Aroldis Chapman is being shut down ‘for a couple of days’ with shoulder fatigue. Dusty actually admitted “We’re lucky we got to this point” which made every Cub fan both nod and shake their heads. To be fair to Dusty, his usage of Chapman seems reasonable. 64G/67 IP this year after 54 G/50 IP last year does not seem abusive. Perhaps hurling a ball 100 MPH isn’t good for your arm. In Chapman’s stead, Jonathon Broxton picked up the save. Broxton should feel comfortable pitching for Dusty as he had the ultimate ‘pen melter in Joe Torre as a coach for 5 years (his 2007 usage – 83 G / 82 IP – makes my arm hurt). Broxton is a must-own as I think it’s likely that Chapman is shut down for the season or pitches only a couple of times to keep him fresh for the playoffs. In other news…
JJ Hardy – 4-for-5 with the hungry man’s cycle (single, double, 2 HR), 3 R, and 5 RBI. Did 2011 Hardy time travel forward for this game? Only he can solve that mystery I suppose. Hardy’s counting numbers aren’t bad this year (21 HRs, 74 R, 64 RBI) but that .238 AVG is caused by some awful cold stretches – 3 separate months (April, June, July) where he hit less than .200. Definitely worth riding the rest of the year in case he gets hot like in May (7 HR, .300+ AVG).
Ian Kennedy – 7 1/3 shutout innings @LAD to outduel Kershaw. The Dodgers then traded for him, also accepting the mortgage on Chase Field and full cost subsidization of the next ten annual ‘Diamond Racks’ days where the first 1,000 women at the stadium get free boob jobs.
Jon Lester – Continued his recent success by going 5 1/3 IP against the Yankees and giving up only 5 hits and….7 walks?! Ouch. He walked 7 different batters. I haven’t seen someone spread wildness so successfully since Tara Reid’s show on E! The Red Sox catcher might’ve fared better if he used chicken fingers when calling pitches.
Dustin Pedroia – Sparky Anklebiter continues his torrid 2nd half with a 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI game against the Yanks. The hobbit doctors must’ve fixed him up pretty well because he’s hitting .330 with 9 HRs since the All-Star Game (.266 with 6 HRs pre-ASB). Or maybe Valentine wrapped his injured thumb in some flatbread and it magically healed.
Jake Peavy – 5 2/3 decent innings against DET (3 ER, 8 baserunners, 9 K) but lost his chance at a win thanks to a 3-run 5th inning and a massive pitch count (117 in 5 2/3). Just missed a chance at tying Jordan Zimmerman at 11 in the unofficial “My offense hates me stat” – Quality starts minus Wins. Or as Jake calls them “Peave Me’s”.
Lorenzo Cain – 3-for-5 with the Jason Kendall cycle (single, double, triple, HBP). He’s got enough oil to make it through the rest of September but I’m not drafting him in any league until he sheds his twin DisAbel.
Eric Hosmer – 3-for-5 with his 14th HR of the season. Now hitting .240 while fellow Royal phenom Mike Moustakas is now down to .250 with 19 HRs. That said, Erimik Hosmastakas is on pace to shatter the season AVG record at .490 with a solid 33 HRs to boot.
Marco Estrada - Ponch gets his 3rd win of the year with 6 2/3 scoreless innings and 6 Ks. He hasn’t managed a start with more than 7 innings but his K:BB is nearly 4:1 in his past 10 starts. Unless he has a horrible matchup, he’s a must-start the rest of the year.
Will Smith – He just sat back and unwound on the Twins with 7 scoreless innings and 7 Ks. If only his parents understood him.
Brandon Moss – Another HR (#18). He only has 201 AB on the year. He also has 71 Ks. Inside his jock strap are the words “Two Outcomes, One Cup”.
Dan Straily – Won @LAA, going 6.2 IP with 3 ER, 8 baserunners, and 8 Ks. More impressively, he held Mike Trout to only 3 singles in 4 AB. I’d hold on to him in all leagues and only drop him if he’s got two awful matchups in a row.
Jerry Blevins - The Bleaver got the save for the A’s after bailing out Balfour who gave up two walks and two singles without recording an out in the 9th inning of a 6-3 game. Ward, June, and Brian Fuentes are so proud.
Austin Jackson – 2-for-3 with a 2-run HR. He has a .300+ AVG and a .370+ BABIP. Unlike with Kid, good things happen when Austin puts his balls in play.
Erasmo Ramirez - The Mariner rookie picked up his first career win at Toronto (7 IP, 7 baserunners, 2 K, 6 K), making his first start since June. Maybe after this start, the Stream-o-nator will like him more. It’s typically bearish on any pitcher whose name pronounced backwards is “I’m sorry”. Maybe he’s Ramon Garciaparra’s lovechild?
Adam Wainwright – He was pitching loud ‘n clear after the ASB but the roof is leaking ever since he got impeached @WAS. He spoiled a Petco start with a 6 IP, 9 baserunners, 5 R (only 2 ER), 6 K outing – with 3 unearned runs scoring thanks to an error by some hockey player named Pete Kozma masquerading as the Cardinal shortstop. That’s what happens when you try to cross-check the baserunner instead of playing the ball.
Roy Halladay – Got a
no-decision win with a mediocre start (6 1/3 IP, 5 ER, 6 K, 10 baserunners). His ERA is now at 4.01 over 143 IP. Kyle Kendrick has pitched almost the same amount of innings with a 3.83 ERA. That’s the craziest Philly throwing anomaly since Michael Vick’s 2010 season. Not sure if it’s injury, age, or both but I tie Halladay’s mediocre 2012 to diminished fastball/cutter velocity. He’s lost 2 MPH on both pitches this year and it’s taken his cutter from a consistently excellent pitch to a near average one. Unless you get inside scoop from Dr. Freeze, take Halladay out of bounceback ace consideration in 2013.
Sergio Romo – 2/3 IP, 2 ER as he lost his opportunity at a @COL save to Javier Lopez by giving up a 2-run HR to Colvin. Figures that a Romo looked good through most of the regular season and starts to stumble during the important end-of-season games. (back-to-back NFC East QB retorts….gotta enjoy them while I can still bask in the Giants’ Super Bowl afterglow).
Luke Gregorson – Went 1 2/3 IP for his 6th save and taking his ERA down to 2.32. I think there’s a reliever muse in San Diego that had a long-term relationship with Trevor Hoffman and, ever since, is afraid to commit. Heath Bell felt her wrath this year. Frieri escaped while he still could. Huston Street tried to escape and got beat down. Just don’t know yet what she has in store for Luke..
Jimmy Rollins – 2 for 3 with a slam (18th) and legs (26th), 3 runs, and 3 RBI. It still shocks me that he’s been a .250 hitter for the past 4 years. He still has speed and hits a decent share of ground balls/line drives but consistently has a subpar BABIP (.260). It’s like there’s a J-Roll shift that’s as effective as the Teixeira shift. Guess every defense knows how Jimmy roll.
Giancarlo Stanton – Another day, another HR. He’s now matched last year’s total (34) in 100 less AB. You can’t stop Giancarlo, you can only sandwich him with ham, pork, Swiss, pickles and mustard and hope the locals devour him before he devours your pitcher.