I love baseball. In fact, I often find myself dreaming about the game. I stare at spreadsheets all day, sometimes wind up with a sore back from being hunched over the keyboard all day, and find myself constantly checking my fantasy squads for up to the minute results even when it is clear just how my team will finish in the standings. I know, I’m addicted. Luckily the season is almost over – though of course that doesn’t mean I won’t still be pouring over stats all offseason in search of those little tidbits that will make all the difference in 2010. Here are a few of my observations for Monday.
Matt Cain won his 14th game of the season on Sunday, this after picking up three straight loses during which time he allowed a total of 15 earned runs over 14.1 innings, and yes, that’s more than one run per inning folks (9.42 ERA). I’ve said it all along that Cain has just been lucky this season, though it’s not like I really wanted to see that prediction come to fruition down the stretch when the Giants really needed him to make a playoff push. Here are some numbers.
2009: 7.03 K/9, 2.31 K/BB, 0.93 HR/9, .265 BABIP
Career: 7.51, 2.08 K/BB, 0.80 HR/9, .277 BABIP
So, for the 13th time, don’t expect Cain to continue to roll along with an ERA of 2.88 next season, not unless he really turns around some things on the hill. Look for that ERA of his to be much closer to his career 3.53 mark in’10, though that would still leave him as a valuable member of any fantasy staff (just don’t reach on him).
Can you believe it?Jorge de la Rosa has 16 victories with one start left. If he manages to pull out the win, he will tie the Rockies single season record of 17.
Andy LaRoche had five hits on Monday, including two bombs, leading to six RBI against the Dodgers. That gives LaRoche 12 homers and 61 RBI in 499 ABs this season, to go along with a .259 batting average. So much for that breakout season he was supposed to have after producing strong numbers in spring. The breakout star for the Pirates has actually been Garrett Jones who has 21 homers and 10 steals, not to mention that he has hit .301 in his 292 ABs. If you predicted that one, you can have my job. Wait, I’m not willing to give up my job, you can have one that belongs to one of my co-workers.
Mike Lowell had another one of those Synvisc injections into his hip with to help lube up the joint for the playoffs. It hasn’t been a season to remember for Lowell, but really, is anyone going to complain about a .290 average, 17 homers and 75 RBI in just 438 ABs? If he picked up 589 ABs, as he did in 2007, that rate would leave him with about 23 homers and 101 RBI, and who wouldn’t take that from a third baseman who also hit .290? Exactly.
Brandon McCarthy continues to operate on the fringe of relevance. McCarthy, long hampered by injuries, owns a 4.47 ERA and 1.35 WHIP this season through 16 starts. Things have gotten even better of late as he has posted a 3.45 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP over his last five starts. He isn’t someone to count on, and he certainly doesn’t deserve any attention in mixed leagues heading into 2010, but if you are in an AL-only league there are certainly worse flyers to take a chance on late in your draft.
Do you like it when athletes do those funny commercials? If you do, and you are a hockey fan, give the new Joe Thornton Commercial a watch. Good to know that he has a job because this new line of work wouldn’t be too profitable based upon how he did in the commercial.
By Ray Flowers