In the middle of his start, a struggling Adam Wainwright began switching sides of the pitching rubber.
The Cardinals’ season is off to a disastrous start. On Monday night, they got shelled by the Nationals, falling to 2-5. Things are going wrong everywhere, from a generally anemic offense to a bullpen that looks (surprisingly) like one of the NL’s worst. They also haven’t gotten many good innings from their starting pitchers, and on Monday night Adam Wainwright got knocked around by a good Washington offense. He left after facing three batters in the fifth inning, but without retiring any of them and with four Nationals runs already on the board.
If anything, the outing was worse than that brief summary sounds. For most of the night, Wainwright was unable to command his curveball to the third-base side of home plate, and unable to command his cutter to the first-base side. He struggled to create the angles that would allow him to miss bats, especially against the Nationals’ excellent left-handed hitters: Adam Eaton, Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Stephen Drew, and Matt Wieters.
Four National League arms had notable performances this week, including the two most talked about young guns.
Week two of the baseball season is the time when poor performance from elite players starts to become concerning, and when multiple standout starts from young players begins to elicit Joy-Joy feelings that they have ascended to a new talent tier. Whereas it's easy to dismiss the whims of the first week as single-game outliers, by now most of the top pitchers have toed the rubber multiple times, and the repetition of head-scratching performance can lead us humans down the natural path of assigning causation, whether or not it exists.
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Five widely available middle relievers that can make the difference in September.
Whether you’re in a head-to-head or a rotisserie format, your team is likely in one of three places as the calendar flips over to September. You’re either a front-runner looking to load up for a potential playoff/championship push, or you’re on the periphery of the playoff race and desperately trying to make a run, or you’re completely out of it forced to focus on the future in a keeper or dynasty format.
When it comes to pitching statistics this late in the year, especially in a rotisserie format, there are two approaches you can take. If you are in the position where the rate statistics don’t matter and you’re just looking to pick up ground in wins and strikeouts, trolling the free agent wire for low-end streaming options is the way to go. If you’re looking to do the exact opposite, protect your ratios, then one of the most efficient ways to accomplish that is to load up on impact middle relievers.
The Sox end a streak, Bckett throws a no-no, and Springer explodes, plus much more from the weekend and what to watch today.
The Memorial Day Weekend Takeaway
If you’re going to compile a 10-game losing streak, you’ll need to find some innovative ways to give away games. Like, say, batting around and scoring five runs in the first inning against David Price, then getting shut out for 14 offensive frames before going down with a series of defensive misadventures:
Breaking down the starters for Scoresheet leagues, with a guest appearance from Bret Sayre.
As you’ve undoubtedly heard, good pitching beats good hitting, and vice versa. You may not, however, have thought about the implications of great pitching or terrible pitching on good hitting. We’ve got plenty to say on starting pitching in Scoresheet (so much so that this week is only the first half of our coverage of the position), but to summarize at the highest level, our advice is to maximize the great pitching on your team and to minimize the innings devoted to terrible pitching.
Sounds easy, but it can be quite hard in Scoresheet. So read on for our rankings and detailed thoughts on some players. And be sure to check out our podcast, linked at the bottom of this article, for even more advice on strategy and specific players.
We are also really excited to have the man/the legend Bret Sayre on the podcast for a special guest segment. Bret is trying out Scoresheet for the first time this year, and in this week’s segment, we talk through our thoughts on his keeper decisions in his soft keeper league.
Without further ado, here are our starting pitcher rankings in Scoresheet. Please note that for convenience, we are calling pitchers we rank 1-25 as no. 1 starters, those ranked 26 to 50 as no. 2 starters, etc.
The defending National League champs are replete with fantasy assets on both sides of the ball.
At the risk of pummeling home an obvious point, teams that advance to the World Series typically provide plenty of fantasy value across the board. The St. Louis Cardinals were no exception in 2013. Fifteen players provided double-digit Roto value in NL-only last year. Carlos Beltran left to join the New York Yankees, but with Matt Adams and Allen Craig already in the fold, Oscar Taveras waiting in the wings, and a handful of shrewd acquisitions, the Cards won’t miss a beat in 2014, and will once again be a good place for most of your fantasy shopping needs.
How the Red Sox sent the series back to Boston with a one-win lead.
This series has been compelling from the start, but it took until Game Five for it to look like a contest between two of the best teams in baseball. Game Five was the first without an error. It was mercifully free of egregiously bad baserunning, and it didn’t end with a debatable call. With the memory of Dana DeMuth's floating strike zone still fresh, it felt well-officiated behind home plate, aside from this third-inning strike three to Matt Carpenter.
After a walkoff obstruction call and a walkoff pickoff, what does Game Five have in store?
While the end of Game Four wasn’t quite as wild as Game Three’s crazy conclusion, last night was the first time a postseason game ended on a base running play since Game Five of the 1936 World Series (according to Baseball Reference). Propelled by Jonny Gomes’ huge three run home run and a strong bullpen performance, the Red Sox evened the series 2-2 and at a minimum ensured the series will return to Boston. Here is a preview of Game Five of the 2013 World Series.
The Red Sox weren't supposed to match up well against strike-throwing Adam Wainwright. So why did they?
Throughout the World Series, we'll be providing two recaps of each game, one with a focus on the winner and the other devoting a longer look to the loser. This is the Red Sox entry for Game One. The Cardinals entry is here.