Articles by Andrew Martinez

A listing of all the articles written by Andrew Martinez for the RotoWire Blog.

My NFBC RotoWire Online Championship Team

Andrew Martinez here… Drafting from the 6th spot, my plan was to get Clayton Kershaw in the first round, Giancarlo Stanton in the 2nd, Yu Darvish/Stephen Strasburg/Adam Wainwright (in that order of preference) in the 3rd, and Billy Hamilton in 4th to set a base of pitching, HRs, and SBs. That plan went to crap when Kershaw went 5th overall and Darvish/Strasburg/Wainwright were all gone by my pick in the 3rd round. My plan was also to go pitching heavy early, but that evaporated when everyone else it seems had the same plan, so I decided to go after hitters instead and grab SPs later on. Overall, I like my team, but it was not what I planned for.

1.6 – Bryce Harper – Wanted Kershaw badly, but had to settle for Harper, who I love and would’ve planned around, if I had the 7th pick.

2.7 – Giancarlo Stanton – Part of my plan. Think he will lead MLB in HRs this season.

3.6 – Jose Fernandez – Darvish/Strasburg/Wainwright/Scherzer/Felix all gone, so I went with the SP I liked the most. Could’ve had Verlander or Lee.

4.7 – Billy Hamilton – Part of my plan, thought I could’ve waited till the 5th round, but I was already pissed about not getting any of the SPs I had planned for, so I had to pull the trigger.

5.6 – Matt Carpenter – I wanted Sale or Price, but both were gone, so I addressed MI. I would’ve seriously considered Pujols, if he had fallen here.

6.7 – Allen Craig – Wanted Hosmer or Rosario here, but settled on 1B.

7.6 – Yadier Molina – After missing on Rosario and seeing Santana/Lucroy come off before I picked, I knew a run on catchers was starting and I wanted Molina or McCann (went the next pick and S. Perez two after that). If Gerrit Cole was still here, I might have gone that route (went 2 picks before).

8.7 – Gio Gonzalez – Figured after all the starting pitching went early, I couldn’t be left behind. Also considered Mat Latos (went the next pick) and Tanaka (went two after that).

9.6 – Jose Altuve – I figure I need some speed to back up Hamilton or supplement him, if he falters. Was going to take Altuve or Everth Cabrera at this spot and luckily Altuve fell.

10.7 – Andrew Cashner – Probably a reach, but I really like his 2013 second half and think there’s ace potential lurking.

11.6 – Danny Salazar – Wanted another SP and had Salazar, Gray, and Fister to choose from. Went w/ Salazar hoping I could have Gray too next round.

12.7 – J.J. Hardy – Gray was gone, so I went w/ a SS that is straight power, as I have Altuve and Hamilton to carry the SBs load.

13.6 – Jonathan PapelbonRafael Soriano or Papelbon were my main choices here and I went w/ Papelbon because of Soriano’s diminished K|PERCENT|. For all of Papelbon’s warts, he’s still pretty effective.

14.7 – Neftali FelizTommy Hunter, Huston Street, Fernando Rodney, Jim Henderson, Bobby Parnell those were the other options. I’m encouraged by his velocity so far.

15.6 – Yan Gomes – I wanted two strong catchers and when Jason Castro went 3 picks before, I knew I had to go now. I didn’t want Miguel Montero or Pierzynski. Ideally, I would’ve gotten Pablo Sandoval here, but he was popped 2 picks before and that sealed me going for catcher.

16.7 – Xander Bogaerts – Bogaerts was what was left of the 3B group of Seager, Lawrie, Headley, Sandoval, Aramis Ramirez run that started in the 14th round. I could’ve had Arenado, but opted for Bogaerts.

17.6 – Will Venable – Surprised he’s still available. As my 4th OF, I’m plenty happy and see 20/20 as real possibility. Also considered Nate Jones, who went a couple picks later.

18.7 – Corey Kluber – Had to get him here or I knew he’d be gone by next round and the draft room told me as much with groans, after I popped their guy.

19.6 – Anthony Rendon – Dozier/Profar/Dee Gordon/Brad Miller/Neil Walker all available as a MI, but wanted someone I thought could hit the most HRs and for most average.

20.7 – Oscar Taveras – I didn’t know if he’d be around much longer, after Springer got taken in the 17th round and the OF pool starting to shrink.

21.6 – Rick Porcello – I like the skills growth that continues and improved defense behind him. Also considered Alex Wood w/ the Medlen news, but opted to stick with Porcello.

22.7 – Rex Brothers – I wanted one more reliever and Joakim Soria went shortly before this, as did Qualls. I figure Brothers might get the job eventually, as he’s better right now than Hawkins, who 2 picks later, thus cutting me off from doubling up and securing the COL bullpen.

23.6 – Angel Pagan – With Taveras set to start the season in the minors, I need another OF. Could’ve had Eric Young or AJ Pollock, but don’t need their speed. I considered Dexter Fowler here too, but like Pagan’s offense more.

24.7 – Ivan Nova – Believer in his groundball rate and fastball. Thought about taking Lackey.

25.6 – John Lackey – He’s still here. Also considered Tim Hudson. If Lackey is back to the pitcher of old, before he went through the off the field stuff, he could be of real value.

26.7 – Derek Jeter – Gift baskets for everyone!

27.6 – Carlos Quentin – He’ll hit for power, till he gets hurt. Would’ve taken Erik Johnson here, but he got popped right before I picked.

28.7 – Adam Dunn – Had zero plans to take him after I got Quentin, but no one left in the player pool has his power. Really pissed that Omar Infante went 2 picks before because I wanted him where I got Jeter, but couldn’t find him in the software. Anyhow, talk about cheap power – Dunn as the 331st pick.

29.6 – Ricky Nolasco – Thought about Gausman or Taillon, but Nolasco has a friendly park that will hopefully curb his fly ball problems some.

30.7 – David Freese – Wanted a CI to backup Bogaerts, in case he struggles out of the gate. Dunn can do this too, but I don’t want to have to play him everyday.

A few thoughts:
1. I think this team will hit for a good batting average w/ Molina, Craig, Carpenter, Altuve, & Pagan. The only liabilities are Hamilton and Dunn, but I don’t intend to play Dunn much.
2. Even if Hamilton doesn’t steal 100 bags, I should be ok with 20~ish SBs from Altuve, Harper, Venable, & Pagan, as long as Hamilton shows up at some point to carry some of the load.
3. I don’t think my ERA & WHIP are going to be elite. Other rosters took many SPs much earlier and loaded up on RPs too. That said, I like my K potential.
4. I have a young team, by design, but if I get growth seasons out of some of them, it should make up for the couple that slump or are still figuring it out… Jeter will lead them.

My Team by Position:

C – Yadier Molina
C – Yan Gomes
1B – Allen Craig
3B – Matt Carpenter
CI – Xander Bogaerts
2B – Jose Altuve
SS – J.J. Hardy
MI – Anthony Rendon
OF – Bryce Harper
OF – Giancarlo Stanton
OF – Billy Hamilton
OF – Will Venable
OF – Angel Pagan
UT – Carlos Quentin
SP – Jose Fernandez
SP – Gio Gonzalez
SP – Andrew Cashner
SP – Danny Salazar
SP – Corey Kluber
SP – Rick Porcello
SP – Ivan Nova
RP – Jonathan Papelbon
RP – Neftali Feliz
BN – Derek Jeter
BN – Adam Dunn
BN – David Freese
BN – Oscar Taveras
BN – Rex Brothers
BN – John Lackey
BN – Ricky Nolasco

