So over the past seven days there have been some teams trying to clinch that precious playoff berth. Others have been protecting their lead over other teams, some are enjoying an early clinch, and some are just finishing off the season and try again next year. Over those days there have been some pretty good pitching performances. So let's take a look at the five best over the past seven days.
1. Kyle Davies, SP, Kansas City Royals
Yea, I know it is a bit of a shock to see a player from one of the worst teams in the league on the list. But, numbers don't lie. In his past two starts Davies has pitched 15 innings and only allowed two runs, one of those being a big fly. Those two runs came off of 7 hits total (thats 7 total from both games) which is good for any pitcher. Kyle picked up wins in both outings and struck out 11 batter. His ERA from those two - 1.20. Two quality outings.
2. Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP, Boston Red Sox
No big surprise here. Dice-K has stepped up his game this year in Josh Beckett's absence. Right now he is posting a 2.80 ERA and a record of 18-2. Thats a huge jump from last year (4.40 ERA15-12). He makes my list for his past two starts against Tampa Bay and Toronto. In his twelve innings he surrendered 5 hits (with 1 homer, his only earned run in his outings), struck out 13, got both wins and left with an ERA of 1.75.
3. Andy Sonnanstine, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
He gave the Rays two quality starts against the Red Sox and Twins. in 12.2 innings Sonnanstine got hit 10 times and 5 runs. I know - what? But only two of those were earned and over those games had fanned out 9 batters. His 0-1 record might look bad, but 6 shutout innings against the Red Sox and an ERA of 1.42 gives him my nod.
4. Sean Gallagher, SP, Oakland Athletics
Gallagher is a young pitcher with good stuff. In his last start against Seattle Gallagher was hit 4 times and gave 3 runs (all earned). He also struck out 5 batters. He didn't get the loss, so not terrible. His start before that facing the Angels was the real one. He was hit 4 times and only 1 run. Against the Mariners and Angels he struck out 11 batters and posted a 3.07 ERA over his past two starts. 3.07 over 13.2 innings is a quality.
5. Alfredo Aceves RP, New York Yankees
I always love to see how a reliever fares in a starting role. I know, it's not uncommon and they usually end up doing good, but I always want to see if he'll step it up when he is asked to. Alfredo did it twice in two starts. Over the past seven days (his second and third major league starts) he pitched 12 innings and went 2-0. Kudos to the Yanks for keeping him on a short leash. He got hit 10 times in seven days, gave up two runs (both earned) and struck out 6 while posting a 1.50 ERA. Not too shabby.
Aaron Harang (Reds), went 9.0 innings and shut out the Cards. In his previous start he gave up 1 run against Arizona but lost the game. Shutouts are great performances, but in my book these days, shutting out the D-Backs isn't that great.