This is a little late as I decided to turn it in early last night after the golf outing and after-golf activities.
Fake Teams podcast Episode 3
Anibal Sanchez nearly pitches a no-no
Is it me or is Anibal Sanchez a different pitcher this season pitching in the American League? Most pitchers who go from the National League to the American League sruggle due to the presence of the DH and more hitter-friendly ball parks. Not Sanchez. Last night, he came within 2 outs of his second no-hitter, giving up a a single to Joe Mauer, in between striking out the side in the ninth. Sanchez needed 130 pitches to complete the one-hit shutout of the Twins, walking three and striking out 12. Sanchez is now 5-4 with a 2.38 ERA, 1.76 FIP, 1.12 WHIP and a 11.19 K/9, which is up from 7.68 K/9 last season. His swinging strike % is up from 9.8% last season to 11.7% this season, and hitters aren't making as much contact on him outside the zone (58.2%) as compared to last season (67.1%).
Interesting stat courtesy of a Buster Olney tweet this morning:
ELIAS: The most no-hitters broken up in the ninth inning since 1961 -- Joe Mauer and Horace Clarke, three.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 25, 2013
When I checked to see if Sanchez had completed the no-no before heading to bed last night, I thought to myself "I bet Mauer broke it up in the 9th", not even know if he was due up in the 9th.
Curtis Granderson injured again
Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson returned to the Yankees lineup back on May 14th, and is now headed to the DL once again, this time due to a broken knuckle. He will miss at least four weeks with the injury, so he should return by the end of June.
The Yankees did get good news on Mark Teixeira though, as there is talk that he could return next week sometime, possibly by next Friday.
For more on Granderson and Teixeira, please check out Pinstriped Bible, SB Nation's Yankees fan site.
Tyler Chatwood: who is this guy?
Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood shut out the Giants for six innings last night to win his third straight start. He limited the Giants to just four hits, a walk and four strikeouts in the Rockies 5-0 win, and is now 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and a 16-8 K-BB rate in 23.2 innings. He has given up just five earned runs in his for starts thus far, and just one earned run in his last three starts, the last two coming against the Giants. He is rosterable in NL-only leagues and is a streaming start in mixed leagues.
Is the former Angels pitching prospect finally showing his potential or is he just in a hot streak right now?
To read more on Chatwood's performance and the Rockies, make sure you check out Purple Row, SB Nation's fan site.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout is racking up the hits and stolen bases of late. Last night, he went 2-4 with 2 runs scored and a stolen base to raise his triple slash line to .306-.383-.580 with 10 HRs, 37 runs, 35 RBI and 11 stolen bases this season. Over his last four games, he is 10-17 with 8 runs scored, 2 HRs, 6 RBI and 3 stolen bases. He and Miguel Cabrera are separating themselves as the top two fantasy hitters in baseball.
Nationals starter Jordan Zimmerman is exceeding expectations this season, and he is in the early conversation for the National League Cy Young award. Yeah, it's early, but Zimmerman now has 8 wins after limiting the Phillies to two runs on six hits, no walks and just one strikeout. While he wasn't striking out batters last night, he was inducing 16 ground ball outs. Zimmerman is now 8-2 with a 1.71 ERA and 0.87 WHIP.
Orioles first baseman is proving his 2012 power breakout was no fluke, as he hit his 16th HR of the season last night. Davis is now the major league leader in home runs, and his 45 RBI rank second behind Miguel Cabrera. Davis is not only providing his owners with power, but he is hitting for average as well, as he is hitting .337-.426-.723 hitting in the middle of the Orioles potent lineup.
I have said it here before, but Red Sox starter John Lackey is looking like the John Lackey of old, as he limited the Indians to one unearned run on just two hits, three walks and eight strikeouts in seven innings last night. He is now 3-4 with a 2.72 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and a 40-11 strikeout to walk rate in 39.2 innings. He has given up two runs or less in five of his seven starts this season.
I traded a $28 Brandon Phillips in one of my NL only keeper leagues in the offseason to reduce my roster of a high salaried hitter. That deal is looking very bad right now as Phillips is having another terrific season. Phillips went 2-4 with a HR, 2 runs and 2 RBI last night, and is now hitting .289-.333-.481 with 8 HRs and 42 RBI this season. He is on pace for 142 RBI this season.
Mets first baseman Ike Davis is having a real rough time at the plate and could get sent down to AAA to work out the holes in his swing. Last night, he went 0-4 with 4 strikeouts, and is now hitting a putrid .143-.230-.238 with 4 HRs, 9 RBI and has struck out 53 times in 147 at bats thus far. I was high on Davis coming into the season, and that is looking like a terrible decision right now, but he did this last season, and ended the season with 32 home runs. There is no guarantee he duplicates that effort this season, but he is better than he has shown.
Brewers closer Jim Henderson left last night's save opportunity vs the Pirates with a hamstring injury, and former closer Francisco Rodriguez came on to get the last out for the save. Manager Ron Roenicke stated he would go to a closer by committee if Henderson's injury requires a DL stint, so K-Rod and John Axford should be picked up in leagues where they are available. Axford has given up just one earned run in his last 6.2 innings with 8 strikeouts, while K-Rod has yet to give up a run in his four appearances since being called up from the minors.