MLB Scores and Player Highlights from Saturday April 16
MLB reports: As you wake up to your first cup of morning coffee, put down your paper and get ready for all the MLB scores and player highlights (yes, stats!) from around the Majors on Saturday April 16, 2011. Curious how your team did? What about the players on your fantasy team? Get ready for all the MLB results and Highlights from Saturday:
Indians 8- Orioles 3 (in Cleveland)
Don’t look now but the Indians are 10-4 on the season, while the upstart Orioles fell below .500 at 6-7. Josh Tomlin (who?) is now 3-0 for the Indians after surrendering 2 runs over 6 innings with 0 walks. If you need a starter for your fantasy team, it may be time to take a rider on this kid. He had a decent 2010 season so there is some history to rely on. Jeremy Guthrie, the Orioles ace, surrendered 6 runs over 5 innings but still has a solid 3.32 ERA on the season. Every starter on the Orioles got a hit on this night with the exception of Nick Markakis. Remember Jake Fox, Mr. March from spring training? Well for those ready for a breakout, Fox hit his first home run on the season and is now hitting .182 on the season. Remember folks, this is why you should never, ever, ever count on spring training statistics. Hafner, Cabrera, Buck and LaPorta did most of the Indians damage on this night. Hafner and Buck each had 3 hits and Cabrera homered for the second time on the year and had 4 RBIs. The Cabreras, Orlando and Asdrubal have been solid to start the year and Hafner looks to be finally recovering some of his lost hitting magic.
Yankees 5- Rangers 2 (in New York)
For all the doom and gloom surrounding the Yankees pitching staff this season, the Yankees are still at a respectable 8-5 record on the season. Despite the loss, the Rangers remain one of the top teams in baseball at 10-4. Freddy Garcia pitched 6 shutout innings and gave up only 2 hits and a walk over 85 pitches. I wouldn’t be quick to jump on the Garcia bandwagon just yet, but so far, so good on the season. Joba and Mo were solid in relief, Joba with his 3rd hold. Mo is already up to 6 saves and has yet to give up a run on the season. Soriano gave up another 2 runs in the 8th and continues to struggle to start the season. Derek Holland came back down to earth for Texas, giving up 5 runs in 7 2/3 innings. Texeira had his 5th home run for the Yankees and Cano hit his 3rd. Lineup of note: Swisher is now in the 2nd spot while Jeter hit leadoff as Girardi tried to ignite both bats. Jeter went hitless as is now at .240 while Swisher chipped in a couple of hits. David Murphy had 2 hits and is at .321 on the season as he continues to fill in for Josh Hamilton. Not a bad fantasy pickup if you need an outfielder. Curtis Granderson is off to a very slow start at .238, hopefully he can pick it up soon.
Reds 11- Pirates 2 (in Cincinnati)
Remember the hot start Pirates? At 6-8, the lustre is starting to fade and the true Pirates are starting to show up. While the Reds at 9-5 are starting to pick up steam and look to take the NL Central title this season. The real James McDonald showed up today, giving up 7 runs (6 earned) over 4 1/3 innings. Mike Leake was fairly good for the Reds, giving up 2 runs over 6 innings. Of concern is the 4 walks which he gave up, which continue to be an issue for him. The Reds continued to hit the ball like it was going out of style, as Gomes homered twice and is up to 5 on the year, Hernandez got his 2nd and Stubbs chipped in with his 3rd. Gomes is already up to 13 RBIs and Stubbs has 10. Nearly every Reds starter is currently pounding the ball and Gomes batted cleanup yesterday, showcasing Baker’s confidence in him. Grab Gomes immediately for your fantasy team. Bruce at .224 is struggling but could be a very good buy-low candidate. Stubbs continue to excel for the Reds in the leadoff spot and will break 100 runs scored this year. I literally have nothing to say on the Pirates hitters. None of them currently stand out to me as very special…if truth be known, this is a glorified AAA team. McCutchen and Walker have played fairly well and Doumit has been in the mix, but judging on overall numbers, including Alvarez at .208, this team will be scraping for runs all season long.