Week 8 College Football Thoughts

– The Noles went into Death Valley and delivered a beat em down style victory over Clemson on Saturday night that neither team won’t soon forget.  Famous Jameis Winston was spectacular with four touchdowns, leading his team with swagger few, if any, possess.  He is clearly in the Heisman race, if not the front-runner at this time.  He is second in the nation in passer rating, second in yards per attempt, and sixth in completion percentage. It wasn’t just him in this game though, as his wide receivers made great plays after the catch and the FSU defense held Clemson to just 3.79 yards per play and turned them over four times. The next big game for the Noles is a matchup with Miami on Nov. 2, where each team will likely be undefeated. In past seasons, many bought into the Noles, only to see them disappoint against lesser opponents (see NC State in 2012 & 2010), but this feels like a different team with Winston at the helm.
– Texas A&M’s run defense has been among the worst in the nation all season long and this past Saturday was no different, as Auburn ran for 379 yards against them, on their way to 45-41 upset in on the road. Credit needs to be given to new/old offensive guru Gus Malzahn and his coaching staff for the work they have done with this group of players.  Their turn around is nothing short of amazing and make this season’s Iron Bowl that much more intriguing. But there also needs to be some questioning as to just who A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is allowing to coach his defenses. This season the Aggies rank 117th in terms of yards allowed per play, which is just between Troy and Kent State near the bottom of the barrel. Moreover, defense was a problem for Sumlin while he was at Houston as well. Johnny Manziel’s case for the Heisman took some shots this weekend because some want to penalize him for the poor play of the Aggies’ defense, which is unfair to him as he has no control over their play. One should realize that part of the reason he’s on the field for so much, making incredible play with his arm and legs is because he has to, as his defense is terrible and has left him no choice to but bail them out with his heroics. If he had an even average defense behind him, there is little doubtful he would have to produce games of 500 total yards, as he did this season against Alabama and Auburn, which, by the way, is insane. But not even he can bail out a defense this bad every week. If anything, his critics should realize he’s the only reason Texas A&M is even in these games to begin with. To me at least, he’s still the most outstanding player in college football and worthy of winning another Heisman trophy.  It’s just tough to separate his individual success and talent from that of his team’s success and talent, which is tied so heavily to the anchor that is the Aggies defense. 
– Missouri is for real. They took Florida to the woodshed for 500 total yards of offense and destroyed what was once, and I guess still technically, considered at Top 10 defense. The Gators were without DT Dominique Easley, who is lost for the season due to a torn ACL & MCL in his right knee, but that’s still no excuse for getting rolled by frosh QB Maty Mauk, who was starting his first ever college football game. Maybe the Gators should look to travel more, as this was the farthest north the team has traveled for a road game since 1991, when they went up to Syracuse. Up next for the Tigers is a home game against South Carolina, who is likely to be without QB Connor Shaw, who is out with a sprained left knee. As recently as this past week, I thought the Gamecocks were the favorites to win the SEC East, but not after they lost to Tennessee in Knoxville this weekend. Now it appears Missouri is all but a lock to win the East, which is crazy considering the verbal abuse and public doubting their program experienced, when they came over to from the Big 12 to the SEC last season. 
– Ohio State and Miami (FL) narrowly escaped defeat against conference foes. For the Buckeyes, once again, just too much Carlos Hyde. Their pass defense has become a real problem though, as they’ve allowed 7.4 yards per attempt to FBS teams this season, which ranks 67th in the nation and 8th in the Big Ten. For the Canes, it’s not often that your QB throws 4 interceptions and you lose one of your best WRs to injury and you still go on to win the game. They were very lucky to get past North Carolina. It’s doubtful they’ll be as lucky when they face Florida State and Virginia Tech in back-to-back weeks next month. 
– What happened to LSU’s defense this week against Ole Miss?  Usually the Tigers are one of the best teams and shutting down opposing offenses with their fantastic secondary, but that was not the case as they gave up over 500 total yards to the Rebels. QB Zach Mettenberger looked like the old Mettenberger, as he threw 3 interceptions and severely hurt his team’s chances to win. And it’s not like these were tipped or deflected passes either, each of them he threw into double coverage, two of which were in the end-zone. He’ll need to make better decisions against Alabama.
– I’m not sure I can recall a team with such high expectations beaten down by injuries so badly the way Georgia has been this season. At Vanderbilt this weekend it caught up with them, as they just didn’t have the skill players needed to help QB Aaron Murray make one final drive to win the game. With the World’s Biggest Outdoor Cocktail Party on the horizon, the Bulldogs will need to get as many healthy bodies back on the field as they can, if they’re going to beat Florida. For Vandy, it’s a win they badly needed, before they face Texas A&M, Florida, and Tennessee on the road, in three of their next four games. One last thing from this game, the targeting rule has drawn criticism this season for being improperly called and no play may personify this more than the penalty Georgia drew in this game. Take a look for yourself, does this sort of play warrant a player being ejected? The play was reviewed and the ejection was upheld. A roughing the passer call would have been more appropriate in this instance. This happened again in the Ohio State game, with maybe an even worse call, as unnecessary roughness would have sufficed. On the flip side, this call, in the South Carolina game, for targeting seems appropriate and rightly called. It might seem like I’m splitting hairs here, but you’re ejecting a player, which is a sever penalty that affects the outcome of the game. 
– Stanford rebounded nicely from their loss to Utah with a defensive smothering of UCLA. They held the Bruins to just 266 yards of offense. The play of the game has to go to Kodi Whitfield, who made an amazing one handed catch in the endzone to give the Cardinal a lead they would never relinquish. Up next for Stanford is a meeting with Oregon State in Corvallis against QB Sean Mannion, who is starting to garner Heisman steam, what with his 29 passing touchdowns and 427.4 passing yards per game, both of which lead the nation. Just how good the Beavers are though is still suspect, considering they lost to Eastern Washington, a 5-2 FCS team, earlier this season, at home.  
– And finally this week, we shed ourselves of Louisville and their false dreams of going undefeated, as UCF overcame a 21 point deficit to beat them on the road. QB Teddy Bridgewater did what he could, and played a pretty good game going 29-of-38 for 341 yards, but it wasn’t enough. Their loss now opens up the BCS door to Fresno State and Northern Illinois, who if they continue to remain undefeated, will have a shot at a major bowl game come January. For UCF, they now have a very real shot at winning the conference, if they can beat Houston at home on Nov 9. They’re also left to wonder what might have been, as their lone loss of the season was by 3 points to South Carolina at home. And if it wasn’t already obvious, Teddy Bridgewater will not be winning the Heisman and will be lucky to even make it to New York as a finalist. Don’t feel bad for him though, as he’s likely to be the top pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
– This week we get Florida State at home, looking for serious payback for what NC State has done to them recently to derail their seasons and yet another test for Missouri at home against South Carolina. And perhaps this is the week that someone finally tests Oregon, who is at home against UCLA.  The game I’m most intrigued by though is Texas Tech, who remains unbeaten, on the road at Oklahoma.  It’s time to see what the Red Raiders are all about and if they’re someone we need to take seriously. Vegas has them as a touchdown underdogs in Norman. 

Games to Watch

7:00 PM ESPN2: Louisiana-Lafayette @ Arkansas State – Both teams are undefeated in the Sun Belt.

6:30 PM ESPN: Kentucky @ Mississippi State – You’re better off watching the World Series.
6:30 PM FS1: Marshall @ Middle Tennessee – I know I’ll be watching baseball.

7:00 PM ESPN: Boise State @ BYU – I see few reasons to watch this game.

11:00 AM ESPN/2: #25 Nebraska @ Minnesota – After knocking off Northwestern, maybe we should take this Gophers team more seriously. 
11:00 AM ESPNU: Wake Forest @ #7 Miami – If the Canes can win this one, they’ll be undefeated entering their Nov. 2 meeting with the Noles at Doak.
11:21 AM SEC: Vanderbilt @ #14 Texas A&M – How bad will the Aggies defense play and can the Commodores defense contain Mike Evans?
2:30 PM ABC/ESPN2: NC State @ #3 Florida State – Famous Jameis.
2:30 PM CBS: Tennessee @ #1 Alabama – ROLL TIDE. 

2:30 PM ESPN: #9 Clemson @ Maryland – The Tigers will likely take out their frustrations on this Terps team. 
2:30 PM ESPNU: Duke @ #16 Virginia Tech – The Hokies continue to quietly roll along. 

2:30 PM FOX: #10 Texas Tech @ #17 Oklahoma – Time for Kliff Kingsbury and crew to show if they’re a contender or pretender in the Big 12. 
6:00 PM ESPN/2: #12 UCLA @ #2 Oregon – Playing Stanford and Oregon back to back just isn’t fair to the Bruins.
6:00 PM ESPN/2: #20 South Carolina @ #5 Missouri – Can the Tigers withstand the pressure of being the hunted? And more of this please. 
6:00 PM ESPNU: #6 Baylor @ Kansas – I’ll be sad if the Bears don’t hang a hundred on the Jayhawks.
6:30 PM FS1: Texas @ TCU – What has happened to this Horned Frogs team? They’re in jeopardy of not making a bowl game for the first time since 2004.
7:00 PM ABC: Penn State @ #4 Ohio State – Can the Nittany Lions take down Michigan and Ohio State in back to back games?
9:30 PM ESPN: #8 Stanford @ Oregon State – In Corvallis, Stanford will have it’s hands full with Sean Mannion (29 TDs & 3 interceptions) and this Beaver’s offense.
9:30 PM ESPN2: #15 Fresno State @ SDSU – The Bulldogs remain undefeated, as they march towards a BCS Bowl game.
10:00 PM FS1: Cal @ Washington – Late night Keith Price action.

