I tweeted a few nights ago that strikeouts are up in baseball this season and it rung true last night as we saw two 12 strikeout performances and one 14 strikeout performance from Giants starter Matt Cain, who threw the 22nd perfect game in MLB history last night, and the second perfect game of the 2012 season.
Cain threw 125 pitches in the game, striking out 14 Astros to win his 8th game of he season. His game score of 101 tied Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan for the second highest game score ever, He is now 8-2 with a 2.18 ERA, 2.59 FIP, 3.30 xFIP, 0.85 WHIP and a 96-16 strikeout to walk ratio in 95 innings pitched this season. Pretty obvious the Giants made the right decision to extend Cain and not some guy named Tim Lincecum.
Cain and Mets starter R.A. Dickey are probably the two leading candidates to start the All Star game and are the early leaders for the NL Cy Young award talk. Dickey thew a one hitter last night, striking out 12 Rays to win his 10th game of the season. He is now 10-1 with a 2.20 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and an excellent 90-19 strikeout to walk ratio in 90 innings. He has given up 2 runs or less in 10 of his 13 starts this season, and 3 runs or less in 12 of his 13 starts. The one hit he gave up last night was a ground ball to third baseman David Wright who tried to bare hand the ball and couldn't make the play. The Mets are asking MLB to review the play to see if the hit could be overturned to credit Dickey with a no hitter, as Dickey did not walk any batters.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
One of the most surprising starters in baseball is Cardinals starter Lance Lynn. I owned him at $10 in an NL only keeper league last offseason, but decided to throw him back to keep Cubs starter Matt Garza. Grrrrrr. Lynn has been one of the best starters in the NL and all of baseball this season. He shutout the White Sox on 3 hits, a walk and 12 strikeouts last night over 7.1 innings to win his 10th game of the season. He is now 10-2 with a 2.42 ERA, 2.89 FIP and 3.25 xFIP, a 1.09 WHIP and a solid 86-27 strikeout to walk ratio in 81.2 innings pitched. He has given up 2 runs or less in 10 of his 13 starts this season.
Nationals young first baseman Tyler Moore had his best day of his major league career yesterday, going 3-4 with 2 HRs and 5 RBI to help Stephen Strasburg win his 8th game of the season. Moore is 9-31 in limited playing time this season, with a .290 BA and a .548 slugging percentage. I am curious if the Nationals give him more playing time at first base next season with Adam Laroche in the final year of his two year contract with the Nationals. Moore has power, as evidenced by back to back 30+ home runs seasons in 2010 and 2011.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt is starting to see more playing time of late, and he has taken advantage of his opportunity. He went 2-3 with a walk and his second HR in as many nights. He drove in 3 and both of his HRs have been hit off left handers this season. For the season, he is hitting .238-.356-.385 with 2 HRs and 22 RBI and a solid 37-24 K/BB ratio in 122 at bats. Is 2012 the season we see Belt finally show Giants fans and fantasy owners his potential?
Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer is starting to like hitting in Coors Field. He went 4-4 with 2 HRs, a walk, 3 runs and 3 RBI last night in the Rockies 10-8 loss to the A's. Cuddyer is now hitting .304-.376-.560 with 6 HRs, 29 runs and 27 RBI in 31 games played at home this season. Overall, he is hitting .284-.345-.526 with 9 HRs, 35 runs, 42 RBI and 7 stolen bases.
One of the many reasons why the Phillies are failing to meet expectations this season is the play of outfielder John Mayberry Jr., who was talked about as a sleeper candidate for fantasy owners leading into the 2012 season. Mayberry has disappointed thus far, but he had a big night in Minnesota last night, going 2-5 with a HR and 4 RBI. Thus far, he is hitting .227-.259-.347 with just 3 HRs, 16 RBI, and 15 runs scored in 150 at bats. Part of the reason for the disappointment is the 44-7 strikeout to walk rate in those 150 at bats.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki aggravated his groin injury last night running the bases in his first rehab game since the injury. He will fly back to Denver to get it looked at, and we will learn more about the severity of the injury later today.