Adam Lind had a three home run night. Felix Hernandez furthered his case for the AL Cy Young, though it’s likely not to be enough. Jay Bruce continued his scorching hot streak. Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Nick Blackburn posted his third straight solid start, giving up 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4, over 7 innings in a no decision (Rick Porcello nearly matched him pitch for pitch, allowing 1 run on 7 hits and 1 walk, striking out 1, over 6.1 innings). He’s now 2-0 over those last three starts, giving up 3 earned runs on 20.1 innings. There’s talk of him going on three days rest against the Royals, but one way or another he should get one more start this season. If you are in need of another start, he’s worth grabbing, though if he does go Saturday he’s going to take on Zack Greinke, making a win a bit more difficult.
- Curtis Granderson went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R in the second game of the double-header. He went 2-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R in the first game, meaning he’s now homered in three straight games. He also is on a four-game hitting streak, going 10-19 with 3 HR, 7 RBI and 5 R. Nothing like heating up when it matters most.
- Wade Davis was solid, allowing 1 run on 7 hits and 3 walks, striking out 3, over 7 innings to improve to 2-1 with a 3.45 ERA. It makes you wonder why they didn’t go to him earlier, doesn’t it? He’s had one bomb of a start against the Red Sox, but you take that out (8 ER over 2.2 innings) and he’s allowed just 4 earned runs over 28.2 innings. He may start on the final day of the season against the Yankees, so now isn’t the time to grab him, unfortunately.
- Is this a J.R. Towles sighting? He went 2-3 with 1 R, but he’s got a long ways to go before he lives up to the potential we all heard a lot about.
- The Phillies really tested Ryan Madson as he attempted to pick up the save for J.A. Happ (5.2 IP, 4 R [3 ER], 9 H, 1 BB, 6 K) by pushing him two innings to get the save. He responded, giving up 2 hits and 0 walks, striking out 2, to lock down the save. Is it enough to put him in the driver’s seat for the closer’s role in the playoffs? Time will tell.
- In what may be his last start of the season, Mike Pelfrey gave owners something to think about. He was solid, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, striking out 2, over 7 innings in a no decision. There’s an outside chance the Mets bring him back for the last game of the season, but with the way he’s struggled this season I doubt they will. Let him go into the offseason with something positive under his belt as he tries to bounce back and rediscover his 2008 form.
- Jay Bruce had a monster day, going 2-4 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R. That gives him four home runs in his last four games, to go along with 9 RBI and 7 R. Needless to say, he’s making owners he held onto him during his injury awfully happy.
- Homer Bailey won again, giving up 1 run on 7 hits and 1 walk, striking out 7, over 7 innings. Where did this come from? He’s now given up 3 earned runs or less in 8 straight outings, going at least 6 innings in six of those starts.
- After recording a two inning save on Sunday, the Royals did not turn to Joakim Soria with a one run lead last night. Instead it was Kyle Farnsworth, who promptly coughed up the lead. He allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits and 1 walk, striking out 1, over 0.2 innings to take the loss and raise his ERA to 4.58. He clearly has been a bust.
- Is there any stopping Adam Lind? He went 3-4 with 3 HR, 4 RBI and 3 R, raising his season totals to .305 with 35 HR and 114 RBI on the season. Is he and Aaron Hill (2-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R) the most surprising 35+ HR, 100+ RBI duo, potentially ever?
- Clay Buchholz just didn’t have it, giving up 7 runs on 8 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4, over 5 innings. It happens and he certainly has shown enough not to let this game worry you.
- Cameron Maybin went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R. That gives him hits in six of his last seven games, and home runs in two of his last four. He hasn’t shown the speed that we all know he possesses, but that should come in time. He’s showing signs that he can hit at this level, making him a player to consider as a sleeper come 2010.
- Ryan Dempster was spectacular, tossing a complete game shutout. He allowed 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6. Over his last four starts he’s allowed just 3 earned runs over 32 innings. He’ll try to continue his hot streak to close the season, taking on the Diamondbacks in his final start.
- The Rangers pitcher, which had been one of the biggest surprises of the season, just hasn’t been able to continue it over the last week of the season. On Monday it was Tommy Hunter who got hit hard. Yesterday it was Scott Feldman, who lasted just 3.2 innings giving up 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, striking out 3. Still, at 17-7 he’s proven that he’s fantasy relevant in all formats for 2010.
- If it wasn’t for Greinke, Felix Hernandez would likely be in line to take home his first AL Cy Young Award. He improved to 18-5 with a 2.48 ERA and 1.15 WHIP after giving up 2 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks, striking out 4, over 7.2 innings. He’s 6-0 over his last seven starts, giving up just 10 earned runs over 53.2 innings. Most years, it would put him over the top in the AL, but this is no ordinary year.
- Chris Iannetta has not seen much playing time of late, going just 4-11 in September prior to yesterday’s games. He came up big last night, however, with a 2-run, walk-off home run in the 11th inning to send the Rockies to victory. Hopefully he’s given the chance to earn the job once again in 2010.
- Chad Billingsley has not been pitching poorly in his last two starts, but he’s turned out winless in part due to walks. He gave up 2 runs on 2 hits and 5 walks, striking out 5, over 6 innings against the Padres last night. In his last two starts he’s allowed 5 runs over 12 innings, but has given up just 3 hits. The problem is he’s walked 9 over that span. This was his last start of the season, so he certainly didn’t leave the best taste in owners mouths, but remember how great he was early on in the season. If his value slips in 2010, you may be getting yourself a steal.
- We always hear about players taking advantage of their opportunities and that’s the least you can say about Miguel Montero, who not only has claimed the starting catching job but appears to be a Top 5 option heading into 2010. He went 2-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .299 with 16 HR on the season. How good could he be with regular playing time?
- Bengie Molina went 4-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R while Pablo Sandoval went 4-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 4 R to lead the Giants to victory. Where will Molina end up in 2010? Could Sandoval return behind the plate? It’s going to be an interesting offseason in San Francisco.
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.