Rangers catcher Mike Napoli homered in his 5th straight game yesterday, as the Rangers scored 8 runs in the first inning off of Tigers starter Rick Porcello. Napoli now is hitting .279-.373-.721 with 6 HRs and 13 RBI thus far. The Rangers have started the season in dominant fashion at 12-2 and already have a 7 game lead over Albert Pujols and the Angels.
Is it me or does Rick Porcello have one of these starts every year that ravage fantasy owners pitching stats. Wow. He gave up 9 runs, 8 earned, on 10 hits and a walk as his ERA ballooned to 6.32 after this shellacking. I hope not many of you had him on your active rosters yesterday.
Speaking of Albert Pujols, I know it's early, but he has started the year very slow in the power categories. Thus far this season, he is hitting ,276-.323-.397 with 7 doubles, 0 HRs and 4 RBI. Here is a nugget from Buster Olney''s Saturday morning blog:
Albert Pujols went 0-for-4 with a walk to end his nine-game hitting streak. He still has not hit a home run in 58 at-bats this season and has not hit one in his last 87 at-bats dating back to last season -- the second-longest streak of his career.
Check out Jeff Sullivan's piece over at Baseball Nation that talks about Pujols chasing pitches outside the zone here.
White Sox starter Philip Humber threw the 21st perfect game in baseball history yesterday vs the Seattle Mariners. He struck out 9, and got 5 ground ball outs and 13 fly ball outs. This was his second start of the season, and he lowered his ERA to 0.63. Humber will be one of the top waiver wire adds this week as he is owned in less than 1% of ESPN leagues.
Adrian Beltre went 2-2 with a run scored yesterday, but was pulled from the game with yet another hamstring injury. He told writers after the game that he thinks he will be fine to play on Monday.
Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is day to day with right shoulder inflammation. This guy has all the talent in the world, but can never seem to stay healthy. Chad Tracy played third base in place of Zimmerman yesterday.
Diamondbacks starter Daniel Hudson was placed on the 15 day DL with right shoulder impingement. To replace him on the 25 man roster, the DBacks called up reliever Jonathan Albaldejo from AAA. I wonder if Albaladejo will only be up till the team needs a 5th starter. It will be interesting who they call up-Tyler Skaggs or Trevor Bauer.
Nationals closer Brad Lidge blew his second save of the season yesterday, giving up a leadoff walk and a HR to Logan Morrison to tie the game. He was wild in the 9th, as he walked 3 in addition to the HR to Morrison. It appears the Henry Rodriguez could be solidifying himself as the Nationals closer, but manager Davey Johnson said after the game that he will continue to rotate the two closers.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp continued his torrid April by going 1-3 with his 9th HR of the season. He is hitting .474-.523-1.018 with 9 HRs and 22 RBI. If Kemp keeps up this pace, he may actually hit 50 home runs, but I have a hard time seeing him stealing 50 bases this season, let alone 40. I was trading emails with another owner in one of my leagues, and we agreed that at some point, maybe soon, teams will stop pitching to Kemp. Then, maybe he will start walking more, and possibly running more.
The Red Sox horrific season may have reached bottom yesterday, as they blew a 9-0 lead to the Yankees. Starter Felix Doubront had a terrific start, limiting the Yankees to just one run in 6 innings of work, but the Red Sox bullpen gave up 7 runs in the 7th and 7 runs in the 8th inning to blow the lead is epic fashion. ESPN has to be loving the fact that they get the Yankees-Red Sox game tonight on the Sunday Night game of the week. They will certainly have plenty to talk about.
Padres starter Cory Luebke dominated the Phillies last night, shutting them out for 8 innings on just 2 hits, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. He is now 2-1 on the season with a 2.52 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He has not disappointed fantasy owners in the early going this season.
Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus went 3-4 with 2 HRs, 3 runs and 4 RBI yesterday. He needs to string together a few good games to get him back on the right track, as he was once one of the top young outfielders in the game. He is hitting a respectable .275-.321-.510 with 3 HRs and 9 RBI so far in 2012.
Pirates starter A.J. Burnett was a surprise starter yesterday and he dominated the Cardinals, shutting them out for 7 innings on 3 hits, 2 walks and 7 strikeouts. He might outperform his draft slot pitching in the National League this season, but he has a tough schedule of opponents over the next 4-5 starts, as he gets to face the Braves and Cardinals on the road, the Nationals and Astros at home, then on the road vs the Tigers.
Blue Jays closer Sergio Santos was placed on the DL this morning with right shoulder inflammation. He felt tightness in the shoulder after Friday night save and it got worse yesterday. The move is precautionary, so Francisco Cordero will close while Santos is out.
The Phillies placed ace starter Cliff Lee on the DL with an oblique strain. Here is Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. on the injury, courtesy of Matt Gelb at the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"With obliques, you just don't know how long they're going to take," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He's shown improvement. We're hopeful that he's only going to miss a couple of starts."
At the end of spring training in 2010, Joe Blanton suffered an oblique strain. He spent 38 days on the disabled list and missed 24 games then. Whether Lee's ailment is as serious remains to be seen.
So we can expect him to miss at least 2 starts, so plan accordingly. Kyle Kendrick will replace Lee in the Phillies rotation.
The Yankees have shut down starter Michael Pineda with continued shoulder weakness. Yankee doctors will try to determine if something other than shoulder tendinitis is causing the issue.