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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 Cain7 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 HarangBeat 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 Kinsler2 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 AcostaGot 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 McCutchenThe 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?

Chris Carpenter - Shut out the Brewers on 4 hits, 2 BB, and 5 Ks.  He also allegedly yelled an expletive at Nyjer Morgan.  Maybe he just mispronounced his name.

Rafael FurcalAnother 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 OswaltThe 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 Weeks4 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.

From Around The Web

  1. gregsauce says:
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    That Matt Cain blurb might be the finest I’ve read all year.

  2. Steve says:
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    Did anyone else notice the byline on the Steve Carlton story?

    I kept reading waiting for the “whatever you think of his beliefs, the guy knew how to win”, but alas…

  3. Yep, I said it! says:
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    Which two of these young SPs do you like most for next season (with IP and K/9 major considerations)? Thanks!

    Surkamp, Miley, Milone, Hendriks, Peacock, or Diamond

  4. MrHappytime says:
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    You trusting Hochevar today in Seattle?

  5. Joe says:
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    Need a spot start tomorrow, go Bud Norris @ Washington or Colby Lewis vs Oakland. I want the win this week so that’s my priority but it’s also a keeper league. If I get knocked out of the playoffs this week then I would probably consider keeping Norris next season if his price is low enough, if that helps form an opinion.

  6. LT says:
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    For a H2H playoff next week – I have Cuddyer and Chris Young. They are sucking. Vernon Wells is on the wire – also other options that are currently hitting are Matsui, Bay, Nick Evans, De Aza,Raul Ibanez – any of these good replacements for the next 2 weeks — thanks

  7. Eddy says:
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    Re: Brett Pill- Oh Lawd Geezus. That line was ridiculously amazing.

  8. Rodger-Dodger says:
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    Top of the morning Rudy and fellow Razzballers (and Grey too if you’re lurking)…

    End of the year, and I’m neck-and-neck for 1st place, ROTO (with no playoffs). I REALLY need to improve my ERA and WHIP to secure my win for the year. Am I crazy, but I’m leaning heavily to benching Luebke and Billingsly today. Luebke has gotten raked by Zona in his previous two showings, and Upton is stroking it (good for me). While Billingsly… he’s just been bad mojo for me all around with plenty of sonsabenches, and WAS waffles between good offense/bad offense… I just plain feel offended by Bills.

    So Luebke and Billingsly… bench them (good call), or play them (I’m crazy)??? Thanks for your thoughts.

    PS. I’m also moving into stream mode and I AM rolling Hochevar out tonight against the M’s. It’s been working so far, thanks to Moscoroso, for his past two starts (A’s, M’s).

  9. @gregsauce: It’s hard to work bowel movements, a fatty joke, and hint at homoeroticism in one joke but when you do…..watch out!

    @Steve: Here’s a happy ending for you – Carlton’s combination of K’s and unlikability inspired many after him including the nasty slider and ornery personality of Randy Johnson and the filthy stuff and bizarre paranoia of Roger Clemens.

    @Yep, I said it!: I haven’t seen any of them pitch but Milone’s Cliff Lee-like K/BB leaves me the most intrigued. Diamond’s high BB rate leaves me the most unimpressed.

    @MrHappytime: Well, I’ve started Hochevar every week in Fantasy Razzball so I’m not really a Hochevar believer but, jeez, in Seattle….I think I can manage a quality start there.

    @Joe: I’d take Colby.

    @LT: Ugh, none of those sounds like great options. I’d be concerned about Ibanez and Matsui being rested in the last 2 weeks. I’d consider De Aza for Cuddyer but would hold onto Krispie.

    @Eddy: Thx!

  10. OaktownSteve says:
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    Pedro Sandoval?

    Moscoso works fast, throws strikes and pitches to contact…like 17 fly outs yesterday. That’s how you do it in the O DOT CO.

  11. @Rodger-Dodger: Definitely fine to bench Leubke. I can see starting Hochevar vs. Seattle. Can’t blame you benching C-Bills in a shallow league but would think you’d have to run him out if 14+ teams.

    @OaktownSteve: Whoops. Good catch. Made the edit. And good note on Moscoso.

  12. Frank says:
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    Will the Braves ever lengthen the leash on Beachy?

