Closer news:Frank Francisco is not expected to supplant Jon Rauch (three saves, 2.70 ERA) upon completing his rehab assignment. Joe Nathan (two blown saves, 8.44 ERA) has been a shell of his former self after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and has been removed from closing responsibilities in Minnesota. Matt Capps finished today's win at Tampa Bay with a perfect ninth. Grady Sizemore splashed back onto the scene in his first game since last summer (knee surgery), jacking a homer and double from the leadoff spot in four at bats. It's good to see him back in centerfield, but rust is in the ten-day forecast.
Let's make it a double dose of Cleveland giving a shout out toFausto Carmona. Since getting bombed by the White Sox on opening day, he's been immaculate in his last three starts: 21 2/3 IP, 11 hits, three ER and 15 strikeouts. He was rewarded with his first W on Sunday as the Indians swept past Baltimore. Placido Polanco added three more hits and a HR to his startling stat line. He's now hitting .373 with 12 RBI, including seven multi-hit games and a .526 average with RISP (10/19). Polanco has only 4 K's in 55 AB, and goes into ultra-scrap mode with ducks on the pond.
The Mets snapped a seven-game overall losing streak thanks to their youthful battery. CatcherJosh Thole drove in two of the three runs against Tommy Hanson, and SP Dillon Gee pitched 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball for his third major league victory. Andrew McCutchen's third game back at the top of the order finally paid dividends. "Cutch" went 3/3 with a homer, two RBI, two BB and the game winning single in the eighth inning. However, he was caught stealing for the third time this season and has managed just one successful swipe. His teammate at the hot corner, Pedro Alvarez, had no such change of fortune with an 0'fer and two K's. He's batting .193 on the year with 20 strikeouts in 57 plate appearances and a measly two extra base hits.
After recording ten of 17 outs via strikeout in his 2011 debut,Jeremy Hellickson has whiffed just four in his last 12 2/3 innings of work. Dan Haren improved his mark to 4-0 with 6 1/3 innings of seven-hit two-run ball, striking out six against zero free passes. His season ERA now stands at 1.16 and his WHIP at 0.65. He and Jered Weaver have combined to win eight of the Angels 10 games (8-0).
The versatileMaicer Izturis continues to rake posting his third consecutive three-hit game on Sunday. He's hitting .383 with seven runs and seven RBI, and despite the return of Erick Aybar appearing imminent, he should remain a regular (40% owned).
South Carolina productJustin Smoak has quietly inched his way up to .300. We're still waiting on the power, but he's taken massive strides in plate discipline with a BB:K ratio of 11:10.
With a 1/5 day,Ryan Ludwick improved his stellar batting average to .125. He also boasts a whopping .209 slugging percentage. Hey, at least he found the courage to steal a base for his dedicated fantasy owners (all 6% of them). James Loney has decided that if he can't hit for power, he's going to stop hitting altogether. An 0/11 series against St. Louis leaves his BA at .150, OBP at .183 and SLG at .228. In the effort to pile on, Loney is also batting .091 (2/22) with men in scoring position. Fortunately for the Dodgers, his partner in crime Matt Kemp is playing like a man possessed in 2011. Kemp went 3/4 on Sunday including the game winning two-run homer off Ryan Franklin (gas can). Check out this freakish stat line: .474, three HR, 12 RBI, 12 runs and eight stolen bases. Early season NL MVP? I think so.
After going 13 innings,Alexi Ogando finally gave up a run. In fact Ogando gave up 5 runs against the Yanks, while CC Sabathia wasn’t much better giving up 4. Written by Adam Ganeles exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com
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