Pirates 6, Cardinals 5
- This game featured a couple of guys your fantasy team could do without in Kyle Lohse (who's actually still got decent season numbers, but has had a pretty bad second half) and Brad Lincoln (who's at least started to show some back-of-the-rotation potential). Lohse did the bare minimum for a quality start (six innings, eight hits, three runs, 3:1 K:BB), while Lincoln was pretty rough (5.1 innings, eight hits, four runs [three earned], two walks, one strikeout, but neither of them factored into the decision.
- As so often happens, it was left up to Albert Pujols to carry the Cardinals in this one, and despite homering (35) and driving in three, he couldn't do quite enough to pull it out.
- Neil Walker provided much of the Pittsburgh offense with three hits, including two doubles, an RBI and a run.
- I hope that someday, someone will give Marc Rzepczynski (0-2) a chance to be a starter again. That day wasn't today, as he was all over the place in relief, allowing three of the four batters he faced to reach base. He was stuck with two runs and the loss.
- Jason Grilli (2-1) cooked up a shutout inning for the win (see what I did there?)
- Joel Hanrahan struggled some, giving up a run on two hits, walking a batter and throwing a wild pitch, but still collected his 37th save.
Rays 5, Orioles 2
- Jeff Niemann (10-7), glad to not be facing the Rangers after they roughed him up twice in a row, pitched very well into the eighth inning in this one. The final line: 7.2 innings, six hits, two walks, two runs, five strikeouts. Unfortunately, Tampa's in Boston over the weekend and it's hard to feel good about starting Niemann there despite his consecutive 10-strikeout efforts against the Sox.
- Not so effective: Zach Britton (9-10), who struggled with his control again, walking four against just two strikeouts in five innings. He was pinned with four runs on five hits. The peripheral stats don't look great for Britton this year; maybe he's just not quite ready. I wonder if he will be next year.
- Joel Peralta got himself a save chance and enjoyed it thoroughly, striking out the side in order for his third save of the season.
- The prospect formerly known as God, Matt Wieters, hit his 18th homer. He's had a reasonably nice fantasy year for a catcher, but still nothing special, and next year the one-time No. 1 prospect in MLB will be 26 years old.
- Matt Angle, intent on proving that pure speed does not a leadoff hitter make, went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts to fall to .156. I know it's September, but you shouldn't have a guy hitting .171 coming in hitting leadoff.
- B.J. Upton found his way on base four times, drawing two walks and smacking two doubles. He scored three runs.
- Ben Zobrist had himself a big day, going 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI as well as his 17th steal.
Marlins 5, Braves 4 in 12
- Brandon Beachy struck out 10 batters in his 5.1 innings, but had his nice game counterfeited by a two-run sixth. He ended up allowing four runs on nine hits and a walk, but got bailed out by the offense. Anthony Varvaro (0-2) eventually took the loss in the 12th despite not allowing a hit in his 1.2 innings. Walks will kill you.
- Chris Volstad turned in a respectable five innings on the other end, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out four. Edward Mujica blew the lead for him (with some defensive non-help) in the eighth and Clay Hensley (4-6) ended up with a win as a reward for two scoreless innings.
- Leo Nunez worked around a walk for his 35th save.
- Bryan Petersen started in center and went 1-for-3 with a couple walks and his seventh steal.
- Three-hit games: Omar Infante (3-for-5), Michael Bourn (3-for-7), Alex Gonzalez (3-for-4).
Nationals 3, Mets 2
- R.A. Dickey (8-12) took a real hard-luck loss in this one, striking out seven (without a walk!) over seven innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits. He proved this year that last season was no fluke, putting together a solid ERA and WHIP along with strikeout and walk rates that are nearly identical to last year's.
- Ross Detwiler went 5.2 innings and looked strong until running into trouble in the sixth and allowing a couple runs that tied the game at the time. He gave up only three hits and three walks, but struck out just two – not an impressive ratio there. Todd Coffey (5-1) ended up winning in relief.
- Drew Storen walked a batter, but collected his 35th save.
- Steve Lombardozzi collected his first major league hit off Dickey in the seventh to drive home the winning run.
Cubs 12, Reds 8
- Dontrelle Willis (0-6) really got one laid on him in this one, lasting just 3.1 innings, failing to strike out a batter, and spotting the Cubs eight runs (all earned) on nine hits and three walks. What more is there to say?
- Rodrigo Lopez (5-6), on the other hand, had one of those extremely rare starts in which you give up four homers and win. He lasted 5.1 and was tagged for nine hits, a walk and five runs.
- Where to begin with all this offense? Perhaps at its starting point – the leadoff hitters. Starlin Castro went 3-for-4 with a homer (9), two doubles, a walk, four runs scored and three RBI. Brandon Phillips went 2-for-4 with a pair of homers, a walk, three RBI and three runs. It can be nice to have run producers at the top of the order.
- Aramis Ramirez added his 25th homer for the Cubs; odd choice for a cleanup hitter Jeff Baker took to the role with his third of the year.
- Reds catcher of the future Devin Mesoraco hit his first major league home run and added a double in a 2-for-4 day.
- Juan Francisco had a couple hits, including his third homer, a mammoth 502-foot blast that full-on left the ballpark.
- Darwin Barney had the game's only steal (9).
Astros 5, Phillies 1
- Brett Myers (5-13) may be a few years removed from his Phillies career, but apparently he still knows how to get his old friends out. He went eight innings of one-run ball, giving up just six hits and a walk while striking out four.
