Yankees 11, Orioles 10
- At what point do we start wondering if Brian Matusz will ever be that ace he looked like he'd become in the minors? Perhaps this is just a lost year due to injury and he'll get it back. Either way, things have looked worse and worse, as tonight Matusz couldn't get out of the second inning and allowed five or more runs for the sixth consecutive start. The final line: 1.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R (all earned), 2 BB, 3 K. Only the Orioles' offensive outburst saved him from his eighth straight loss.
- Freddy Garcia was no better on the other end, giving up seven runs on nine hits in just 2.2 innings. Worst start of the year for Garcia, who'd held the O's to a single run on two hits in a six-inning win his very last time out. Garcia's given up eight homers at home against three on the road in roughly the same number of innings.
- Jesus Montero is now officially a big leaguer. He ripped a pair of home runs, the first two of his career, drew a walk, drove in three and scored three. He's the most interesting September call-up to me, largely due to his line on playing time.
- Big game for Mark Reynolds – 3-for-4, a homer (32) and a steal (6). Are you buying on Reynolds next year? I kind of feel like he presents an interesting buy-low opportunity.
- Modestly useful MI piece Robert Andino hit a rare homer, his third of the year.
- Nick Markakis gad a couple hits, including his 15th homer. The doubles have really declined for Markakis this year, though.
- Robinson Cano contributed a second-inning grand slam, homer No. 24 for him, and Mark Teixeira homered, too, his 36th.
- The win goes to Aaron Laffey (2-1). The loser is Jim Johnson (5-5), who gave up both Montero homers.
- And the save, not without some trouble and a run, goes to Mariano Rivera, his 38th.
- Nolan Reimold collected a rare steal (2), and Matt Angle stole a pair (3) as a pinch-runner.
Tigers 4, Indians 2
- Doug Fister (7-13) averaged 5.5 strikeouts per nine innings as a Mariner this year, and 5.7 in his first six starts as a Tiger, so if he was just about the last guy you expected to rip off 13 strikeouts in a game, you're forgiven. But that's exactly what he did over eight innings of four-hit ball, allowing just two runs (one earned) and walking only one. He did hit a batter. Fister's now 4-1 in a Detroit uniform.
- Ubaldo Jimenez (2-2 or 8-11, depending on how you look at it) stayed on track with seven very fine innings blemished only by a Victor Martinez three-run homer in the fourth. He allowed only one hit besides that, as well as three walks and a hit batter, striking out eight. Ubaldo's ERA and WHIP as an Indian don't look that great, but he's got a 46:14 K:BB in 41 innings since changing leagues.
- The homre for Martinez was just his ninth of the year, but he's still hitting a heady .324 and, at 82 RBI, is a threat to eclipse 100 for the third time in his career if he can have a big September.
- Jose Valverde nailed down his 41st save in perfect form.
- Kosuke Fukudome hit his second homer as an Indian and fifth of the year.
Nationals 7, Dodgers 2
- I drafted Michael Morse in so many fantasy leagues, only to cut him loose after a month of April in which he wasn't hitting and was playing less and less. Now, with his two-homer day today, he's at 26 long balls for the year to go with a .315 average. And it hurts.
- Hiroki Kuroda (11-15) struck out nine batters in six innings (a season high) and walked none, but got tagged for four home runs among eight hits. He was charged with five runs.
- John Lannan (9-11) got the win with 5.1 innings of one-run ball, allowing five hits, walking two and striking out four.
- The other two Washington homers came off the bats of Ian Desmond (7) and Jayson Werth (18).
- Danny Espinosa took home a shiny new sombrero made of gold, striking out all four times up.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0 in 11
- Brett Lawrie accounted for the game's only run with a long walk-off homer (8). He also walked twice and stole his fifth base. I've been hyping this guy all year and now he's finally up and just absolutely crushing the ball. That OPS is still riding high over 1.000, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was the top third baseman in fantasy next year.
- Josh Beckett was well on his way to a dominant outing, striking out six over 3.2 shutout innings and allowing just three hits and a walk, but he sprained his ankle in the fourth and had to come out.
- Henderson Alvarez turned in six impressive innings, allowing only four hits and a walk while striking out four, and it's time to start giving the kid credit for some serious fantasy potential after a couple of big-time starts in a row – 14 shutout innings.
- Shawn Camp (3-3) was the beneficiary of the walk-off, while Dan Wheeler (2-2) was the victim.
- Mike McCoy went 1-for-3 with a couple steals (9) out of the leadoff spot.
- Edwin Encarnacion also stole two bases (7). All teams just love to run on Jason Varitek.
