What has happened to the Phillies offense? Has Albert Pujols finally awoken? What is going on with Dan Haren? Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Troy Tulowitzki (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R) - He’s now homered in five of his last seven games, giving him 6 HR on the season. Is anyone still wondering about his power? He’s a great example of why fantasy owners need to remain patient.
- Adam Dunn (2-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) – He’s on a three game hitting streak (5-13), but that’s not really what fantasy owners care about, is it? This was his first home run since 5/15, giving him 10 on the season. Does anyone really get nervous with a 9-game drought from Dunn? Well, you shouldn’t, we all know it’s just a matter of time before the balls are flying over the wall.
- Albert Pujols (1-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R) - It wasn’t even an impressive performance, but fantasy owners have to be thankful that he finally did something. Can you imagine that he hadn’t had an RBI since May 14? That’s an 11 game drought, something just unheard of from Pujols. He should have an unbelievable streak coming soon, huh?
- Jay Bruce (2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) - He hadn’t homered since April 29 and we all know he has a lot more power then that. Look for him to get going, especially in that ballpark, though it’s possible he doesn’t have that huge of an increase. Last season he posted a FB% rate of 48.5%, not even close to his minor league mark of 38.1%. This year he’s more in line, at 34.5% entering yesterday’s games. Still, 25+ HR is certainly realistic.
- Kevin Kouzmanoff (1-3, 3 RBI, 1 R) - He had the big blow, a bases loaded double in the eighth inning to give the A’s the win. He had gone six straight games without an RBI, but does have 24 on the year. Having hit just 3 HR thus far, he certainly has the potential for much more in the coming weeks.
- Jason Kubel (3-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R) – He has RBI in four straight, with 11 RBI over that span. His splits are as expected, hitting .167 with 0 HR and 3 RBI vs. LHP and .252 with 5 HR and 24 RBI vs. RHP. It’s tough to use him against lefties, but he’s certainly a solid option in weeks where the Twins have mostly RHP on the schedule. One of the HR came against Javier Vazquez (5.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 2 K), who remains a tough play for now.
- Matt Lindstrom (1.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 2 K) - This was his first blown save of the season, but it went beyond that. After blowing the save in the ninth, the Astros ran him back out there for the tenth where he ultimately walked in the winning run. For as good as he’s been this season he was enjoying a 92.6% strand rate, something that I can’t expect to continue even from a relief pitcher. The walk rate, which entered at 1.9, also is a bit on the low side (he was at 4.6 last season and 3.5 for his career). It’s only one game, so I’m not going to push the panic button, but he certainly is a closer to keep a close eye on. Brandon Lyon is laying in wait, so a few more performances like this and he’ll find himself out of the closer’s role.
- John Ely (7.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K) - We’ve talked about Ely in the past (click here for my Scouting Report), and he continued to roll in this one. Unfortunately, he took a tough luck loss, with Ted Lilly (7.0 IP, 0 ER 3 H, 3 BB, 5 K) and two relievers combining for a shutout. He hasn’t given up more than 2 ER since his first start and has entrenched himself in the Dodgers rotation. As I’ve said before, he’s worth rolling the dice on, especially when the matchup is favorable.
- Dan Haren (6.1 IP, 8 ER, 10 H, 0 BB, 6 K) - He allowed four home runs, as Haren clearly doesn’t look like himself on the mound. He’s currently carrying a 5.35 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. There’s little doubt that he turns things around, but we all also know that he’s notorious for struggling late in the season. Hopefully this is the season he can buck that trend, huh? He’s allowed 22 ER over his last four starts, but he’s too good of an option to move to your bench.
- Jeff Niemann (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 5 K, W) - Just when exactly is his impending regression going to come? He entered the game with a .244 BABIP and 84.5% strand rate, which got even better after this one. You certainly should enjoy this while it lasts because sooner or later a bad outing is going to come. Could his next start in Toronto be the one? Considering the way they can hammer the ball, it’s certainly a possibility.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka (4.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 H, 8 BB, 1 K) - After nearly throwing a no hitter his last time out, we get this from Dice-K. He’s just one of those enigmatic pitchers that is impossible to trust for fantasy owners.
- Mike Pelfrey (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 5 BB, 5 K, W) - Another strong outing for Pelfrey, who is now 7-1 with a 2.54 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. The strikeouts are up by a strikeout per 9 innings (6.2 K/9). If he can get the control back in order (3.7), the WHIP will be even more impressive. A groundball pitcher in CitiField, you certainly have to like what you are seeing. The more interesting note from this game is that the Phillies did not score a single run during this three-game series with the Mets. How the heck does that happen?
What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games? Which ones caught your eye? And which ones did I miss?
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