Interleague play has come to an end, but that certainly didn’t stop the excitement. Who would have thought both Stephen Strasburg & Ubaldo Jimenez would look human on the same night? Chase Utley owners need to be holding their breath, as he left yesterday’s game with an apparent injury. Carlos Quentin continued to roll. Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Jason Bay (2-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) – New York Mets - It took going to Puerto Rico for him to possibly wake up. He entered the day with just 4 HR and 31 RBI and while we knew his power would regress going to CitiField, this was a bit extreme. Since 2003 he’s never had a HR/FB rate below 11.4%, but entered the day at 4.3%. In other words, an extended power surge could come at any time, making him a strong buy if someone has lost faith.
- Carlos Quentin (1-1, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) – Chicago White Sox - He just continues streaking. Since June 16 he’s gone 15-38 with 5 HR, 16 RBI and 8 R. Needless to say, if you didn’t buy low on him already, the opportunity has passed you by. He’s a solid play in all formats moving forward.
- Chase Utley (1-3) – Philadelphia Phillies - The biggest problem is that he apparently has suffered a thumb injury, forcing him to be lifted in the ninth inning. We’ll get an update out as soon as we have it, but right now owners have to just hope for the best.
- Miguel Cabrera (2-4, 2 RBI, 1 R) – Detroit Tigers - Is there anyone better in the game right now? He is hitting .335 with 20 HR, 66 RBI and 56 R and with a realistic shot at the Triple Crown. Batting Average is standing in his way, but he’s suddenly not so far behind the leaders (Robinson Cano leads at .359). Cabrera is currently on a nine-game hitting streak, going 13-36 with 1 HR, 7 RBI and 8 R. Yesterday he helped lead the way to the Tigers getting four runs in the first against Francisco Liriano (6.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 6 K).
- Matt LaPorta (2-3) – Cleveland Indians – He’s back as the Indians full-time first baseman with something to prove. While he went 0-4 in his first game back, this is a lot more like it. The Indians had him in the seventh spot in the order, but that’s not likely to last long. If he continues to hit well, he’ll likely get promoted into the fourth or fifth spot in the near future, adding significant potential value. Before you say it’s impossible, they immediately slotted Carlos Santana (1-3, 1 R) into the three hole.
- Michael Bourn (4-6, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 SB) – Houston Astros – You don’t see Bourn go deep everyday. In fact, his career high is just 5 HR in 2008, so it is a huge bonus for owners when he has a day like this. Bourn is hitting just .266 with 16 RBI, as he strikes out too much for a player with his skill set (21.1%). Still, he’s got value in all formats due to his stolen base potential (23 on the year). If he could ever cut the strikeouts, significantly raising his average, he’d be one of the top options in the game, though.
- Miguel Olivo (3-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R) – Colorado Rockies - He’s on a six-game hitting streak, though this is the first multi-hit game in the streak. He’s gone 8-27 with 3 HR, 9 RBI and 5 R. It’ll be interesting to see how the Rockies split time with him and Chris Iannetta moving forward.
- Matt Kemp (DNP) – Los Angeles Dodgers - It was his second consecutive game out of the lineup as he is hitting .196 in June and has just 5 HR since April (he hit 7 in April). We all know he’s going to turn things around, so just continue to be patient and keep rolling him out there.
- Ricky Romero (7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 2 K) – Toronto Blue Jays – While he lost this one, it continued his trend of strong starts. Over his last three, he’s allowed 2 ER over 21 IP. His line is impressive, and it’s not based on luck (entered with a .300 BABIP and 79.0% strand rate). While there are certain matchups I could see holding him out for (i.e. Yankees), he’s a good play in most formats.
- Ricky Nolasco (7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 9 K, W) – Florida Marlins - An impressive outing, though we all know that he’s better then his numbers indicate (4.84 ERA). He’s a good play in all formats.
- Stephen Strasburg (6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 K) – Washington Nationals – Don’t look now, but Strasburg is mortal. It was far from a poor start, but it’s not the dominant outing we’ve quickly grown accustomed to, either. Tim Hudson (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 6 K, W) was just the better pitcher in this one. After what we’ve already seen from Strasburg, is anyone really worried?
- Johnny Cueto (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 0 K, W) – Cincinnati Reds – It was a great start, his third straight solid outing (2 ER over 20.2 IP), but where are the strikeouts? It’s actually the second time in his last six starts where he didn’t record a strikeout. We know he’s got more strikeout potential then that, but it’s still worth noting.
- Dan Haren (8.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 6 K) – Arizona Cardinals – His duel with Chris Carpenter (7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 5 K) didn’t quite turn out as imagined. While Haren pitched alright, it’s still not “ace” numbers, with the 10 hits allowed. Then again, he should have been in line for a W, but the Diamondbacks opted to play like a little league team in the ninth inning, committing a pair of errors (including one from Aaron Heilman) and hand the game away. While Heilman wasn’t charged with an earned run (he allowed an unearned run) or a hit, he made one of the errors that opened the door. Heilman is only worth using in the deepest of formats.
- Ubaldo Jimenez (6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 7 K, W) – Colorado Rockies – He was human for the second consecutive start, having allowed 10 ER over 11.2 IP. What the heck? Well, it was bound to happen, but he still improved to 14-1. I would also look for him to get things back on track, sooner or later, so do not panic on the man who has proven to be the best pitcher in the game early on in 2010.
- Chad Billingsley (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K) – Los Angeles Dodgers - He took a no decision, but it was a strong outing in his first game back from the DL. He has the stuff to dominate at times and is usable in all formats. I’d have him active in all formats for his next start in Arizona.
What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games? Which ones caught your eye? And which ones did I miss?
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