Fantasy Baseball Stats and MLB Recaps: April 29, 2011 Edition
Half of the games played on Thursday were decided by five runs or more, so one could deem it "blowout day" in the majors.
As usual, road team standouts are listed first, followed by the home teams.
Giants 5, Pirates 2
W: Ryan Vogelsong (1-0)
L: Jeff Karstens (2-1)
S: Brian Wilson (7)
Aaron Rowand, 2-5, 2B, 3 RBI, R, SB
Pablo Sandoval, 1-4, RBI, SB
Nick Schierholtz, 2-2, R, SB
Mike Fontenot, 2-4, R
Neil Walker, 3-4, 2B, RBI, R
San Francisco took the last of the three-game set against Pittsburgh, backed by Aaron Rowand's three RBI and Ryan Vogelsong's eight strikeouts over five-plus innings (which gave him his first win since 2005, by the way). Jeff Karstens went six and two-thirds for the Pirates, allowing two runs off of five hits.
If it weren't for Pablo Sandoval cold-cocking the Pirates' mascot, I'd have nothing to write about here. And here, I thought pandas were peaceful creatures.
Mariners 7, Tigers 2
W: Michael Pineda (4-1)
L: Brad Penny (1-3)
Ichiro Suzuki, 2-5, 2B, RBI
Chone Figgins, 2-5, RBI
Miguel Olivo, 2-5, HR, 2 R
Justin Smoak, 1-3, BB, 2B, RBI
Luis Rodriguez, 1-4, HR, 3 RBI
Brandon Boesch, 2-4, 2B, R
Alex Avila, 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI
Seattle continued their barrage of offense against Detroit, outscoring the Tigers 24-6 over the three-game sweep. Michael Pineda went six strong innings and gave up only two runs. Brad Penny went seven innings for Detroit, giving up four runs off of nine hits.
During the series, the Mariners faced Phil Coke, Justin Verlander and Brad Penny—three pitchers ranging from above average to stellar—making Seattle's whomping of Detroit that much more inexplicable.
Rays 15, Twins 3, Game 1
W: Jeremy Hellickson (2-2)
L: Nick Blackburn (1-4)
Ben Zobrist, 4-6, HR, 2 2B, 8 RBI, 2 R, SB
Johnny Damon, 3-4, BB, 3B, RBI, 3 R, SB
B.J. Upton, 3-4, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 3 R, SB
Mike Joyce, 3-4, 2 BB, RBI, 2 R
Casey Kotchman, 2-5, RBI, R
Michael Cuddyer, 2-3, BB, HR, 2 R
Rene Tosoni, 2-4, RBI
That's not a misprint—eight runs batted in for Ben Zobrist. This game was all Rays—none of the position players in the game were without a run batted in or a run scored. Nick Blackburn was knocked out after only three and a third, conceding seven runs. Jeremy Hellickson went six and a third, giving up three runs off of seven hits.
Joke's on Tampa—they didn't score in either the fifth or the eighth. That was a full TWO innings they failed to notch a run. Kidding aside, one of the Twins touted prospects, Rene Tosoni, made his debut today. While he had two hits and an RBI, it's little consolation when your team is outscored by 12 runs.
Blue Jays 5, Rangers 2
W: Frank Francisco (1-0)
L: Darren Oliver (1-2)
Blue Jays Standouts
Adam Lind, 1-5, HR, 2 RBI
Jose Bautista, 1-2, 2 BB, R
Corey Patterson, 1-4, RBI, R
Elvis Andrus, 2-4, R, 3 SB
Adrian Beltre, 2-4, R
Ian Kinsler, 2-4, 2B, R, SB
Toronto walked out of Texas after taking three of four from the Rangers. Darren Oliver allowed three runs in the ninth, putting the Jays ahead for good. Brandon Morrow and Alexi Ogando's respective lines looked somewhat similar—both pitchers went six innings and allowed two runs.
After the Blue Jays pulled ahead in the ninth on a bunt single by Corey Patterson, Juan Rivera hit a ground ball to third that Adrian Beltre bobbled, allowing another run to score. The play wasn't over, as Jose Bautista made a move towards third.
Problem was, Patterson was still at third, so Bautista had to retreat. But as pitcher Darren Oliver tried to pickoff Bautista, the ball flew into center field, allowing Patterson to score and giving the Jays a three-run lead.
If any of that sounds convoluted and ridiculous, that's because it was. Why Bautista decided to make a move when someone was hindering his ability to move up on the basepaths is beyond me. But it certainly caught the Rangers off-guard, and allowed a third run to score.
So... good job?
Red Sox 6, Orioles 2
W: Jon Lester (3-1)
L: Jim Johnson (1-1)
Red Sox Standouts
Jacoby Ellsbury, 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
Adrian Gonzalez, 3-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI
Dustin Pedroia, 2-5, RBI
David Ortiz, 2-5, R
Vladimir Guerrero, 1-4, HR
Derrek Lee, 1-4, RBI
Jon Lester gave up two runs through four innings as Boston salvaged the last of their three-game set with Baltimore. With the score tied at two apiece in the seventh, Dustin Pedroia singled in the go-ahead run and the Red Sox added three more in the eighth to put the game away. Brad Bergesen got the start for the Orioles and allowed two runs through six innings.
Carl Crawford and his $142 million contract went 1-for-4, raising his average to a distinguished .160.