Rays 5, Rangers 1
- Right up there with 13-strikeout games from Doug Fister: 11 complete games from James Shields (14-10), easily the most in baseball – four more than Roy Halladay. In this latest, he allowed just one run on four hits and two walks, striking out six.
- Not as good: Scott Feldman (1-1), who was roughed up for four runs in five innings in only his second start of the season, walking four and allowing four hits while striking out just two.
- Evan Longoria made his way on base three of four times, twice via the walk and once via the home run (25). He also stole a base (2).
- Matt Joyce swiped a bag too, giving him a surprising dozen steals on the year.
- B.J. Upton hit his 19th homer, drew a walk and struck out twice in a day of absolute results.
Pirates 3, Astros 1
- James McDonald (9-7) turned in a mighty fine outing in the rain, surrendering only one run on three hits and three walks in 7.1 innings while striking out six. For what it's worth, he's got four quality starts in a row.
- Henry Sosa (2-3) wasn't too bad, holding the Pirates to two runs over six innings, but that was one too many. He did give up a lot of baserunners – six hits and three walks – and only struck out three.
- Joel Hanrahan had an adventurous save (35), giving up a couple hits and a walk, but no runs.
- Derrek Lee hit his fourth homer as a Pirates and 16th of the season.
- Jose Tabata left the game with wrist discomfort.
White Sox 2, Twins 1; White Sox 4, Twins 0
- The big story to come out of the doubleheader: Zach Stewart (2-3) missed a perfect game by one eighth-inning Danny Valencia double, striking out nine in an otherwise flawless complete game in the nightcap.
- Stewart followed Phil Humber's act, as Humber (9-8) came off the DL with seven shutout innings in Game 1, striking out six and allowing six hits and no walks.
- Sergio Santos struggled again trying to nail down the save for Humber and was pulled for Chris Sale, who struck out the only batter he faced for his sixth save.
- The Twins got respectable pitching performances from Anthony Swarzak (3-6) and Scott Diamond (1-3), but each took losses thanks to an awful offense that managed just eight total hits in the two games – seven of them singles.
- Alex Rios had three hits in the night game and stole his 11th base.
- Alejandro De Aza, still hitting .300, stole his sixth base and also was caught stealing in the day game.
Cubs 4, Reds 3
- Matt Garza (8-10) struck out eight in his 7.2 innings of work, allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits and three walks. Garza's been stuck with six unearned runs in his last five starts – bad luck or bad pitching in tight spots? Unearned runs or no, his ERA is still well under three since the break.
- Dontrelle Willis (0-5) gave up four runs in seven innings to stay winless. Somehow he only threw 108 pitches despite all the deep counts involved in walking five batters and striking out eight. He allowed six hits.
- Carlos Marmol needed just nine pitches for a neat save, his 32nd.
- Drew Stubbs stole his 37th base, but he's experienced a pretty sizeable power dropoff this year. Worried?
- Devin Mesoraco made his first MLB start and went 0-for-4 with an RBI groundout.
Diamondbacks 10, Rockies 7
- Wade Miley (3-1) pitched seven solid innings, allowing just two runs (solo homers both) on six hits and three walks while striking out six in his Coors Field debut. That's three quality outings in a row for the rookie, and there's some degree of difficulty there in having to face the Rockies twice.
- Esmil Rogers (6-5) was all over the place, walking five batters and giving up eight hits in just 5.1 innings. He struck out only two wand was charged with six runs.
- Dexter Fowler flashed some unusual power, hitting a pair of home runs (4). That's not a total fluke; especially in Colorado, he could be a 15-homer guy.
- Troy Tulowitzki hit a three-run homer (29) and added a single. Remember when he was hitting .250? He's at .370 since the All-Star break. And he's also at 100 RBI for the first time in his career.
- Mark Ellis homered for the fourth time with Colorado and the fifth time this season.
- Justin Upton has a couple hits, including his 27th homer, and was caught stealing.
- Geoff Blum homered (2) and had a two-run single, a big night for the old man, who'd only had 16 at-bats this year before tonight in a very injury-shortened season.
- Paul Goldschmidt hit a bases-clearing double and got thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple.
Royals 11, Athletics 6
- Rich Harden struck out 10 batters in five innings, but allowed four runs on eight hits. He walked only one. Harden's strikeout rate has been tremendous since his return; I like him as a sleeper of sorts for next year, but health is always an issue.
- Felipe Paulino was worse on the other end, walking six and throwing two wild pitches as he struggled with his control. He was charged with six runs in 4.1 innings, striking out four and giving up four hits – the big one a three-run homer by Scott Sizemore (9). He may still be less than 100|PERCENT| due to the back spasms that kept him out of his last start.