Week 7 College Football Thoughts

– In a weekend full of upsets, none was bigger than Penn State’s 4 OT thriller over Michigan. Nittany Lions WR Allen Robinson made some amazing catches in the final minute of regulation to help his team force overtime. In OT, neither team was able to pull away as a series of botched special teams plays and mental miscues kept the game in doubt, until the 4th OT, when PSU head coach Bill O’Brien decided to go for it on 4th down and give his team a chance to close things out, which they did on a Bill Belton 2 yard TD run. For the Nittany Lions it’s a great win for as they deal with sanctions forcing them to play with one arm tied behind their back.  And for the Wolverines, they could’ve lost to UConn and likely should’ve lost to Akron, so to see them lose this one on the road is no surprise.
– No DeAnthony Thomas, no problem. Oregon kept Washington at bay for three quarters, before finishing them off in the 4th, in a game that was never as close as the score might suggest, and they won by 21 points. QB Marcus Mariota is likely your front-runner for the Heisman and it’s tough to argue, when he’s scoring 4 TDs with over 450 total yards against one of the better defenses in the nation. There is no slowing this team down.
– Speaking of the Pac-12, Stanford is no longer undefeated, after they lost on the road at Utah. Their offense has been shaky as of late (with the exception of Ty Montgomery) and against the Utes they tried to get too cute and pass the ball, when running it was likely the higher percentage play to get them in the end zone and win the game. This coming week they get UCLA, QB Brett Hundley, and stud LB Anthony Barr at home. A bounce back win here will likely vault them back up the rankings, but they must first correct their offense that ranks 2nd to last in the Pac-12 in total yards per game. 
– Mizzou upset Georgia to remain undefeated and gain some respect in the process, but at what price? They lost QB James Franklin for the season due to a separated shoulder and will now have to turn to freshman Maty Mauk to guide their offense. With games against Florida and South Carolina coming up, this will be the biggest test yet for the surprising Tigers, who are for real.  For the Bulldogs, they’ve simply been decimated by injuries and will have to rally around QB Aaron Murray once again, if they’re still going to win the SEC West.
On Saturday LSU was the hammer and Florida was the nail, I think. Either way, the main difference was that the Tigers have a Jeremy Hill on their team and the Gators do not. QB Tyler Murphy didn’t turn the ball over, but that’s not enough against a team like LSU. The Tigers face Ole Miss this week and if they can win that one, they’ll be one small step away from their November 9th matchup against Alabama in T-Town.
– Speaking of Ole Miss, they gave Johnny Football and the Aggies all they could handle, but it wasn’t enough as they lost by a field goal as time expired at home. Manziel didn’t throw a TD and was actually picked off once, but he was accurate with the ball, shook off a knee injury, and made the plays with his feet when he needed to, to win the game. This week JFF and Uncle Nate get Auburn at home, in what should be another shootout.  
– Texas pulled the upset over Oklahoma, in the Red River Shootout, and likely kept the wolves at bay for just a bit longer for Longhorns coach Mack Brown. The Longhorns win likely doesn’t change Brown’s fate, but it’s nice to see that he can still get his team to rise to the occasion every once in a while and play a complete game from start to finish in all three phases.  Now if only he could get his team to play like that every week. For the Sooners, it’s only one loss, but Blake Bell does not look like the QB to lead this team moving forward. Trevor Knight should be given more time to show what he can do or the Sooners need to rework the offense around Bell throwing the ball less, as they only converted 2 of their 13 third downs against UT.
– Also in the Big 12, Baylor was finally given a test by K-State and they rose to the challenge, by scoring 14 points in the 4th quarter to come back and win on the road. Their defense was just as responsible for the win as their offense was (mainly Bryce Petty). With Iowa State and Kansas up next on the schedule, the Bears will likely be undefeated when they play the Sooners on November 7th, the same night Oregon goes to Stanford and the same weekend LSU goes to Alabama. That’s going to be a great weekend.
– For all the talk about the ACC and the up-coming Florida State/Clemson showdown, Virginia Tech continues to get no national respect. They’ve lost only one game and that was to Alabama, where they held the Tide to just 206 total yards of offense. They’ve got a shutdown corner in Kyle Fuller and QB Logan Thomas has cut down on the turnovers that plagued him last season. This Hokies team is a real threat to win out, claim the ACC Coastal division, and possibly even the conference crown.
– Is anyone watching Louisville and does it matter? This past Thursday, they got out to an early lead on Rutgers, but then let the Scarlet Knights back into the game and had to hang on late. The win did nothing to their ranking in the AP Poll, where they’ve been jumped and will continue to be jumped by teams that play more high profile games. This coming Friday may be their last chance to really capture the attention of the nation, as they take on a quality UCF team on ESPN. Come up short here and Louisville might as well kiss their hopes of a national title and Heisman for Teddy Bridgewater good-bye. 
– Tulane beat East Carolina in triple-overtime to move to 5-2 on the season and 3-0 in C-USA play. This wouldn’t be worth mentioning, but last season the Green Wave went 2-10 (2-6 in C-USA) and haven’t had a winning record since 2002. The play of QB Nick Montana (Joe’s kid), QB Devin Powell, and kicker Cairo Santos have really helped turn this program around this season. Winning 8 or possibly even 9 games seems like a real possibility, when looking at their schedule. If head coach Curtis Johnson, a former member of New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton’s coaching staff, isn’t already a local hero, he will be soon. 
– Plenty of entertaining conference games this week, but all eyes will be on Florida State and Clemson as they duke it out to see who will reign supreme in the ACC Atlantic division and keep their dreams of playing for the national title alive. This will also be a chance for Jameis Winston and Tajh Boyd to showcase their talents, as the two compete for the Heisman Trophy.

Games to Watch

7:00 PM ESPN2: Louisiana-Lafayette @ Western Kentucky – You’re better off watching the MLB playoffs and yes, Tuesday football is now here.

6:30 PM ESPN: #10 Miami @ North Carolina – The Canes need this one to keep pace with Virginia Tech in the ACC Coastal division.

7:00 PM ESPN: UCF @ #8 Louisville – Likely the stiffest test the Cardinals will face in AAC play this season.

11:00 AM CBS: #15 Georgia @ Vanderbilt – If the Fighting James Franklins lose this one, they’ll be 0-4 in the SEC and in serious jeopardy of not getting bowl eligible this season.
11:00 AM ESPN: #11 South Carolina @ Tennessee – Will the real Jadeveon Clowney please stand up.
11:00 AM FOX: TCU @ #21 Oklahoma State – The Cowboys can ill afford to lose pace in the Big 12 standings.
11:00 AM FS1: #16 Texas Tech @ West Virginia – Kliff Kingsbury.
11:21 AM SEC: #22 Florida @ #14 Missouri – The Tigers are undefeated, but how far can they go with freshman QB Maty Mauk under center?
2:30 PM CBS: #24 Auburn @ #7 Texas A&M – What can Johnny Manziel not do? 
2:30 PM BTN: Indiana @ Michigan – The Wolverines will likely have their hands full with this Hoosiers offense that averages 331.5 yards per game passing.
2:30 PM ABC/ESPN/2: Iowa @ #4 Ohio State – The Buckeyes should have no problem with this one.
2:30 PM ABC/ESPN/2: #9 UCLA @ #13 Stanford – Huge game for both teams in the Pac-12.
5:00 PM P12: #20 Washington @ Arizona State – The Sun Devils need this one to keep pace in the Pac-12 South (UCLA).
6:00 PM ESPN: Arkansas @ #1 Alabama – Roll Tide!
6:00 PM ESPNU: Iowa State @ #12 Baylor – The Cyclones took Texas and Texas Tech to the brink, can they break through against the Bears?
6:00 PM ESPN2: #6 LSU @ Ole Miss – In The Grove, this will be a good test for LSU and their defense.
6:30 PM NBC: USC @ Notre Dame – Classic rivalry game.
7:00 PM ABC: #5 Florida State @ #3 Clemson – ACC games don’t get much bigger than this.
7:00 PM BTN: #25 Wisconsin @ Illinois – If you haven’t seen Melvin Gordon yet this season, tune in for this one.
9:00 PM P12: Utah @ Arizona – The Utes have lost two games by a combined 6 points. The Wildcats better be prepared for this one.
9:00 PM FS1: Washington State @ #2 Oregon – Marcus Mariota can not be stopped.
9:30 PM ESPN2/U: Oregon State @ Cal – Sean Mannion leads the nation in passing yards per game (418.5), passing TDs (25), and broken TV graphics.

