Jorge De La Rosa provided the performance of the evening. Matt Wieters played the hero for a change. Alcides Escobar is looking like a great option for 2010. Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Matt LaPorta went 3-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R. He has a modest four-game hitting streak, and has also homered in each of his past two games. His only production (runs/RBI) in September have come in games that he’s homered in, so he needs to do better there, but he’s showing the signs of his potential.
- Michael Cuddyer went 3-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R as he is on fire right now. Over his last four games he’s gone 8-16 with 2 HR, 8 RBI and 3 R. If you are an owner who has lost a first baseman or outfielder and are in need of some power, he’s worth using while he’s hot.
- Joel Pineiro allowed 4 runs on 10 hits and 1 walk, striking out 2, over 5.1 innings. It’s the third time in his last four starts where he has allowed 4 earned runs, so being concerned would be justified. He has been better than anyone would have expected this season, so a slump should not be shocking, it just comes at an extremely bad time for fantasy owners. We all know he offers little in strikeout potential, but even with the struggles at this point he needs to be in your line-up. His next start comes against Houston, who he is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA this season, so it hopefully should mean a rebound.
- Hiroki Kuroda has been solid since coming off the DL, winning for the second straight start. He allowed 1 run on 6 hits and 0 walks, striking out 7, over 6 innings to beat the Pirates. In his three starts since returning he’s allowed 6 earned runs on 13 hits and 3 walks, striking out 15, over 19 innings. His next start comes in Washington, so he definitely should be active in all formats.
- Justin Upton went 5-5 with 1 RBI and 1 R, coming just a home run short of hitting for the cycle. He really has emerged, hasn’t he? I
- Luis Durango made his first start for the Padres, going 3-4 with 2 R. He’s all speed, considering he was hitting .281 with 0 HR and 44 SB at Double-A prior to his recall. The hits were nice, but I’m not expecting them to continue with his jump, meaning his speed isn’t going to be able to be utilized. I’d ignore him at this point unless he gets regular playing time and proves he can handle the pitching.
- Joe Blanton tossed 6 shutout innings, giving up 5 hits and 4 walks, striking out 7. It was a good rebound against the Nationals, after giving up 8 earned runs over 4.2 innings his last time out against them. That had been the first time he had allowed more than 3 earned runs in a start since 6/18, so he’s been awfully consistent. With the Phillies offense behind him, he should be used in all formats.
- Curtis Granderson went 2-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R hitting seventh in the Tigers order. That spot really hurts his potential value, so it needs to be monitored. Granted, he hasn’t been fantastic this season, hitting .250, but he has 83 R, 27 HR and 63 RBI. Obviously, he should be used in all formats. The rumor is that he’s falling out of favor in Detroit, so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out this winter.
- Drew Stubbs went 2-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R. That gives him home runs in back-to-back games and seven on the season in just 123 AB. He had just three in the minor leagues, so he certainly picked the right time to find his stroke. Don’t like for it to continue.
- It was nice to see Matt Wieters play the hero, going 1-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R, the home run being of the walkoff variety. Still, no matter what he does the rest of the way, he’s going to be labeled a disappointment. Let’s temper those expectations for rookies a little bit more next season.
- Chris Tillman allowed 1 run on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 0, over 6.2 innings. Nice start, but he’s just not usable right now with a 4.50 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. He’s a name to remember as a potential 2010 sleeper, though, and we’ll be looking at him in the offseason.
- We talked about Hideki Matsui in a recent column here, and it appears that he’s going through one of his hot streaks. He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R, giving him a six-game hitting streak (11-24 with 2 HR, 9 RBI and 2 R) and home runs in two of his last four games. As I’ve said, he runs hot and cold, so you want to use him while he’s scorching hot like this.
- It was a wild game between the Angels and Red Sox, seeing the Red Sox score twice in the bottom of the ninth to take a 9-8 win. The biggest success story from the day was the top three in the Angels line-up, who went a combined 9-17: Chone Figgins (2-6, 1 R), Erick Aybar (4-6, 1 RBI, 1 R) and Bobby Abreu (3-5, 2 RBI). Aybar is hitting .308 with 5 HR and 14 SB, so he’s more of a short-term fill-in as opposed to an everyday fantasy option. You always want to see someone excel in at least one area, and while the .308 average is nice, it’s just not enough.
- Trevor Cahill tossed a gem, going 7-shutout innings, allowing 1 hit and 2 walks, striking out 7. After being chased after just 3 innings his last time out against the White Sox, this was a great bounceback performance. He’s been more good than bad of late, but with his next start due to come against the Rangers, you’d be better off going with a safer option if you have one.
- Gavin Floyd went just 3 innings, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk, striking out 1, in a loss to the Mariners. He was taken from the game due to a sore hip, which has to concern fantasy owners. He was set to be a 2-start option next week, so monitor the news carefully and see if he’s going to be able to take the mound. At this point in the season, there’s a good chance the team doesn’t risk his health, so be prepared with an alternative option.
- The Mets utilized Josh Thole in the #2 hole, where he went 2-4 with 2 RBI before being lifted for a pinch hitter (Omir Santos, who went 1-1 with a solo home run). Thole is hitting .423 and would appear to be set to be part of a platoon with Santos next season. That could put both of them on the map for those in two-catcher formats, though as very low level options due to their split of playing time.
- Let’s face it, at this point Bobby Parnell is not a starter. He didn’t get the loss (that want to Francisco Rodriguez, who allowed 2 runs, though 1 earned, on 1 hit and 1 walk to blow the save), but he was dreadful again. He allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks, striking out 4, over just 3.1 innings. One good start in his last six attempts should tell you all you need to know. He’s unlikely to be in the Mets 2010 rotation.
- Alcides Escober went 4-5 with 3 RBI and 2 R. He has a five game hitting streak, going 9-19 with 6 RBI and 4 R. He’s been hitting towards the bottom of the order, preventing him from showing off his blazing speed, but hitting .312 with 11 RBI and 12 R in just 77 AB shows how good he could be. He’s got to be a part of the Brewers 2010 plans and is proving that he could even be valuable in deeper mixed formats over the seasons final two and a half weeks, though without the SB, he’s probably not the best option.
- Late in the night when very few were watching, Jorge De La Rosa put in the performance of the evening. The Rockies needed a big-time performance, and he delivered, tossing 8 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 9, to silence the Giants and get the victory. We’ve talked about his success since his dreadful start for some time, so it’s not worth rehashing again. The bottom line is that he has developed into a must start fantasy option in all formats and could emerge as a Top 25 pitcher come 2010.
What do you think? What was your biggest story from yesterday? Did I miss anything?
To read the previous article, click here.
Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.