Yankees 12, White Sox 3
W: C.C. Sabathia (2-1)
L: Edwin Jackson (2-3)
White Sox Standouts
Alexei Ramirez, 2-5, RBI, R
Brent Morel, 1-4, 2B, R
Nick Swisher, 3-4, BB, HR, 4 RBI
Brett Gardner, 2-3, BB, HR, 2B, SB
Eduardo Nunez, 2-3, BB, 2B, 3 R, SB
Curtis Granderson, 1-3, BB, SF, 3B, 2 RBI, R
Robinson Cano, 2-4, SF, RBI, R
Alex Rodriguez, 1-4, 2B, RBI, R
After being held to five runs in their previous three games against the White Sox, the Yankees finally found their bats to earn a split in their series against Chicago. C.C. Sabathia got the start for New York, working seven innings and allowing two runs. Edwin Jackson started for the ChiSox, and was booted after four innings, giving up six.
Jackson has been struggling with control issues lately. He was having trouble with his slider in his previous outing and walked five on Thursday. Then again, the Yankees offense can only be held in check for so long, so maybe it was just Jackson's turn.
Indians 8, Royals 2
W: Fausto Carmona (2-3)
L: Kyle Davies (1-3)
Wilson Betemit, 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI
Billy Butler, 1-2, 2 BB, 2B
Jeff Francoeur, 1-3, 2B, R
Grady Sizemore, 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2R
Shin-Soo Choo, 2-4, HR
Jack Hannahan, 1-2, 2 BB, 2B, RBI, R
Shelley Duncan, 1-4, HR
Carlos Santana, 1-4, HR
Orlando Cabrera, 2-4, R
The Indians brought out the long-ball to complete the sweep of the Royals. Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Santana had back-to-back home runs in the first and the Indians never looked back. Fausto Carmona pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs in the seventh off of a double to Jeff Francoeur. Meanwhile, Kyle Davies was knocked out of the game after just three and a third, allowing eight runs including all four of the Tribe's home runs.
Jeff Francoeur has a 17-game hitting streak right now. Out of 25 games this season, he has been held hitless only twice.
Nationals 4, Mets 3
W: Livan Hernandez (3-2)
L: Chris Capuano (2-2)
S: Drew Storen (4)
Jose Reyes, 2-3, SF, 2B, RBI, R
Carlos Beltran, 1-3, BB, R
Ike Davis, 2-4, 2B, RBI, R
John Thole, 3-4
Ian Desmond, 2-4, HR, 3B, 2 R
Jerry Hairston Jr, 1-3, BB, RBI, R
Jayson Werth, 1-4, 2B, RBI
Livan Hernandez pitched eight strong innings for the Nationals as Washington halted the Mets' winning streak at six games. Chris Capuano went just under six for the Mets, and gave up four runs off of 10 hits. Ian Desmond led the way for the Nats with a triple in the fourth and a solo blast in the fifth.
Ike Davis has had five consecutive multi-hit games and is riding a 10-game hit streak overall. During said streak, his batting average has skyrocketed 83 points.
Cardinals 11, Astros 7
W: Kyle McClellan (4-0)
L: Fernando Abad (1-2)
S: Fernando Salas (1)
Lance Berkman, 4-5, 2 HR, 2B, 5 RBI, 3 R
David Freese, 3-5, RBI, 2 R
Albert Pujols, 2-5, 2 R
Matt Holliday, 2-4, 3 RBI, R
Chris Johnson, 2-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI
Carlos Lee, 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI
Hunter Pence, 2-4, BB, RBI, R
Brett Wallace, 2-4, 2 2B, R
The Cards took their second of three from the Astros in this run-heavy affair. Reminiscent of old times, Lance Berkman showed off his power to the Houston crowd, tallying a double, two home runs and five RBI. Kyle McClellan pitched five and two-thirds for the Cards, allowing five runs off of eight hits. Nelson Figueroa started the day for the 'Stros, and gave up four runs over five. The majority of St. Louis' runs came in the sixth, as fourteen batters came to the batter's box—nine crossing the plate.
After a performance like that, you have to think Berkman misses Houston at least a little.
Rays 6, Twins 1, Game 2
W: Jeff Niemann (2-3)
L: Anthony Swarzak (0-1)
Jeff Niemann, 7 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K
Ben Zobrist, 3-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R
John Jaso, 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, R
Justin Morneau, 1-2, BB, RBI
Jeff Niemann pitched six no-hit innings as the Rays swept the doubleheader and the series from the Twins. Ben Zobrist continued his great day at Target Field, hitting a two-run blast in the second. John Jaso added a solo shot of his own in the fourth and an RBI-double in the fourth. Johnny Damon singled in the third to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. Anthony Swarzak made his first start for the Twins since 2009, went five-plus and allowed five runs.
Because of his 13 RBIs during the series, Ben Zobrist vaulted into the major league lead in the category. No matter how you look at it, there's a certain degree of "fluke" to this. Not to knock Zobrist, but he hadn't had 13 RBI in the previous 24 games combined. It's doubtful he'll carry the league lead in that category past the weekend.
Diamondbacks 11, Cubs 2
W: Barry Enright (1-2)
L: Ryan Dempster (1-3)
Koyie Hill, 1-3, BB, HR
Stephen Drew, 2-5, HR, 5 RBI, 3 R
Chris Young, 3-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
Miguel Montero, 2-5, HR, 2B, 3 RBI
Russell Branyan, 2-4, BB, 2B, R
Ryan Dempster faced only 10 batters before being pulled as the Diamondbacks crushed the Cubs to open their four-game series. Stephen Drew hit a grand slam for Washington in the first inning, and the Nats tacked on three more in the frame. Barry Enright had an RBI single in that same inning for the D-Backs, pitched six and two thirds and allowed only two runs.
One out. Dempster got one batter out. His ERA this season is 9.58 and teams are hitting .318 against him. Anyone wanting to abandon ship on him wouldn't be considered unwise (and no, I'm not just talking to fantasy owners, I'm talking to the Cubs front office).