Royals 7- Mariners 0 (In Kansas City)
As the Pirates cool off, the Royals and Indians continue to motor along. The Royals are tied with the Indians at the top of the Central with identical 10-4 records, while the Mariners are at 4-11 and start to prepare for the MLB draft with the 2nd overall pick and rebuilding for next year. Sean O’Sullivan and Felix Hernandez literally traded stats lines today, as O’Sullivan pitched 5 shutout innings and 5 hits allowed, while King Felix gave up 5 runs (2 earned) over his 5 innings. Brandon League gave up 2 runs in the 8th innings during mop-up duty, highlighting concerns that he continues to be too inconsistent to be trusted as a closer long-term. The Royals outstanding young bullpen continued to dominate, as the three-headed monster of Crow, Collins and Jeffress shut out the Mariners over 4 innings and gave up only 2 hits. While I would trust O’Sullivan about as far as I can throw him, the Royals bullpen appears to be for real. With young, live arms that have together at the same time, watch for the Royals to continue to hold leads up to Soria most games. If any of their starting pitchers can continue the smoke and mirrors show, the Royals will have a nice little team to build up until all of their prospects arrive over the next 2 seasons. Alex Gordon went 3-4 in the 3rd spot and is now hitting a torrid .373 (see my feature article on Alex Gordon posted yesterday, outlining his career and start to the season). Aviles chipped in with 3 RBIs and is up to 10 on the season, despite a lowly .200 batting average. Billy Butler is also hitting a solid .373 on the season and looks to be the foundation of the Royals offense with Gordon this season. The Mayor of Omaha, Kila Ka’aihue is at .163 and will be back in Omaha or with another AAA team by May. Despite getting a true chance this year, Kila just does not seem to fit in with the Royals. Aside from Justin Smoak at .283 with 2 walks, the Mariners will give the Pirates a run for their money as the worst offensive team in baseball. Just dreadful.
Red Sox 4- Jays 1 (In Boston)
In one of those “I told you” games, I predicted the Red Sox would come out fast and hungry against the Jays and that Josh Beckett would continue his rebound. Sure enough, the Red Sox scored 2 runs in each of the 1st 2 innings and that is all the support Beckett would need as the Red Sox are now 3-10 on the season but looking to climb. The Jays, after a torrid start sit at 7-7. Beckett was dominant on this afternoon, going 7 innings, with only 3 hits and 1 run allowed. Beckett has 2 out of the 3 Boston wins on the season and his ERA is a sparkling 1.80 on the season. Bard and Papelbon were lockdown afterwards and Paps continues to cement his hold off the closer role and prove to his doubters that he still has it. Jo-Jo Reyes gave up 4 runs over 3 innings with an alarming 5 walks. If Reyes gets one more start he will be lucky as it appears the Jays will have very little patience left with the struggling hurler. On a bright note, in his first appearance of the season, Luis Perez pitched 1 1/3 innings giving up only 1 hit and getting 2 strikeouts. The Red Sox appear to have finally found their leadoff man as Jed Lowrie went 3 for 4 with a home run, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Lowrie is hitting .500 on the season and the Red Sox would be wise to take advantage while he is hot. Lowrie should not still be available in any fantasy leagues, but if he is, snap him up immediately off the waiver wire. He is for real and 2011 appears to be his breakout year. David Ortiz had 2 walks which is a good sign. The Jays offense took the day off yesterday, although Aaron Hill had 2 hits but still continues to hit a mediocre .241 on the season.
Angels 7- White Sox 2 (In Chicago)
Don’t look now, but the Angels are getting hot. Anaheim (yes, that is what I call them) are now 9-5 on the season and are finding ways to get the wins. The White Sox, my pick for the AL Central, sit at 7-7. Tyler Chatwood, the 2nd youngest player in the majors got the win, pitching 7 innings of 5 hit ball, with only 1 run allowed. Don’t get all excited about the kid yet, he needs to show consistency over a few more starts before he will make a believer out of me. Gavin Floyd was just awful, giving up 6 runs over 6 innings. Howie Kendrick and Hang Conger had big games, with 2 hits, 3 RBIs and a home run each. Conger at .286 appears to be getting a good opportunity for the Angels and if anyone needs a catcher out there, grab this kid immediately. Howie Kendrick, for all my criticism for failing to take walks is off to a monster start, with 5 home runs. I still don’t see enough from the kid to warrant excitement, but if you are desperate for a second baseman, he is a good very short-term stopgap. Vernon Wells, remember him? As part of my Vernon Watch, he actually had his first 2-hit game of the season, with a double. Vernon is up to .140 on the season and hitting in the Anaheim ballpark, his numbers will be average this season. Juan Pierre had a couple of hits and continues to fool most people…except for me. Pierre is good for the occasional hit and steals, but I certainly hope the White Sox don’t count on him all season long to ignite the offense. Konerko and Quentin each went deep for the White Sox and continued to be the glue that holds the Sox together.
