Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Dan Haren is known to be a stud first half pitcher and just an ok second half pitcher. After recent performances by Haren, his owners may be hoping he has a strong second half, because his first half has been absolutely awful On Thursday, Haren gave up 8 runs on 10 hits, including 4, yes 4, HRs to the Rockies. He has now given up 10 HRs in his last 3 starts covering 18 2/3 innings, and 16 for the season in 74 innings.
Here are the rest of my thoughts after reviewing Thursday's boxscores:
Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez led the 8 run attack by going 3-4 with 3 runs scored and his 6th HR of the season. CarGo is hitting .313-.329-.503 for the season with 6 HRs, 30 RBIs, 30 runs scored and 6 SBs. If he can take a few walks, he could steal a few more bases. He is on pace for a 24-118-24 season, which would make him a top 10 fantasy outfielder.
The Brewers have been having trouble scoring runs, but manager Ken Macha refuses to use the speed he has in his lineup. The Brewers beat the Astros 4-2 in 10 innings on Thursday. Leadoff hitter Rickie Weeks was on base 5 times and attempted no steals. He has a .351 OBP and has 3 SBs for the season. Corey Hart has 3 steals, and speedy SS Alcides Escobar has 1 steal. Maybe the Brewers should hire a manager who can utilize the talent he has in his lineup.
Dodgers starter John Ely has had alot of press recently, and for good reason. He held the Cubs to one run in 7+ innings on Thursday afternoon. He allowed 4 hits and walked 4, but was the hard luck loser as Cubs starter Ted Lilly shutout the Dodgers for 7 innings on 3 hits. Ely lowered his ERA to 3.00.
Pirates starter Charlie Morton may not be long for a major league rotation job in the near future after giving up 7 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks in just two innings of work. Morton's ERA is above 9.00 now, and I could see the Pirates calling up AAA starter Brad Lincoln real soon.
Aroldis Chapman Watch-Reds AAA starter Aroldis Chapman held the Gwinnett Braves scoreless for 5 innings on Thursday night. He gave up 3 hits, walked one and struck out 7. The Reds will probably wait until one of their starters gets injured or traded before calling up Chapman, although they could put him in the bullpen once called up.
Albert Pujols broke his HR drought by hitting his 9th HR of the season on Thursday in San Diego. He went 1-4 with 3 RBIs. Could this be the start of a hot streak from Albert. I would not be surprised.
Buster Posey Watch-Posey played first base on Thursday night at AAA Fresno, and has been playing there every other day for the past 5-6 games. It appears he will play both catcher and first base once called up, which should be soon.
Yankees starter Javier Vazquez got roughed up in Minnesota on Thursday night, as he threw up some crooked numbers again. He gave up 5 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks and just 2 strikeouts. if I owned Vazquez in a mixed league, I would look to sit him until inter-league play starts up again. I could see the Yankees dealing him in a deadline deal this year.
Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka followed up his near no-no on Saturday with an 8 walk performance on Thursday night. He gave up just 2 hits and 3 runs in 4+ innings, but only struck out 1. There has to be better pitching options in mixed leagues than Dice-K.
It is beginning to look like Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran could be out for the rest of the season. Mets GM Omar Minaya reported on Thursday that Beltran has yet to begin baseball activities in his rehab, and once he does, he will need 6-8 weeks before he makes it back to the Mets lineup. Any more setbacks tells me he will be out for the year, and if he is, why not just schedule the additional knee surgery he has been postponing?