LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium on July 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw was at his best yesterday, shutting out the division leading Giants in San Francisco for his 8th win of the season. He is now 8-6 with a 2.95 ERA, 2.96 FIP and 3.34 xFIP, 1.06 WHIP and a 143-39 strikeout to walk ratio in 139.1 innings pitched. His K rate is down almost a full strikeout per nine innings this season, and his walk rate is up slightly, but his ground ball rate is hovering around 46% this season, up from 43% in 2011. He bounced back from his worst outing in quite awhile, giving up 8 runs in St. Louis earlier in the week.
Here's something I haven't seen all year: Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis played the whole game for the Dodgers yesterday with the hitting line of 0-0, 4 BBs.
Tigers starter Doug Fister is doing his best to repeat his second half streak from 2011. He limited the Blue Jays to one run on 7 hits, 2 walks and 9 strikeouts in 8 innings of work yesterday. He is now 5-7 on the season with a 3.77 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and a 79-20 strikeout to walk ratio in 90.2 innings pitched. He has given up just 6 earned runs, with a 31-5 K-BB rate in his last 4 starts, covering 30 innings.
I have to admit, I am totally surprised with the performance of Wei-Yin Chen this season. Chen went out and struck out 12 Oakland A's yesterday in just 5.2 innings, giving up one unearned run on 3 hits, and 4 walks to win for the 9th time this season. Chen hasn't struck out more than 10 batters all season, and struck out just 19 in his 4 April starts, so that tells you how out of left field his performance was yesterday.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
Between the Olympics, my 9am Target Report, and Twitter, this may be a short one today.
I traded for Roy Halladay in one of my NL only keeper leagues before he came off the DL, as I needed an ace starting pitcher under the asssumption that Zack Greinke could be traded to the AL, and that worked out as planned. What hasn't worked out as planned is Halladay. He is certainly not the Halladay from 2011, and I wonder if he is still hurt. He pitched fairly well yesterday, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits, a walk and 7 strikeouts in 6 innings yesterday, but since his return from the DL, he has given up 11 runs on 19 hits and 2 walks in 17 innings. Looking back to his last 10 starts dating back to April 27th, he has given up 35 runs in 59.1 innings of work. He was drafted in the first round in some drafts this season, and has been nothing short of a bust to date.
Mat Latos is doing what Mat Latos normally does in the second half of the season. He limited the Rockies to just two runs on 4 hits, 3 walks and 8 strikeouts in 8 innings yesterday to win his 9th game of the season. He is now 9-3 with a 4.17 ERA, 4.29 FIP, 3.89 xFIP, a 1.24 WHIP and a 117-40 strikeout to walk rate in 127.1 innings pitched. He has given up 2 runs or less in 7 of his last 9 starts, lowering his ERA from 5.20 to 4.17 over that stretch.
Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson just continues to surprise me with his performance on the mound. His advanced stats say he is one of the worst starters in the AL, but that has not been the case this season. Hellickson shut out the Angels for 6 innings yesterday, giving up just 2 hits, no walks and striking out 5 to win his 6th game of the season. He is now 6-6 with a 3.23 ERA, 5.04 FIP, 4.79 xFIP, a 1.25 WHIP, and a 72-40 strikeout to walk ratio in 111.1 innings. He has given up 3 runs or less in all but two of his 19 starts this season, somehow doing so while giving up 19 home runs.
One guy who I failed to include in my hitters to target in the second half, and should have included, was Nationals outfielder Michael Morse. Morse had returned from the DL at the beginning of June, but hadn't shown much power. He went 2-4 with a HR, 2 runs and 4 RBI yesterday and is now hitting .303-.330-.466 with 8 HRs and 32 RBI this season, but has hit 5 of his 8 HRs and driven in 19 of his 32 runs in July. Like last season, he has hit well in each month he has played this season, hitting .299 in June and .299 in July, so the guy can hit. It will be interesting to see what the Nationals do with him next season. I assume he moved to first base with Adam Laroche in the last of a two year contract.