- Andrew Bailey (0-4) blew it in a dreaded non-save situation, entering in a tie game and giving up hits to three of the four batters he faced. He ended up being charged with three runs.
- Greg Holland (4-1) had a rough inning, walking a couple as he threw only seven of 19 pitches for strikes, but it was a scoreless one and the offense made a winner out of him.
- Billy Butler homered twice (18) to continue his awesome post-break tear. He's homered 12 times in just 51 games, sparking new hope that he's finally going to hit for power like we thought he would in the long run. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and four runs.
- Alcides Escobar made the most of his one time on base, stealing second and third (22).
- Eric Hosmer stayed hot with three hits, including two doubles. He's got multiple hits in four of six games, including three homers and three doubles in that span.
Giants 7, Padres 2
- Madison Bumgarner (10-12) did his best Doug Fister impression, striking out 13 batters in 8.1 innings, not leaving the game until Nick Hundley's solo homer with one out in the ninth brought on a call to the bullpen. He's had his hiccups, but has mostly been just spectacular this year.
- Cameron Maybin struck out three times in his first time back in the starting lineup since August 26, but he also singled and stole his 34th base. He'd been sidelined with a wrist injury.
- Pablo Sandoval homered twice (18) off Padres starter Tim Stauffer. Two homers in Petco – that's no joke. What a nice bounce-back year this has been for the Panda.
- Andres Torres drew a walk and stole his 17th base, but dropped his average to .223 with an 0-for-4.
- Tim Stauffer (8-12) gave up four runs on seven hits, walking just one but striking out just one in six innings of work.
- Carlos Beltran was scratched with an illness. Regretting that trade yet?
Brewers 4, Cardinals 1
- Randy Wolf (12-9) dominated the Cardinals for eight one-run innings, giving up just four hits and two walks while striking out five. Nice bounce-back for Wolf after getting roughed up by St. Louis his last time out.
- Jake Westbrook (11-8) struck out nine batters in six innings, but was stuck with three runs (two earned) on nine hits and a walk. That's about as good of a start as you can expect out of Westbrook at this point.
- John Axford cleaned up in the ninth without a problem for his 41st save.
- Ryan Braun, moving steadily toward a 30-100 year, hit his 27th homer and drove in his 95th run.
- Nyjer Morgan hit his fourth homer of the year, but his Plushdamentals were not on display in his two strikeouts. Still, he had the homer as well as a double and is now at .308 on the year.
Phillies 9, Braves 0
- Cliff Lee (16-7) cruised through the Atlanta lineup, allowing just five hits and no walks in a complete-game shutout. He's thrown six complete games this year and every one has been a shutout. Lee struck out six and now hasn't given up a run in three starts, a span of 24.2 innings.
- Derek Lowe (9-13) got knocked around for seven runs (five earned) in his five innings, giving up eight hits and four walks while striking out four.
- Ryan Howard was on base four times, picking up a couple walks, a single and his 31st homer.
- Shane Victorino drove in a couple runs and stole his 18th base.
- Hunter Pence collected a two-run single and an RBI double.
Marlins 9, Mets 3
- As promised, Javier Vazquez (9-11) has been revived once again by the NL East. His fastball is in the mid-90s again – with movement – and he worked off it for seven excellent innings, striking out seven and allowing one run on six hits and no walks.
- Chris Capuano (10-12) was tagged for six runs in four innings and was victimized by the long ball again. You just can't really pitch inside effectively with that soft, straight fastball that Capuano has all too often.
- Jose Lopez took an inside fastball and drilled it over the left field fence for his seventh homer of the year, five of them as a Marlin. He had three hits on the night.
- Bryan Petersen stole his fifth bag.
- Jason Bay hit a garbage-time two-run homer (11), his second long ball in three games. He still looks horrible on low-outside breaking pitches.
- Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison each had three hits.
Angels 7, Mariners 3
- Dan Haren (14-8) wasn't at his best, allowing 10 hits in six innings, but he limited the damage to three runs. The lack of walks helped, but he struck out just three.
- Anthony Vasquez (1-2) continued to struggle in his third major league start, allowing seven runs (six earned) in 5.2 innings. He's now given up six homers and 20 earned runs (23 total) in just 15 MLB innings with a 6:6 K:BB. In other words, not much to like here from a fantasy perspective.
- Mark Trumbo was good for another homer (26) and three RBI. A lot to like there from a fantasy perspective.
- Vernon Wells is still hitting .221, but at least he has 20 homers with tonight's shot off Vasquez.
- Brendan Ryan hit a rare home run (3) off Haren.
- Trayvon Robinson picked up a couple hits and his first career stolen base. He showed a nice power-speed combo in the minors – well worth a look in keeper formats.