RotoWire Staff 10 TM Auction Results

   P. Schoenke  $  A. Quinn  $  E. Jastrowski  $  A. Laird   $  A. Fiorentino  $
 QB  A. Rodgers  34  R. Griffin  21  J. Flacco  8  D. Brees  43  T. Brady  19
 RB  A. Peterson  57  C. Spiller  47  M. Jones-Drew  33  D. Martin  56  M. Lynch  47
 RB  A. Bradshaw  19  E. Lacy  22  D. Sproles  14  D. Williams  16  A. Morris  34
 WR  D. Bowe  16  V. Jackson  13  A. Green  35  A. Johnson  18  W. Welker  13
 WR  R. Wayne  9  H. Nicks  8  L. Fitzgerald  27  M. Austin  5  R. White  20
 TE  V. Davis  15  J. Graham  29  J. Witten  12  Z. Sudfield  2  J. Finley  2
 FX  T. Smith  11  D. McFadden  18  M. Colston  15  C. Ivory  4  C. Shorts  6
 FX  S. Vereen  5  G. Jennings  6  D. Murray  23  M. Ball  9  B. Tate  5
 OP  T. Romo  17  E. Decker  8  R. Tannehill  3  P. Manning  37  C. Newton  37
 DST  STL  1  SEA  3  HOU  1  NE  1  CHI  1
 K  S. Hauschka  1  P. Dawson  1  M. Bryant  1  G. Zuerlein  1  B. Walsh  1
 BE  J. Cutler  3  K. Rudolph  3  M. Wallace  11  F. Jackson  1  D. Richardson  6
 BE  R. Mendenhall  4  G. Tate  2  O. Daniels  4  K. Stills  1  S. Taylor  2
 BE  B. Green-Ellis  5  S. Johnson  3  J. Jones  4  K. Moreno  2  M. Floyd  1
 BE  V. Ballard  1  M. Ingram  3  G. Bernard  7  M. Schaub  1  C. Palmer  1
 BE  B. Powell  1  J. Freeman  3  PIT  1  I. Redman  2  E. Saunders  1
 BE  J. Blackmon  1  B. Brown  3  B. Weeden  1  R. Randle  1  A. Brown  2
   J. Donabedian  $  C. Link  $  A. Martinez  $  G. Lowmaster  $  J. Levine  $
 QB  A. Luck  26  C. Kaepernick  25  M. Vick  20  M. Ryan  24  R. Wilson  18
 RB  R. Rice  47  T. Richardson  51  S. Ridley  31  A. Foster  45  J. Charles  49
 RB  M. Forte  31  C. Johnson  31  L. McCoy  49  R. Matthews  14  S. Jackson  40
 WR  D. Bryant  33  R. Cobb  22  D. Amendola  15  C. Johnson  45  D. Thomas  29
 WR  A. Brown  7  D. Jackson  10  J. Jones  26  V. Cruz  15  A. Boldin  6
 TE  G. Olsen  3  R. Gronkowski  15  J. Gresham  2  T. Gonzalez  9  M. Bennett  1
 FX  F. Gore  22  D. Wilson  25  B. Marshall  29  S. Smith  7  R. Bush  24
 FX  L. Miller  11  K. Thompkins  5  J. Nelson  9  G. Little  1  T. Austin  7
 OP  P. Garcon  5  B. Roethlisberger  7  A. Dalton  7  M. Stafford  18  E. Manning  16
 DEF  BAL  1  GB  1  CIN  2  SF  2  DEN  1
 K  J. Tucker  1  G. Hartley  1  R. Bullock  1  S. Gostkowski  1  M. Prater  1
 BE  J. Gordon  3  S. Bradford  1  A. Smith  2  T. Hilton  5  K. Britt  3
 BE  J. Cook  1  F. Davis  1  J. Cameron  2  L. Moore  3  C. Patterson  1
 BE  B. Pierce  3  C. Givens  1  J. Dwyer  2  M. Williams  5  P. Rivers  1
 BE  L. Bell  3  I. Pead  1  C. Michael  1  S. Rice  2  S. Greene  1
 BE  E. Manuel  2  D. Moore  1  D. Hopkins  1  A. Gates  2  J. Franklin  1
 BE  J. Locker  1  D. Woodhead  1  M. Bush  1  R. Hillman  2  B. Myers  1

The OP (offensive player) will be used almost always as a second QB, so they went for more than your standard backup and some teams opted to carry three QBs. 

The steal of the draft has to be Tom Brady, who went for $19. 

For scoring we’re using QB TD/INT at 4/-2 and DEF also gets points for yardage allowed, other than that pretty vanilla.

Personally, my strategy was get at least 2 QBs I really liked and a solid backup. I found myself really deep at WR with Marshall, Jones, Nelson, & Amendola all starting for me and very weak at RB with only Shaddy & Ridley, so I might need to make a trade to get a solid back up to those two RBs. 

Any thoughts as to who has the best team or had some really good steals?  I like my Jordy Nelson at $9.

Real 14 TM Mixed League Auction Results

Who: Me (Andrew Martinez) and 13 other folks from around the industry.  Our commish is Scott Pianowski who hosted this league last season.

What: 14 Team mixed auction with $260 budget, 5×5 scoring, 162 games cap, 1425 max IP cap, daily, FAAB ($100), with 125 roster move cap.

When: We conducted this auction this past Monday the 25th.

Where: The internets

Why: For virtual jelly beans and bragging rights.  I finished 2nd in this league last season, 3 points behind the winner… This season I’m out to finish on top damn it!

My strategy in mixed league auctions is almost always stars and scrubs. I want elite talent and then I want cheap fungible options that I can throw or ride to a nice profit. I appreciate the spread the risk approach, but it’s just not for me… I have expensive tastes. I don’t care about position scarcity or any rules about what my team is supposed to look like when Opening Day comes. I know that I’m the type of owner who is not afraid to have glaring holes on my roster because I like projects. I also will go after players because I like their personality or style.  For me fantasy sports is about following my favorite players just as much as it is about competing.  So with that said, here is my roster and some of my rational:

Bryce Harper (Was – OF) $36 – I like guys who play balls to the wall.
Stephen Strasburg (Was – SP) $32 – I can see him winning the Cy Young.
Matt Kemp (LAD – OF) $49 – I need someone to root for when I watch Dodgers games and listen to Vin Scully and I ain’t about to spend money on Carl Crawford.
Angel Pagan (SF – OF) $14 – I hated myself for spending for getting Pagan not because of who he is, but because this was a buy early on that was not part of my stars & scrubs mantra.  That said, I’ll take his speed.
Evan Longoria (TB – 3B) $31 – I don’t think I’ve ever owned Longoria before, so I said, why not?
Craig Kimbrel (Atl – RP) $25 – If I’m spending money on a closer, I want one who can lead all relievers in Ks.
Yu Darvish (Tex – SP) $24 – I can see him winning the Cy Young.
R.A. Dickey (Tor – SP) $23 – I wanted another ace.
Bruce Rondon (Det – RP) $4 – There is certainly risk here that he’s not the closer to start the season, but given the splits of his competition, I said why not?  He can miss bats.
Carlos Ruiz (Phi – C) $2 – I know he’ll miss 25 games, but so what?  He can hit for average.
Cameron Maybin (SD – OF) $2 – I like the swing adjustment he made in the 2nd half of ’12.
Kevin Youkilis (NYY – 1B,3B) $3 – My team needed a Golden God.
Gordon Beckham (CWS – 2B) $1 – I still believe.
Leonys Martin (Tex – OF) $1 – I think he’ll win the opening day CF job.
A.J. Ellis (LAD – C) $1 – He can take a base.
Colby Lewis (Tex – SP) $1 – I didn’t realize he is still hurt; already cut him.
Mike Aviles (Cle – SS) $1 – I had to have a SS.
Mike Olt (Tex – 1B) $1 – At this point I was just trying to fill out my team.
Rajai Davis (Tor – OF) $1
Rafael Furcal (StL – SS) $1
Rick Porcello (Det – SP) $1
Henderson Alvarez (Mia – SP) $1 – Already cut him.
Sean Doolittle (Oak – RP) $1 – I actually wanted Doolittle going in, love that lefty. I think he’ll lead the A’s in saves.
Jose Tabata (Pit – OF) $1 – Post hype sleeper?
Chris Carter (Hou – 1B) $1 – All he does is hit HRs.
Lucas Harrell (Hou – SP) $1 – Already cut him.
Jose Valverde (Det – RP) $1 – Wait to see if he gets a job, if not, see ya!

