Matt Cain had a no-hitter through eight innings until an infield single by Jay Payton (who I believe runs with a cane, ironically enough) broke it up. Final line for Cain was 9 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks to bring his season ERA to 2.95. (Fancy metric alert!) Last year, Cain’s xFIP was almost a run and a half greater than his ERA. Or if Joe Morgan’s reading, gibberish gobbledygook > meaningful stat. This year, more of the same. So my question to you is, does Matt Cain want the Fangraphs Database to commit seppuku? Leave FD alone, it’s still trying to figure out Austin Jackson’s BABIP! Personally, I’m done fighting Matt Cain and his lucky ways. I’ve overthought enough. (Overthinked? Overthunked? Am I overthinking this?) He’s in a pitchers’ park and he doesn’t give up homers. Are they associated? Probably. He strikes out a fair amount and his walks have been in check this year. Looks like a number #2 starter. Wrap it up, I’ll take it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Freddy Sanchez – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs. Now hitting over .400 in the last week with homers in back-to-back games. If it wasn’t the last week, I wouldn’t even mention him. But right now, it’s not a bad time to ride Dirty Sanchez.
Melvin Mora – Hit his third homer in the last 8 days (which is a week if you count Muesday). Mora’s family has a hard time speaking positive about him, so let’s leave it at he’s hot.
David Aardsma – DA has been charged with an oblique strain. As soon as they find out where and what the oblique is Aardsma should return. I’m thinking next year, the M’s say in a few days. Makes no sense to me. Why run your not-at-hundred-percent closer out there? To avoid loss number 100? I grabbed Brandon League in, uh, leagues where I needed saves. My suggestion is you do the same then when you ring me up in the offseason we’ll have something to talk about.
Miguel Cabrera – Hit his 38th homer and, according to ESPN, he got an MVP chant. This is news? They were in Detroit. They ain’t chanting “Ford was a Nazi,” that’s for sure.
Rick Porcello – 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks vs. the Twins B squad. Porcello gets the Suckie-O’s next. Not a huge fan of Porcello, but that’s not a terrible matchup.
Jose Valverde – Pitched an inning on Sunday and should be safe for the final week. I’d lose Coke. Ron Washington, “What are you losing?!”
Brian Duensing – 6 2/3 IP, 5 ER. The music finally skipped a beat on The Duensing Machine. I’d lose him in all leagues. It was smoke and mirrors before and that went poof. You don’t want to run him out there again.
Delmon Young – Hit his 19th homer. I’m still on board with Delmon in keepers, but I’m wondering if he might be overrated next year like Sandoval and Butler were this year. Doode’s definitely got girth, but I like 30+ homer potential from my outfielders. December Grey will have to examine this Rubik’s moobs.
Jason Frasor – Recorded the four out save as Gregg sat on the bench. *shrugs* Honestly, not sure why. If you’re totally desperate for saves, I’d grab Frasor.
Alfredo Simon – Got thrown out the game for throwing at Bautista. Unsurprisingly, the ball plunked off Bautista’s forearm and went for a homer.
Mike Aviles – 2-for-5 with a slam & legs. Jeff Feenuttle who?! Actually, that’s a made-up name, but Aviles has been good even if you compare him to someone who’s real. Aviles has 4 homers in the last ten games and is batting over .300.
Billy Butler – 3-for-3, raising his average to .320. Butler has always been terrific in Spring Training to earn the nickname, Mr. Grapefruit. He’s now proving he just hits well when there’s nothing on the line. Assuming that’s not a buffet line.
James Shields – 6 IP, 5 ER vs. the M’s. Here’s what I said in February (!) when I was mocking ESPN’s mock draft, “(The pick of Shields at 152) is not a pick I would make, but this isn’t so much about the time when Shields was drafted. The real knee to the balls is in the comments where (ESPN) wrote, “Becquey takes James Shields with pick No. 152, and many lament that Shields is off the board.” Why? Because of his mediocre K-rate? Is it his increasing walk rate? Is it his inability to pitch in away games? Is it his division? Are they using a new definition of lament? Seriously, I have to stop before I get an aneurysm.” Schadenfreude, snitches!
Paul Maholm – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks vs. the Astros, who he owns. Don’t press your luck with Maholm for another start and get whammied.
Pedro Alvarez – 3-for-5, hitting over .300 in the last week with 2 homers. As I said last week (or think I said), Alvarez has been very streaky in his short career, right now it’s the good kind of streaky.
J.A. Happ – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks. Though there were some unearned runs for the ticker shock. He gets the Cubs for his final start, which isn’t terrible.
Brandon Beachy – 5 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 9 Ks. Beachy is shore doing well. (Clever with a capital K!) Might be an interesting name to look at next year, but I wouldn’t mess with him in his final start vs. the Phils.
Ryan Braun – 2-for-4 with his 24th and 25th homers. I don’t care when they come, just get to 30. Stats!
Carlos Beltran – 3-for-5, 3 RBIs and 2 homers. As long as none of my direct competitors this final week have Beltran, I kinda hope he hits 25 homers in the last week so some ESPN rubes draft him crazy early next year. ESPN, you are my fodder!
Clayton Richard – 5 IP, 6 ER. Holy heffin’ hey, is this the most runs ever given up in Petco? Did they play with the Rock ‘n Jock short fences? What are you doing to me, Richard? It’s the final effin’ week. You better look over your shoulder next time you’re alone in the Gaslamp, you schmohawk.
Chad Billingsley – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 13 Ks. Sonavabench! (BTW, of course he didn’t get the win. If he were throwing a perfect game, they’d still be playing because no pitchers I own can get a win. I’m cursed. Stupid Zoltar!)
Danny Espinosa – 2-for-3. Another streaky youngster who has 3 homers in the last week. (Look at me, I’m an oldster, saying things like youngster. Now get off my lawn!)
Matt Thornton – Got the 2 inning save yesterday. Chris Sale was used on Saturday but he only threw 9 pitches so he couldn’t have been tired. Ozzie probably just forgot he said Sale was the closer. Between alleged racism and Twitter, it’s a lot for Ozzie to keep straight.
Trevor Cahill – 4 IP, 7 ER. I told you he was getting lucky (probably three months too early)!
Mitch Moreland – 3-for-6, 5 RBIs with 2 homers. Moreland was hitting below .100 in the last week before this game, so I’m not sure yet if this is a sign or a freak occurrence. BTW, yesterday there were 5 homers in Petco and 6 homers in the Oakland Coliseum… Speaking of freak occurrences, Lincecum would’ve sent those juiced balls back.
Jeff Francoeur – 4-for-6, 4 RBIs and his 2nd homer in the last three games. With Hamilton out and Vlad resting his Ron Kovic knees, I’d see if Frenchy can hit a few more freedom flies.