Francisco Liriano returned to the rotation, but didn’t look so good. Clayton Kershaw returned from injury and pitched well. Jimmy Rollins continued to try and make people forget about his poor average. Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Chris Tillman has a lot of potential, but he didn’t show it in this one. He allowed 6 runs on 6 hits and 1 walk, striking out 2, over 2 innings to get hung with the loss. He’s sitting with a 5.40 ERA and was perhaps pushed a little too quickly. He’s pitching int the highly competitive AL East, and obviously is even struggling outside of the division as well. He’s given up 4 earned runs or more in four of his last five starts and is unusable in the season’s final week. Could he be viable in 2010? Perhaps, but it’s going to take a whole lot to get there.
- Big game for Asdrubal Cabrera, going 4-5 with 3 RBI and 1 R. The same could be said for Matt LaPorta, who went 1-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R. While the Indians have struggled this season, both of these players have shown just how capable they can be in the major leagues. Both belong on fantasy radars for 2010, especially in deeper formats.
- Andy Pettitte allowed 2 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, striking out 4, over 6 innings to beat the Red Sox. He had some injury concerns, but has obviously bounced back alright. In his last two starts he’s allowed 5 earned runs over 12 innings, going 1-1 in the process. He did allow too many base runners in this one, but that’s going to happen from time-to-time with him. You have to be willing to deal with that when you have him on your roster.
- Jose Bautista went 2-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R. Over his last 12 games he’s scored 11 R and is currently hitting atop the Blue Jays order. He may not bring the best average to the table, but he’s clearly contributing right now and if you are in a fight for runs scored he could be a viable option for those in the deepest of formats.
- It may have just been a one start respite for Edwin Jackson, who allowed 5 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, striking out 3, over 7 innings to take the loss. That’s the third time in his last four starts that’s allowed 5 runs, and fifth time in his last seven starts that he has allowed 4 earned runs or more. His next start is a rematch with the White Sox, making him a tough play in all formats despite how good he has been this season.
- Carlos Quentin went 2-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R, giving him home runs in back-to-back games, to go along with 7 RBI. It’s about time, huh?
- Francisco Liriano returned to the rotation, and it just wasn’t a good thing. He allowed 3 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks, striking out 1, over 1.2 innings. While he could be a sleeper in 2010, it’s going to be tough to spend any significant dollars on him, isn’t it?
- Zack Greinke cemented his AL Cy Young candidacy, improving to 16-8 with a 2.06 ERA after giving up 1 run on 7 hits and 2 walks, striking out 8. It really should be enough already, but if there was any doubt, he’ll get one last chance to make an impression when he gets a rematch against the Twins in his final start.
- The Texas Rangers lost to the Tampa Bay Rays… Unbelievable, that’s all I can say, especially as an owner who took the gamble on Brandon McCarthy, who really delivered. He allowed 2 runs (0 earned) on 6 hits and 1 walk, striking out 3, over 7.2 innings but was denied victory thanks to the bullpen, headlined by Frank Francisco. Francisco allowed 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 2, over 0.2 innings to blow his 4th save of the season. He’s had some spectacular blow-ups this season, but overall has been solid, with 24 saves. It’s likely he’ll enter 2010 as the Rangers closer once again, making him a solid #2 option.
- Kendry Morales has had a monster season, hasn’t he? He went 3-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R, putting him at .303 with 32 HR, 102 RBI and 81 R on the season. It breaks a 4-game homerless and RBIless, not that it was anything to complain about. It goes without saying that he was a steal for all owners this season.
- Pat Misch tossed a complete game shutout, giving up 8 hits and 3 walks, striking out 2. The real question is, does anyone care?
- Jeff Francoeur went 2-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R. It gives him a modest 4-game hitting streak, going 7-17 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 5 R.
- Yunel Escobar continued his hot streak, going 2-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R. He’s now scored a run in six straight games, despite hitting near the bottom of the order. As I said yesterday, I find it hard to believe that he’ll be able to maintain this type of streak for very long.
- After injuring his shoulder, you really didn’t know what you were going to get from Clayton Kershaw in his return to the mound. He lasted just 4 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4. It’s enough to prove that he’s a usable option, you just have to wonder how far the Dodgers will push him. I have to believe that they will give him another start before the playoffs, as they don’t want to be stretching him out and confirming that he’s 100% healthy in the first round of the playoffs.
- Alcides Escobar went 2-4 with 1 R. He has a five game hitting streak, though the Brewers have kept him towards the bottom of the line-up, not really allowing him to show off his speed or score many runs. If he is going to be a starter for the Brewers next season, look for him to have a lot more potential value.
- Jimmy Rollins is working hard to make people forget how bad he had been earlier this season. He went 3-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, putting him at .247 with 21 HR, 76 RBI, 97 R and 30 SB. I know the average is not what you’d be looking for, but the rest of the numbers are really solid. How many players go 20/30 with over 100 R? It’s going to be really interesting to see if he ends up in the first round of 2010 drafts, something that we certainly will be addressing in the offseason.
- Johnny Cueto and Wandy Rodriguez had a solid pitcher’s match, something we could see for many years to come from them. Cueto took the loss, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and 5 walks, striking out 5, over 7.1 innings. Rodriguez allowed 2 runs on 9 hits and 1 walk, striking out 9, over 6 innings to break a three-start winless streak. His final start of the season comes against the Mets, so he has a really good chance to finish strong.
- Jorge De La Rosa did not bounce back as strongly from his last debacle (6 ER in 2.1 innings), but the Rockies were able to steal a victory for him. He allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks, striking out 8, over 5 innings, but he was pinch hit for trailing 3-2 before the team rallied for two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
- It was a great start for Matt Cain, who tossed 8 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 8, to improve to 14-7 with a 2.88 ERA. He had been struggling, losing three straight starts and had allowed 4 earned runs or more in four of his previous five starts. He will get a good chance to finish the season strong, with his final start coming in San Diego.
- Adrian Gonzalez went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, as he is heating up once again. Over his last seven games he’s gone 10-28 with 2 HR, 8 RBI and 9 R. He’s at 40 HR and 98 RBI, not quite what people had hoped for after his 20 HR over the first two months of the season, but I don’t think anyone would complain about those numbers.
What do you think? What was your biggest story from yesterday? Did I miss anything?
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