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The Best Unknown Pitching Performances Of The Week 4/18/2008

I admit to having a tough time doing a pitching version of the Best Unknown Hitting Performances.  Mainly because the season is so young that any shutout appearance from a pitcher turns a bad season into a good one i.e. Tim Lincecum's eight shutout innings with 13 Ks yesterday.  The 2008 Cy Young winner went from a meager 8.1 innings of work with a 7.56 ERA to 16.1 innings with a 3.86 ERA.

That said, here are some notable efforts from last week that may not be at the forefront of your fantasy conscious.

SP Aaron Harang, Cincinnati Reds:  In two starts last week, 2008's biggest pitching disappointment struck out 15 batters while issuing just one walk.  In his first start of 2009, Harang whiffed two and walked three.  Harang's second week efforts are the kinds of things I hope to uncover.  I know I wasn't paying attention thanks to that first start.

SP Randy Wolf, Los Angeles Dodgers:  Wolf has been a fantasy tease since striking out 170 in consecutive seasons over the 2002-03 seasons.  Last year, he K'd 162 over 190 innings, but fantasy leaguers had been fooled too many times.  In two starts last week, he whiffed 14 in 13 innings of work.

RP/SP Justin Masteson, Boston Red Sox:  Over four shutout innings last week, the Patriot's Day starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox struck out six batters and walked none.  For the season he has issued just one free pass and whiffed seven over six innings.  The Red Sox would be thrilled with that kind of effort tomorrow.  Clay Buchholz owners?  Not so much.

RP Brian Bruney, New York Yankees:  Last week, the formerly portly right-hander pitched 3.2 innings and struck out 8 hitters.  For the season, he has 12 whiffs in six frames of work.  For those looking for high strikeout middle relievers to hold spaces when their isn't an SP to stream into your line-up, you should look at Bruney.

RP Angel Guzman, Chicago Cubs:  Here is a complete surprise.  Guzman is coming off major arm surgery that took him from a top prospect to one whose best case scenario would be an effective season of non-descript middle relief.  Over 4.2 innings last week, Guzman struck out five batters.