Did Ryan Braun break out of his slump? Did Adam Wainwright solidify the NL Cy Young Award? Has Josh Hamilton proven that he’s a safe play in all formats for the final week? Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Adam Lind’s breakout season continued, going 3-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R. On the season he’s hitting .301 with 32 HR, 109 RBI and 89 R. He had shown potential before, but had never hit more than 26 HR in a season, so being this successful this season has to be considered a little bit of a surprise. The 26-year old may have just fully realized his potential and could be among the top hitting outfielders moving forward. It surely will be interesting to see where he falls in the rankings for 2010.
- Tommy Hanson got the win, and the number of runs he allowed was the only sour note on the performance. He allowed 4 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk, striking out 7, over 7 innings to improve to 11-4. It is the second consecutive start where he has allowed 4 earned runs, but he’s also struck out 7 or more in four consecutive starts. His final start of the season comes against the Nationals.
- Yunel Esobar has scored a run in five straight games after going 2-5 with 3 RBI and 2 R. He was hitting sixth in the order yesterday, so I wouldn’t consider him a safe bet to help you in runs over the final week, despite his recent strong stretch.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka (7 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 5 BB, 3 K) was fairly good, but CC Sabathia was better. Sabathia tossed 7 shutout innings, allowing 1 hit and 2 walks to go along with 8 Ks. He has been on a tremendous streak of late, going 8-0 with a 1.62 ERA over his last 10 starts. Needless to say, he’s pitching like the ace the Yankees had been hoping for.
- Tyler Flowers started at catcher for the White Sox, going 0-2. He’s hitting .167 in just 12 AB this season. It’s a small sample, so don’t read too much into it.
- The Tigers rocked Freddy Garcia (6.1 IP, 7 ER, 10 H, 0 BB, 3 K) and the White Sox pitching staff. Leading the way were Curtis Granderson (3-6, 3 RBI, 2 R), Placido Polanco (3-5, 2 RBI, 2 R) and Miguel Cabrera (4-6, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R).
- Jhonny Peralta went 3-5 with 2 RBI. We’ve talked about his terrible cold stretch, but that could mean he’s in line for a big hot streak to close the season. See what he does tomorrow before making any decisions.
- Denard Span went 4-5 with 6 RBI and 1 R. This was just his second game back since being out with a head injury, but he clearly hasn’t missed a beat. In the two games, he’s gone 6-9 with 6 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB. While he hasn’t had the huge breakout season that many had hoped for, with 8 HR and 22 SB, he has been solid and worth using in all five-outfielder formats.
- For the second consecutive start, Barry Zito just didn’t have it. He allowed 4 runs on 6 hits and 5 walks, striking out 3, over 4 innings. In his last two starts he’s allowed 7 runs on 12 hits and 8 walks, striking out 7, over 8.1 innings. For as good as he’s been of late, these two starts have got to make owners concerned. With the Padres on the schedule he is worth using, but hopefully he gets things turned back around.
- Buster Posey got the start for the Giants, going 0-3. The Giants may be taking a look at him over the season’s final week so watch very closely.
- Ryan Braun hasn’t done much in September, hitting just his second home run of the month yesterday. He went 3-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R, but at .314 with 30 HR, 106 RBI, 108 R and 16 SB, is there any debate that he’s a first round pick in 2010?
- Andy LaRoche has a modest three-game hitting streak, as well as hits in 10 of his last 11 games after going 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R. Granted, he has just two multi-hit games over the streak, but at least he’s hitting and showing signs of what could be. It’ll be interesting to see how he fits into the Pirates plans for next season and beyond, but he is not going to be a highly regarded fantasy option, that’s for sure.
- Jay Bruce went 2-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R, giving him home runs in back-to-back games. He should significantly improve on his .221 batting average in 2010, though we’ll go into that in the offseason. I’d expect him to be a solid buy low candidate.
- Miguel Tejada went 4-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Over the streak he’s gone 20-49 with 3 HR, 9 RBI and 7 R.
- Jorge Cantu went 3-4 with 1 RBI and 2 R. That’s three straight multi-hit games, going 9-14 with 5 RBI and 3 R. He’s been solid this season, and with 94 RBI has an outside shot of reaching 100 on the season. If he does that, he’s going to enter 2010 as a usable option in deeper formats, though the power is tough to swallow (16 HR) from a 1B or 3B.
- Dan Haren allowed 5 earned runs for the second consecutive start, going 6 innings giving up 9 hits and 3 walks, striking out 8. He certainly picked the wrong time to go cold for fantasy owners and he draws a tough final match-up of the season, potentially going head-to-head with Tim Lincecum.
- Adam Wainwright allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 10 hits and 1 walk, striking out 11, over 8 innings to improve to 19-8 with a 2.58 ERA. Amazingly, many consider him the second best pitcher on his own team, but he has to be considered among the favorites for the NL Cy Young. He’s looking like a Top 10 pitcher for 2010, especially having surpassed the 200 strikeout mark for the first time in his career.
- Matt Garza got torched for 7 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 8, over 4.2 innings. He had allowed just 3 earned runs over his previous three starts (21.2 innings), so don’t read anything into this start.
- It didn’t take Josh Hamilton long to make an impact, going 2-6 with 4 RBI. He was joined in the onslaught by Marlon Byrd (2-3, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R), Ian Kinsler (1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R) and Chris Davis (4-5, 2 R). When this offense is clicking, they are deadly. A healthy 2010 could lead to some big things for them and they should be highly regarded on draft day.
- It was all offense in the A’s-Angels game, with John Lackey allowing 6 runs on 10 hits and 1 walk, striking out 2, over 5 innings in a no decision. When the final score is 15-10, the fact that he didn’t take a loss is shocking. It’s his second straight down start, allowing 10 earned runs on 17 hits and 3 walks over his last 11 innings. His next start comes against the Rangers, which can’t make fantasy owners comfortable.
- The biggest days for the A’s came from Kurt Suzuki (3-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R), Jack Cust (3-6, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R), Daric Barton (4-5, 2 RBI, 1 R) and Mark Ellis (1-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R). For the Angels it was Chone Figgins (2-4, 2 RBI, 2 R), Bobby Abreu (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R) and Juan Rivera (1-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R).
What do you think? What was your biggest story from yesterday? Did I miss anything?
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