  13. OaktownSteve says:
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    What’s up, Rudy. Nice update. I’m hoping to catch you in Razzball, but my league is um…non-competetive so I don’t think I will. Crossed the 5k points mark though.

    Also, JWeeks is definitely a player to watch. As we used to say (not sure if this still get said), he’s got great wrists. That’s what they used to say about Hank Aaron and of course Weeks is not that kind of hitter, but he has a great ability let the pitch get deep in the zone and then attack. Hits a lot of balls right down the first base line and drives a lot of balls into the gaps. No homers but on a 40+ doubles pace projected over a full season. Good player.

  14. Matt says:
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    I need W’s and K’s in a league where my innings are tight. I’m already sitting Romero against Boston, but what about Minor @ Mets? Sit as well or give him the ball? Thanks

  15. Bryan Beagn says:
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    Piss n’ vinegar, dumbs in the pinetar, and sausage costumes. You the best, man.

  16. Jay says:
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    Nynind’haph?

  17. Eng says:
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    Haha! with re. to the Nyjer Morgan joke, Tim Wakefield roasting, Harang link etc. Seriously, you went all out today, Rudy, with very few of your swings missing. Kudos.

  18. @OaktownSteve: 5,000 points is impressive. League competitiveness is a bummer – I’ve been hurt by that too. Cool on Weeks. I can see him having a Starlin Castro-like year in 2012.

    @Matt: I’d give Minor a shot against the Mets.

    @Bryan Beagn: Thanks.

    @Jay: Yeah, odd name choice but goes well with the last name.

  19. @Eng: End of season is just around the corner. Had to go big or go home! (Man, I hate that phrase)

  20. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    rudy rudy great post poor cain and king felix great number not many wins.i ended up auto drafting Ellsbury while making myself a cocktail,hmm,i might want to auto draft more often,Great season with a lot of questions going to next year

  21. Stophe says:
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    Just looking back at ‘ol Eric Davis’ career numbers.

    His stat lines in 86 and 87 were SICK:

    1986 (in 415 AB!!):

    97 runs, 27 HR, 71 RBI, 80 SB (not a typo, that’s EIGHTY steals in a season with 115 hits), .277/.378/.523

    1987 (474 AB):

    120 runs, 37 HR, 100 RBI, 50 SB, .293/.399/.593

    Too bad that in a 17-year career he never managed to play more than 135 games in a season. He had ten seasons with fewer than 100 games.

  22. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Stophe: yeah,as a reds fan that is sad,man he was fun to watch though and id like to have those numbers on a couple of my teams now

  23. @AL KOHOLIC: thanks. sweet on ellsbury.

    @Stophe: yeah, i ran that query on baseball-reference assuming Rickey Henderson would be the only guy to hit something like 25 HRs and 80 SBs. Forgot that Davis actually was that prolific at SBs. From 1986-1988, he stole 165 SBs and was only caught 20 times. That’s 89%. I don’t think Juan Pierre has managed to avoid getting caught stealing or picked off 89% of the time he gets to first base this year.

  24. Boomer19 says:
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    Who do you like for next year at 3rd base between A-rod and Zimmerman? BTW classic rundown today.

  25. @Boomer19: Zimmerman, definitely. Don’t trust A-Rod at all to stay healthy – unless the trainer was played by a 50-something ex-hottie. Maybe Jane ‘Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman’ Seymour.

  26. B.o.B. says:
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    Streaming Luke Hochevar today @ Sea worth the risk in the playoffs?

  27. @B.o.B.: In H2H, you need all the starts you can get. I’d say it’s worth the risk.

  28. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Rudy Gamble:cool,i didnt see the razzball pickem leagues,just sighned in,thanks

  29. Jon D says:
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    What do you think are the chances Daniel Bard actually opens 2012 as Boston’s closer?

  30. adam says:
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    won’t vmart retain eligibility at catcher? i was under the impression that it was 5 starts or 10 appearances to maintain for the next year. or are you speaking of espn? different criteria? anywho… love the blog. thanks!

  31. @Jon D: 50%. I just don’t think Papelbon will get a lucrative FA offer (like Damon did) so the Sawx might get him at a price they feel is reasonable (like they did with Varitek)

    @adam: You’re right. I read the Fangraphs grid wrong. He has 26 games at catcher, 6 at 1B. I read it as 6 at C. Oh well, at least I got to use that V-Mart/Wal-Mart joke…

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