If you want to see all the results, here is a link to the google doc I published with the team names removed to protect the guilty.

From this I know I’m very weak 2B & SS, I need a catcher for opening day, I’m low on power, and I’ll need to stock up on some RPs who could net me some saves down the road.  I already planned to stream some pitchers, till I find some guys that stick.  I love my starting pitchers and I have a pretty good OF, from which I’ll build my foundation.  Again, I know this team looks messy, but when I go stars and scrubs, I’m really just looking for a rock star foundation and from there, I’ll use the waiver wire and trades to build a champion. 

If you have any thoughts on my team or the results feel free to share below.

Stay For a Nightcap! – The Greatest Season Finale Ever

Blue Jays 3 – White Sox 2

Brandon Morrow pitched 6 innings and allowed 2 earned runs with 7 strikeouts.  Of course it came with 5 walks.  Over his last three starts (21 innings), he gave up 2 earned runs with 24 strikeouts and 10 walks.  He ends the season with a frustrating 4.72 ERA.
Philip Humber struck out a season high 9 batters over 6.2 innings of 1-run ball.  He walked 4 with 2 hits, in the no-decision.  He finishes the season having pitched 163 innings with 116 strikeouts and 41 walks. 
Chris Sale blew a 1-run lead in the 9th on 2 hits and 3 walks.  Did I mention he only got one out?  He’s projected to be a starter next season for the club.  Don Cooper should have a good skills to work with.
Gordon Beckham went 2-4 with a homer.  He finishes the season with a disappointing .230/.296/.337 batting line, 10 homers, and 44 RBI.  I don’t know who has seen their stock drop the most, Beckham, Alex Rios, or Adam Dunn.
– The Blue Jays finished with a .500 team record.  That’s better than I expected from them.
– W: Shawn Camp (6-3), L: Chris Sale (2-2), SV: Frank Francisco (17), BSV: Chris Sale (2)
– HR: Gordon Beckham (10)

Orioles 4 – Red Sox 3

Jon Lester started this game with 6 innings of 2-run ball.  He gave up 4 hits with 4 walks and 5 strikeouts.  He’ll finish up with an ERA under 3.50 (3.47) and 15 wins for the fourth straight season. 
Alfredo Simon allowed 3 earned runs over 4.1 innings, before the rain set in…
– The Red Sox had runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs in the 9th and got no runs… that’s going come up later again.
Jonathan Papelbon gave up 2 earned runs on 3 hits to blow the save and lose the game.  Really, Carl Crawford must share in this as he had a Robert Andino liner come right at him, low and at his hip and he couldn’t come up with it and Nolan Reimold scored the game winning run. 
Dustin Pedroia went 3-4 with a homer, 2 RBI, a run, and a walk.  What can you say about the guy who just guts out every at-bat and never gives in? 
– W: Jim Johnson (6-5), L: Jonathan Papelbon (4-1), BSV: Jonathan Papelbon (3)
– HR: Dustin Pedroia (21), J.J. Hardy (30)
– SB: Jacoby Ellsbury (39); CS: Mike Aviles (4)

Tigers 5 – Indians 4

Rick Porcello allowed 3 earned runs over 6 innings on 5 hits and 2 walks.  For all the fan fair when he was a prospect, this is the third season in a row that I’ve yet to see any real progress from him.  His stuff just isn’t that good.  Still, he’s only 22 years old and there’s time for him to mature.  He finishes the season with 182 innings pitched, 104 strikeouts, and 46 walks.
Zach McAllister pitched 5 innings with 1 run allowed (0 earned) with 4 strikeouts and 1 walk.  At Triple-A this season he pitched 154.2 innings with a 3.32 ERA, 128 strikeouts, and 31 walks. 
Victor Martinez went 3-3 with a RBI and run.  He finishes with a .330/.380/.470 batting line over 595 plate appearances.  His 12 homers were his lowest total since ’03.
Miguel Cabrera went 2-4 with a run.  His .344/.448/.586 batting line with 30 homers is MVP like.
– W: Ryan Perry (2-0), L: Vinnie Pestano (1-2), SV: Jose Valverde (49)
– HR: Jhonny Peralta (21)
– SB: Jason Kipnis (5)

Rays 8 – Yankees 7

– Where do you start?
David Price gave the Rays 4 innings of 6 run ball (5 earned) on 6 hits and 3 walks.  Two of the hits he gave up were homers, one a grand slam to Mark Teixeira
– Delin Betances got the start and went 2 scoreless innings, before the bullpen took over.
Andruw Jones homered in the 5th inning to make this game 7-0 Yankees.  It stayed that way, until the 8th inning.
Boone Logan and Luis Ayala tag-teamed in the 8th inning to give up 6 runs, the biggest of which was a 3-run homer by Evan Longoria.
– Corey Wade served up a Dan Johnson pinch-hit homer to tie things up in the 9th… Dan Freaking Johnson.
– In the top of the 12th the Yankees had runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs and they failed to score a run.
– In the bottom of the 12th, Scott Proctor faced his 13th batter, Evan Longoria and I’m pretty sure you know what happened… a ball that lined over the left field wall, down the line for the walk-off win and a trip to the playoffs.
– W: Jake McGee (5-2), L: Scott Proctor (2-6)
– HR: Mark Teixeira (38, 39), Andruw Jones (13), Evan Longoria (30, 31), Dan Johnson (2)
– SB: Curtis Granderson (25), Eduardo Nunez (22), Chris Dickerson (4), Desmond Jennings (20), B.J. Upton (36), Elliot Johnson (6)

Rangers 3 – Angels 1

Matt Harrison pitched 6 innings of 1-run ball with 4 strikeouts.  For all of his ups-and-downs this season, he has allowed 3 earned runs or less in 6 straight starts now.  He finishes with a 3.39 ERA over 185.2 innings with 126 strikeouts and 57 walks.
Garrett Richards held the Rangers to 1 run over 5 innings with 2 hits, 3 walks, and 1 strikeout.  Over 143.0 innings at Double-A he had a 3.15 ERA. 
Mike Napoli went 2-3 with two homers, 3 RBI, 2 runs, and a walk.  He now has 30 homers to go with a .320/.414/.631 batting line.  That’s pret-ty, pret-ty, pretty good.  Against the Angels that has to hurt for their fans.
Ian Kinsler went 0-2 with 2 walks and a caught stealing.  He finishes 32/30 for the second time in his career (2009).
– W: Mike Adams (5-4), L: Jordan Walden (5-5), SV: Neftali Feliz (32)
– HR: Mike Napoli (29, 30)
– SB: Elvis Andrus (37); CS: Ian Kinsler (4)

Twins 1 – Royals 0

Carl Pavano twirled a complete game, shutout on 5 hits, no walks, and 3 strikeouts.  He was pretty darn effective at home this season with a 3.01 ERA over 107.2 innings.  That’s much, much better than his 5.51 road ERA.
Bruce Chen was no slouch as he pitched 8 shutout innings on 8 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts.  There was chatter that he might be traded to the Red Sox, in the event they made to a 1-game playoff with the Rays.  His 3.77 ERA is his best since ’04 when he only started 4 games. 
Mike Moustakas went 2-3 with a triple and stolen base.  He produced a .263/.309/.367 batting line over 365 plate appearances. 
– W: Carl Pavano (9-13), L: Blake Wood (5-3)
– SB: Mike Moustakas (2); CS: Jarrod Dyson (1)

