Jason Heyward is struggling. Carlos Silva continues to surprise. Could Daisuke Matsuzaka, Scott Kazmir or Wandy Rodriguez impress? Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Ryan Theriot (2-3, 4 R, 2 SB) – This is the type of game you love to see from your leadoff hitter. He had been struggling for a long time, seeing his average fall from .357 on May 4 to .274 on June 5. This also is just the second time all season that he’s scored more then 1 run in a game. He’s got value as a middle infielder in deeper formats for stolen bases and runs scored and given his struggles, could be in store for a hot streak.
- Jay Bruce (3-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R) - This extends his hitting streak to six games, though this is the first multi-hit game of the stretch. He’s hitting .276 with 8 HR, 26 RBI, 35 R and 5 SB on the season so you really can’t complain. He has the potential to emerge as a #1 outfielder for 2011 so don’t give up on him if he struggles at all.
- Jason Heyward (0-4) - He’s struggling, and a thumb injury could be the culprit. In his last eight games he’s gone 3-32 with 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB. Obviously you can’t bench him, outside of shallow formats. It’ll be interesting to see if the Braves give him a day or two off in the near future, hoping that it helps him get over the injury, or just get things right.
- Ryan Ludwick (2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) - Since May 30 he’s gone 11-31 with 2 HR, 8 RBI and 8 R. Needless to say, things are going well right now. He’s streaky, so capitalize while you can.
- Blake DeWitt (2-3, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R) – He’s not a big source of power, but he’s hot right now. During his four game hitting streak he’s gone 7-13 with 1 HR, 6 RBI and 5 R. He’s certainly not a long-term solution in any format, but if you need a middle infielder as a short-term fill-in, he’s certainly worth using right now.
- Carlos Silva (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K, W) - If you saw this coming please raise your hand. Anyone? He’s now 8-0 with a 2.93 ERA. There’s just no way this can last… Can it?
- Cole Hamels (8.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K) – He have up two solo home runs, costing him this game (Wade LeBlanc tossed 7 shutout innings). Still, this is a nice rebound performance after he gave up 3 earned runs over 0.2 innings thanks to an extended rain delay. He still hasn’t quite found his grove, though we’ll see how far this start carries him in his next time out when he takes on the Red Sox.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka (8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 5 K, W) – This start came against the Indians, so I take it with a bit of a grain of salt. You knew going into the week as a 2-stat pitcher, he had a chance to do well with this start though his next one, against the Phillies, had to have you worried. In his previous two outings he had given up 6 ER over 11.1 innings (4.86 ERA), so let’s see where he goes from here.
- Cliff Lee (9.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 7 K, W) - The two runs didn’t come until the ninth, as this was another dominant performance. In his three starts since getting beat up by the Padres Lee has allowed 5 ER over 25 IP, while striking out 25. He’s a fantasy stud, no matter where he’s pitching (chances are, in the next two months he’ll be dealt from Seattle).
- Scott Kazmir (6.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K, W) – That’s back-to-back good starts, though they’ve come against the Royals and A’s. I’d see how he does against the Dodgers his next time out before I get too excited. He’s carrying a 1.54 WHIP and even in his last two starts (12 IP, 10 H, 6 BB) he hasn’t been impressive in that regard.
- Wandy Rodriguez (7.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 2 K) - Another loss and while the runs allowed were nice, the rest really wasn’t. Only 2 Ks? That’s seven times in his last eight starts that he’s picked up 5 Ks or less. The WHIP is sitting at an ugly 1.62. Just to make matter worse, his next start comes against the Yankees in the new Yankees Stadium. There’s no way I’d use him for that start.
What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games? Which ones caught your eye? And which ones did I miss?
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