Homer Bailey serves up four "homers"
Reds starter Homer Bailey has not been the Homer Bailey I expected to start the 2014 season. Entering Monday's start vs the Pirates, Bailey had not pitched well in his first two starts of the season, going 0-1 with an ERA approaching 8.00. Things didn't get much better on Monday, as he was knocked around for five runs on eight hits in five innings of work, four of which were of the long ball variety. The game was suspended after seven innings due to rain, and featured ten home runs, a Great American Ball Park record.
He did not figure in the decision, but his ERA ballooned to 8.16 after the start, but there are some positive signs for Bailey. He struck out nine and did not walk a batter in his five innings, and now owns a strikeout per nine of 10.67, is walking just over three batters per nine, and is keeping the ball on the ground at a 51% rate. His 3.77 HR/9 will regress from here, so if you can find an owner looking to dump him on the cheap, do so.
For more on Bailey's struggles and the Reds, check out Red Reporter, SB Nation's Reds fan site.
Ervin Santana likes pitching in the National League
For a team that has had some very bad luck with their young pitchers this spring, the Braves did well to sign Ervin Santana to help their decimated rotation. And Santana is making the Braves decision look very smart. After shutting out the Mets on three hits in eight innings in his first start, Santana took on the Phillies last night and he is telling us loud and clear that he likes pitching in the National League East.
Last night, he held the Phillies to just one run on four hits, two walks and 11 strikeouts. He left with a 2-1 lead, but the Braves bullpen blew up in the eight inning and gave up a 5-1 lead. Santan now owns a 0.64 ERA, a 0.64 WHIP and 17 strikeouts in 14 innings. Yeah, signing with an NL team was a very smart decision by Santana as well. He could be in line for a big pay day if he can pitch well this season.
For more on Santana and the Braves, check out Talking Chop, SB Nation's Braves fan site.
It was only a week ago when some were wondering when Bryce Harper would start hitting. Well, it might have started as soon as the questions began. Last night, Harper went 3-4 with two doubles and a triple, with a run scored and an RBI, in the Nationals 9-2 win over the Marlins. Harper is now hitting .348-.412-.522 with one home run, six runs and five RBI in 46 at bats. Manager Matt Williams batted him cleanup last night, after pushing him down in the order several times in the last week. Maybe now Williams will put him where he belongs, in the three spot in the Nationals lineup, although with Ryan Zimmerman out for 4-6 weeks, Harper could see more time in the cleanup spot as well.
Harper left the game with a tight quad, so he could miss a game or two this week, assuming the injury is not serious.
Cardinals starter Lance Lynn drew the start in Monday's game vs the hot hitting Brewers, but he more than held his own. Actually, he thoroughly dominated the Brewers lineup, shutting them out on three hits, three walks and striking out 11 in the Cardinals 4-0 win. Lynn is now 3-0 with a 4.00 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and a 22-4 strikeout to walk rate in 18 innings of work.
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters has always had the potential to be the best fantasy catcher in the game, but has always disappointed in the batting average category. Well, he has started the season on fire, aided by is 3-4 showing last night. He scored two runs and drove in another, and is now hitting .364-.400-.634 with three home runs, eight runs scored and eight RBI. Maybe this is the season Wieters puts it all together for his owners.
The Mariners spent a lot of money on second baseman Robinson Cano this offseason, and he has hit well thus far, but has yet to hit a home run in the first two weeks of the season. Last night, the bottom of the Mariners lineup did most of the damage, lead by catcher Mike Zunino. Zunino went 2-4 with a home run, 2 runs and 2 RBI in the Mariners 7-1 win over the Rangers. Zunino is now hitting .282-.282-.590 with three home runs, six runs and eight RBI in 39 at bats thus far.
Braves second baseman Dan Uggla has struggled to begin the 2014 season, resulting in some Braves fans on Twitter to start beating the drum for second base prospect Tommy La Stella. Last night, he quieted his critics for at least a day as he hit a game winning grand slam home run in the top of the ninth inning to help the Braves defeat the Phillies 9-6. Uggla went 2-5 with two home runs and five RBI, and is now hitting .222-.265-.400 with two home runs and ten RBI. Coming into the season, I felt we could see a bit of a bounce back season from Uggla, but we will have to see him make more contact for that to happen.
It is beginning to look like Lucas Duda will be the starting first baseman for the Mets for the foreseeable future as he has started seven of the last ten games for the Mets. Last night, he had a nice night at the plate going 4-5 with a run scored and two RBI, raising his triple slash line to .306-.350-.556 with three home runs, six runs and seven RBI in 36 at bats. He has the power to hit 25 home runs in regular at bats this season.
In a battle of bullpens, the A's held off the Angels last night 3-2 , with Luke Gregerson earning his second save in the last three days, so it appears he might be the favorite for saves until Jim Johnson regains the role. Speaking of Johnson, he pitched the eighth inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Gregerson pitched a clean ninth inning for his second save in as many chances.
On the other hand, Angels closer Ernesto Frieri struggled mightily in his save opportunity. He came on to preserve a one run lead in the ninth, but blew the save, giving up two runs on four hits, including a home run to John Jaso. Frieri has given up four runs on six hits in 5.1 innings with a 6-1 strikeout to walk rate thus far, but has just one blown save in two opportunities, so he should see a few more save opportunities before a change is made in Los Angeles. Joe Smith is the guy to grab off the waiver wire in case he does lose the job down the road.
Braves closer Craig Kimbrel did not close out the Braves 9-6 win last night as he was resting a sore shoulder, and is day to day. Manager Fredi Gonzalez states the he will rest for the next few days, so if you are in a daily league, go ahead and grab David Carpenter if you need saves. Carpenter earned the save last night in Kimbrel's absence.
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