I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. Mine was busy with two drafts and Easter yesterday, so this one might be a bit short. On Sunday we saw several pitching gems and several blowups by starters and relievers, so let's get to some of the highlights.
Cardinals starter Lance Lynn pitched great in his first major league start, holding the Brewers to just one run on 2 hits, a walk and 8 strikeouts in his 6.2 inning effort. Lynn was one starter I had mentioned as a sleeper and to pick him up late in drafts. I don't expect him to pitch like this in every outing, but he has the ability to strikeout a good number of batters this season, and I think he could remain in the Cardinals rotation once Chris Carpenter returns from the DL.
Mets starter Jonathan Niese had a no-hitter going for 6 innings, but then the wheels came off in the 7th, and he left after giving up 4 runs, 3 earned, on just 2 hits and 4 walks, and striking out 7 batters. Niese was on several breakout lists before the season, and I think he could be a decent fantasy starter in 2012.
Indians starter Derek Lowe was masterful on Sunday, limiting the Blue Jays to just 2 runs, both unearned, on 5 hits and walk in 7 innings. He did what Lowe usually does, and that is induce ground ball outs, as he managed 15 of the 21 outs via the ground ball. Just one of the reasons why Lonnie Chisenhall is in AAA right now, rather than with the big club.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
Diamondbacks starter Josh Collmenter has to be thinking that his days in the big leagues are numbered after his awful spring, he went out and allowed 6 runs, 5 earned, on 5 hits and a walk in just 3 innings of work yesterday. Trevor Bauer is pretty close to being ready for the big leagues, but I imagine they will give Collmenter a few more starts in the big leagues, especially after sweeping the Giants this weekend.
Coming into the season, I thought the Red Sox had one legitimate closer candidate after Andrew Bailey went down, but the Red Sox felt that they needed him in the starting rotation. Well, after this weekend, and yesterday especially, it appears Daniel Bard is close to being named the Red Sox closer. Both Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon blew save opportunities yesterday, with Aceves failing to get an out in the 9th and serving up Miguel Cabrera's game-tying 3 run homer on the first pitch he saw, and Melancon giving up the game-winning HR to Tigers catcher Alex Avila in the 11th. We should learn more about the Red Sox closer situation later today.
Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson is out to prove me wrong this season. He pitched a gem against the Yankees yesterday, shutting them out for 8.2 innings, giving up just 3 hits, walking 4 and striking out 4. I don't think Hellickson can repeat his 2011 sub-3.00 ERA this season, but he is certainly off to a great start to the 2012 season. It's not easy shutting down the Yankees lineup.
I guess Mike Matheny and Ron Roenicke wanted to let their closers get some work in on Sunday in non-save situations, as Jason Motte served up a HR ball to Brewers outfield Ryan Braun and John Axford gave up 2 runs after striking out 2 batters and walking 2 batters, and both came around on Shane Robinson's 3-run HR off of Kameron Loe.