
- Felipe Lopez went 4-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R. He’s now on a 6-game hitting streak, going 11-28 with 1 HR, 7 RBI and 4 R. You’d expect the runs and RBI to be reversed, especially hitting leadoff with Ryan Braun & Prince Fielder hitting behind him, but let’s not nitpick. He’s a low-end middle infielder in all deep formats, as he hasn’t provided the speed (6 SB) or power (8 HR) to distinguish himself.
- Wandy Rodriguez clearly deserved better then a loss, giving up 1 run on 3 hits and 1 walk, striking out 6, over 7 innings. He has clearly rebounded after getting torched for 10 runs in 4 innings on 8/14, allowing just 1 earned run over his last 15 innings. His next start is a match-up with Dan Haren and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Adam Wainwright tossed 8 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits and 0 walks, striking out 5, to improve to 15-7 with a 2.50 ERA. Looking for consistency? He hasn’t allowed more than 2 earned runs in each of his last 12 starts, going 6 innings or more in each of them. He’s clearly emerged as a tremendous option in all formats.
- Clayton Kershaw allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk, striking out 6, over 6.1 innings to take the no decision. Since his last win (July 18), Kershaw has allowed more than 3 earned runs in a start just once, but he also has failed to go 5 innings three times. The long ball cost him in this one, allowing his first home run since May 27. As long as he’s pitching well, fantasy owners can ignore the wins. Sooner or later, pitching for the Dodgers, they really should come as long as he can reduce his pitch counts and consistently go deeper into games.
- Troy Tulowitzki went 2-5 with 2 RBI extending his hitting streak to 6-games. Over the streak he’s gone 8-25 with 6 RBI and 5 R. He’s bounced back after a terrible start to the season, now tied with Ben Zobrist for the most HR among SS with 23 while also hitting .276 with 69 RBI, 78 R and 15 SB.
- Dan Haren pitched 7 innings allowing 2 runs on 6 hits and 1 walk, striking out 6. That’s the type of bounceback you’d like to see after your ace struggled and with his next start coming against the Astros, there’s no reason to think that he’s not going to continue to roll.
- I’m sure fantasy owners were happy to see Brian Wilson get the save opportunity, but after pitching 2.2 innings the day before, you had to know that there was a chance he would struggle. He lasted just 0.2 innings giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks, striking out 1, before being lifted and not finishing the job. He likely shouldn’t have been in there, so don’t hold it against him.
- Josh Hamilton went 4-6 with 2 RBI, a great game. The problem is that fantasy owners were looking for power from him, and he hasn’t provided much at all. His last HR came on 8/7 and he’s only hit two since returning in July. We’ll have to take a closer look at the power outage in the coming days to see if we should expect a rebound or not.
- Is Elvis Andrus the AL Rookie of the Year? He went 3-5 with 3 RBI and 1 R and has been solid all year long.
- Joba Chamberlain allowed 7 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks, striking out 5, over 4 innings to fall to 8-4 with a 4.34 ERA. Throw out all the excuses you’d like, but he clearly has not been even close to the hype this season. Granted, I woulnd’t give up on him, but let’s keep those expectations tempered for young pitchers who have never been a full-time major league starter. You really just never know what you are going to get.
- Carlos Pena went 2-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R. To say that he’s scorching hot right now would be an understatement. He has 6 HR in his last five games, and 14 RBI in his last six. Overall he has a 7-game hitting streak, seeing his average rise from .211 to .223. I know, the average still stinks, but when you have 37 HR, 91 RBI and 83 R, does anyone really care?
- Jason Frasor entered in a non-save situation (obviously) and pitched a perfect inning, striking out 3. Is that enough to help him remain in the closer’s role even with the return of Scott Downs? Time will tell, but he certainly should be stashed away if you are in need of saves.
- Scott Podsednick went 2-5, but went without a SB breaking his 3-game streak. Overall he’s hitting .296 with 4 HR, 38 RBI, 59 R and 21 SB. The steals are nice, but you certainly would like to see more runs from his type of player. He’s just a borderline option in 5-outfielder formats, but should be more of a short-term fill-in if you need some speed potential.
- Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-5 with 1 RBI, 1 R and 1 SB. That gives him 55 SB on the season, a new single season Red Sox record. Like Podsednick, you’d like to see more than the 69 R scored, but remember the Red Sox were hitting him towards the bottom of the line-up for a while. He also has elite speed and has emerged as one of the premier stolen base threats in baseball.
- Matt LaPorta went 1-3 with 1 R. He now has a 6-game hitting streak since being recalled, going 7-22 with 0 HR, 4 RBI and 5 R. Those are not bad numbers at all and he certainly should be owned in all deeper formats. He has a ton of potential and could really be a force in the season’s final month.
- Is there anything left to say about Zack Greinke? He went 8 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 15, to improve to 12-8 with a 2.43 ERA. How many wins do you think he’d have if he was playing for a better team?
- Justin Masterson allowed 4 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4, over 6 innings. Not quite the performance owners would have liked to have seen after he was solid against the Angels in his previous start, is it?
- Brian Matusz allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, striking out 3, over 5 innings in a no decision. He’s lucky to have allowed only 3 runs, however. Way too many baserunners, as he’s now sitting with a 6.46 ERA and 2.03 WHIP in his 23.2 innings of work. He has a ton of potential, but he has only proven that he is not ready and cannot be trusted in any format this season.
- Delmon Young went 4-5 with 1 RBI and 2 R. He’s had some big games of late and has shown signs of turning things around, though he’s still not trustworthy in smaller formats. In deeper leagues, if you need an OF, why not? He’s shown a bit of power in August and has hits in all but five games.
- Miguel Cabrera went 3-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R. He’s now homered in three straight games, to go along with 9 RBI and 5 R. He also has a 10-game hitting streak, going 23-42 with 4 HR, 15 RBI and 11 R. We all know the guy is one of the best hitters in the league, but it’s streaks like this that drives it home.
- John Lackey allowed 5 runs on 11 hits and 1 walk, striking out 6, over 6 innings. After it had appeared like he had turned things around, he’s now allowed 11 earned runs over 11.1 innings in his last two starts. He has Oakland next on the schedule, so he should be able to turn things around. Anyways, he’s too good of an option, despite these struggles, not to use. All you can do is roll the dice with him and hope for the best.
- Brett Anderson allowed 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk, striking out 8, over 7 innings. He’s been solid in his last two starts, though has proven to be inconsistent this season (no real surprise there for a young starting pitcher). His next start comes against the Angels, one that I wouldn’t recommend using him for. The risk is just too great.
- Bill Hall went 0-4, the first time he has gone hitless since being acquired by the Mariners. He’s 5-16 with 2 RBI and 0 R, so while he hasn’t been producing much, he is at least hitting. He’s worth keeping an eye on as he has the potential to be an important bat in a weak line-up.
What do you think? What was the biggest story from yesterday? Was there something I missed?
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