Thursday, May 8, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Happy Recap - 5/7/08

Wednesday was one of the more exciting days thus far in the 2008 baseball season as we saw a number of brilliant performances both at the plate and on the mound... primarily from the youngsters.


Bats Of The Night

Carlos Gomez – 4/6, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Gomez, the centerpiece of the Johan Santana deal, hit for the cycle last night, becoming the third youngest player in Major League history to do so. Additionally, he is the first Twins player to accomplish the feat since Kirby Puckett in 1986. Gomez has been great thus far, hitting .282 with 2 HR, 11 RBI and 19 RBI, solid leadoff numbers. The 22 year old speedster also has 13 stolen bases which ties him for second in the majors behind Willy Taveras. Gomez’s walk to strikeout numbers are a cause for concern and an indication he may be unable to keep up this pace on a consistent basis. However, his great stolen base potential alone gives him decent fantasy value.

Joey Votto – 3/4, 3 R, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB

Votto entered Wednesday with four homers and finished it with seven after a breakout three-homer day against the Cubs. The Reds’ rookie first baseman was highly touted entering the season and was one of our favorites to bust on the scene with a 20-20 campaign. Thus far he has lived up to the hype hitting .302 with 7 HR, 18 RBI and 19 runs scored. Votto swiped his first base on Wednesday, but he has shown good speed in the minors and during his brief major league stint last season so it is fair surmise that the stolen bases will come.

Arm Of The Night: Cliff Lee – 7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K (W)

Another start another shut out for Cliff Lee who has been unquestionably the best pitcher in baseball thus far in 2008. Lee moved his record to 6-0 Wednesday after throwing 7 innings of shut out ball at Yankee Stadium and outdueling the previously unbeaten Chien-Ming Wang. Lee is now sporting some ridiculous, video game-like numbers with a 0.81 ERA, 0.60 WHIP and 39 strikeouts to only 2 walks. Dissecting Lee’s numbers further you find that he has now allowed only 4 earned runs and a total of 27 baserunners in 44 1/3 innings of work and has tossed four shutouts. I mean this can’t last… can it?

Bottom Line: Jon Lieber – 2 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (L)

Lieber jumpstarted the Reds’ seven homer day by allowing four homeruns in the second inning of yesterday’s 9-0 blowout. In addition, he also earned the dubious distinction of becoming first Cubs pitcher to allow four homeruns in a single inning.

Honorable Mentions

Top Five

Two multiple homer games, two shut outs, one complete game and a 10 strikeout outing headline an absolutely loaded Top Five. Ryan Zimmerman is beginning to break out of his early season funk and could be in line for a hot summer while Edinson Volquez has been nothing short of dynamite thus far. John Maine and Adam Wainwright are establishing themselves as legitimate front of the rotation guys and go-to fantasy starters. Shaun Marcum will be joining them in due time…

Bats

Ryan Zimmerman – 3/4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Kevin Youkilis - 2/5, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Mike Lowell – 3/5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Nick Punto – 2/3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI
Placido Polanco – 5/6, 2 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI

Arms

Edinson Volquez – 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 6 BB, 10 K (W)
Livan Hernandez – 9 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (CG, W)
John Maine – 8.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (W)
Shaun Marcum – 8.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K (W)
Adam Wainwright – 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (W)

Bottom Five

For those of you scoring at home, Ryan Howard is now hitting .162 with 50 strikeouts. In other room, Howard and Carlos Pena just bought a two bedroom apartment in the Bottom Five to cut down on their daily commute…

Bats

Reed Johnson – 0/5, 3 K
Carlos Pena – 0/4, 3 K
Ryan Howard – 0/4, 3 K
Carlos Pena – 0/4, 3 K
Fred Lewis – 0/4, 3 K

Arms

Jered Weaver – 3.1 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (L)
Brad Penny– 4.2 IP, 10 H, 10 ER, 3 BB, 2 K (L)
Mark Buerhle – 5.2 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (L)
Dave Bush – 6 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (L)
Clay Buchholz – 4 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (ND)

Making A Case...

Kurt Suzuki – 2/5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI

Suzuki hit his first homerun of the season last night and continues to produce on a consistent basis in Oakland. Don’t expect too much power from the A’s rookie catcher but he has shown an ability to pile up hits and score runs in the early season. Suzuki has now hit safely in 17 of his last 22 games and scored 19 runs on the season. He is a decent option at a particularly thin catching position.

Matt Garza – 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K (L)

Garza entered the season with some positive buzz after coming over to Tampa from Minnesota in a trade for Delmon Young. However, a rough start and early season injury made the 24 year old righty an afterthought in fantasy circles. Garza has now reeled off two strong starts and has great upside pitching for an up and coming Tampa team. Garza is currently owned in only 39% of CBS leagues and is a great add if you are looking for starting pitching.

Closer Corner

- Jonathon Papelbon took his first loss of the season after allowing two unearned runs in the top of the ninth inning of last night’s game against the Tigers. Placido Polanco drove in the eventual game winning run with a broken bat single to left. Polanco’s hit went just over the glove of Julio Lugo, who kept the inning alive with his 10th error of the season. He is currently on pace for 50 errors…

- Jason Isringhausen continues to struggle, taking his third loss of the season last night after allowing a 2-run triple to the Rockies Chris Iannetta in the bottom of the 8th inning. Izzy has now allowed a run in six of last eleven outings and is a guy that is hard to trust right now.

- After getting lit up early, Houston closer Jose Valverde is red hot, working a perfect inning last night to earn his fourth win of the season to go along with seven saves. Valverde has not allowed a run in his last 11 2/3 innings of work.

- Brad Lidge locked down his 8th save of the season and has yet to allow a run in 16 innings of work this season. A healthy and productive Brad Lidge will be a big difference maker for the Phillies down the stretch in 2008.

- Other Closers Locking Down Saves Last Night: CJ Wilson (8), Matt Capps (7), Rafael Betancourt (4) and Brian Fuentes (3).

Fantasy Observations & Thoughts

- John Danks has made five of his six starts this year during the daytime and compiled 2-2 with a 1.39 ERA in those day outings. In his one night start against the Twins, Danks got lit up for 7 ER in only 2.1 IP. Food for thought Danks owners…

- Four pitchers are tied for the Major League lead in quality starts at seven. Chien-Ming Wang and Ervin Santana are six game winners while Carlos Zambrano is 5-1 on the season. The fourth pitcher is Aaron Harang who is currently a terribly unlucky 1-5 despite a 3.09 ERA and averaging over a strikeout per inning thus far.

- Ryan Church has six homeruns now and is close to establishing himself as the Mets regular #2 hitter. Suprisingly, he is still available in 18% of CBS leagues. What are you people waiting for?

- Lance Berkman now has 11 homeruns and has been absolutely killing the ball.

- Barry Zito pitched pretty well in his “return” to the Giants rotation, but still took the loss dropping his record to 0-7. Paging Anthony Young…


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