Stephen Strasburg continued to impress, setting a major league record for strikeouts in his first three starts. David Ortiz continues to show that he has plenty left in the tank and Matt Garza had one of the worst starts of the season. Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:


David Ortiz (1-2, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) – He’s now on a seven-game hitting streak, going 12-25 with 3 HR, 10 RBI, and 8 R. Does anyone still think he’s finished? No, he’s not the same old Big Papi, but at .268 with 15 HR and 45 RBI on the season he has proven to be a tremendous value on draft day.

Billy Butler (1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) –
In his last six games he’s gone 13-25 with 2 HR, 6 RBI, and 6 R. As I said earlier this week, if he can hit for power, he has the ability to be among the elite first baseman in the game.  He had 14 of his 21 HR after July 1 last year, so he’s right on the same pace.  Despite his current .339 average, the best could be yet to come (to read my recent article on him, click here ).

Brad Hawpe (2-3, 1 RBI) –
The loss of Troy Tulowitzki is going to put extra pressure on Hawpe to begin producing with the bat. He has four hits in his last two games and his RBI broke a five-game streak without one.  He has one home run since April 21, which just doesn’t cut it. He’s hit 22 or more homeruns each of the past four seasons, so you can count on the power coming around at some point.

Torii Hunter (2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R, 1 SB) – 
He’s now hitting .290 with 11 HR, 47 RBI, 41 R, and 6 SB. He already has 18 RBI in June. He hasn’t been stealing many bases (this was his first since May 21st), but we can’t be too picky. Enjoy the production you’re getting from him.

Edwin Encarnacion (2-2, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R) –
He had the one big blow against Barry Zito (8.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K), and in doing so may have busted out of an extended slump.  Over his last 19 games he had gone 7-60 with 0 HR, 3 RBI, and 4 R.  He’s a questionable fantasy option outside of deeper formats, but has the potential to get extremely hot.  When that happens, he’s a great short-term fill-in.

Pedro Alvarez (0-4) –
At least he only struck out once in this one, but he’s still hit-less in his major league career.

Carlos Santana (2-2, 1 RBI) –
It still surprises me that the Indians thrust him immediately into the three hole, but it doesn’t seem to have had an effect on him in the slightest.  He has hits in five of his last six games, now hitting .333 with 1 HR, 5 RBI, and 4 R.  It’s still early, but he’s quickly proving just how good he is with the bat.

Chase Utley (2-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R) –
 Finally, the type of performance we’ve been waiting for.  It’s certainly been a long time coming.  Is it a one-game blow-up or the start of a hot streak?  Time will tell.

Ryan Howard (4-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R) –
See above. Now, this is the offensive team we’ve been waiting to show themselves.

Miguel Montero (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) –
He’s now on a five-game hitting streak, going 7-20 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, and 3 R.  It amazes me that many owners cut bait with him after he got hurt, but if he’s still sitting there don’t hesitate.

Mike Stanton (2-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R) –
Finally, his first career home run, ultimately a grand slam.  We’ve talked about the power a lot, so don’t look for this to be his lone home run for long.

Rajai Davis (4-5, 1 RBI, 1 R) –
It is his fourth straight multi-hit game (11-19 with 3 RBI, 1 R, and 2 SB) and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Amazingly, despite the streak, this was the first time he scored in five games. If he only played for a high-powered offense, huh?

Nick Markakis (2-4) –
That’s three straight two hit games, and his seventh multi-hit game in his last ten. Of course, he has just 3 RBI over that stretch (amazingly), but if he keeps hitting the counting stats will come. Hitting third, you can count on that.


Stephen Strasburg (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 10 K) – He set a major league record, with 32 K over his first three starts. What’s amazing is in a tie game, the Nationals lifted Strasburg after 85 pitches, and not for a pinch hitter. They just pulled him from the game. You can tell that they are going to be extremely cautious with him this season, but we’ve certainly seen what he can do. The biggest question, is he a 2011 first round pick?

Javier Vazquez (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 3BB, 4 K) –
Tough loss, being outpitched by Hisanori Takahashi (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K, W).  He’s now allowed 3 ER or less in seven of his last eight starts. In his last four, he’s allowed 7 ER over 28 IP. He’s clearly turned it around and, pitching for the Yankees, has returned to being a viable option in all formats.

Matt Garza (1.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 2 K) –
Wow. There are blow-ups and then there are BLOW-UPS.  He has given up 4 ER or more in four of his last five starts. Clearly, we all knew a regression was going to come, but he’s not this bad either. He should turn things back around, so don’t sell him for pennies on the dollar at this point if you didn’t already get out.

Wandy Rodriguez (3.0 IP, 6 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 2 K) –
At this point he has turned himself into an unusable fantasy option, at 3-10 with a 6.09 ERA. A lot of it, however, is terrible luck (.354 BABIP, 60.1 percent strand rate).

Of course, the other concern is that his strikeouts are down (8.5 to 6.2) and the walks are up (2.8 to 4.1) from a year ago. Would I drop him?  No, if I have the room on my bench I’d wait him out since, barring an injury, you would expect the luck to turn and things to improve at some point.

Cliff Lee (9.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 7 K, W) –
He’s now 5-3 with a 2.55 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. As impressive as those numbers are, even more impressive is his 67 K vs. 4 BB.  The question isn’t how good he is, but where will he finish the season.

What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games?  Which ones caught your eye? And which ones did I miss?


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