A’s 2 – Mariners 0

Gio Gonzalez struck out 11 batters over 8 shutout innings for his 16th win.  He allowed only 2 hits with 3 walks.  Despite his rough July and August, he finishes with a 3.12 ERA, which is a shade better than his 3.23 ERA from last season.
Anthony Vasquez allowed 2 earned runs over 2 innings, before the bullpen went to work.  Over 53.1 innings at Triple-A this season he had 32 strikeouts and 18 walks.
Jai Miller provided all of the offense with a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning.  At Triple-A he had 32 homers and 15 stolen bases over 475 plate appearances with a .276/.368/.588 batting line.
– W: Gio Gonzalez (16-12), L: Anthony Vasquez (1-6), SV: Andrew Bailey (24)
– HR: Jai Miller (1)

Mets 3 – Reds 0

Miguel Batista tossed a complete game, shutout on 2 hits, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts.  It was his first start in over two weeks.  At 40 years old, I’m surprised he’s still on a team’s roster.
Edinson Volquez didn’t walk anyone in the first inning… success!  He went on to pitch 7 innings total with 3 earned runs on 6 hits and 1 walk.  In his four starts since coming back up, he pitched 23.2 innings with 13 earned runs, 19 strikeouts, and 10 walks.
Jose Reyes got a bunt single down and then promptly left the game with a .337/.384/.493 batting line.  His batting average won the NL batting title, which is nice, but he only played 126 games and really, isn’t OBP a better crown to hold, seeing as how the goal is to preserve outs and get on base?
Joey Votto went 0-3 with a walk.  The defending NL MVP had a .416 OBP with a .531 slugging percentage over 161 games… can you ask for anything more?
– W: Miguel Batista (5-2), L: Edinson Volquez (5-7)
– HR: Miguel Batista (1)

Rockies 6 – Giants 3

Drew Pomeranz won his second game, after he pitched 5.2 innings and allowed 3 earned runs on 6 hits.  He didn’t walk anyone as he struck out 3 batters.  Don’t focus on the MLB results, rather look at his 119 strikeouts to 38 walks over 101 innings in the minors this season between High-A and Double-A with the Indians and Rockies.
Eric Surkamp was roughed up for 4 earned runs over 4.2 innings, in his 2nd loss.  He struck out 3 batters with 2 walks.  Over 142.1 innings at Double-A he had 165 strikeouts with 44 walks. 
Kevin Kouzmanoff went 3-5 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, and 2 runs.  He finishes the season with a .255/.315/.398 batting line.
Eric Young Jr. went 2-5 with a triple, run, and stolen base.  He finishes with 23 stolen bases in the second half of the season.  If he was ever given or able to earn a full season of playing time, the sky is the limit for his stolen base total.
– W: Drew Pomeranz (2-1), L: Eric Surkamp (2-2), SV: Rafael Betancourt (8)
– SB: Eric Young Jr. (27), Mark Ellis (14), Andres Torres (18, 19); CS: Mark Ellis (5)

Nationals 3 – Marlins 1

Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 batters over six 1-hit innings with 2 walks.  He ended up pitching 24 innings with 24 strikeouts and 2 walks.  An innings cap seems like the only thing that will temper his value next season.
Chris Volstad pitched 6 innings with 2 earned runs for his 13th loss.  He decreased his walk rate to 2.69 BB/9, a career low, but it didn’t translate into a lower ERA.  I’ve almost given up on him as a league average starter.
Gaby Sanchez went 2-3 with a double and RBI.  He finishes the season with a .266/.352/.427 batting line.  Not exactly the batting skills you want from your 1B.
Ian Desmond went 1-3 with 2 RBI and a walk.  He never really made the jump I thought he would from last season’s skills.  There’s still time though, he turns 26 next season.  He finishes with a .253/.298/.358 batting line.
– W: Stephen Strasburg (1-1), L: Chris Volstad (5-13), SV: Drew Storen (43)
– CS: Roger Bernadina (3)

Phillies 4 – Braves 3

Tim Hudson held the Phillies to 2 earned runs over 6.1 innings.  He gave up 6 hits with 1 walk and 4 strikeouts, in the no-decision.  He finishes the season with a 3.22 ERA over 215 innings with 158 strikeouts and 56 walks.  His strikeout to walk ratio was a career best 2.82 K/BB. 
Joe Blanton went 2 innings and allowed 1 earned run on 3 hits and no walks with 4 strikeouts.  Cole Hamels came in next and pitched 3 innings with 2 earned runs allowed.  The thought was to get them both some work, before the playoffs started.
Craig Kimbrel blew a 1-run lead in the 9th inning and the Braves playoffs hopes quickly followed.  He was just over-worked and fell apart in the month of September with a 4.76 ERA.
Hunter Pence went 2-4 with a RBI, run, 3 walks, and he gunned down Dan Uggla at home.  Pretty full game for the former Astro.
Kris Medlen got 4 outs, this after making only one appearance this season as he makes his way back from TJ surgery.
– W: Justin De Fratus (1-0), L: Scott Linebrink (4-4), SV: David Herndon (1), BSV: Craig Kimbrel (8)
– HR: Dan Uggla (36)
– SB: Chase Utley (14), Michael Bourn (60, 61); CS: Michael Bourn (14)

Cardinals 8 – Astros 0

Chris Carpenter slammed the door shut on any possibility of the Cards not being at least being involved in a 1-game playoff.  He pitched a complete game shutout with 11 strikeouts, 2 hits, and 1 walk.  His 3.45 ERA might not show it, but this one of Carpenters best seasons of his career.  He struck out 191 batters with 55 walks over 237.1 innings.
Brett Myers was up to his old tricks as he gave up 7 runs (6 earned) over 5 innings for his 14th loss.  A somewhat surprising performance after he gave up a total of 6 earned runs over his last 6 starts.
Albert Pujols went 1-5 with a RBI and run.  He finishes with a .299/.366/.541 batting line and 99 RBI.  It’s his first season without 100 RBI and a .300 batting average.
– W: Chris Carpenter (11-9), L: Brett Myers (7-14)
– HR: Allen Craig (11)

Brewers 7 – Pirates 3

Zack Greinke allowed 2 earned runs over 6 innings for his 16th win.  I’m not an expert at calculating xFIP, but I’m pretty sure he set a personal best in the stat as he came in with it being 2.56.  His insane Cy Young season it was 3.09, for those wondering.
Jeff Locke gave up 5 earned runs over 4 innings on 5 hits and 2 walks.  If you’re wondering, Jeff who?  He had a 4.03 ERA over 125 innings at Double-A this season.  So, yeah, Jeff who?
Corey Hart went 1-4 with a homer, 2 RBI, 2 runs, and a stolen base.  He goes into the playoffs with 26 homers and 7 stolen bases with a .285/.356/.510 batting line.
Andrew McCutchen went 0-3 with a strikeout and finishes with a .259/.364/.456 batting line.  Going into this game he was batting .219/.333/.397 in the 2nd half.
– W: Zack Greinke (16-6), L: Jeff Locke (0-3)
– HR: Corey Hart (26), Jonathan Lucroy (12), Carlos Gomez (8)
– SB: Corey Hart (7), Ryan Braun (33), Jonathan Lucroy (2)

Padres 9 – Cubs 2

Wade LeBlanc received his 5th win, after he pitched 7 innings and allowed 2 earned runs.  Not surprisingly his home ERA was 3.86 coming in, which is much lower than his road ERA (5.86)
Ryan Dempster was back to his Dumpster ways as he allowed 9 earned runs over 5.2 innings.  Like LeBlanc, he had a significant home/road ERA split of 3.83/.5.51.
Will Venable went 1-4 with a grand slam and a walk. The power is nice, but he did steal 26 bases this season.
Nick Hundley went 2-5 with a double, homer, 3 RBI, and a run.  In how many lineups could a catcher hit .288/.347/.477 and bat third?
– W: Wade LeBlanc (5-6), L: Ryan Dempster (10-14)
– HR: Will Venable (9), Nick Hundley (9)
– SB: Cameron Maybin (40); CS: Lou Montanez (1)

