Sometimes things happen in and around the world of sports that make us reflect upon what is truly important in this life. With tragedy that occurred in Boston yesterday still at the forefront of our thoughts, we’d like to bypass the typical intro to the 11th Inning Stretch and take a moment to pray for the victims and their families following the horrific events.
It come at a curious time that we are reminded of just how awful some people in this world can be on a day that Major League Baseball has set aside to recognize one of the most honorable and treasured men in American history, Jackie Robinson. Robinson’s supreme strength of character and the inspiration of his legacy sits at a stark contrast to the cowardly acts that were carried out in Boston yesterday, but the event also serve as a reminder that we must carry on the spirit of Mr. Robinson and other great individuals as we look to overcome such tragedy. Before we get into our typical nonsense if the 11th Inning Stretch, please just take a moment to reflect on the day’s events and let those people in your life that you care about the most just how much they mean to you.
Around the League
- There was a baseball game played in Boston and one that fantasy owners were paying close attention to. Ryan Dempster pitched a gem, striking out 10 Rays over 7.0 innings pitched. He walked two and allowed just two hits, one of them being his only mistake of the game: a solo homer to Evan Longoria. Dempster has been brilliant through his first three starts to the season, positing 2.65 RA with 25 strikeouts in 17.0 innings pitched.
- Dempster handed the ball over the the Boston ‘pen and with Joel Hanrahan (hamstring) ailing and ineffective, Andrew Bailey got his first shot at the Red Sox’ closer role. He flopped of course, allowing the Rays to tie the game, but did hang on to the win. We’d guess that Bailey gets another chance or two and if he’s available on your waiver wire an add seems like the smart move.
- James McDonald stinks. There, are you happy? We’ve been hoping that one of the most dominant pitcher over the first half of 2012 could regain that form, but it’s not happening. He allowed eight runs (just three earned) in 1.2 innings pitched. McDonald need control to succeed and so far this season, he just hasn’t had it. Move along.
- In the Cardinals’ bullpen, rumblings were that Edward Mujica could be given a stab at the closer role. Well, it wasn’t quite a save situation, but the Cards turned to Mitchell Boggs to protect a four-run lead in the ninth. He worked around a walk and a hit to retire the side and seal the win. Now it’s notable that Boggs was used in a high leverage situation and seems clear the Cardinals still want him to work the ninth, but it’s also worth noting that Trevor Rosenthal and Mujica were still in the pen as Boggs came out in the ninth. Had a save situation come up, we could very well be discussing a new closer today. As it happens, Boggs got the job done and appears as though he may have earned himself another crack at the job in the process. Regardless, this is a day-to-day situation and if you’re chasing saves. Boggs, Mujica and Rosenthal are all worth owning.
- Streaking Starling Marte put up a 3-for-5 night with a run and now has hit in nine straight games. He’s collected eight multi-hit efforts over that span and needs to be scooped up while he’s running hot. If you are in one of the 43% of standard league in which Starling is available, it’s time to make the add.
- The Blue Jays managed to capture a 4-3 win on Monday with Jose Bautista (back) out of the lineup. Injuries have been the story for Toronto early in this season, but they hope to get on the positive side of that story today with the return of third baseman Brett Lawrie (oblique) who needed just two rehab games before being activated. We’re still not sure if the Jays will follow through on plans to use Lawrie at second base, but fantasy owners will certainly be excited to get the exciting talent back in their lineups.
- Team Zimmerman(n) lead the Nats to a 10-3 win over the punchless Marlins. Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI while Jordan Zimmermann spun a complete game six-hit, three-run effort. He struck out six on the game against one walk and now boasts a 3-0 record with a 2.45 ERA on the year.
- A pair of MVP candidates took the headlines in Minnesota with Joe Mauer putting up a 4-for-5 day at the dish. mauer blasted his second homer of the year while plating three runs and scoring twice. He’s batting .364 on the year and a sizzling .412 during an 8-game hit streak. If your catcher is not named Buster, you could do your fantasy team well by going out and getting Mauer who is as consistent as they come.
- On the other side of the diamond, MVP candidate Mike Trout had two hits on the afternoon, running off his third straight mulit-hit effort. If ever there w s a buy low window on Trout, it is being slammed shut.
- The A’s backed starter Tommy Milone quality effort with a thrashing of Houston starter Erik Bedard. Bedard allowed six runs while recording just one out. Hopefully you looked past the two-start week from Bedard and left him on the wire where he belongs.
- Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley took the loss on Monday, but did notch his second straight quality effort. The Buzzsaw (h/t to the 06010) has pitched solidly since returning from an elbow injury and remains one of the most intriguing arms owned in under 50% of standard leagues.