Rays 4- Twins 3 (In Tampa Bay)
The most thrilling game that I watched yesterday, the Rays stormed back to win a thriller with 2 outs in the 9th on a walk-off RBI single by Johnny Damon with the bases loaded. The Rays after starting in the cellar with the Red Sox now sit at 6-8 while the Twins continue their free fall at 4-10. Capps gave up a run in the 8th to make the score 3-2 Twins. Going into the bottom of the 9th, with Nathan pitching, it felt evident that the Rays would take this game. The first hitter in the 9th, Ben Zobrist hit a bomb that tied the game and from there the wheels just fell apart for Nathan. The Twins closer looked shell-shocked after being taken out of the game and despite early proclamations to bring him along slowly, the Twins have thrown Nathan in the fire to start the season and have been burned too many time. Capps, despite a 4.50 ERA is the best choice for the Twins and I expect Matt to take the job back any day now. Grab him for your fantasy bench if you can afford the space. Jeff Niemann had a quality start, with 7 innings pitched and 3 runs allowed. The Rays pitching is outstanding with a great deal of potential, I am exciting about every starter in the rotation. They are that good. If the Rays can piece together a decent bullpen, a big-if considering the early struggles of expected closer Jake McGee, the Rays will take the East as I predicted to start the season. Scott Baker continued his hot and cold mix, this time pitching very well by giving up only 1 run over 7 innings in the no-decision. The Rays offense has been so slow that Joyce batted 3rd and Lopez batted 4th in this game. The Rays have to get their bats going, but appear to be a bat or two short at this point in the season until Jennings arrives. Of note, Jennings is on fire at AAA Durham and his call should be coming sometime in May, June at the latest. Another great bench player to reserve at this point. The Twins bats continued their season long slumber, with Mauer out and nearly every starter on a cold streak. With Morneau at .208, the Twins have a lot of frustration in the early part of 2011.
Braves 4- Mets 2 (in Atlanta, game 1)
The Braves started off early at home, beating the Mets behind strong pitching by veteran Derek Lowe. A long-time favorite of mine, Lowe was steady in his 2nd win of the season, giving up 2 runs over 6 innings. Venters got his 4th hold of the season and Craig Kimbrel got his 4th save of the season. For those expecting a battle, the smart money as I told you in the preseason was to be on Kimbrel. Committees have rarely worked in the closing department and by not yielding a run to start the year, Kimbrel is the closer to have. Another must pick-up on the fantasy waiver wire. Venters, while great for holds is unlikely to get the job unless injury or poor performance by Kimbrel. D.J. Carrasco gave up 3 runs in 3 2/3 innings for the lowly Mets and will be in the firing line all season for a Mets squad that will finish with the team last in the National League. Alex Gonzalez had 2 home runs on the day, while Chipper Jones and rookie Freddie Freeman responded with bombs of their own. Aside from Chipper and McCann, most of the Braves offense is struggling to start the year. It was promising to see Freeman have a home run and 2 walks on the day. Despite expected growing pains, he should be a good one. The Mets continue to rely on Reyes, Wright and Davis, while Jason Bay is expected to return sometime this week. Playing in the 2nd coming of Petco, temper expectations.
Braves 4 – Mets 0 (in Atlanta, game 2)
With the home sweep of the doubleheader, the Braves are now 6-8 on the season while the Mets are 4-10. Watching the Mets play, I am not even sure how they have 4 wins on the year. Jair Jurrjens, in his season debut was brilliant, pitching 7 shutout innings for the win, giving up 2 hits and 1 walk. Yes, it was only against the Mets, but Jurrjens is back and a must pickup in all fantasy leagues if available. Mike Pelfrey pitched ok, giving up 4 runs in 5 innings. Eric Hinske had 3 hits in the cleanup spot for the Braves as Gonzalez tries to shake up the lineup to get their offense going.
Astros 5- Padres 3 (in Houston)
In a game that only a diehard baseball fan could watch, the young and rebuilding Astros moved to 5-10, while the Padres sit at 6-8. Nelson Figueora pitched a decent game for the Astros but Brandon Lyon was the bigger news, setting down after his early season meltdown to get his 3rd save of the season. Lyon will occasionally implode but with 3 saves already, he should finish with 20+ saves by season’s end. Matt Latos continued to struggle to return to form, giving up 5 runs over 6 1/3 innings. A great buy-low candidate if I ever saw one. Chris Johnson was the star on this day with a home run and 2 RBIs but the Astros offense has been ice-cold for most of the season, so I would not get too excited. Chase Headley had 2 doubles and 2 RBIs in the cleanup spot and is getting a full chance to drive the Padres offense. It still boggles my mind that Orlando Hudson is hitting 3rd in that lineup.
