Old McDonald got a win, K, K, K, K, K! And in this win he struck out seven….Yes, James McDonald finally showed flashes of his first half form again last night, pitching 6.0 innings, surrendering just 2 hits, 0 ER, and striking out 7 for his 11th win. It was a huge rebound for J-Mac, who’s been downright awful since the All-Star break. Pirates GM Neal Huntington decided to give McDonald a few extra days rest and well, give that GM a raise, sir! You know, his mother had been saying the same thing all along. “What are ya doing, Jimmy! Giving up so many runs, destroying so many ratios, you’re just tired, sweetheart! Get some sleep, you stay up too late. You need rest, you’re a growing boy, Jimmy!” Mother knows best, I guess, and considering he was holding an 8.76 ERA (including 21 walks in just 31 innings) since the All-Star break, you probably benched James last night if you haven’t already dropped him. In fact, James McDonald was so bad – HOW BAD WAS HE?!? Well let me tell you, ahem, he’s been SO bad there were whispers, rumors, talks, rumblings, asides, and even discussions about moving Big Game James to the bullpen in favor of Kevin Correia. Kevin Correia, folks! They were talking about replacing a guy who went 9-3 through July 7, with a 2.37 ERA and 100/31 K/BB ratio in 110 innings pitched. How far he has fallen from the days of lighthearted farmer puns and the ultimate irony that comes with being the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Ace. We all have our cold spells, James, and hopefully yours is over. “But I just dropped him!” you scream. Ah, yes, well that is the fickle little lady known as fantasy, is it not? And I’m not completely sold that this single start will turn his luck around, but if he’s out there on waivers as many have been instructed to drop him, McDonald’s got the Padres at Petco next week so snatch him up. He was so good in the first half you’ve got to believe he’s got something left in him, you’ve just got to! It’s hard to root against the Pirates, but it’s even harder to see them keeping their playoff hopes alive without James McDonald at his best. So here’s hoping that extra rest was all he needed. Because, come on, McDonald’s Pittsburgh Pirates in the playoffs? I’m lovin’ it!
Here’s what else happened Friday night in Fantasy Baseball:
J.A. Happ — 6.0 IP, 1 H ,1 ER, 8 Ks and the win. J.A. just Happ-ened to bring his A-game and combined with the Jays bullpen to shut down the Rangers. If you started him with confidence, you should probably be writing this blog. Happ grabbed his second win as a Blue Jay and his performance as of late and that nice 122/46 K/BB ratio means you could consider him a decent streaming option with the right match ups.
Edwin Encarnacion — 1-for-3 with his 31st HR. Encarnaci-bomb is more like it. E3 just has not slowed down at all and if you ask me, is one of 2012′s biggest surprises not named Mike Trout. The only bad part is he’ll be drafted way early next year and I won’t own him anywhere. It’s been a fun year, Edwin.
Johan Santana — 5.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER. Noooooo-han! At this point I’m not starting him again until he shows me he can pitch week to week without destroying my ratios. Santana was actually PERFECT through the first three innings, but gave up a grand slam to Michael Morse in the 4th and it was downhill from there. The Mets insist he’s healthy, but have also talked about shutting him down. This is the Mets we’re talking about, something must be wrong. Fun stat: Johan becomes the first Met to allow 6 ER or more in five consecutive starts. That’s the second time this year he’s made NY Mets history.
Bryce Harper — 2-for-3 with a 2-run HR, his 11th. Oh hey there, kiddo. Haven’t seen your name here in a while. Whatcha been up to? Excuse me — that’s what kind of question?
Todd Frazier — 2-for-4 with the slam and legs. His 16th homer. Grey told you to BUY him, and what does he go and do — BAM! You know the drill. Has hit home runs in back to back games now and even swiped a bag! The Reds just keep winning, and Frazier is forcing his way into the lineup even after JoVo’s return.
Jay Bruce — 1-for-3 with his 25th HR. His fourth in the past five games! I’ll be able to thank Bruuuuuce for getting my team into the head-to-head playoffs. And then I can blame him for going ice cold in September and causing me to lose in the finals. Fair enough!
Prince Fielder — 2-for-3 with 2 HRs and 4 RBIs. His 21st and 22nd home runs. Miguel Cabrera had 2 hits and his 31st home run in this one as well as the Bash Brothers rolled over the Orioles. Best friends forever homer together!
Dustin Pedroia — 1-for-4 with a 3-run HR. First, he hit his 10th HR off Hughes in the 3rd inning, then he proceeded to take a picture with Hughes while his tongue was sticking out and Hughes’ was down. THEN he texted the photo to the entire Hughes family. The nerve of that guy.
Phil Hughes — 7.0 IP, 4 R, 0 ER, 4 Ks and his 12th win. Even Phil didn’t think he’d pitch so well last night, but lo and behold, he did. Trust in yourself Phil and you can achieve anything!
