Miguel Cabrera returned with a bang. Matt Cain put on a dominating performance. Robinson Cano continues to rake. Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Miguel Cabrera (3-4, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R) – The perfect example of why you don’t bench someone like Cabrera, even if you know he’s going to be out for a day or two. After missing an entire series earlier in the week, Cabrera certainly made up for lost time, bringing his average to .341 with 13 HR and 44 RBI on the season.
- Robinson Cano (3-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R) – We’ve heard about how great he could be and this year he’s finally living up to his full potential. He’s now hitting .351 with 10 HR, 34 RBI and 34 R. This extended his hitting streak to 11 games, going 20-47 with 1 HR, 10 RBI and 8 R. He hit leadoff for the first time in his career and with production like this, would it be surprising to see him there again?
- Curtis Granderson (1-3, 1 R) - This was his first game off the DL. Get him back active in all formats.
- Victor Martinez (2-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R) - Don’t lose this performance in the 12 run barrage the Royals put on the Red Sox (Wakefield gave up 9 ER in 3.2 IP). He’s been battling a toe injury, but when he’s been on the field he’s been amazing. He’s 13-31 with 4 HR, 7 RBI and 8 R since May 17.
- Milton Bradley (1-4, 3 RBI) - Over his last three games he’s gone 4-11 with 1 HR, 6 RBI and 1 R. Malcontent or not, we all know he can hit. If Ichiro Suzuki (2-4, 2 R) and Chone Figgins (1-3, 2 R) can get on base, that could mean a lot of RBI for Bradley. In five-outfielder formats, he’s worth the risk.
- Neil Walker (2-4, 1 RBI, 1 R) - In four games since being recalled he’s gone 5-13 with 2 RBI and 1 R. Not really note worthy, but if he continues to hit it is not impossible to see him delay the promotion of Pedro Alvarez. That alone makes him worth monitoring closely in deeper formats.
- Pablo Sandoval (2-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R) – It was his first home run since April 21 and first multi-RBI game since April 27. Is this the beginning of a prolonged hot streak? Fantasy owners certainly hope so.
- Randy Wells (0.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 0 K) - How do you like not recording a single out? That’s about as ugly a line as you can get. He’s been hot and cold this year, including having given up 6 ER to the Pirates a few starts back. With Carlos Zambrano heading back to the rotation, Wells certainly could be the odd man out.
- Shaun Marcum (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 K, W) - Did anyone expect him to pitch this well after missing all of 2009? He has had a bit of luck on his side (he entered the day with a .257 BABIP and 77.4% strand rate), but the most impressive number has got to be his control. He’s walked more than two batters just twice in his 11 starts. When you can do that, you are likely going to be successful. He’s certainly emerged once again as a solid backend starter in all formats.
- Matt Thornton (1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K, SV) - Interesting that the White Sox tossed him out there for a 4 out save, though with Jenks giving up 3 ER to the Indians earlier in the week it very well could be that his days as the closer are over. If Thornton’s still available and you are in need of saves, I wouldn’t hesitate at this point.
- Wandy Rodriguez (3.1 IP, 8 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 5 K) – What is going on with Wandy? He’s now carrying a 5.37 ERA to go along with a 2-7 record. He’s had some bad luck (.338 BABIP and 63.5% strand rate entering the day), but his strikeouts are also down significantly (8.5 K/9 in ’09 vs. 5.4 entering the day). It’s hard trusting him right now, isn’t it? Depending on your other options, he probably should be on your bench.
- Yovani Gallardo (9.0 IP, 0 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 7 K, W) - This was a tremendous pitchers duel, with Gallardo outlasting Johan Santana (8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K) and being aided by a walkoff home run from Corey Hart (1-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R). Gallardo is now 5-2 with a 2.78 ERA on the season.
- Kevin Slowey (6.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 5 K) – He’s had three straight solid starts, allowing 6 ER over 17.1 innings, but this was just the second time he’s gone more than 5.2 innings in a start this season. That may be a problem, but he still has managed 6 wins. With great control, he’s a solid option in all formats, especially with the Mariners next on the schedule.
- Jeff Francis (5.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 K) - There had to be bumps along the road. After allowing 1 ER over his first two starts he hit a bit of a road block in this one. Of course, with his next start coming in San Francisco, he could get things right back on track. He doesn’t strike out many, so he’s a lower option, but he’s worth considering next week if you are in need of a spot start.
- Matt Cain (9.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 9 K) – Edwin Jackson (7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 5 BB, 7 K) didn’t pitch poorly, but he never stood a chance. This seems to be the only way for Cain to get a win, now at 3-4 despite a sterling 2.50 ERA. He has been lucky (.237 BABIP), so don’t look for him to maintain this type of average.
What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games? Which ones caught your eye? And which ones did I miss?
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