San Diego Padres at Chicago Cubs: Both managers argued calls in the top of the seventh, the first time I can remember seeing that. Ultimately, it looked like Jeff Samardzija was helped out of a bases loaded 1 out jam by a poor call at first. That said, up until the seventh, Samardzija was straight dealing. After the controversial play, Samardzija got pinch hitter Jesus Guzman to strike out on a slider way out of the zone to end that threat. However, the wheels were loosened in the seventh and fell off completely in the eighth. Shawn Camp relieved and got out of a jam without much damage. Camp was then lifted in the ninth after getting Chase Headley out in favor of James Russell, who converted the first save in his career. Alfonso Soriano hit a homer and he has four homers in the last nine games…when he hot, he hot. Carlos Quentin also homered, welcome back to being healthy, if only he could stay that way.
In case you care, there was a very bizarre interview with Duff Goldman after he sung “Take Me out to the Ballgame,” which he clearly didn’t know the words to. In fairness, Goldman did enjoy his time and didn’t just go through the motions. That said, I definitely don’t watch many Cubs games…
Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays: So, I totally forgot Orlando Hudson was on the Sox. Moving on…it was death by singles for James Shields last night, as he gave up 10 hits in six+ innings. He walked one batter and struck out eight. It was one of those games were bloops didn’t find gloves. After Shields excited the game, the boomsticks came out, as Dayan Viciedo hit a homer to extend the lead. Alexei Ramirez also chipped in two RBIs and should be rounding into form any time now. On the other side of the ledger, Hideki Matsui started in left field and hit his first homer of the year. Go figure. There wasn’t much other offense from the Rays, as Philip Humber and the Sox bullpen shut them down. If Humber can get his control under, well, umm, control, he’ll end up with solid numbers the rest of the way. He’s a decent speculative add, just based on the fact that he’ll get to face the Minnesota Twins a few more times.
Color man, Brian Anderson: “I will Michael Flatley you.” I enjoy him and not only because of his odd history with the expansion draft.
Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians: This one was more or less over after the second inning. Again Justin Masterson was owned by left handed batters, as he struggled to complete six, ultimately giving up eight runs (seven earned) and nine hits. At least he didn’t walk anyone and he fanned eight. Mike Moustakas went deep and collected four RBIs, while Alex Gordon had two hits and is batting .232/.324/.358. I’d go out and get him if possible. Jose Lopez keeps getting at bats for the Indians. While he is an OBP suck, he is capable of hitting .270 with double digit pop ROTW.
St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves: Randall Delgado and Jake Westbrook pitched well enough to keep their squads in the game, but not much better. Dan Uggla provided the bulk of the offense for the Braves, blasting a three-run homer and Yadier Molina did a ton of damage for the cards, hitting a homer and knocking in three. Meanwhile, Carlos Beltran was all over the bases and stole his sixth bag. When healthy, good lord he good. Matt Adams went 0/3 but walked and has a .400 OBP.
Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins: Anibal Sanchez was his usual dominate self, as the Nationals got just eight base runners all game. Heath Bell worked a relatively painless ninth for his ninth save. Hanley Ramirez hit his eighth HR and Giancarlo Stanton chipped in a double and RBI. Aside from Bryce Harper’s fourth triple, not much happened offensively for the Nats. Edwin Jackson wasn’t great but put together a decent outing all things told.
Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays: You really can’t use Jake Arrieta in every start. He’s at best a match-ups guy, who was evident as the Jays took him to task: 4.1 IPs, six earned runs, three walks, five K’s. Arrieta now has a 5.37 ERA. Still, it did appear the O’s pitchers were getting squeezed a bit and Matt Wieters was ejected in the fifth for arguing. While the Jays had a lot of hits, only three were for extra bases. Brett Lawrie had a double and three RBIs. When he adjusts to the adjustments pitchers have made, watch out. Rickey Romero was as effective as necessary in a tough AL East matchup, going six, allowing seven base runners and K’ing seven. Adam Jones hit a homer and extended his hit streak. Chris Davis added a HR in the sixth and Jones hit his second homer of the game in the ninth off Casey Janssen to make the final score just a bit closer.
Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets: Joe Blanton somehow gave up HRs to the pitchers spot twice, once to Mets starter Jeremy Hefner and then to Scott Hairston who pinch hit for Hefner. All told, it was a horrible outing for Blanton as he allowed 11 base runners in five plus. For the Phillies, Brian Schneider also homered, so it was bizarro HR game. Jimmy Rollins collected two hits and should get back to being a decent contributor sometime soon. After a lengthy rain delay, Frank Francisco came on and secured his 14th save relatively easily. When he’s healthy, he’s solid.
Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers: Josh Hamilton hit another homer and collected three RBIs. Outside of that, though, Jason Vargas pitched pretty well, got the win and remains a solid match-up play. Certainly few started him last night, but his 3.45 ERA is no joke. Meanwhile Scott Feldman, Alexi Ogando and Mike Adams gave this game away. The Mariners just jabbed their way to runs, with only three extra base hits. Dustin Ackley was back in the line-up and leading off. He scored a run, collected an RBI and stole a base.
Oakland Athletics at Minnesota Twins: Not surprisingly, this match-up resulted in very little offense, even though neither pitcher actually pitched well. Jarrod Parker walked four and struck out four and Cole DeVries walked five and struck out just one. The Twins threatened in the eighth when Grant Balfour issued two ball fours, but couldn’t actually get a hit. Then, in the ninth against an inferior reliever (Brian Fuentes), Jamey Carroll collected a leadoff single. Denard Span went down 0-2 before taking four straight balls. Ben Revere then popped up a bunt to give Fuentes his first out. He then got Joe Mauer on a ground out fielder’s choice (which with decent defense could have been a double play). Josh Willingham, lefty killer, came to the plate and promptly yanked one out of the park for a three-run walk off homer. Brian Fuentes, not so good. At some point it’ll be Ryan Cook’s job. It’s just a matter of how long the A’s want to “audition” Balfour and Fuentes for possible trades.
Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox: After battling late inning rain delays, the Red Sox ultimately prevailed and went above .500 for the first time all season. This was not Justin Verlander’s best outing as his curveball seemed to be left up and over often. David Ortiz provided a ton of punch with a double, homer and two RBIs. Scott Podsednik now has a .467/.467/.733. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder provided a bulk of the offense off Daniel Bard. Bard was solid, but only struck out four batters. Alfredo Aceves shut the door on the three-run save.
Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates: Charlie Morton, not so good at pitching, the Reds, pretty good at hitting (although not so much at getting on base). Jay Bruce doubled twice, Todd Frazier doubled and tripled, and Homer Bailey added an RBI for the Reds. Go get Frazier now, he’s a .260 or so hitter, but can provide a good bit of pop. Unfortunately but also typical, the majority of the offense for the Pirates came from Andrew McCutchen, who had the only extra base hit. Bailey was the star of the game, going the distance and lowering his ERA to 3.73. Bailey has added a bit of MPHs on his fast ball and slider and has been using his FB much more. That has resulted in a 10% swinging strike rate, which hasn’t shown up in increased K/9, yet. You’d have to think he could add some more K’s in the rest of his starts and he should get decent run support, making him a solid SP option.
Oh, and on Monday night, Frazier saved some poor dude’s life by administering the Heimlich to “dislodge a sizeable piece of meat.” Remember to chew, children.
New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Andy Pettitte finally showed his age in failing to shut down the Angels and plucky young upstart Albert Pujols. Pettitte is, at best, a match-ups option who can get you some wins. On the other hand, Pujols is someone you should probably start every game, he went 2/4 with his eighth HR. Mark Trumbo also homered (his ninth) and stole a base (his fourth). Trumbo is batting an amazing .338/.390/.609. While his BABIP (.393) makes it unlikely he continues to hit so well, he looks more and more like a .270/.275 hitter with near 30 HR pop. At this point, the Angels are going to keep running him out there. Oh, and that Dan Haren guy? He shut down the Yanks. He’s good, you should have bought low.
Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants: Clay Hensley got the win and Santiago Casilla the save. Neither pitcher allowed a base runner. Buster Posey provided the majority of the Giants offense, doubling and collecting two RBIs. Angel Pagan batted fifth, went 2/4 and stole a base. He’s hitting .313/.356/.469. I wish I owned him more. The Diamondbacks were stymied all night, as they totaled nine base runners. Justin Upton and Chris Young doubled.
Milwaukee Brewers at Los Angeles Dodgers: Another low-scoring affair as young pitcher Nathan Eovaldi took the bump. Eovaldi is a solid prospect with some upside given his division/ballpark. Unfortunately, the two runs he allowed were one more than some dude named Michael Fiers allowed. Fiers has actually thrown some good innings at AAA the last few seasons. He’s old (26) but commands the zone well and sometimes that’s enough. Ryan Braun hit another homer. If he slipped in your draft and the draft was after he was cleared, shame on you and your league mates. Oh, Braun also stole a base.
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Written by Albert Lang exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com
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