Dodgers 7 – Diamondbacks 5

Ted Lilly finished the NL slate with 7 shutout innings on 3 hits and a walk.  He struck out 5 batters as he won his 12th game.  Coming into this game his last four xFIPs: 4.08, 3.90, 3.95, & 4.03.
Joe Saunders was knocked around for 5 earned runs over 6 innings on 9 hits.  He ends with a 3.69 ERA and is someone I’m going to interested to see pitch in the playoffs (if he even gets to).
Matt Kemp hit yet another homer, this one a 2-run shot.  He ends the season with 39 homers and 40 stolen bases.  He was that close to a 40/40 season.  He’ll likely end up the MVP and deservedly so.
– W: Ted Lilly (12-14), L: Joe Saunders (12-13), SV: Kenley Jansen (5)
– HR: Matt Kemp (39), James Loney (12), Cole Gillespie (1), Henry Blanco (8)
– SB: Dee Gordon (24), Willie Bloomquist (20), Aaron Hill (21); CS: Ted Lilly (1)

Stay For a Nightcap! – Till I Collapse Edition

Twins 6 – Indians 4

– Liam Hendricks pitched 6 innings and allowed 4 earned runs with 5 strikeouts.  In his four starts in the majors he pitched 23.1 innings with 16 strikeouts and 6 walks.
Fausto Carmona had a similar line as he pitched 6.1 innings and allowed 4 earned runs.  He struck out 3 batters and will finish the season with a 5.25 ERA over 188.2 innings.
Ben Revere went 1-5 with 2 RBI and a run.  The OF is batting .270/.314/.309 over 468 plate appearances.
Shelley Duncan stayed hot going 2-3 with a homer, 2 RBI and a run.  He has 8 RBI over the last three games.
– W: Kyle Waldrop (1-0), L: Tony Sipp (6-3), SV: Joe Nathan (14)
– HR: Trevor Plouffe (8), Shelley Duncan (11)
– CS: Joe Benson (2)

Yankees 6 – Red Sox 2 (Game 1)

A.J. Burnett allowed just 2 earned runs over 7.2 innings on 5 hits, two of which were homers.  He ends the regular season with a 5.16 ERA over 190 innings.  I can’t wait to see what adventures await him in the playoffs.
Tim Wakefield was up to Tim Wakefield things as he pitched 4 innings and allowed 5 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits and 5 walks.  With this loss, the Red Sox moved one step closer to blowing their AL Wildcard lead.
Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-4 with two solo shot homers.  The MVP candidate had 30 homers and 100 RBI at this point in the day.
Derek Jeter went 3-4 with a double, RBI, and 2 runs.  This gave the Captain a smooth .300 batting average for the season. 
– W: A.J. Burnett (11-11), L: Tim Wakefield (7-8)
– HR: Jacoby Ellsbury (29, 30), Jorge Posada (14)
– SB: Brett Gardner (47), Derek Jeter (16); CS: Jacoby Ellsbury (15), Russell Martin (2)

Red Sox 7 – Yankees 4 (Game 2)

John Lackey pitched 6 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits and 3 walks.  He took a no-decision which is surprising for someone with a 6.41 ERA.  The fact that he made 28 starts for this team still surprises me.
Ivan Nova pitched 6.1 innings and allowed 4 earned runs, also in a no-decision.  He finishes the regular season with a 3.70 ERA over 165.1 innings with 98 strikeouts and 57 walks.  His 16 wins will likely cause him to be overvalued next season in drafts and auctions.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched 2.1 perfect innings with 4 strikeouts.  If you go by win probability added (WPA), a stat you can find in a FanGraphs box score, this performance was the most valuable of the night.
Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-7 with a 3-run homer in the 14th inning that helped put the Red Sox ahead for good.  He’s batting .322/.377/.551 with 31 homers, 103 RBI, 117 runs, and 38 stolen bases.
– W: Franklin Morales (1-2), L: Scott Proctor (2-5), SV: Felix Doubront (1)
– HR: Jacoby Ellsbury (31)
– SB: Greg Golson (1), Brett Gardner (48)

Tigers 10 – Orioles 6

Brad Penny allowed 3 earned runs over 5.1 innings in his 11th win.  He finishes the regular season with a 5.30 ERA.  For Tigers fan’s sake, I hope he doesn’t make a meaningful appearance in the playoffs.
Brian Matusz is broke and I’m not sure if he can be put together again.  He was rocked, once again, for 6 earned runs over 5 innings.  He finishes the season with a 10.69 ERA over 49.2 innings. 
Nolan Reimold went 2-4 with a homer, 3 RBI, and 2 runs.  He has 9 RBI over the last week.
Miguel Cabrera went 2-3 with a homer, 2 RBI, 2 runs, and a walk.  He’s batting .341/.447/.579 this season with 29 homers and 103 RBI.
– W: Brad Penny (11-11), L: Brian Matusz (1-9)
– HR: Nolan Reimold (13), Don Kelly (7), Miguel Cabrera (29), Victor Martinez (12), Jhonny Peralta (20)
– SB: Robert Andino (13)

Rays 5 – Blue Jays 2

Wade Davis pitched 8 innings with 2 earned runs allowed on 3 hits and 2 walks.  He struck out 6 batters as he picked up his 11th win.  The Rays are now just 1 game behind with three games left to go.
Brett Cecil pitched just 3.1 innings and allowed 4 earned runs for his 11th loss.  He finishes the season with a 4.73 ERA over 123.2 innings.
B.J. Upton, Evan Longoria, and Ben Zobrist aka the Rays 2, 3, & 4 hitters each hit a homer.  I’m still surprised that Longoria’s batting just .240.  Then again his BABIP is hovering around .240.
– W: Wade Davis (11-10), L: Brett Cecil (4-11), SV: Joel Peralta (6)
– HR: Dewayne Wise (2), B.J. Upton (23), Evan Longoria (29), Ben Zobrist (19), Kelly Shoppach (10)
– SB: Ben Zobrist (19)

Royals 2 – White Sox 1

Luis Mendoza pitched 7.2 innings and allowed 1 earned run with 4 strikeouts.  Over 144.1 innings at Triple-A this season he had a 2.18 ERA with 81 strikeouts and 54 walks.
– The good Gavin Floyd showed up as he pitched 8 innings, allowed 2 earned runs, and struck out 10 batters.  He finishes the season with a 4.37 ERA, which gives him an ERA above 4.00 for three seasons running.  I’ve come to expect more from him, but I don’t know why.
Paul Konerko went 1-2 with a double, RBI, and walk.  For the season he’s batting .300/.388/.517 with 31 homers and 105 RBI.  Those aren’t quite the numbers he put up last season, but they aren’t far off either.
Adam Dunn went 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.  I can’t wait to see what he goes for in auctions next season.  He’s batting .161/.292/.280 as of today.
– W: Luis Mendoza (2-0), L: Gavin Floyd (12-13), SV: Greg Holland (4)
– CS: Alcides Escobar (8), Juan Pierre (17)

Rangers 12 – Mariners 5

Derek Holland was mediocre as he pitched 5 innings and allowed 5 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits, 1 walk, and 2 homers.  He struck out 7 as he received his 16th win of the season.  I’m interested to see how he’s used in the playoffs as he’s been feast or famine for much of the season.
Charlie Furbush got lit up for 6 runs (5 earned) over 4.1 innings for his 10th loss.  He finishes the season with a 6.62 ERA over 53 innings as a member of the Mariners.
Ian Kinsler went 3-4 with a homer, 2 RBI, 3 runs, a walk, a stolen base, and a caught stealing.  He’s now just one stolen base from going 30/30 on the season.
Adrian Beltre went 3-4 with a homer and 2 runs.  He’s batting .293/.330/.553 on the season with 30 homers and 101 RBI.  That’s pretty darn good considering he’s only played in 121 games.
– W: Derek Holland (16-5), L: Charlie Furbush (4-10)
– HR: Mike Carp (12), Alex Liddi (3), Kyle Seager (3), Chris Gimenez (1), Ian Kinsler (31), Adrian Beltre (30), Yorvit Torrealba (6, 7)
– SB: Ian Kinsler (28, 29), Esteban German (1), Adrian Beltre (1); CS: Ian Kinsler (3)

