Trevor Hoffman blew another save yesterday to the Pirates, and the Brewers ended up losing the game in 14 innings. There seems to be an awful lot of concern about whether or not you should be concerned about Hoffman and whether or not it is time to start picking up handcuffs. Looking at that team, LaTroy Hawkins is the only other pitcher who has closed for any real length of time, but I find it hard to believe that they are going to yank Hoffman from that role unless he blows another 3 or 4 saves in a row. That doesn't mean you shouldn't necessarily take him out of your lineup until he gets one though.
My Thoughts after reviewing Wednesday's box scores:
Jorge Cantu had another 2 RBI for the Marlins in their losing effort. For the season, Cantu has now driven in 22 runs in 22 games so far. I thought that last season was probably one of the quietest 100-rbi seasons for a player, but I get the impression that Cantu is going to get a lot more credit this season.
In the same game, Heath Bell recorded his 6th save of the season, with Luke Gregerson pitching the 7th and Mike Adams pitching the 9th. At this point, if I were speculating, I'm not 100% sure that the Padres move Heath Bell. They are in the race at this point, and I am also not sure that there's a team that needs a closer badly enough to pay the exorbitant price for Bell.
The Mets won again yesterday and have now won 9 of their last 10. Apparently that 20 inning game was a nice kick start for the team, as they've been getting excellent pitching and enough offense to keep them moving. I was actually surprised to see that, but I know I don't generally follow the Mets that much.
On another note from that game, GM Ned Coletti and OF Matt Kemp had to meet following comments by Coletti where he stated that Kemp's fielding and baserunning were below average and that he might be too comfortable. Really? I haven't looked at his numbers for those two categories, but I'd say that the ridiculous amount of offense he has been providing at least makes up for it.
Andrew McCutchen hit 2 homers yesterday, and now has 3 on the season to go with his 10 stolen bases. If he can keep this up, I can see a 15-60 season out of him, and end up as a top-50 player for sure, and potentially a top-25 overall as well. A lone bright spot for a team that is pretty clearly not going anywhere this season.
Matt Capps recorded his league-leading 10th save last night in the Nationals win over the Cubs. The Nationals only have 12 wins, and Capps has saved 10 of them now. Does he get to 30 saves this season?
Every once in a while, we'll see a game which reminds me of pre-humidor Coors Field. Yesterday was that day, as the Diamondbacks outslugged the Rockies 12-11. Carlos Gonzalez continued his hot start, and is really making me think that the A's gave up on him a little too soon.
Also from that game, Juan Gutierrez got the save, as Chad Qualls was apparently unavailable. If you have Qualls at this point, I would definitely be trying to make sure I had Gutierrez to handcuff him as well.
Tim Lincecum lowered his ERA to 1.27 and his WHIP to 0.82 in his start yesterday, but the Giants bullpen was not able to hold the lead, and the offense was not able to capitalize on a 17 hit output, as the Giants lost in extra innings. If the Giants can get any hitting on a consistent basis, I think that they have a very good chance of winning that division and even getting deep into the playoffs. Considering that the worst of their top 4 starters could be Matt Cain now, the staff is very very good at this point.
The Angels won on a walk-off bunt single yesterday, and appeared from the highlight to be a decision that was made by Howie Kendrick on his own. Good thing it worked if that was the case.
Jorge Posada was hit by a pitch in the 2nd inning in the knee, and ended up leaving the game after finishing that half of the inning. He was replaced by Francisco Cervelli when they went back out for defense. Posada already generally doesn't play in more than about 120-125 games a year, and I can't imagine that taking a pitch off one of his knees is going to help with that. But hopefully if you own him you've got a contingency plan in mind for when you won't have him.
Darnell McDonald continues his excellent play while in for the injured Mike Cameron. he went 2-3 yesterday with a run scored and an RBI. Clearly, he's not going to keep playing everyday when Ellsbury and Cameron return from the DL, but I think at this point he probably needs to be owned in AL-only leagues, at least for the time being.
The Rays continued their hot start, thrashing my A's 10-3 and raising their record to 16-5. They are getting great pitching, and timely hitting. I'm not sure that I've seen too many weaknesses in this team that would convince me that this isn't for real. And that is with Ben Zobrist still not really getting going yet either.
James Shields is one of those players for me that drives me nuts. I distinctly remember owning him last season as he did very little every time I looked. But he had a very nice start yesterday, striking out 12 in the victory.
