Bat Of The Night: Mike Lowell – 3/5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI
After missing over two weeks with a sprained thumb in April, Lowell had been very mediocre since his return on April 29th. In the six games preceding last night’s tilt against the Tigers, Lowell had gone 5/24 with no RBIs. Hopefully his performance at Detroit will get him going. Lowell hits in a great Boston lineup and I am certain his best days in 2008 are ahead of him.
Arm Of The Night: Ervin Santana – 9 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K (CG, W)
Santana joined teammate Joe Saunders at 6-0 after pitching undoubtedly the best game of his Major League career. The 25 year old threw a complete game four hitter, surrendering no walks while striking out nine in dominating the Royals. Santana now sports a 2.02 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and has to be considered the best pitcher in the AL this side of perhaps Chien-Ming Wang and Cliff Lee. Santana has now posted back to back shutouts over his last two starts spanning 15 2/3 innings and is a great play in his next start at Tampa on Sunday.
Bottom Line: Kevin Millwood – 3 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (L)
After a strong start that saw him take some tough losses and no decisions, Kevin Millwood has reverted back to 2007 form. He has now allowed 5 or more runs in his last 3 outings and has been very hittable thus far in 2008 allowing 62 hits in 47.1 innings of work. Avoid Millwood unless he gets dealt to a contender that plays in a pitcher’s park.
We are now in May and that can only mean one thing – Brad Hawpe is getting hot. Nice return game for David Ortiz and Matt Kemp’s bat will soon give him an unquestioned starting spot in that Dodgers outfield. Dustin McGowan and Chad Billingsley are two more young pitchers making a name for themselves around baseball and for the love of God, can the White Sox get Javy Vasquez some run support!
Brad Hawpe – 2/4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
David Ortiz - 2/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Matt Kemp – 2/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Geovany Soto – 3/3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Raul Ibanez – 2/4, 2 2B, 2 RBI
Dustin McGowan – 7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (W)
Chad Billingsley – 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K (W)
Jamie Moyer – 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (W)
Javier Vasquez – 7.2 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K (L)
Brett Tomko – 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (ND)
The feast or famine tendencies of Alex Rios and Gary Matthews Jr. continue while Pat Burrell had a rare tough day at the dish. Not much to report on the pitching end other than a little advice to Oliver Perez owners: he’s in a contract year, do not give up on this guy.
Gary Matthews Jr. – 0/4, 3 K
Jose Guillen – 0/4, 3 K
Alex Rios – 0/4, 3 K
Pat Burrell – 0/5, 2 K
Jacoby Ellsbury – 0/5, 2 K
Oliver Perez – 6 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (L)
Joel Pineiro – 3 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Edgar Gonzalez – 3 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
Huston Street – 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (BS)
Clay Rapada – 0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Making A Case...
Wladimir Balentein – 2/3, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Seattle’s highly touted rookie outfielder has been very hit or miss since his callup compiling all of his numbers (2 HR, 6 RBI and 2 runs scored) in literally two games – April 30th and last night. Another troubling stat is the 8 strikeouts he has racked up to 0 walks over his first 21 at bats. The kid has a ton of talent but may be overmatched right now at the Major League level. Personally, I wouldn’t add him right now, but he is someone to watch as the season progresses.
Garrett Olson– 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (W)
Olson has looked good in his first two starts allowing 3 ER over 13 innings of work while striking out 13 batters. As Buster Olney stated in his chat today, advanced scouts haven’t had a chance to really breakdown Olson yet, so an adjustment period is imminent. However, the Orioles rookie is a decent play in his next start Saturday at light hitting Kansas City.
- BJ Ryan locked down his 5th save of the season, albeit in shaky fashion as he walked the bases loaded before retiring the side. More importantly however, the Blue Jays doctors cleared Ryan to pitch on consecutive days increasing his value while at the same time taking a little luster away from dark horse saves candidate Scott Downs.
- Huston Street blew his second save in eleven chances last night, failing in his attempt to close his tenth game of the season. Street has gotten a ton of work so far this season and been a very productive fantasy closer. However, injury concerns always surround the A’s closer, especially as he piles up the innings early.
- Brian Fuentes picked up his second loss of the season, failing to hold a 5-5 tie in the 9th inning. Fuentes has been decent since replacing Manny Corpas as Colorado’s closer; however, he isn’t one of the more reliable closers out there. Fuentes could be a good sell-high candidate.
- Other Closers Locking Down Saves Last Night: Jonathon Papelbon (10), Jason Isringhausen (11) and Francisco Cordero (5).
Fantasy Observations & Thoughts
- Dice-K put up the strangest line of the night. The Red Sox starter allowed only 1 earned run over 5 innings of work and moved his record to a perfect 5-0. However, he also walked eight batters which didn’t offer much help in the way of WHIP.
- Adam Dunn hit a monster homerun last night, his 5th of the season, and is a prime candidate to get rolling in the month of May.
- Don’t look now but Rafael Furcal hit his 5th homer of the season and looks to have rediscovered that power stroke that made him such a great fantasy SS in Atlanta. By the way, did we mention he is in a contract year…
- The Oakland A’s got their 20th win of the season and currently have the second best record in the AL behind the Angels and Red Sox. It will be interesting to see if the A’s, who have been pitching as well as anyone, can keep this up…
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