NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 01: Johan Santana #57 of the New York Mets celebrates after pitching a no hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals at CitiField on June 1, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Johan Santana pitches the first no hitter in Mets history. Mets defeated the Cardinals 8-0. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mets starter Johan Santana tossed the first no-hitter in New York Mets history last night, blanking a very good Cardinals lineup. He walked 5 and struck out 8 and is now 3-2 with a 2.38 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and a 68-21 strikeout to walk ratio in 68 innings of work. Santana induced 18 swinging strikes, 3 ground ball outs and 16 fly ball outs. This was his second straight complete game shutout, and he has given up 2 runs or less in 6 of his 10 starts this season. Of concern for Santana and fantasy owners is the fact that he threw 134 pitches to complete the no hitter. I wonder if the Mets will skip his next start, or keep him on a pitch limit in his next start, as he is one year removed from shoulder surgery.
I don't know about you, but I did not see this from Santana this season. Here to admit, I was VERY wrong on him. Kudos to those who liked him coming into the season. I questioned how many starts he would make coming off the shoulder surgery, with the thought that the Mets would be lucky to get 20 starts from him this season.
Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has had a very good season at the plate so far as he is hitting .310-.394-.603 with 14 HRs, 34 runs, 36 RBI and 11 stolen bases thus far in 2012. But, he has had one nagging injury after another this season, ranging from his achilles, groin tightness and now a right hip flexor injury. He has certainly been lucky this season as he hasn't landed on the DL yet, but he certainly seems on course for a 15 day trip.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is having a great first half of the 2012 season. He went 2-5 with a grand slam and a stolen base last night, and is now hitting .283-.344-.463 with 9 HRs, 34 RBI and 12 stolen bases. He is fast becoming one of the fop fantasy second baseman in baseball, and is on pace to hit 29 HRs, drive in 108 and steal 38 bases. I saw the power coming into this season, but certainly did not see him stealing even close to 20 bases.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
One hot hitter who I have not discussed here in the Roundup recently is Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler. Fowler came into the 2012 season coming off a terrific second half of 2011 which saw him hit .288-.381-.498 with 5 HRs, 22 doubles, 10 triples, score 51 runs, drive in 27 and steal 10 bases. Many extrapolated that into a full season and saw him possibly having a breakout 2012 season. Well, Fowler was not on the same schedule as he hit just .239-.316-.465 with 4 HRs, 10 RBI and 13 runs scored in April. He turned things up a notch in May hitting .333-.452-.700 with 4 HRs, 16 RBI, 15 runs and 3 stolen bases. He started June where he left off in May, going 3-5 with 2 runs and 2 RBI last night, and is now hitting .294-.389-.574 with 8 HRs, 28 RBI, 30 runs, 5 stolen bases and a solid 37-21 strikeout to walk ratio. He is on pace for 25 HRs, 89 RBI and 95 runs scored and with the way Coors Field has been playing this season, he could reach those. It appears they have unplugged the humidor as the Rockies are scoring runs in bunches this season.
Before the season started, I bet my Yankee fan brother that Alex Rodriguez wouldn't hit 30 HRs this season. I emailed him last night after seeing ARod's triple slash line of .280-.366-.434. ARod's slugging percentage is in Derek Jeter territory, and Jeter to me is a singles hitter. How the might have fallen. Rodriguez's slugging percentage is in a 5 year decline:
Not to be outdone by cross-city rival Johan Santana, Yankees starter CC Sabathia went out and held the Tigers to 3 runs on 8 hits, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts last night to win his 7th game of the season. He is now 7-2 with a 3.68 ERA, 3.80 FIP and 3.35 xFIP, with a 1.24 WHIP. This may be small sample size and all, but Sabathia has given up 10 HRs in his 78.1 innings thus far, for a 14.9% HR/FB rate, by far the highest of his career.
Rays starter David Price shutout the Orioles for 7.1 innings, giving up just 4 hits, 2 walks and striking out 5 to win his 7th game of the season. He lowered his ERA to 2.44 on the season and has given up just 2 earned runs in his last 3 starts covering 21.1 innings. His strikeout rate is down a bit this season, to 7.57 from 8.75, but he has traded strikeouts for ground balls this season. His ground ball rate is up to 52.6% from 44.3% last season. He has induced 10+ ground ball outs in all but two of his starts this season.
Royals starter Felipe Paulino had another dominating start last night, as he shutout the A's for 6 innings, giving up just 3 hits, walking 3 and striking out 5. He is now 3-1 on the season with a 1.70 ERA, 3.19 FIP and 3.52 xFIP. He is striking out 9.49 batters per nine with a 44.3% ground ball rate, which is exactly what you want to see from your starting pitchers.
Coming into the 2012 season, I ranked Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton pretty high in my outfielder rankings, but he has certainly disappointed in the first two months of the season. He is hitting .249-.348-.376 with 5 HRs, 33 runs, 20 RBI and 8 stolen bases through June 1st. What is confusing to me is that his BABIP sits at .306, and he is hitting more line drives (26%) than ever before. He is on pace for just 16 HRs, 62 RBI and 25 steals this season. That is good production for most, but not Justin Upton. Will he be the outfield version of Prince Fielder, who has a good year followed by a down year in 2012?