Kevin Slowey threw seven no-hit innings before being lifted from the game.  Tim Lincecum struggled once again.  Mike Stanton continued to rake.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:

American League:

  • Jeremy Hellickson (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K, W) – Tampa Bay Rays – He was at it again, showing the world the depth of the Rays pitching.  He improved to 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA, but let’s be a little bit careful.  It’s an extremely small sample, but he’s enjoyed a BABIP of .172.  Does anyone really think that can continue?  He’s a great talent, don’t get me wrong, but he’s going to regress, if he even remains in the rotation.  He’s certainly worth owning, just proceed with your eyes wide open.
  • Kevin Slowey (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 3 BB, 5 K, W) – Minnesota Twins –That’s right, he tossed seven innings of no-hit ball, yet gout pulled after 106 pitches.  It didn’t take long for the bullpen to make it interesting, as Jon Rauch allowed two runs on two hits and a walk over 0.2 innings of work.  Slowey had a start skipped due to tendinitis in his elbow, so that certainly played a role in the decision.  He has had an up-and-down season, but his 4.22 ERA probably isn’t far off from what we would have expected.  He’s 11-5 and has impeccable control, certainly two things that help offset his below average strikeout rate.  He’s worth using in the majority of formats when healthy.
  • ‘Michael Brantley (2-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) – Cleveland Indians – He showed off a little power, which isn’t his forte.  Don’t expect that too often (despite it being his second home run in his last six games), but what is more important to note is the runs scored.  Over his last seven games he’s scored 8 runs while also stealing two bases.  If that is what you need, he’s certainly worth grabbing in deeper five-outfielder formats and keeper leagues.  He has the opportunity to entrench himself as the Indians leadoff hitter for 2011, giving him plenty of upside value.
  • Bryan Bullington (8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K, W) – Kansas City Royals – Where the heck did this come from?  He absolutely stymied the New York Yankees, out pitching A.J Burnett (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 6 K) in what was, by far, his best start of the season.  He was dominant in the Pacific Coast League (2.82 ERA in 102.0 innings) prior to his recall, but he’s never come close to that in the Major Leagues.  In fact, he entered the day with a career 5.02 ERA.  Yes, it was impressive, but don’t go buying him off this outing.  Chances are he falls off his next time out.
  • Ryan Raburn (2-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB) – Detroit Tigers – Jhonny Peralta also had a great day (2-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R), but Raburn has been on fire of late.  He has five multi-hit games in his last seven, going 12-29 with 3 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R and 1 SB.  He’s getting regular playing time, at both 2B and the OF, giving him value in the deepest of formats while he’s scorching hot.  He proved last season that he has the ability to hit for power, so if thats your need from a middle infielder, take the plunge.
  • Michael Young (2-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R) – Texas Rangers – He’s not known for his power, but this gives him three home runs in his last four games.  Overall he’s hitting .290 with 19 HR, 69 RBI and 60 R on the season.  He’s often overlooked, but at an extremely shallow position, he holds significant value.  A career .301 hitter, it’s possible that he becomes more valuable if he can get his average back over .300 (his BABIP entering the day was .313).  His power disappeared from 2006-2008, but now looks to be a 20-25 HR guy once again.
  • Ricky Romero (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 4 K) – Toronto Blue Jays – A day after getting a new contract, Romero went out and defeated Dan Haren (7.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, 5 K) and the Los Angeles Angels.  Romero entered the day with a believable BABIP of .301 and strand rate of 71.4%, so the numbers are certainly believable.  If he could develop more strikeouts to go along with his groundball rate (53.9%) and control (3.2 BB/9), and he’d be in line to be an elite pitcher moving forward.  As it is, he’s looking pretty good right now.

National League:

  • Mike Stanton (2-4) – Florida Marlins – His performance (though he is hot, now on a six-game hitting streak, going 14-24 with 4 HR, 8 RBI and 5 R) isn’t the real story here.  What’s important to note is that he was moved up to fifth in the order, a spot that he could hold down with Cody Ross struggling.  If you are in one of those rare leagues where he is still available (or you have him on your bench), get him active immediately.
  • Homer Bailey (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 4 K, W) – Cincinnati Reds –Welcome back Mr. Bailey.  It was his first start since May 23 and he certainly delivered.  He had been pitching well at Triple-A, throwing 14.2 innings prior to his recall, so this was just a continuation of what he had been doing.  He has the potential, we all know that, but we also know that he has never quite lived up to expectations.  He’s potentially ownable in deeper formats, but his next matchup would come against the Dodgers.  If you grab him, I’d leave him on the bench for now.  As it is, he was fillimg in for the suspended Johnny Cueto, so there is no guarantee he sticks in the rotation.
  • Stephen Strasburg (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 7 K) – Washington Nationals – Whenever he takes the mound he’s going to be a major story.  He looked significantly better then in his first start back, and his defense betrayed him a bit (two unearned runs allowed).  They pulled him after 85 pitches, so they are obviously going to continue being cautious with him.  Of course it’s worth noting, but it’s not going to stop owners from using him.
  • Troy Glaus (2-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R) – Atlanta Braves – The Braves have been waiting for him to turn around, and they need it badly.  I’ve mentioned it a few times, but the Braves first baseman have been struggling of late and now should be feeling the pressure from Freddie Freeman at Triple-A.  Glaus easily could recatch fire, as he led the team in their dismantling of Vicente Padilla (4.1 IP, 8 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 2 K).
  • Hunter Pence (3-4, 1 RBI, 3 R, 1 SB) – Houston Astros – He has a four-game hitting streak, scoring at least one run in each game.  He also has three multi-hit games, going 9-15 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R and 1 SB.  If he could ever become dependable and constant, he’d develop into a top outfield option.  Unfortunately he has some highs and lows.  That doesn’t make him bad, just streaky, so ride with him through thick and thin.
  • Ubaldo Jimenez (8.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 10 K) – Colorado Rockies –He may not have had his best stuff, but his bullpen and defense cost him his 18th victory.  He left with a 5-3 lead, but Huston Street (0.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 K) allowed two unearned runs.  The strikeouts hadn’t been there for Jimenez for a little while, having not struck out more then 7 in a game from 6/11 through 7/29.  Now, in his last three starts, he has 27 Ks in 23 IP.
  • Tim Lincecum (3.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 6 K) – San Francisco Giants –He simply didn’t have it.  His ERA is 3.62, but considering this is the “year of the pitcher”, that has to be seen as a disappointment.  I’m not about to push the panic button, but this is the third time in his last six starts where he has allowed at least five earned runs.  In fact, it’s the fifth time this season where he has allowed at least five earned runs.  Over the past two seasons he had done it just six times.
  • Shane Victorino (3-5, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB) – Philadelphia Phillies – It hasn’t taken him long to settle back in.  After going hitless in his first start off the DL on Friday, he’s gone 5-9 with 1 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB.  He hit second last night, Placido Polanco hitting third.  It will be interesting to see how they setup the lineup with Chase Utley returning as early as Tuesday and Ryan Howard not far behind.  Victorino is a good play no matter what the format, but his value is even greater if he stays towards the top of the order.

What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games?


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