Mike Leake continued his solid rookie start, winning and going 7 innings yesterday. I didn't think it was a particularly good idea when the Reds brought him up without having spent any time in the minor leagues, but clearly they did their homework in this case. Here's hoping that Dusty Baker doesn't destroy his arm.
In a matchup of struggling pitchers, Jake Peavy and Rich Harden both posted starts that were clearly not up to their expected level. For both, their control seems to have left them, with both of them walking 5 batters in 6+ innings pitched each. Are we getting to a point where either of them are droppable in most leagues?
The Braves' offensive struggles continued yesterday, as they were shutout and only managed to get 8 runners on base throughout the game. Jason Heyward was given the day off as he has been struggling as well. I am not sure exactly where the improvement is going to come from, but it needs to come from nearly everyone. Only Martin Prado has been hitting particularly well, and this team is not going to compete if they don't hit.
Jaime Garcia recorded his 2nd win of the season, throwing 7 shutout innings against the Braves. To me, he is ownable in all leagues at this point. He has a 1.04 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP on the season.
Wednesday's Top Performers After the Jump...
- Jorge Cantu (FLA): 1-3, R, HR, 2 RBI
- Ike Davis (NYM): 2-4, RBI
- Akinori Iwamura (PIT): 3-6, 2 R, SB
- Andrew McCutchen (PIT): 4-7, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI
- Carlos Gomez (MIL): 2-7, R, HR, 2 RBI
- Chone Figgins (SEA): 2-4, 2 RBI, SB
- Jason Kendall (KC): 2-3, R, 2 RBI
- Mitch Maier (KC): 2-4, 2 RBI
- Ryan Theriot (CHC): 2-5, R, RBI
- Tony Abreu (ARI): 3-5, 2 R, RBI
- Justin Upton (ARI): 2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI
- Chris Young (ARI): 2-4, R, HR, 5 RBI
- Carlos Gonzalez (COL): 2-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, SB
- Dexter Fowler (COL): 3-6, 2 R, HR, RBI, SB
- Ryan Howard (PHI): 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI
Andres Torres (SF): 2-6, 3 RBI, SB
- Edgar Renteria (SF): 2-5, 2 RBI, SB
- Nate Schierholtz (SF): 5-5, 3 R, RBI
- Bengie Molina (SF): 3-4, R
- Lou Marson (CLE): 2-4, R
- Torii Hunter (LAA): 3-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI
- Jim Thome (MIN): 2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI
- Jason Kubel (MIN): 3-4, R, RBI
- Magglio Ordonez (DET): 3-4, R, 3 RBI
- Brennan Boesch (DET): 2-4, R, 2 RBI
- Brandon Inge (DET): 2-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI
- Derek Jeter (NYY): 2-4, R, 2 RBI
- Nick Swisher (NYY): 3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI
- Nick Markakis (BAL): 3-5, 2 R, HR, RBI
- Darnell McDonald (BOS): 2-3, R, RBI
- Evan Longoria (TAM): 2-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI
- Carlos Pena (TAM): 2-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI
Drew Stubbs (CIN): 2-4, 2 R, SB
- Lance Berkman (HOU): 1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI
- Elvis Andrus (TEX): 2-4, R, 2 SB
- Carlos Quentin (CHW): 2-3, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI
- Albert Pujols (STL): 2-4, R, RBI
- Colby Rasmus (STL): 2-3, R, RBI
- David Freese (STL): 2-3, 2 RBI
- John Maine (NYM): 6 IP, 9 K, 2 ER, 7 BR, W
- Francisco Rodriguez (NYM): IP, 3 K
- Ryan Dempster (CHC): 8 IP, 6 K, 3 ER, 5 BR
- Cole Hamels (PHI): 6 IP, 10 K, 4 ER, 13 BR
- Tim Lincecum (SF): 8 1/3 IP, 11 K, 2 ER, 4 BR
- Jake Westbrook (CLE): 6 IP, 7 K, 3 ER, 5 BR
- Ervin Santana (LAA): 6 2/3 IP, 8 K, 3 ER, 9 BR
- Jon Lester (BOS): 7 IP, 11 K, 0 ER, 3 BR, W
- Brett Cecil (TOR): 6 IP, 3 K, ER, 6 BR
- James Shields (TAM): 7 IP, 12 K, ER, 7 BR, W
- Mike Leake (CIN): 7 IP, 5 K, ER, 7 BR, W
- Jaime Garcia (STL): 7 IP, 5 K, 0 ER, 5 BR, W