Derek Jeter — 1-for-4 with his 10th HR, the 250th of his career. “Hey, Sully you hearah, Jeetah hit his 250th?” “Ha fa reeal Tawmmy? What a quee-ah!” “”Ha! Yeah…Sigh. Remembah Nomah?”
Franklin Morales — 5.1 IP, 5 ER and gave up four home runs to the Yankees. Dead Sox.
Matt Wieters — 1-for-3 with his 17th HR. Now has 4 HRs and is batting .288 with 13 RBIs in August. Remind me not to draft him next year, but also remind me to trade for him at the end of July. Otherwise, Wieters has been just good enough this year to not be bad, and hey, that’s not bad!
Paul Konerko — 1-for-4 with a HR in his return from the DL. Well done, Paul-Ko. I totally forgot you existed.
Chris Sale — 6.2 IP, 9 H, 4 ER. Let’s chalk this one up to the potency of that Royals offense and call this an off day for Sale. I’m still starting him next week vs. New York.
Lorenzo Cain — 2-for-4 with the slam and legs! Lorenzo has been pretty bad lately, but I know he Cain do better. He’s Chris Sale kryptonite apparently. No, I still wouldn’t own him.
Jean Segura — 1-for-3 with a run and a SB. SAGNOF! Now this guy I’d own based on first name alone. Just his first steal of his young season, but I can taste those steals to come already. They taste like dust. Jean Segura’s dust. Because I am eating his dust. Because he’s fast and steals bases. Is that not clear yet?
Yovani Gallardo — 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 9 Ks and his 12th win. Mama mia! Pepper roni! Morta Della! That’sa spicy pizza pie-a! I know he’s not Italian, but that name, ahh I just don’t really care. Don’t spoil this for me.
Tommy Hanson — 6.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 5 Ks in his return from the DL. Holy schnikes! Tommy Boy is back just in time to confuse things for the Braves starting pitchers during their run at the playoffs. He should fare better against San Francisco next week.
Eric Young, Jr. — 2-for-5 with a SB. Grey’s favorite SAGNOF is finally putting it all together. If you need steals look no further than EYJr–or is it EYJ? EYII?
Wilin Rosario — 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Definitely will be on my radar during next year’s draft. I might even be Wilin to draft him a bit early based on the Coors factor alone.
Steve Cishek — Pitched a perfect inning for his 8th save. Heath Bell actually came into the game in a set up role and got the hold after surrendering 2 hits. Steve Cishek has been masterful as the closer. He’s got a 1.84 ERA on the season, with 49 Ks in 49.0 IP (that’s like a K an inning!), and he’s converted all his save chances. Bell has been a big steaming pile of Cishek. Naturally, I’d expect Ozzie to give Bell another shot at the closing duties by the end of next week. Marlins Baseball, friends. Get hooked!
Giancarlo Stanton — 1-for-3 with his 23rd HR. More like GONE-carlo Stanton, amirite? His home runs make me smile.
Wade Miley — 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Ks and his 13th win. Now has a 2.96 ERA and 1.13 WHIP on the season. Wade-a Go Miley!
Hisashi Iwakuma — 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 6 Ks and his 4th win. Hisashi has been sneaky good this month — like a ninja! He’s not winning any Cy Young’s but he’s been more than reliable. I like him a lot next Wednesday vs. Cleveland.
Matt Cain — 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Ks. He thinks he Cain, and he did! Wait — I already used that one. Irregardless, Cain was nasty in this one and as the Giants gave him 10 runs of support off 15 hits, Cain cruised to his 12th win. Would you expect anything less from a Matt Cain start at PetCo?
Marco Scutaro — 2-for-5 with a slam and legs! What a hoot-aro! He’s been hitting for average since the trade, but not much else. Much like the swimming pool game, outside of NL-only and deeper leagues I’d steer clear of Marco.
Josh Donaldson — 4-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Another nice game for Josh Redd — wait… Donaldson? No, I don’t know who that is. #Moneyball!
B.J. Upton — 4-for-5 with his 15th HR and 3 RBIs. Ben Zobrist added a HR off two hits as well as the Rays exploded for 12 runs off 17 hits. They’ve now scored 19 runs since Felix’s perfect game against them (bittermuch?), and I’m not sure they’re done just yet…
Jered Weaver — 3.0 IP, 9 ER. Yeeeouch! That’ll kill your ratios in weekly match-ups. And in a cushy match-up vs. the Rays, too? Y U No Play Good Angels? Sure, L.A. has Trout, Pujols, Weaver and Greinke but the Rays got spunk! They’ve got scrappiness! And you can’t just buy that. (Is David Eckstein a free agent?) The 9 ER was a career high for Weaver and his ERA goes up to 2.73 (the horror!), moving from first place in the AL to fifth place. Tampa is doing their best to keep their golden boy David Price in the running for the Cy Young award after Price gave them all a serious guilt trip for boosting Felix Hernandez past him on Wednesday. Here we go Rays! Bring the spunk!
Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap, as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!