Daily Notes – It’s the most…Wonderful time….of the year…

The other day I tweeted the Marlins vs. Cardinals game on Wednesday was the soup and salad to the M’s vs. A’s series appetizer to Thursday’s main course. I was asked if Friday would be seconds or desert. I haven’t decided yet. I do know that yesterday was a pitching buffet. The scores from yesterdays games more closely resembled matches from the English Premiership than MLB. Onto the recap of action! Max Payne style…

 

  • Justin Verlander was his unusual self going 8 IP allowing no runs, 2 hits and fanning 7. Only unusual because April is Verlander’s worst month. He has a career April ERA of 4.52…Last year it was 3.50, but since 2008, his previous low was 5.53. Granted you can’t ever really buy low on Verlander, but it may be even more difficult to do so this year.
  • Austin Jackson looked sharp at the plate today getting 3 hits, scoring a run and driving in the game’s winning run in walk off fashion. I mentioned before that the dip in his average last year from ’10 didn’t quite pass the sniff test and I have hopes he’ll be getting his average back up around that 2010 mark.
  • Johan Santana made it through 5 innings, with the Mets abiding to a strict 90 pitch limit (he threw 84). He shut out the Braves, allowing 2 H, 2 BB and striking out 5. He was consistently around 87-89, but his change up was just as effective as always, coming in at 77 mph. It doesn’t matter how hard you throw, with there is that big a gap in speed 88 can feel like 98. Frank Francisco was able to come in and get a 1-2-3 9th for the save.
  • Eric Bedard wasn’t bad in 7 IP, allowing only 1 run and striking out 6, but Roy Halladay was sharper, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 5 K’s and no runs. The Pirates have a though schedule to open the season, but I stand by Bedard as a good guy to put out there, as long as he is healthy he’s worth owning.
  • Ian Desmond collected 3 of the Nats 4 hits on the day, and they still managed to top the Cubs.
  • Ryan Dempster posted a 10 whiff day, and walked only 3 through 7.2 innings. The Cubbies pen blew this one with Kerry Wood walking 3 in a third of an inning, then Carlos Marmol allowing 2 hits and a run in the 9th to give him the loss.
  • Speaking of the bullpen blowing things, Chris Perez was a train wreck yesterday. Coming into the game with a 3 run lead, he made it through two thirds of an inning and leaving with a line of 3 hits, 2 walks, 3 earned runs. His ERA is a 1 appearance inflated 40.50. Vinnie Pestano, the obvious handcuff, came in to stop the bleeding and finished 1.3 innings giving up 1 hit and getting 1 K. If he is available in your league he needs to be added now. It may be another month before he gets the closing gig, but with his K rates and ability his numbers will play on your squad.
  • The Canadian Law-Man, Brett Lawrie, was 0-6 with a walk and a run scored…not the way I’d like to see him start the year, but at least he wasn’t 0-for-7 like Colby Rasmus and Casey Kotchman were. Jack Hannahan hit his 3rd opening day HR in as many games.
  • Jose Bautista did it all yesterday. 3 hits, HR, 2 RBI, run scored, and made an appearance at 1B…9 more appearances and he has eiligibility in Yahoo leagues! Fine… it won’t happen, but if we can’t dream on opening day when can we?
  • I know it’s only two games, but is Miami worried? They have 7 hits on the season. They spent so much on that new stadium and the…thing in left center and have nothing to show for it yet. Johnny Cueto blanked them yesterday through 7, and perhaps more importantly, Dusty was true to his word and threw Sean Marshall in the 9th. Sure it wasn’t a save situation, but it was nice seeing him there.
  • I don’t have cable TV…cable, satellite, whatever is way too expensive, so I have the most basic TV package I can have without actually having an antenna on my roof. So last night when I had Gameday on, and I saw a pitching change after 4 innings in LA, and there weren’t any runs on the board, I though Clayton Kershaw might have been injured. Lucky for owners, it was a stomach bug and Mattingly pulled him after seeing he was lying on the tunnel floor in between innings. Matt Kemp was Kemp, getting a HR with 2 hits and 3 RBI, but Cameron Maybin delivered a 437 ft monster shot. We (the collective fantasy baseball industry we) have been saying that Maybin could be in for a power breakout this season to go along with his blazing speed. Hope you were smart enough to listen…
What about tonight’s games?

CWS vs TEX – Danks vs. Lewis – I don’t start Danks here… not in Texas, not against this lineup.

Min vs. BAL – Pavano vs. Arrieta – I like Pavano… he has stayed healthy and outside of Jones, there isn’t a lot to be afraid of in BAL.

NYY vs. TB – Sabathia vs. Shields

KC vs. LAA – Chen va. Weaver – Why on earth would you even think of playing Chen here?

SEA vs. OAK – Vargas vs. McCarthy – Both guys are solid plays tonight. Big ball park + anemic offense = safe play

STL vs. MIL – Garcia vs. Gallardo

COL vs. Hou – Guthrie vs. Rodriguez – If you don’t start Guthrie here, when will you? 

SF vs. ARI – Lincecum vs. Kennedy

LAD vs. SD – Billingsly vs. Luebke – We are expecting big things from Luebke this year…big things.