- Roy Oswalt (7-9), on the other hand, was facing a lineup with almost no carryover from last year, but he gave up a two-run homer to the one guy in the lineup who had been his teammate for years and years.
- That guy? Well, it's the very nearly washed-up Carlos Lee, who collected a couple hits as well as the long ball (16).
- J.D. Martinez went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs, continuing an impressive rookie campaign. He's an interesting player for late in next year's drafts.
- Hunter Pence had two hits and stole his eighth bag, his first with the Phillies, and Pete Orr swiped his third.
Tigers 14, White Sox 4
- Rick Porcello (14-8) is about as unimpressive a 14-game-winner as you'll see, but a 14-game winner he is now after going 6.2 innings and giving up three runs on six hits and three walks. He struck out three. Porcello has pitched a total of 13 innings in his last two starts and won both despite a K:BB of 4:4. Apparently he pitched through an illness, though.
- John Danks (6-12) got wrecked, lasting five innings and getting tagged for 11 hits and eight runs (seven earned). These were not cheap hits – four doubles, two homers. He struck out five and walked three.
- Every Detroit starter had at least one hit in the 21-hit barrage, and seven of them had multi-hit games. Feeling good about starting your pitchers against the Tigers in fantasy?
- Tops on the list of the impressive for Detroit: Ryan Raburn, who went 4-for-5 with a double, a homer (13), three RBI and three runs. He's been pretty good since the All-Star break, hitting .320 (32-for-100) with five homers.
- Jhonny Peralta had the other homer for the Tigers, his 19th. He had two hits and drove home three.
- Brent Morel provided half the Chicago offense with a pair of solo homers (7).
Athletics 6, Angels 3
- Gio Gonzalez (13-12) brought his good side to the ballpark in this one, walking only one batter and allowing seven hits and two runs in 6.2 innings. He struck out six.
- Joel Pineiro (6-7) lasted only three innings, allowing five runs on five hits and a couple walks. He struck out four. The A's specifically have his number, but there's no reason to trust him in fantasy in general.
- Josh Willingham had a big offensive day, collecting his 25th homer among three hits and driving in four runs. With 25 homers and 88 RBI, he has an outside shot at a 30-100 season despite having missed some time with injury and an average hovering around .250.
- Vernon Wells (21) and Erick Aybar (8) went deep for the Angels, providing all the offense. Wells also added a triple.
- Andrew Bailey was held out after being beaned on the head during batting practice. Sounds like a one-day thing.
Yankees 9, Mariners 3
- You don't expect to see Phil Hughes (5-5) outpitch King Felix, but that's exactly what happened. Despite an unimpressive 3:3 K:BB, Hughes allowed only one run and five hits in six innings. That's two quality starts in a row coming off a pair of whuppings by Boston and Oakland.
- As mentioned, Felix Hernandez (14-12) got himself outpitched, allowing six runs on nine hits in his six frames. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter, so that's good, but he did give up a pair of home runs. With the loss, he snapped a three-game winning streak and a long-lived run of success against the big bats of the Yankees.
- Mark Teixeira (37) and Chris Dickerson (1) hit the homers off Felix. Dickerson, in fact, went 2-for-4 with two RBI and stole a base (3) as well.
- Miguel Olivo contributed two hits and his 18th homer for Seattle. The average isn't there, but his pop certainly still is.
- Brendan Ryan collected his 13th steal.
Diamondbacks 7, Dodgers 2
- When you're hot, you're hot, and Arizona is so hot that Joe Saunders (11-12) has been looking like a real pitcher lately. He went seven strong innings, striking out four and giving up only four hits, a walk and two runs. At one point, he set down 13 straight Dodgers.
- Ted Lilly (9-14) failed to excape the sixth inning for the fourth time in his last five turns, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks in 5.1 innings of work. He struck out five. Still, he's allowed three or fewer runs in nine straight starts, and there's something to be said about that.
- J.J Putz got as cheap a save as you'll see, pitching a third of an inning with a five-run lead and getting credited with the save due to the ol' tying-run-on-deck rule.
- Matt Kemp teed off on his 33rd homer and added a single.
- Aaron Hill collected his second steal as a Diamondback and 18th overall. He's hitting .325 since joining Arizona – maybe the change of scenery was just what he needed.
- Gerardo Parra had a big day, notching a two-run single and a two-run double to drive in four runs, tying a career high.
- Miguel Montero's 18-game hitting streak ended with an 0-for-3 day.
Giants 8, Padres 3
- Eric Surkamp (2-0), he of the sick minor league numbers (1.94 ERA, 170 Ks in 148.1 innings, mostly in DOuble-A), hasn't yet lived up to the billing, but he won for the second time in his three MLB starts, delivering 5.2 solid innings in which he allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits and a walk.
- Aaron Harang (13-6) got four runs laid on him in five innings. He was charged with six hits and a couple walks, and struck out four.
- Carlos Beltran had two hits, including his 18th homer in the first inning.
- Cody Ross, hitting leadoff, went 3-for-4 with a homer (13), a double, two RBI and three runs. He also drew a walk.
- Pablo Sandoval went yard too, jolting a three-run homer (19) for his only hit of the day.
- Nick Hundley and Chris Denorfia had three-hit days for the Padres – both of them all singles, as none of San Diego's 11 hits went for extra bases.