CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 8: Jed Lowrie #4 of the Houston Astros follows through on a sacrifice fly, scoring teammate Jose Altuve during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on June 8, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
I am beginning to wonder if Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was just bored in AA/AAA, as he is just tearing up major league pitching in his first 140 at bats. He went 3-5 with a HR, double, 2 runs and 3 RBI last night vs the Red Sox in Fenway Park. He is now hitting .288-.367-.532 with 6 HRs, 17 RBI, 25 runs, 3 stolen bases, 18 extra base hits and a 26-17 strikeout to walk ratio, all in 139 at bats. Back in the offseason, i predicted he could hit 20 HRs if called up by May, and it looks like he can do that with relative ease if he keeps this up.
Harper's teammate, and ace starting pitcher, Stephen Strasburg was absolutely dominant last night, limiting the Red Sox lineup to 2 runs on 4 hits, 2 walks and striking out 13 to win his 7th game of the season. He is 7-1 with 2.41 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and a 92-19 strikeout to walk ratio in 71 innings pitched. He has given up 2 runs or less in 9 of his 12 starts this season. I mentioned yesterday that Mets starter R.A. Dickey is in the NL Cy Young conversation, but he may be looking up to Strasburg as Strasburg has the better overall stats and not many knuckleballers have won the Cy Young award.
Mets starter Johan Santana threw 134 pitches to complete his no-hitter last Friday night. This Friday night, he threw 86 pitches in 5 innings and struggled mightily, even after two additional days of rest. He gave up 6 runs, on 7 hits, 4 of which were home runs, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts in 5 innings vs cross-town rival Yankees. He is now 3-3 with a 2.96 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and a 73-22 strikeout to walk ratio in 73 innings of work.
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More Roto Roundup after the jump:
Santana was out-dueled by Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda last night. Kuroda tossed 7 shutout innings and gave up just one hit, one walk and struck out 7 in 7 innings. Kuroda indiuced 10 swinging strikes and 10 ground ball outs vs the Mets. Kuroda is now 5-6 with a 3.46 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and a 48-23 strikeout to walk ratio in 75.1innings. He has given up just 2 runs in his last 3 starts, covering 22 innings, with a 14-3 strikeout to walk ratio.
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano went 2-4 with 2 HRs, both off of Johan Santana, and 4 RBI last night. For me, he has been a little disappointing this season, as he is hitting .293-.350-.538 with 11 HRs, 29 RBI and 40 runs scored. I thought he could approach 35 HRs this season, and looking at his projections per ESPN, he is on track to hit 31 HRs, but drive in just 82 runs. So, maybe he isn't as disappointing as I thought.
The Phillies struggled to score runs in their 4 game series vs the Dodgers this week, but that all changed down in Baltimore last night. The Phillies offense was lead by center fielder Shane Victorino, who went 3-4 with a HR, double and 5 RBI last night. Earlier this week he stated that his contract and pending free agency is weighing on him. I guess he got over it vs Jake Arrieta last night.
Joey Votto is probably the best hitter in baseball who will probably lead the NL in hitting this season. He went 3-5 with a HR and 3 RBI last night, and is hitting .360-.480-.640 with 10 HRs, 37 runs, 38 RBI and 4 stolen bases. He is walking (18.7%) almost as much as he is striking out (19.1%) and is on pace for a 28 HR, 108 RBI and 105 runs scored this season. He probably won't hit 37 HRs like he did in 2010 again, but he will put up excellent numbers across the 5 hitting categories, and is a slam dunk first round pick in 2013.
The Cubs made a smart move by DH'ing Alfonso Soriano vs the Twins last night, as he went 3-5 with 2 HRs and 3 RBI. The reason it was a smart move is two fold. One, he is a terrible outfielder, and two, his performance could increase the chance he gets traded to an AL team looking for a DH. Soriano has hit all of his HRs since May 14th, and is hitting .271-.316-.492 with 11 HRs, 37 RBI, but just 19 runs scored. He could help a team looking for a DH down the stretch, and the Cubs will be glad to deal him to any team willing to take him and that salary.
Angels outfielder Torii Hunter is on the downside of his career at the age of 36, but he showed last night that he is still capable of flashing some power. He went 3-5 with 2 HRs and 6 RBI last night. For the season, he is hitting just .250-.327-.439 with 8 HRs, 20 runs and 22 RBI. He is on the downside of his career, has missed some games for personal reasons, yet his stats aren't far off of Albert Pujols' thus far. Just saying.
Angles outfielder Mike Trout is having a tremendous 2012 season and is probably the best leadoff hitter in baseball already. After going 3-4 with 3 runs scored and 2 stolen bases last night, he is hitting .340-.3980.544 with 5 HRs, 28 runs, 22 RBI and 11 stolen bases. Multiply those stats by four to give you an idea of what he could do in a full season in the major leagues. At the age of 20.
Yesterday, ESPN's Jim Bowden wrote up a piece discussing his selections for the NL All Star team as of this moment, and he selected Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki as his All Star shortstop. Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie says hi. Lowrie went 2-4 with a HR and 3 RBI last night, and is hitting .293-.371-.532 with 11 HRs, 26 runs, 27 RBI, and a solid 32-24 strikeout to walk ratio. He is outperforming Tulo right now and should make an appearance in the All Star game this season. He is leading all shortstops in HRs, and is 7th in BA. if he can stay healthy, he is on pace to hit 31 HRs this season.