Cubs 8- Rockies 3 (in Colorado)
The Cubs, believe it or not, sit at 7-7 and played a great game yesterday. The Rockies despite the loss have a brilliant 11-3 record. Casey Coleman got his first win of the year, giving up 1 run over 5 2/3 innings. Not much to still get excited about here. Jason Hammel, pitched a strong game, giving up 3 runs over 6 innings in the no-decision quality start. The key stat is the 1 walk given up. Remember Hammel was a top prospect with the Rays years ago and is a solid starter when going well. Paulino, with the 5 runs given up over 1/3 of an inning blew the game for the Rockies. Morales and Lidstrom were fantastic in relief for the Rockies and have combined with Street to form a very formidable Rockies bullpen. Alfonso Soriano had 3 hits, including his 5th home run and continued his strong start to the season. Don’t look now but Soriano is hitting .286 with 12 RBIs on the season. But given his age and injury track record, I expect the wheels to fall off the Soriano bus soon. Castro with 4 hits is now up to .397 on the season and has Cubs fans very excited about his future as their leadoff man. Tulowitzki had 2 hits and is hitting .365 on the season. Chris Iannetta had a home run, 2 RBIs and a walk and should have a breakout year this year.
Giants 5- Diamondbacks 3 (in Arizona)
Despite an appeared slow start, the Giants record now sits at 8-6 to start the season while the Kirk Gibson led Diamondbacks have a 5-8 record. Barry Zito appears to have an injury concern, as he was pulled after only 1 2/3 innings and giving up 2 runs. On a bright note, Brian “fear the beard” Wilson got his 4th save, despite a 9.64 ERA on the season. Joe Saunders, Mr. Inconsistency, gave up 5 runs in 6 innings for the D’backs with 12 hits allowed and at 0-2 and a 6.32 ERA on the season should be an afterthought for all fantasy teams. Buster Posey had a homer run and 2 RBIs and hitting .306 season continues to be the star of the Giants. Aaron Rowand has been reborn, going 3-4 in the leadoff spot and scored 2 runs. With a .359 average on the season, Rowand is just what the doctor ordered for the Giants. Stephen Drew is hitting .313 on the season and Miguel Montero continues to make a push for being one of the top NL catchers by getting 2 RBIs and hitting .415 on the season.
Athletics 6- Tigers 2 (in Oakland)
At identical 7-8 records, the Tigers and Athletics have been inconsistent to say the least to start the year. The Athletics with slumbering bats continued to ride their good young pitching to a win. Staff veteran Dallas Braden got his first win of the year, pitching 5 innings with 3 hits allowed, 1 run (0 earned). Verlander was not his usual dominant self, giving up 4 runs (3 earned) over 6 innings pitched. De Jesus, Willingham and Matsui had nice games for the Athletics. As those three hit, so will go the A’s. The Tigers have Miguel Cabrera at .327 and little more offense a this point. Austin Jackson at .170 appears to be hitting into the sophomore slump for the Tigers.
Cardinals 9- Dodgers 2 (in Los Angeles)
The Cardinals, my pick for the NL Wildcard continued their rebound with another strong performance in LA, upping their record to 8-7. My pick for the NL West, the Dodgers have fallen to 6-9. Kyle McClellan, under the tutelage of Dave Duncan upped his record to 2-0 on the year by pitching 7 innings of 1 run ball, 6 hits allowed and 0 walks. Perhaps the Jamie Garcia of 2011, the Cardinals will need a strong McClellan to contend this year and he is worth an immediate spot on your fantasy bench. Clayton Kershaw was rocked on this night, giving up 5 runs in 4 2/3 innings. As a young fantasy ace, Kershaw will have his ups and downs this year. Theriot, Pujols, Holliday and Craig were the hitting stars of this night, although it was curious to sit Berkman after a 2-home run night the other night. Ethier and Kemp had great nights at the plate for the Dodgers and remain the focal points of the Dodgers offense. Kemp in particular has really come into his own and looks to be a strong early season MVP candidate.
Brewers -Nationals: Postponed
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