Just when you thought it was safe to back into the water — that was a tag line from the movie Jaws, a timeless classic about a rogue great white shark with a taste for human flesh (it’s still a great flick after all these years). In a similar vein, just when you thought it was safe to give up on the slumping Andre Ethier — he goes out outs together a modest 4-game hitting that includes six hits, three runs, a homer, and five RBI over his last two outings. His production has been as unsteady as a boat in the high seas as he hit .385 in April, just .244 in August, and has hit a mere .221 with one homer in 140 at-bats against lefties. Still, with a solid final month of health he could hit .300 with 70 RBI and 80 runs scored, so it hasn’t been a total washout (he’s hitting .294 with 56 RBI and 65 runs scored).
How good is Roy Halladay? Not only does he have 6-straight years of 16 victories and twice as many wins (185) as loses (91) in his career, but he’s a consistency beast. In 2010 he had a 2.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and .245 BAA. In 2011 those numbers are 2.47, 1.04 and .243. You have copious amounts of success when you post a 7.30 and 7.64 K/BB ratio (his marks in 2010 and 2011). In case you were wondering, Halladay’s worst monthly ERA was 3.00 in May, and his worst WHIP total was his 1.17 mark from the just finished month of August. Felix Hernandez, one of the best pitchers in the game, has season long marks of 3.37 and 1.20.
Justin Morneau is suffering some minor concussion related symptoms so he is going to be shut down for a few days. I wish the guy all the best because the man has been beat down by injury over the past year. Over his 68 games played this season he’s batting .227 with four homers and 30 RBI and a .618 OPS.
Sergio Santos has been dynamic for the White Sox this year to help stabilize a bullpen that was disastrous at the start of the year. Santos has a 12.68 K/9 mark, has allowed only three homers over 54.2 innings, and has converted 28 of 32 save chances. He’s also allowed just one run over his last 17 outings.
Tim Stauffer gave up seven runs while recording only five outs Tuesday. Blowups like that happen on occasion, but the truly amazing part of his outing is that he gave up all those runs while allowing one measly hit. How is that possible you say? Well, he walked seven batters (as an aside, what kind of manager leaves his pitcher in the game to walk seven batters?). Stauffer walked in a run when Hiroki Kuroda was issued a free pass. That finally got Stauffer removed from the game. Luckily for Timbo, Anthony Bass came into the game and allowed a salami (three of the runs were Stauffer’s).Tim’s ERA went from 3.42 to 3.76 with the outing.
Stephen Strasburg will make his triumphant comeback from Tommy John surgery when he takes the hill for the Nats on September 6th. Strasburg should have success right away, his stuff is simply too good not to, but avoid getting too far ahead of yourself. He’s dominated in the minors with 25 Ks and just three walks in 14.1 innings, and his fastball is sitting regularly at 96 mph, but he’s still yet to throw 75 pitches in a minor league outing. That sounds an awful lot like he will be a five inning pitcher to me for the rest of this season.
By Ray Flowers