A’s 6 – Angels 5

Joel Pineiro tossed 6 shutout innings with 3 hits and 4 strikeouts, in a no-decision.  He struckout only 62 batters over 145.2 innings this season. 
Rich Harden pitched 6 innings and allowed 3 earned runs with 5 strikeouts and 2 homers served up, also in a no-decision.  He finishes the season with 82.2 innings pitched, which is his lowest amount since 2007. 
Jordan Walden blew his 10th save in the 9th inning and with the win went the Angels post-season hopes.  They’re now 3 games back of the Red Sox with three games to go.
Bobby Abreu went 2-5 with a homer, 2 RBI, and a run.  Unless he hits two more homers, he’s going to finish with single digits for the first time since he was a member of the Astros.
Coco Crisp went 1-3 with 2 RBI and a stolen base.  He has 46 stolen bases for the season which is third most in the majors.
– W: Fautino De Los Santos (3-2), L: Jordan Walden (5-4), SV: Andrew Bailey (23), BSV: Jordan Walden (10)
– HR: Josh Willingham (28), Bobby Abreu (8), Vernon Wells (25)
– SB: Coco Crisp (46), Torii Hunter (5), Alberto Callaspo (8), Vernon Wells (9); CS: Peter Bourjos (9)

Nationals  3 – Braves 0

Ross Detwiler pitched 6 shutout innings for his 4th win.  He allowed 4 hits with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.  He has a smooth 3.00 ERA over 66 innings with 41 strikeouts and 20 walks.
Mike Minor pitched 4.2 innings with 1 earn runs on 6 hits and 2 walks.  He took the loss as the Braves hitters offered him no run support.  The team’s NL Wildcard lead is now just 1 game with the Phillies coming to town.  Things do not look good…
– Michael Morse went 2-3 with a 2-run homer and a walk.  He’s batting .304/.362/.544 with 29 homers and 91 RBI. 
– W: Ross Detwiler (4-5), L: Mike Minor (5-3), SV: Drew Storen (42)
– HR: Michael Morse (29), Wilson Ramos (15)

Reds 5 – Pirates 4

Dontrelle Willis turned in a quality start with 6 innings pitched and 3 earned runs allowed.  He struck out 6 and finishes with a 5.00 ERA over 13 starts.  He also added a 2-run double at the plate.
James McDonald allowed 3 runs (1 earned) over 5 innings in a no-decision.  He frustrated owners all season long and finishes with a 4.21 ERA over 171 innings. 
Brandon Phillips went 1-3 with a RBI, run, 2 walks, and a stolen base.  The 2B is batting .301/.354/.458 this season.
– W: Dontrelle Willis (1-6), L: Daniel Moskos (1-1), SV: Francisco Cordero (35)
– SB: Brandon Phillips (14); CS: Joey Votto (6), Chase D’ARnaud (1)

Rockies 19 – Astros 3

Kevin Millwood pitched 7 innings and let the Astros batters do the rest.  He ended up allowing 1 run (unearned) with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk.  At the plate he hit a 2-run homer.  He finishes the season with a 3.98 ERA over 54.1 innings.  I’m honestly surprised that anyone even game him a spot in their rotation this season.
Lucas Harrell was knocked around for 5 runs (3 earned) over 3 innings.  Over 74.1 innings at Triple-A this season he had a 3.15 ERA.
Kevin Kouzmanoff went 3-6 with two homers, 5 RBI, and 3 runs.  Catcher Chris Iannetta also finished with 5 RBI.  His .238/.370/.416 batting line continues to frustrate owners.
Jordan Pacheco and Ty Wigginton each went 4-6.  The former had a RBI and 4 runs, while the later had a double, triple, RBI, and 4 runs.
– W: Kevin Millwood (4-3), L: Lucas Harrell (0-3)
– HR: Kevin Kouzmanoff (6, 7), Chris Iannetta (14), Kevin Millwood (2)
– CS: Mark Ellis (4)

Phillies 9 – Mets 4

Roy Halladay twirled six shutout innings on 4 hits and a walk to finish the regular season.  Hix next stop should be in the playoffs.
Mike Pelfrey allowed 5 earned runs over 3 innings on 9 hits and walk.  He finishes with a 4.74 ERA over 193.2 innings. 
Hunter Pence went 3-5 with a triple, homer, 3 RBI, 2 runs, and a walk.  He’s hitting .321/.389/.556 this season as a member of the Phillies with 10 homers and 31 RBI.
Carlos Ruiz went 4-4 with 2 RBI, a run, and a walk.  "Chooch" is .290/.378/.390 which is pretty darn good in leagues that could average or on base percentage.
– W: Roy Halladay (19-6), L: Mike Pelfrey (7-13)
– HR: Hunter Pence (21), Ronny Paulino (2)
– SB: Jimmy Rollins (29)

Brewers 9 – Marlins 5

Chris Narveson received his 11th win, despite giving up 4 earned runs over 6.1 innings on 5 hits and 5 walks.  He finishes the season with a 4.45 ERA over 161.2 innings (28 starts).
Ricky Nolasco made his last start, which means he can no longer torment owners.  He gave up 7 runs (6 earned) and got just 6 outs.  I don’t care that his xFIP is 3.55, his warning label reads toxic.
Ryan Braun went 2-3 with a homer and 2 runs.  The NL MVP candidate is batting .333/.396/.599 with 33 homers, 31 stolen bases, 107 runs, and 110 RBI.
Emilio Bonifacio went 2-4 with a homer and a walk.  For the season he’s batting .295/.361/.392 with 39 stolen bases.  I’m pretty surprised he was able to get his OBP that high.
– W: Chris Narveson (11-8), L: Ricky Nolasco (10-12)
– HR: Emilio Bonifacio (5), Donnie Murphy (2), Ryan Braun (33)
– CS: Emilio Bonifacio (11)

Cardinals 3 – Cubs 2

Edwin Jackson pitched 7 innings and allowed 2 earned runs, in a no-decision.  He finishes the season with a 3.62 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 23 walks over 77 innings as a member of the Cardinals.
Randy Wells pitched 8 innings and allowed 3 earned runs, in defeat.  The Cardinals are now just 1 game behind the Braves for the NL Wildcard.  They get the Astros now, which is much easier than facing the Phillies.
Rafael Furcal went 2-4 with a homer that put the Cardinals ahead for good in the 9th inning.  He’s hitting .254/.316/.410 since joining the team, which is actually better than what he hit with the Dodgers.
Yadier Molina went 2-3 with a homer and .305/.345/.467, which would be his highest slugging percentage of his career.
– W: Octavio Dotel (5-3), L: Randy Wells (7-6), SV: Jason Motte (9)
– HR: Rafael Furcal (8), Yadier Molina (14)

Dodgers 6 – Padres 2

Clayton Kershaw made his final bid at the NL Cy Young trophy with 7.1 innings of 2-run ball and 6 strikeouts.  He finishes the season with a 2.28 ERA over 233.1 innings and 248 strikeouts.
Cory Luebke went 6 innings and allowed 4 run (3 earned) with 6 strikeouts and 4 walks.  He finishes the season with a 3.23 ERA, 105 strikeouts, and 25 walks as a starter over 94.2 innings.
Matt Kemp went 1-5 with a double, RBI, and 2 runs.  He remains nine percentage points behind Ryan Braun in his chase for the triple-crown.
Rod Barajas hit his 16th homer of the season, which surprises me that he even had that many. 
– W: Clayton Kershaw (21-5), L: Cory Luebke (6-10)
– HR: Rod Barajas (16), Aaron Cunningham (3)

Diamondbacks 5 – Giants 2

Josh Collmenter pitched 7 innings and allowed 2 earned runs for his 10th win.  He lowered his ERA to 3.38, which is pretty impressive for a guy just breaking into the majors.
Tim Lincecum allowed 5 earned runs over 5 innings on 8 hits and 2 walks with 3 strikeouts for his 14th loss.  His 3.35 xFIP is the worst of his short career and is likely influenced by his 3.57 BB/9 walk rate, which was also the worst of his career.
Carlos Beltran went 2-4 with a homer.  He’s hitting .335/.379/.576 with the Giants.
Miguel Montero went 2-4 with a double and 2 RBI.  He leads the NL in WAR among catchers, if you’re into that sort of thing. 
– W: Josh Collmenter (10-10), L: Tim Lincecum (13-14), SV: J.J. Putz (45)
– HR: Andres Torres (4), Carlos Beltran (22)
– SB: Gerardo Parra (15)