By Ian Kay
Mat Latos for Cy Young? Sixty more innings pitched probably gives Roy Halladay the edge right now, but just being in the conversation at age 22 is pretty, prettaaaay good. Latos has 14 wins and leads the NL in ERA (2.21) and WHIP (0.96) after another impressive turn last night against the Dodgers (W, 7 IP, ER, 4 H, 10 K).
Speaking of future Cy Young winners, Latos’ victory came at the expense of Clayton Kershaw (7 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K), who just can’t catch a break right now. The lefty is 1-3 in his last six turns (39 2/3 IP) despite a 2.27 ERA and a 44/15 K/BB ratio over that span. Uhh, Andre? Matt? Any time you want to crank up the offense…
Wrapping up the past/future Cy Young winner portion of our program, Johan Santana (strained pectoral) will be re-examined later this week, Josh Johnson (back, shoulder) will skip his Friday start and Tim Lincecum K’d 11 over 6 2/3 innings of three-run ball in a win over the D-backs.
Dillon Gee — Santana’s rotation replacement — turned in quite the impressive big leage debut for the Mets, holding Nats to one run on two hits over seven frames and taking a no-hitter into the sixth. If you’re still playing meaningful games in an NL-only format, go ahead and take the plunge. Gee’s 9.2 K/9 and 4.0 K/BB ratio over 161 1/3 Triple-A innings this season are far better than his career norms, but you’re really only asking him to keep it up for another four or five starts.
In the long term, I’m more excited about Yuneski Maya — the other starter who made his big league debut in that Mets/Nats tilt. The 29-year-old Cuban wasn’t overly impressive last night (5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K), but even the Nationals don’t give out $6 million contracts for nothing. Scout him over the next few weeks — there might be 2011 sleeper potential here.
Trevor Hoffman finally locked down save No. 600 vs. the Cardinals. I heard that Andy Asby and Steve Finley co-hosted a fabulous after-party, with Woody Williams also making a special guest appearance. Hopefully we can now resume the John Axford closer era in Milwaukee.
Miguel Cabrera left last night’s game early because of the same biceps injury that forced him out of action twice last week. There’s no word yet on whether Miggy will be available today, but this seems like the kind of injury that won’t be fully healed until Spring Training.
Three more hits and two more RBIs for Jhonny Peralta. He’s now hitting .329/.379/.553 with five homers and 20 RBIs over his last 22 games. Dhetroit Rock City indeed.
Happy Meals for everyone! James McDonald earned his third win after blanking the Braves over seven innings (5 H, 3 BB, 3 K). A 4.17 ERA in seven turns (41 IP) with Pittsburgh doesn’t stand out, but the 40/16 K/BB ratio comes with extra Big Mac special sauce. I’m sure he’ll find his way onto a few of my teams next season.
Michael Bourn was dropped around mid-season in a lot of leagues, but he’s quietly hitting .381 with 14 runs in his last 16 games and has swiped a bag in three of his last four contests. If you need to win steals in a head-to-head playoff match up, he’s your man.
Drew Stubbs went 2-for-4 with a pair of ribbies last night. The outfielder is extremely streaky and the average may never be a plus, but he’s also capable of going bonkers and winning you two or three weekly categories by himself. Just keep the old saying in mind: when you try to catch lightning in a bottle, you might get burned.
Bumps ‘n’ bruises: David Wright was scratched with a bruised finger. … Billy Butler and Freddy Garcia exited early due to injury. … Paul Konerko could be back tomorrow. … Jose Reyes is targeting a Friday return. … Jay Bruce hit off a tee. … Brian Fuentes didn’t feel 100 percent after a bullpen session. … Gordon Beckham is going to miss a few more games. … And Jutin Upton isn’t ready to return from a shoulder strain that has supposedly bothered him since 2006.