Rundown: Return of the Smoak monster
Smoak is finally proving the Mariners right. The biggest
cog in the midseason Cliff Lee trade, Smoak went deep again on Wednesday,
marking his third straight game with a tater. The 23-year-old first baseman has
hit safely in six straight games, driving in seven runs in the process nad will
be a great late-round option with tons of upside in mixed-league drafts next
Hamilton – Had another good day swinging the bat Wednesday
and is expressing optimism that he can be in the lineup as early as Friday.
McDonald (L, 6 IP, ER, 5 H, 7 K vs. STL) — Despite the
outcome, McDonald once again proved that Pittsburgh made the right move in
acquiring him for Octavio Dotel at the Trade Deadline. In 11 starts for the
Pirates, McDonald went 4-5 with a 3.52 ERA and 61/24 K/BB ratio over 64 innings.
Walters (W, 7 IP, 3 H, BB, 4 K vs. PIT) — Walters, who was
roughed up in his first start after being recalled from Triple-A Memphis –
where he went 8-5 with a 3.81 ERA in 19 games — submitted a more polished
performance in this one, scattering a couple of singles while expending just 80
pitches. The 25-year-old right-hander finishes the season with a 6.00 ERA and
22/10 K/BB ratio over 30 innings of work.
Blanton (W, 7 IP, R (0 ER), 3 BB,
6 K vs. WSH) – Over his last 10 starts, Blanton is 5-0 with a 3.06 ERA and
58/16 K/BB ratio. Not a bad close out to the season.
R. A. Dickey (L, 7 IP, 6 H, ER, 4 K
vs. MIL) — Despite the loss, Dickey was sharp on his final turn
in the rotation in 2010, allowing one run or fewer for the 11th time in 26
starts. Most impressive about the 35-year-old hurler is his impeccable control
of the knuckleball. The right-hander walked just 41 batters in 173 2/3 innings
– a 2.12 BB/9 ratio, good for fifth in the National League.
Figueroa (W, 6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 0 ER,
3 BB, 5 K vs. CIN) — Figueroa’s ninth and final start with the Astros
was his best, notching his only scoreless start. Since joining Houston’s
rotation, the journeyman right-hander was 3-3 with a 3.62 ERA and 37 strikeouts
over 49 2/3 innings.
Francisco (3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBIs)
– Given the rare opportunity to start consecutive games, Francisco
didn’t disappoint, notching his first multi-homer game of 2010. The 28-year-old
reserve outfielder is hitting .267 with a .500 slugging percentage as a
Hill (2-for-3, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R,
BB) — Hill’s long ball was his 5th in September and his 26th overall.
Home run power has been the keystoner’s lone source of production in an
otherwise rough season. In 516 at-bats, the 28-year-old is hitting .207 with a
Lincecum (W, 7 IP, 6H, ER, 4 BB, 11
K vs. ARI) — Lincecum closes out a wonderful September with a 5-1
record and a 1.94 ERA. The defending NL Cy Young Award winner racked up his
sixth double-digit strikeout performance, improving his total to an NL-leading
231. The ace right-hander may take the mound one more time this regular season,
either in the finale against the Padres on Sunday, or in a one-game playoff on
Mayberry (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs)–A
day removed from clinching a fourth consecutive NL East title, manager Charlie
Manuel played an irregular lineup and Mayberry took full advantage of the
opportunity. Wednesday night’s game marked the first start Major League start
of the season for the second generation Major Leaguer. The 26-year-old spent
his most of his year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley hitting .267 with 15 dingers and
Young (W, 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB,
6 K vs. CHC) — Young, who’s still working his way back from shoulder
woes, was the sharpest he’s been since returning from the disabled list. His
K/BB ratio of 6/2 in Wednesday’s tilt is a marked improvement from the 4/6 mark
from his previous two starts.