AP Photo/Mark Duncan
Well, if you take a look at some of the winning pitchers yesterday and their performances, you'll be running down a list of Cy Young winners, past, present and future:
• CC Sabathia of the Yankees pitched eight innings of one-run ball, striking out 10 Mariners to improve to 13-7 on the year.
• Cliff Lee of the Phillies improved to 3-0 for his new team with eight innings of one-run ball against the Cubs, lowering his ERA to 2.86 on the year.
• Justin Verlander of the Tigers threw eight scoreless innings against the Red Sox, striking out eight to improve to 13-6 in 2009.
Which brings us to Scott Feldman of the Rangers. Entering this season, Feldman had a career record of 7-13, with three seasons of work out of the bullpen before being moved into the Texas rotation last season, where his 5.18 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and 4.2 K/9 didn't exactly scream "draft me" when this fantasy season rolled around.
Yet, here we are after holding the Indians to one run in six innings on Thursday, Scott Feldman is 12-4 on the season. Sure, Josh Hamilton going 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs certainly helped, but Feldman still got the job done on the mound, as he has pretty much all season; his ERA is 3.90 (3.46 as a starter); his WHIP is 1.25; and while the 4.85 K/9 still leaves a lot to be desired, he is 7-2 since June 30.
So why is he still owned in only 9.6 percent of ESPN standard leagues when a guy like Carl Pavano, with a 5.16 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP and a 10-9 record is owned in 10.8 percent? Why is David Price, 5-5 with a 5.13 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP owned in 83.3 percent of leagues with Feldman still sitting on the wire? Heck, Jordan Zimmermann is out for this season -- and 2010 as well -- and he's still owned in 6.5 percent of leagues!
Feldman's stat line may not jump out of the box score, but it is what's keeping the Rangers in the playoff hunt. He's had quality starts in 14 out of 21 outings this season, and he's 3-0 in August with a 3.32 ERA as the games take on more importance. I'd say he most certainly belongs.
• Clay Buchholz pitched well -- seven innings of five-hit ball, and only one earned run. It's just that he was facing Justin Verlander and needed to be almost perfect in order to avoid his third loss of the season. Ryan Raburn homered and had both RBIs for Detroit in the 2-0 victory.
• You cannot stop Ryan Howard! Not only did the big man go 2-for-3 with a three-run home run off Ryan Dempster on Thursday, but he also stole his fifth base of the season. Howard is a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen bases in 2009, an amazing total considering he only attempted four steals in his career before this season started.
• We didn't forget about Jason Marquis, who finally won lucky number 13 in his fourth attempt to do so. Of course it helped that he was facing the punchless Pirates, who managed only three hits and one run off Marquis in seven innings. Dexter Fowler, back in the lineup after a collision with the outfield wall caused him to miss two games, went 4-for-5 with three doubles and three runs scored.
• Justin Morneau struggles continued as he went 0-for-4 on Thursday, lowering his average to .182 in the past week and to .298 for the season, the lowest it's been since April. Joe Mauer was the only source of Minnesota offense against Gil Meche, with four RBIs on a double and his 21st home run of the season. It wasn't enough, as Kansas City won 5-4.
• Alcides Escobar went 1-for-4 at shortstop for the Brewers, but it was catcher Mike Rivera who stole the show, hitting two homers and driving in five runs in a 12-9 slugfest against the Padres. Manny Parra's record improved to 5-0 since returning to the Brewers after his early season demotion, but you can hardly say he looked good. The six runs he allowed in 5 2/3 innings helped his ERA rise to 6.44.
• Sean West allowed one run and five hits in six innings to get back to .500 on the season in Florida's 9-2 win against Houston. Jorge Cantu hit his first home run -- and first extra-base hit of any kind -- all month, while Hanley Ramirez extended his hitting streak to nine games with two hits and two RBIs. As a team, the Marlins had 11 hits, making it 10 games in a row with a double-digit hit total.
Kevin Kouzmanoff, Padres
Perhaps he should lobby for a trade to Milwaukee, because he certainly loves to hit there. After Thursday night's 5-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, Kouzmanoff finished the three-game set at Miller Park going 11-for-13 and raising his batting average from .246 to .264 for the year.
Bronson Arroyo, Reds
Arroyo needed only 103 pitches to coast through a two-hit shutout against the Washington Nationals on Thursday night, getting his record back to .500 at 11-11. It's been feast or famine for Arroyo this season, as he has a 1.95 ERA in his 11 wins, and an 8.92 ERA in his other 13 starts.
Cincinnati's Jonny Gomes supplemented Arroyo's pitching performance with three home runs and five RBIs. It's the second time in his career that Gomes has hit three homers in one game, the previous time in 2005 while playing for Tampa Bay. That makes Gomes only the third active player (and 14th all-time) to accomplish the feat in both leagues -- Andruw Jones and Mark Teixeira being the others.
• The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the White Sox have placed Chris Getz on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique injury, and recalled Brent Lillibridge from Triple-A Charlotte to take his place on the roster. However, expect Jayson Nix to be in Ozzie Guillen's starting lineup more often than not during the next two weeks plus.
• I guess they don't do the old "bat check" in the majors. Adrian Beltre is back on the disabled list for the Mariners after taking a one-hopper off the groin, sans a cup which the infielder doesn't wear. Beltre might even need surgery, and if so, this could be the end of his season. Josh Wilson was recalled in time for Thursday's game against the Yankees and went 1-for-3 with a home run at shortstop, with Jack Hannahan starting at third for Beltre.
• After an awful first major league start against the Phillies (3 1/3 IP, 7 ER) Jeff Samardzija was sent down to Triple-A Iowa. Reliever Justin Berg was called up to add a fresh arm to a very tired bullpen, worn out from overuse due to starts like Samardzija's. Blame this one on karma.
• Gil Meche was activated from the 15-day disabled list to rejoin the Royals rotation on Thursday. While it wasn't much to write home about, he did manage to get through five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, just enough to earn a 5-4 victory over the Twins. Pitcher Doug Waechter went on the disabled list again for Kansas City with a strained right shoulder to make room for Meche on the active roster.
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Jason Grey: [Thursday's] outing could give the Rangers some potential incentive to start him before the season is out, but the safer bet is that he continues to be a setup guy in the 'pen, as long as Frank Francisco stays healthy. Then, Feliz joins the rotation in 2010, where he's a potential front-line starter with strikeout ability.
-- Full chat transcript
AJ Mass: Gut call. Don't think Greinke has a first half that compares to 2008 and Yo-Ga isn't all that far behind him this year from a fantasy value perspective. Plus, there's that whole Royals thing
-- Full chat transcript
Friday's fantasy chat schedule:
Stephania Bell, 11 a.m. ET
Pierre Becquey, 3 p.m. ET
• We're not sure exactly what it means, but Torii Hunter did not play Thursday night for Class A Rancho Cucamonga, the day after hitting a home run in the second of three scheduled rehab starts with the club. Hunter was scheduled to play on Thursday night and then rejoin the Angels in time for this Saturday's game with the Orioles. Perhaps they simply decided Friday was soon enough? We'll have to wait and see.
• Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier owns Arizona's Dan Haren, ripping three doubles and two homers in 20 at-bats against the ace. Overall, Ethier is hitting .450 and slugging an impressive .900 against him.
• New Tiger Jarrod Washburn's sterling ERA has jumped half a run in his past two starts, and it hasn't taken long for him to miss Safeco Field. He's already allowed just as many home runs -- four -- in 11 1/3 innings at Comerica Park as he did in 74 innings at Safeco.
• For more on Friday's games, check out Daily Notes.