Ryan Ludwick was moved into the cleanup spot and delivered. Ryan Braun continued to drive in runs. Jon Garland continues to struggle. Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Ryan Ludwick (2-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R) - He’s been warming up a bit, now with 4 HR in his last seven games as he was moved to the cleanup spot in the rearranged Cardinals lineup. The rest of the changes saw Matt Holliday (2-4, 2 R) hit second, Albert Pujols (3-3, 1 RBI, 2 R) hit third and Colby Rasmus (1-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R) hit sixth. Given the eight runs, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this lineup stick for a while.
- Jose Bautista (1-5) - The bloom appears to be off the rose. Since last homering on June 3 he has gone 2-32 with 0 RBI and 1 R. We all knew it was impossible for him to continue his amazing stretch from the first two months of the season, so this shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Obviously, he’ll turn things around again, so I wouldn’t cut bait due to one slow stretch.
- Ryan Braun (2-4, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R) - The big shot was a grand slam. He hasn’t had a ton of hits in his last six games (5-23), but he has 2 HR, 10 RBI and 3 R over that stretch. He’s pretty good, huh?
- Andres Torres (2-3, 2 RBI, 2 R) - Since June 5 he’s gone 15-38 with 4 RBI, 7 R and 3 SB. Clearly, he’s only brings some upside in the average and speed categories, and even that isn’t overwhelming. He actually hasn’t stolen a base in eight games, despite the solid average. He’s a low-end option in all five-outfielder formats.
- Matt Wieters (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) – Is this the start of a turn around? Time will tell, but you have to like it.
- Adam Wainwright (7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 6 K, W) - He started slow, including allowing a leadoff home run to Ichiro Suzuki, giving owners nightmares that this would be another sub par start. Luckily he settled in and put up a typical solid outing. He’s one of the top pitchers in the game, though there is a little bit of luck in play (.269 BABIP, 80.4% strand rate entering the day). Then again, he posted an 80.4% strand rate last year, so maybe it is repeatable.
- Jon Garland (5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 7 K) – He’s starting to fade, now having allowed 13 ER over his last 18.0 innings, going 0-3 over that span. Does it really surprise anyone? He was pitching well over his head earlier in the year as he hasn’t had a sub-4.00 ERA since 2005. He’s up to 3.07 and the chances are, the regression will continue.
- Joe Saunders (5.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 3 K) - Every time it looks like he turns things around, the next blow up comes. The success in his last two games is now a distant memory, as we clearly are going to put more weight in the opponents (Seattle & Oakland). There’s just no way to trust him at this point.
What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games? Which ones caught your eye? And which ones did I miss?
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