Kendry Morales Upstages John Lackey's 100th Career Win
Poppin' out of the box scores and right into your cubicle, the Roto Rush is your double espresso shot of fantasy baseball advice every weekday.
John Lackey threw eight innings on Sunday, striking out six and not surrendering an earned run. It was his 100th career victory. He should have been the man of the hour, right?
That would have been the case had Kendry Morales not jacked his 30th home run of the season and stolen the show. At least among fantasy circles, anyway.
Morales had twelve career home runs entering the 2009 season and big shoes to fill as the Angels handed him the keys to the kingdom at first base as Mark Teixeira left for the Yankees. He's handled the task admirably batting .311 and is fast approaching the 100-RBI mark. He's also leading the league in RBI since the all-star break with 45.
Over the last 30 days Morales is batting .371 with ten home runs and 33 RBI. There isn't a hotter hitter in baseball at the moment.
As for Lackey, his great outing on Sunday closed the book on a hard-luck August. Lackey's ERA was 3.73 for the month but he only won two games while losing three.
Bits From the Box Scores:
• August 21st was the last time Francisco Rodriguez entered the game in the ninth in a save situation. On Sunday, just like riding a bike, he remembered just how to close the door on hitters. K-Rod earned his 28th save of the season.
• Adam Wainwright became the first pitcher to reach the 16-win plateau on Sunday, but it's what he's done lately that's really impressive. Over his last eight starts he's only given up seven earned runs. He has a 1.14 ERA and is 6-and-1 over that time.
• How do you top a 15-strikeout performance earlier in the week? If you're Zack Greinke you throw a complete game one-hit shutout on Sunday.
• Derek Jeter had two hits on Sunday bringing him within 12 of Lou Gehrig's team record of 2,721 career hits. While the career mark has no fantasy value whatsoever, know that Jeter hit .381 with six home runs in August and enters the final month of the season one of the hottest hitters in baseball.
• Baltimore Orioles rookie pitcher Brian Matusz showed his huge upside potential on Sunday striking out eight hitters in seven innings and only allowing one earned run for his third win of the season.
• Joba Chamberlain left Sunday's game after three innings, giving up four hits and two earned runs. The Yankees say they're limiting his innings, but it seems more likely they're limiting Yankees fans from seeing how poorly he's pitching. He's given up 21 earned runs in his last five appearances giving him a 8.22 ERA over that time.
• Even though he struck out 11 in seven innings, Clayton Kershaw didn't earn the win in Sunday's game. This has been par for the course as Kershaw hasn't notched a victory since July 18th. In his eight appearances since his last win, Kershaw has five quality starts.
• Michael Bourn stole two bases on Sunday and now has 48 on the season. With Nyjer Morgan done for the year, Bourn is a shoo-in to win the National League stolen base crown. He's seven behind league leaders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford.
• Roy Halladay continues to struggle. He lost to the Red Sox on Sunday and over his last three starts he's 0-3 with a 7.94 ERA.
•The Afflicted: Mike Hampton, who has been on the disabled list since August 18th with a partially torn rotator cuff, has decided to have surgery on that shoulder and both of his knees. In other news, the sun rose in the east this morning. Tim Wakefield is set to have another cortisone shot in his back today. The Red Sox don't know when he'll be able to pitch again. Speaking of cortisone, Alfonso Soriano received his shot on Sunday and is expected to miss several games due to left knee inflammation. Jake Peavy left Saturday's rehab start with soreness in his right elbow. He'll be evaluated today by doctors.
Lineup Lock Time: The first pitch on Monday is at 1:05 PM ET as Tampa Bay and Detroit play.