|Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets||Smart Era Gets Off to a Good Start with Win over T’wolves|
In last week’s wrap-up, I mentioned how I wanted Henry Rowengartner from the film “Rookie of the Year” as my fantasy closer. Now, if I had to choose the best fictitious hitter to have on my roster, it would probably have to be Pedro Cerrano from “Major League”. Oh, and I don’t mean the Buddhist Cerrano from the sequel, I want the crazy, head-shaving voodoo master from the original. Granted, he couldn’t hit a breaking ball to save his life, but every time he went up there, he either struck out or hit a home run. He was the voodoo version of Adam Dunn.
I mentioned him here last week purely for his doubles. Now he is here because he blasted four home runs, drove in eight, and stole three bases. I personally love the five walks and in case you are wondering, he hit two doubles.
Eight of Werth’s 11 hits went for extra bases including a league-leading five home runs. Werth has at least seven home runs in each of the last three months and has already set a career-high in that category (29) with over a month to go.
Big Papi led the majors in RBI with 10 and even launched three more home runs. Despite the steroid controversy and the poor start to the season, Papi has 20 home runs and 75 RBI. Now that the steroid scandal has passed, hopefully Papi’s head is cleared up.
Just 11 more hits and three home runs for the A.L. batting leader. Mauer is actually being considered for the MVP award. Why not? The guy already has two batting titles (as a freakin’ catcher!) and is going to set career-highs in every offensive category. Did I mention that he will do this despite sitting out all of April?
As predictable as the weather, LaRoche is once again on a second half surge. LaRoche produced eight runs, 12 hits, four home runs, and 9 RBI. In 82 games before the break, LaRoche had 12 homers, 39 RBI, and hit .250. In 31 games since the break, he is hitting .350 with eight home runs and 20 RBI.
How much more dominant can this guy be? Carpenter racked up two more wins and struck out 14 batters in 15.0 innings with a 1.20 ERA. Carpenter has not lost since June 30th and has won nine of his last 10 starts.
Another dominating performance by Lee, who made one start, but it was a complete game shutout of Arizona with 11 strikeouts. Lee has won seven straight starts and has a 0.82 ERA since moving to Philadelphia.
Valverde recorded three more saves and fanned six men in 3.0 innings without surrendering a run. Valverde hasn’t allowed a run in his last seven appearances and hasn’t blown a save since June 28th.
Bell only recorded one save, but he also picked up his fifth win while surrendering no runs and striking out five batters.
In his two starts, Jimenez earned two wins and had a 2.25 ERA in 16.0 innings with 14 strikeouts. Jimenez has a 2.78 ERA since July 5th with a 8.74 K/9 and 1.06 WHIP.
Making his first start after leaving Boston, Smoltz finally made a good start with a five inning gem that saw him strike out nine batters without giving up a run. He clearly has something left in the tank, so take a risk.
Byrd is enjoying his best month as a full-time starter with a .306 avg and four home runs. Byrd is great for a late season run since he is a career .290 hitter after the break and last season, he hit .338 with .518 slugging in 63 games post-break.
Rowand hit .464 last week (13/28) and has hit .296 in August. With the exception of July, where he hit .190, Rowand has hit .283 or higher in every month. With the Giants battling for a playoff spot, expect that offense to keep producing.
LaPorta, the key acquisition in the CC Sabathia trade last season, has been called up again. Since coming back on August 20th, LaPorta has five hits that include three doubles and four RBI. He should get ample playing time seeing as Cleveland’s season is worthless anyway.
His current ERA (4.72) doesn’t show his dominance over the past month. In the last 30 days, Holland has gone 4-2 with a 2.56 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 7.45 K/9. His .311 BABIP suggests that he can keep this pace up for the rest of the season. So if you need quality starts with good strikeout numbers, then pick him up.