Circle Jerking: Stroking Wood with MDS

Yeah about that headline. Sorry. It was just too good to not use. I promise to keep it clean for awhile after this and that Doug Fister line.

Travis Wood (23%) was humming through five innings and then went limp in the sixth. The final line wasn’t awful, but it could have been much better [5.1 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 ER, 3 K]. Wood was on a string of good games after a horrible start to the season. I liked Travis coming (I’m not going to say, “I liked Wood coming”) into the season and I still do. The strikeouts and walks are nice (7.69 K/9 vs 2.68 BB/9), it’s just that ugly BABIP (.344). I know Travis is giving up plenty of line drives, but he does have a solid track record for limiting base hits and the defense behind him is pretty good. I’m still a believer. Anyone standing next to me?

More MLB action after the jump. Of course we’re talking about the lesser-owned players and finishing with some bullpen news.

Justin Turner 10%, the man who has the ability to hit .300, is hitting .365 after a 3 for 4 day at the dish. He plated a run with a double off Freddy Garcia.

R.A. Dickey (11%) and Freddy Garcia faced off in an unlikely pitcher’s duel in the Bronx. I liked Dickey coming (shit!) into the season, but things haven’t worked out so well. The year-to-year increase in velocity has topped out, the K/9 are down, the BB/9 are up and to top it all off he’s pushing a bad-luck BABIP (.318 vs 15% LD%). Things will improve for Dickey, but saying a 1.55 WHIP will improve isn’t saying much.

Freddy Garcia (12%) is pushing better numbers than Robert Allen in terms of WHIP and ERA, but he’s getting crushed by opposing batters. When you see a 26% LD%, you expect to see a .400 BABIP, not the fabulous .250 BABIP that Freddy is spinning. The 12.7% HR/FB% lends credence to the fact that Freddy is serving up meatballs on a pu pu platter. Beware.

Michael Brantley (36%) went 1 for 4 with a run scored and a run batted in. He’s back atop the batting order with Sizemore out (bruised knee). I’m sure Brantley is probably on your team already, I’ve plugged him all over the place. He’s earned it and he deserves it though.

Alex White (4%) was pulled after three innings. Things haven’t gone well for the youngster. He left the game with a sore middle finger. That’s what happens when you walk 9 batters in 15 innings, you spend a lot of time flipping the bird to hecklers. Mitch Talbot is close to returning, if he’s not ready now. It’s safe to drop White.

I recently added Mitch Talbot (1%) to my AL-Only league. I know the sample size is extremely small (12 IP), but the 8 K/9, 3.65 BB/9, 14.7% LD% and 0% HR/FB% lured me in like a Siren singing a lovely song. I’m sure that sexy ass fish woman will lead me to a watery grave, the water being my own tears. I doubt Talbot sustains that strikeout rate, but I need IP and I’m willing to take the chance. I gambled on Josh Tomlin and look at me now. I’m going to press my luck. Big money! No Whammies!

A day after I scribbled the Nationals’ phone number on a stall wall, Washington dropped bombs on Jake Arrieta and the Orioles. Roger Bernadina, Laynce Nix, Jayson Werth (x2), Wilson Ramos and Danny Espinosa all went yard. Arthur Starbonelli and I discussed Laynce Nix (5%) on the most recent episode of Starbonell Station. Today I went on a twitter tirade about Danny Espinosa‘s (14%) inability to hit line drives. He’s likely the worst in the league at making solid contact. Danny has power and speed, but he’ll be a heavy burden on your team batting average.

Rajai Davis went 2 for 4 with a RBI. He’s a Top 100 player if you ask me, I’m amazed Rajai is available in 49% of Y! leagues. His teammate Aaron Hill (who went 3 for 4 with a run scored) is available in 38% of Y! leagues. When Hill starts hitting home runs (we all know he has 25 HR power), he’s going to be very valuable. Hill is hitting line drives again and now he’s stealing bases. This would be a good time to send a few buy low offers to Hill owners. He has yet to hit a HR, might as well give it a shot.

Adrian Gonzalez: 14 RBI. Anyone think he doesn’t reach 125 RBI with ease?

Phil Humber (18%) keeps rolling along [7 IP, 5 H, BB, 2 ER, 4 K]. Don’t buy into the .210 BABIP.

Seth Smith (17%): 3 for 6 with a RBI (.310 AVG).

Willie Bloomquist (24%) is back! Slick Willie started in LF, led off and went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. Ohio klan members may be disappointed to see he was caught stealing though. 

Alberto Callaspo (33%): 2 for 3 with a run and 3 RBI

Mark Trumbo (16%): 3 for 4 with HR No. 7 and 3 RBI

Ryan Ludwick (31%) went 2 for 4 with a RBI. He has 8 HR on the season and has raised his AVG (.241) nearly 50 points since May 11th. He’s on a nice little hot streak. Add, play and toss aside when he goes a few games without a hit.

Erik Bedard (15%) pitched well against Mat Latos and the Padres [8 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 9 K]. Did you see this coming? Welcome to the club, we’re six billion strong.

Ryan Vogelsong (22%) pitched well for the third straight game [6 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 0 ER, 5 K]. Did I say he pitched well, he’s actually been great. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in those three starts [18.1 IP, 12 H, 4 BB, 16 K vs COL, @CHC, OAK]. Barry Zito is expected to be back in two or three weeks (foot). I can’t envision the team paying Zito $150 million per game to come out of the bullpen.

The Kevin Gregg implosion was inevitable. Four hits and two runs later, his WHIP sits lays down at 1.61, his ERA is now 4.15. This would be the time to open a new window and make sure Koji Uehara (21%) is not available on your waiver wire. Snatch him up if he’s unclaimed.

Frank Francisco took a beating against Houston. He recorded only one out before walking Matt Downs, giving up a HR to Chris Johnson and allowing Angel Sanchez to reach base via a single. Shawn Camp was called in to bail out Franky Two Times. Jon Rauch took the blown save by allowing two runs to score in the 8th inning. Franky has allowed 3 HR in his past 6 appearances, we’ll monitor this situation.

Mark Melancon (34%) recorded save No. 2.

Huston Street blew a save, his second of the season. He gave up two hits including a HR to Yuniesky Betancourt. If you want to bet on Huston having problems, I’d suggest the 12% owned Matt Lindstrom [0.98 WHIP, 1.40 ERA, 16 K, 4 BB, 19.1 IP].

Sergio Santos gave up four earned runs against the Dodgers (five hits, one walk) and his ERA still sparkles at 1.69. These were the first earned runs he’d given up all season.

Jose Valverde was plundered by the Pirates (Brad Penny too). Jose was phoned in to pitch a meaningless 8th inning. He walked Tabata, gave up a single to Garrett Jones and then surrendered the booty to Neil Walker (3-run HR). Valverde has been solid most of the season, his recent bout with scurvy hasn’t loosened his grip on the role of closer.

Scott Atchison was awarded the save (three inning variety) in a 15 to 5 game against the Chubbies. Ignore this.

J.J. Putz was unavailable Friday night, Joe Paterson got a two-out save. Ignore this.

Ryan Franklin made a pact with the devil before the Rapture (you knew you wouldn’t escape this without one Rapture reference). Ryan Franklin actually pitched an inning without giving up a run, this was the first time he’s accomplished this small feat since April 23rd. Ignore this (probably).