OF Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays: Wow. Six stolen bases in one game. Dexter Fowler stole five in a game already and Emilio Bonifacio stole four. Each time, I'd have laid money that the total wouldn't be topped during the season. Who is taking odds on a seven SB game?
Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals: A day after pitching 1.2 innings, Soria closed the door on Sunday. I have to admit to being surprised to return from Monsters Versus Aliens in 3D to see Soria pitching on consecutive days after missing 10 tens with shoulder inflammation.
OF Michael Bourn, Houston Astros: A 3-4 days with two SBs has run last season's SB version of Shawn Chacon to a .301 AVG and 8 SBs. With a .376 OBP and .446 SLG and no AAA options to compete against, this looks like the season many hoped for from Bourn last year.
OF Matt LaPorta, Cleveland Indians: 0-4 with 2 Ks and 4 LOB. I know LaPorta is expected to bring the thunder this year, but his minor league walk-to-K doesn't lead me to conclude it will be this season. With 57 walks against 105 Ks coming into this season, I'm not ready to think the 9:10 in 75 AAA ABs means the 24-year-old has new stripes.
SP, Johnny Cueto, CIN-Cueto was as dominating as Verlander while shutting out the Pirates for 8 innings. He gave up 4 hits, 1 BB and K'd 9 Buccos. Cueto's ERA dropped to a stellar 1.65, but he only has 2 wins to show for it. The Reds rotation of Cueto, Volquez, Harang and Arroyo could cause problems in the NL Central.
3B Adam Rosales, Cincinnati Reds: With another walk, the replacement for the disbaled Edwin Encarnacion is making the case to turn EE into the Reds' 21st century version of Wally Pipp. In 16 plate apppearances, Rosales has drawn four walks and struck out just once while gathering 5 hits. The concern is an AVG and SLG clocking in at .417.
SP Scott Richmond, Toronto Blue Jays: Another start, another Win for RIchmond. He now has a 4-0 record with 26 Ks over 30 innings. I can offer-up some stats to prevent myself from picking him up (4 HRs this year, 20 in 137.2 minor league innings last year), but that would just be trying to justify not having picked him up already and being paralyzed by the fear I'd be buying at the absolute highest.
2B Mike Fontenot, Chicago Cubs: With a SB and an HR, Fontenot would normally have had one of the best hitting days one can ask for. For those who didn't panic when his AVG bottomed out at .200 with 0 HRs and 1 RBI on Arpil 22nd have been justly rewarded with 4 HRs, 0 RBIs and a .333 AVG in the subsequent eleven games.
SP Ricky Nolasco, Florida Marlins: In a league where I have already claimed B.J. Upton and Corey hart off the waiver wire, I grabbed Nolasco, too. He made me look like a falling knife catcher with six innings of work and six runs to run his ERA to 7.03. FWIW, he has 32 innings, 27 Ks and 4 HRs allowed on the season - very similar to the aforementioned Scott Richmond. Someone is lucky/unlucky right?
SP, Justin Verlander, DET-Verlander struck out 11 Indians, allowing only 2 hits, 3 BBs and 1 run in 7 innings of work. This is Verlander's second straight dominating outing, and he appears to have overcome his bad start. His ERA is now down to 5.66.
SP, Chad Billingsley, LAD-Billz was not as dominating as Verlander, but he did win his 5th game of the season, allowing 2 runs in 7 innings of work vs. SD. Billz gave up 4 hits, 4 BBs and struck out 8. He gets the Giants in his next start.
CL, LaTroy Hawkins, HOU-Hawkins struck out 3 of the 4 Braves he face while earning his 3rd save of the season. He now has an 11/3 K/BB ratio in 12.1 innings of work.
OF, Corey Hart, MILW-I don't know how long this has been going on, but Corey Hart batted leadoff for the Brewers on Sunday. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Hart is walking at unprecedented levels, for him, this year. In 74 ABs this year, he has walked 12 times with a .391 OBP. This from a guy who walked 27 times in 612 ABs in 2008, and 36 times in 505 ABs in 2007. Should Hart continue to walk, he could steal 30 bases this year.
2B, Alberto Callaspo, KC-It appears that Carlos Quentin is not the only "former" Diamondback who is succeeding after being traded by GM Josh Byrnes. Callaspo drove in 2 runs in the Royals 7-5 win over the Twins on Sunday. Callaspo is not hitting .380 on the season, with an OBP over .400. He has leadoff hitter talent, but KC has him hitting at the bottom of the lineup. Byrnes sure could use a leadoff hitter in Arizona. Maybe Byrnes isn't the star GM he is hyped up to be.
8th Inning Set-Up: Jamey Wright KC (3), Doub Brocail (3) and Russ Ortiz (1) HOU, Bobby Seay (8) and Joel Zumaya (1) DET, Jesse Carlson TOR (5), J.P Howell (1) and Dan Wheeler (3) TB, Carlos Marmol CHC (5)
Saves: LaTroy Hawkins HOU (3), Fernando Rodney DET (6), Scott Downs TOR (3), Troy Percival TB (3), Joakim Soria KC (6), Trevor Hoffman MLW (3), Kevin Gregg CHC (3)
Blown Saves: Russ Springer OAK (1)