It wasn’t a good day for a few of the better starters in the league. Let’s take a look at their struggles, plus all the other noteworthy performances from yesterday’s games—
- Justin Masterson (6.0 IP, 5 ER, 11 H, 1 BB, 5 K)—Cleveland Indians—The numbers this season are awful, and we all know it. However, he entered the day with a .337 BABIP and 65.6% strand rate. The control is an issue (4.3 BB/9), but he is generating groundballs at a tremendous rate (62.7%). Don’t write him off, with that groundball ability.
- Felix Hernandez (8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 11 K, W)—Seattle Mariners—He got all the offense he needed from Russell Branyan (2-5, 2 HR, 4RBI, 2 R) as he stymied the Yankees for the third time this season (3-0, 0.35 ERA with 31 Ks over 26.0 IP). Despite winning just nine games thus far, the rest of his numbers are as good as you’d expect (2.51 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 183 K). He’s a fantasy ace, though how much better would he be if he was on a better team?
- C.J. Wilson (8.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 12 K, W)—Texas Rangers— Who saw this type of season coming? He’s now 12-5 with a 3.02 ERA, though it’s hard to imagine him being able to repeat this. He’s currently sporting a .257 BABIP, so there certainly is a little bit of luck in his performance. He also entered the day with a 7.0 K/9, having only three starts with more then 6 Ks. Don’t expect him to become a strikeout machine. Don’t get me wrong, he has emerged as a solid option in all formats, but there is room for a regression.
- Jon Lester (2.0 IP, 9 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 1 K)—Boston Red Sox—It was an unbelievably bad performance, but what are you going to do? He’s an ace, and you have to expect him to bounce back strong.
- Lyle Overbay (4-5, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R)—Toronto Blue Jays—He had just 7 RBI in August prior to this one and has been struggling all year long. It’s hard to put too much stock into this game, but if you were one of the few who actually had him active, you certainly reaped the rewards. Don’t go banking on a repeat performance, though. There isn’t much in his numbers to point to that is overly encouraging. Overall, his BABIP is .295, his HR/FB is 11.8% and his strikeout rate is 23.4%. All of those numbers are in the vicinity of his career marks.
- Dan Haren (7.0 IP, 7 ER, 11 H, 1 BB, 3 K)—Arizona Diamondbacks—Since the trade that sent him to LA, Haren has gone 1-4 with a 4.39 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. His control has actually been superb, walking just five batters in 41.0 innings, and the HR are down from his time in Arizona (five home runs allowed). Where he has struggled is striking people out (5.9 K/9) and in his luck (.322 BABIP). Considering he’s posted a K/9 of at least 7.0 every year since 2006, that has to be a slight concern. He’s not likely to strikeout 8.5/9 innings, like he was in the NL, but he’s better then this. More strikeouts will certainly help lead to better results.
- Jeremy Hellickson (6.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 7 K)—Tampa Bay Rays—You knew he couldn’t give up just three hits every time out, right? This wasn’t an awful outing, but clearly it wasn’t quite up to his previous starts. The question now is, how much longer will he stick in the rotation? Time will tell, but monitor the news before counting on him.
- Yovani Gallardo (3.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, 5 BB, 1 K)—Milwaukee Brewers—He’s certainly going through a rough stretch, having allowed four earned or more in four of his last five starts. You have to wonder if there is something going on, but it’s hard to say. In fact, the struggles go back all the way to mid-June. In 11 starts, he has six giving up at least 4 ER (and another where he gave up 6 runs in 2.2 innings, but only 1 was earned). In six starts since the All-Star Break, he’s sporting a 5.81 ERA. All you can do is stick with him, as he’s proven how good he can be, and hope for him to turn things back around.
- Mike Stanton (0-4)—Florida Marlins—He has struggled since being moved up to the fifth spot in the order. He’s 1-15 in his last four games and doesn’t have a HR or RBI since August 13. Overall in the fifth spot he’s hitting .133 with 0 HR and 0 RBI. Chances are he’s just pressing a bit, so don’t get too worried. Once he settles in, he should start producing bombs like he was. Just wait it out.
- Roy Halladay (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 5 K, W)—Philadelphia Phillies—The Nationals certainly weren’t silenced, with 10 hits in the game, but they couldn’t break through against Halladay or the Phillies bullpen. Halladay has now won six straight runs, allowing 1 ER or less in six of them (total is 7 ER over 46 innings).
- Carlos Marmol (1.0 IP, 3 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 3 K)—Chicago Cubs—Control has always been the biggest concern, and it cost him big time in this one. He had put together a stretch of 7.2 innings without a walk, but has now walked five in his last 2.2 innings. He’s got the talent, if he could harness his control. Overall this season, he’s posted a BB/9 of 6.2. You have to wonder that if Marmol shows no signs of improving there, will they will continue to stick with him as their closer long-term.
- Derrek Lee (0-4)—Atlanta Braves—He was in the cleanup spot for his Braves debut. While it wasn’t a good day, it’s only one game.
- Chris Carter (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R)—New York Mets—Inserted into the cleanup spot, Carter was at the center of a Mets offense that finally produced. Six Mets had multi-hit games, including Jose Reyes (3-5, 2 R, 1 SB), Angel Pagan (2-5, 1 R) and David Wright (3-5, 2 R, 1 SB). While Carter will likely be given another day or two in the cleanup spot, he’s not a viable fantasy option.
- Pablo Sandoval (2-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R)—San Fransisco Giants—That’s back-to-back games with a HR and three in his last six. Of course, he’s just 5-23 with tree HR, three RBI and three runs in those six games, so it appears to be a home run or bust. Still, at least he’s showing something, right?
- Eric Young Jr. (3-5, 1 R)—Colorado Rockies—He appears to have claimed the 2B job, at least for now, and is hitting atop the Rockies order. In six games since his recall he’s gone 8-25 with three R and three SB. He’s not known for his average, hitting .250 in the minor leagues this year, though he had hit at least .290 every year prior. Speed is his game, so if you are in need there, he’s certainly going to have value. We’ll take a closer look at him early this week.
- Homer Bailey (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K, W)—Cincinnati Reds—Has he finally turned the corner? It seems like we’ve been waiting years for it to happen, but he’s 2-0 while allowing just one ER over 13.0 innings in two starts since returning from the minor leagues. I wouldn’t declare anything quite yet, but he’s worth keeping a close eye on down the stretch.
What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games?
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