It was another great day around the league, so let’s take a look at all the stories from yesterday’s games:
The Attack Of The Zorilla
To say that it was a monster day for Ben Zobrist would be an understatement. Just look at his lines from the two games of the double header:
- Game 1 – 4-6, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 2 R, 1 SB
- Games 2 – 3-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R
You add it together and he went 7-10 with 2 HR, 10 RBI, 5 R and 1 SB. That’s a tremendous week for most players and it is really just the continuous of one of the most unbelievable hot streaks you are going to witness.
Over his past five games Zobrist has now gone 11-22 with 4 HR, 18 RBI, 8 R and 2 SB. Do you think we can just give him the player of the week award right now?
Obviously this is more than anyone could’ve imagined, as he is now hitting .258 with 7 HR, 25 RBI, 18 R and 4 SB on the season. While he may not continue to show this type of RBI production, it is safe to say that the disastrous 2010 campaign appears to be behind us.
- Michael Pineda continues to impress, silencing the Detroit Tigers to improve to 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. He went 6.0 innings allowing 2 ER on 4 H and 3 BB, striking out a career high 9 in the process. He’s gone at least 6.0 innings in each of his starts and has allowed more than 2 ER only once. Yes, control could become an issue (he has 9 BB in his last 18.0 IP). However, his BABIP is a realistic .276. If he can keep the control where he is now there is no reason to think he can’t continue posting these types of numbers. He could quickly become one of the elite in the game and obviously is a must own.
- The struggles for Austin Jackson continues. He went 0-5 with 2 K and is now hitting .167 with 31 K in 96 AB thus far this season. My preseason Wild Prediction (click here to view) may not be that wild after all.
- It is interesting to note that Frank Francisco, after recording the final out in the eighth inning, stayed on to pitch the ninth after the Blue Jays gained the lead. He finished going 1.1 perfect innings, striking out 3. Could Jon Rauch’s time as the closer be up? Stay tuned, but he hasn’t appeared since April 25, so that certainly wasn’t it.
- Elvis Andrus may be hitting .239, but he has scored 15 R to go along with 1 HR, 11 RBI and 7 SB after going 2-4 with 1 R and 3 SB yesterday. I don’t think anyone is complaining.
- Both Alexi Ogando (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 7 K) and Brandon Morrow (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 6 K) pitched well, though neither factored in the decision. Morrow certainly appears to be a good play in all formats now (barring a tough matchup).
- Ryan Vogelsong was impressive in starts at Triple-A, going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 17 K over 11.1 innings. At 33-years old, however, it’s not like he is some young kid. However, that doesn’t mean he should be ignored. In his first start for the Giants he went 5.2 innings allowing 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 8, to defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates. He’s scheduled for two starts next week, taking on the Mets and Rockies. Is he a good play? That’s debatable, but he’s certainly proving that he has the ability to pile up the Ks, making him intriguing at least, though one that is a very big risk.
- Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to seven games, going 3-5 with 2 RBI and 2 R. Over the streak he has gone 13-32 with 5 RBI, 6 R and 2 SB. It certainly appears that he has finally gotten his season on track, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Carl Crawford, who went 1-4 with 1 R yesterday. He’s shown flashes, but he’s hitting just .160 with 1 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R and 4 SB on the season. It’s impossible for him to continue to struggle this badly, isn’t it?
- It has not been the type of sophomore campaign that owners had hoped for from Carlos Santana, hitting just .192 on the year. He went 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R yesterday, giving him 3 HR and 12 RBI on the year. Coming into the day he was tied for sixth among catchers in RBI, so despite the struggles it is impossible to ignore him. It’s just a matter of time before he puts it all together.
- Grady Sizemore has made quick work getting back into the swing of things. He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .390 with 4 HR and 9 RBI. Obviously he’s not going to maintain the average and he’s also not likely to have the speed he once did, so keep those things in mind.
- It continues to be an impressive sophomore campaign for Ike Davis, who went 2-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R last night putting him at .352 with 4 HR and 19 RBI on the year. He has a 10-game hitting streak overall, five consecutive multi-hit games and seven straight games with a run scored. In the past five games he’s gone 11-19 with 3 RBI and 6 R.
- Could Nick Swisher (3-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R) and Brett Gardner (2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R, 1 SB) finally have gotten out of their slumps? Gardner hadn’t stolen a base since April 8 (13 games), so the fact that he got one is very important (even more so than the fact that he now has home runs in two of his last three games). Swisher, meanwhile, had been hitless in his last five games (0-17) and had been homerless on the season. Hopefully they can use this game to springboard into more success.
- In the second game of the double header Jeff Niemann looked masterful, allowing 1 R un 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 2, over 7.0 innings of work. He carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in what was by far his most impressive start of the year.
- Fernando Salas entered the Cardinals-Astros game in the eighth inning with a 3-run lead. After the Cardinals tacked on a run, the save opportunity was gone if they made a change (i.e. went to Mitchell Boggs), so to an extent it made sense letting Salas stay in there. He pitched 1.1 innings giving up 0 R on 1 H and 1 BB, striking out 1. Don’t read too much into this and who the team’s closer is.
- It was a big night for Lance Berkman, going 4-5 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 3 R. He now has an eight-game hitting streak. If that wasn’t enough, the last seven games have been multi-hit games (and he’s had at least two hits in 11 of his last 14 games). He is sporting a .406 BABIP and 33.3% HR/FB, so there’s a good reason to believe that the numbers are going to fall. If you are going to sell high on him, now may be as good of a time as any.
- What word do you use for this line: 0.1 IP, 7 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 0 K. Awful? Appalling? Dreadful? Whichever you pick, it’s not enough to describe the performance from Ryan Dempster against the Arizona Diamondbacks last night. It was highlighted by a grand slam from Stephen Drew (2-5, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R), but clearly the control was the bigger issue, which has been a theme for him in 2011. He has walked at least 3 batters in four of his six starts and is currently sporting a 9.58 ERA and 1.87 WHIP. Is he that bad? Of course not, and there is some bad luck at play (53.9% strand rate, .344 BABIP). Still, there is reason to be concerned.