Every day that Justin Verlander starts, you know there’s a chance of a no-hitter. You just expect it to be thrown by him and not another pitcher. Guillermo Moscoso took a no-hitter into the 8th inning against the Royals and finished with 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks in 8 2/3 IP. He now has 8 wins in 18 starts which is as many wins as Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden, and Rich Harden managed this year combined. Everything about Moscoso’s year screams fluke. His 3.63 ERA / 1.14 WHIP does not gel with 5 K/9 and 3 BB/9. But as an owner of this guy in my AL-only league, all I can say is this guy has been money against bad to average teams. He’s had 4 ugly starts – @BOS, @TAM, @DET, and home against TAM. His home WHIP is now under 1.00 in over 60 innings. His road WHIP is 1.44. There’s not much time left this season but if he has a start against a bad-to-average team at home – I’d go-go for Moscoso.
In other news…
Jerome Williams – The Angels’ starter has won all 3 of his Angel starts with this past one by far the best – 8 IP with just one hit (a Trayvon Robinson HR) and a walk. Nothing to see here. Just a 30 year old journeyman who’s perhaps half a notch more tolerable than Tyler Chatwood.
Chase Utley - Pulled out of the game after being hit in the helmet. The Phillies brass are concerned he might have a mild concussion but Charlie Manuel is confident it’s just a standard variety ‘noggin burner’ and he just needs to rub some ‘piss ‘n’ vinegar’ on it.
Matt Cain – 7 IP, 2 ER, loss. Same old song. He’s now 11-10 despite a 1.06 WHIP. He’s a career 68-73 despite a career 1.19 WHIP. He should retaliate against the offense – I suggest he takes a dump in the pine tar. Just don’t lose your balance or you’ll end up with sticky buns and tempt Pablo Sandoval.
Aaron Harang – Beat the Giants with a 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunner, 3 K start. He’s now 13-5 for a team that’ s 19 games under .500 (62-81). He’s like Steve Carlton for the 1972 Phillies except he’s not lefty, not an above average pitcher (3.74 ERA/1.39 WHIP), and has never allegedly said that the world is ruled by 12 Jewish bankers meeting in Switzerland.
Ian Kinsler – 2 HRs to up his season total to 28 and tie for the team lead (with Nelson Cruz). If it weren’t for the .245 AVG, he’d be in the conversation with Cano and Pedroia for most valuable fantasy 2B (.245/101/28/71/23). Or as an incompetent announcer would phrase it, “You talk about second baseman who can hit…Ian Kinsler…”
Justin Verlander - Snagged win #22 but gave up 4 ERs thanks to 2 HR / 4 RBI by his kryptonite – Shelley Duncan. Clearly Verlander can only effectively pitch to batters shorter than him and he’s just lucky that there aren’t a lot of 6’5″+ hitters. The Yankee and Red Sox scouts should be out recruiting locked-out NBA players for playoff rosters. If there’s one lesson to be learned from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, it’s that if the other guy is going to go tall, you’ve got to do the same. If there is a second lesson to be learned from MMPR, it is that if you’re producing a show that has kid actors, it is best to hide their faces behind masks so you can swap in other actors when the original ones get too old or expensive. Saved By The Bell would still be on if it was set in Milwaukee and each of the kids wore a different sausage costume. (Kelly Kapowski – Polish sausage. Slater – Chorizo. Zach – Bratwurst. No one qualified for Italian Sausage until the summer season with Stacey Carosi.)
Victor Martinez - Hit a 7th inning grand slam. His .325 AVG and 89 RBIs are great for a catcher but that was only his 10th HR of the year. And he’ll have only DH-eligibility next year. V-Mart is going to be discounted like he’s Wal-Mart. (Correction: As noted in the comments, V-Mart has 26 games at Catcher this year so should retain C-eligibility next year.)
Daniel Bard - The Sawx’ rumored closer in waiting ruined Tim Wakefield’s billionth chance of being one of the 13 worst pitchers with 200 career wins by posting a 5-spot thanks to a single, HBP, 3 BBs, and the next pitcher giving up a run-clearing double. That said, aside from having only 2 wins, Bard has been everything a Mr. B could’ve hoped for (2.76 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 66 Ks, 1 pity save).
Jacoby Ellsbury - 4 for 5 with a HR (#25), 3 RBIs, and 2 Runs. 5 more HRs away from 30-30. And only 2 HRs and 44 SBs away from joining Rickey Henderson and Eric Davis in the illustrious 27-80 club. (Oddly enough, both done in 1986 – Davis in 415 ABs!).
Manny Acosta – Got the save for the Mets as Parnell and Izzy threw 30+ pitches the night before and no one else in the bullpen had 299 saves.
Carlos Lee - Hit his 15th HR of the year – and his 3rd in the past 8 games. Maybe El Caballo doesn’t need to be taken to the glue factory just yet.
Andrew McCutchen – The Dread Pirate HR’d twice against the Astros. He’s now at 81/22/85 but only 20 SBs and .269. Jeff Francoeur has 20 SBs. Braun has more than 20 SBs. Can’t the Pirates hire Omar Moreno to be his Davey Lopes?
Rafael Furcal – Another HR – his 4th in the last 8 games. He had 4 in his first 63 games. Even with the sudden power burst, wow do his stats look bad this year. .215 AVG? 5 SBs? When did Rafael Furcal turn into Rafael Belliard?
Roy Oswalt – The 2nd best Roy in Philly is looking close to his old magical self again with a 7 IP, 7 K, 2 ER effort vs. Atlanta. I’m having a premonition – Oswalt pitches well through the regular season + 1st round of the playoffs, makes some bad throws in the championship series, says he’s going to retire to spend more time with his family and tractor in Mississippi, and then end up playing again in 2012, 2013, and 2014. It’s just the Mississippi way.
Jemile Weeks – 4 for 5, now batting .303 with 22 doubles, 21 SBs, and 0 HRs. Growing up, Jemile was always the fast one, Rickie was the strong one, and Nynind’haph was the seductive one.
Brett Pill - 2 games, 2 HRs, for the Giant rookie 1B who mashed in AAA the past two years while the Giants skipped over him to promote rookie tease sensation Brandon Belt. Proof once again that when grabbing for the Belt, it’s better to be safe and take the Pill first.