Labor Day Fantasy Baseball Notes

Grant Correspondent ISeptember 7, 2009

MILWAUKEE - APRIL 30: Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals answers questions about the death of teammate Josh Hancock before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 30, 2007 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

An abbreviated article on account of Labor Day, so enjoy the bullet points.

•  Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter furthered his bid for his second Cy Young Award today.  Tossing a one hit complete game shut out in Milwaukee, Carp fanned 10 Brewers and allowed a mere two free passes.

The win was his 16th of the year, one win behind Major League leader and fellow Redbird Adam Wainwright.

In Carpenter's first full season since 2006, many fantasy experts were worried last spring about the durability of the 34 year old right-hander.  However, he obviously had the same doctors who worked on Steve Austin.

Using his bionic control, Carpenter's fastball registered in the low to mid 90s all game while his curveball could only be described as "sick."

In fact, 64 of the 99 pitches needed to single-handedly finish off the Brew Crew were thrown for strikes.

The shutout lowered his ERA to 2.16, which leads the majors.

With the return to his former dominate form, expect Carpenter to be one of the first 10 pitchers off the draft board next year.

  American League home run leader Carlos Pena broke two fingers on his left hand after being hit by a CC Sabathia fastball.  The injury occurred in the first inning this afternoon.

The Rays were informed they would not only be without the power hitting first baseman for the night installment of today's double header with the Yankees, but also learned he will be out for the season.

The loss of Pena's services is devastating news for Tampa Bay, a team which has lost five straight and is now seven games back in the Wild Card race.

Pena had been on an absolute tear recently.  Last month he clubbed 12 homers and drove in 29 runs.

Fantasy owners in non-keeper leagues should drop Carlos immediately and look to the waiver wire for a replacement. 

While it will be impossible to replace his power numbers, some widely available and adequate candidates include: Chris Davis, Michael Cuddyer, and Billy Butler.

•  Adrian Gonzalez tied his career high total of 36 home runs with a shot off Brad Penny today.

24 of his round trippers have come on the road this season.  If Gonzalez ever finds his way out of vacuous PETCO Park, his fantasy value will skyrocket.

•  Joe Nathan has now pitched two perfect ninths and converted both opportunities after blowing a save in spectacular fashion last week (0.2 innings, 2 BB, 2 HR, 4 ER).

•  Today's matchup between the Indians and Rangers was postponed, so a double header is slated for tomorrow.  Set your lineups accordingly.

•  After sitting Sunday with a swollen knee, Shane Victorino returned to the Phillies lineup Monday.  He went 1 for 5 with one stolen base and one run scored.

•  Josh Beckett continued his post All-Star break slide by losing to the White Sox today.  Although he threw his first quality start since August 12th, Beckett was out dueled by Mark Buehrle.  Buehrle had not recorded a win since his perfect game on July 23rd.

•  By losing to the Cubs this afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates secured their 17th straight losing season.  Congratulations on setting a new low in professional American sports.