Livan Hernandez made a bid for his 6th straight quality start, but the Yankees had another thought in their minds. Livan gave up 7 ER and 9 hits against the red-hot Bronx Bombers including 3 HR and 5 BB. Tough time for Hernandez to run into the Yanks, but he has been solid this season, averaging just 1 non-quality start per month this season. In fact, those three non-QS starts are the only games in which he has pitched less than 6.0 IP and he has averaged 6.42 innings per start. Having some fun with numbers and removing his 3 non-QS, and Livan becomes a completely different pitcher, posting a 2.34 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP compared to his actual total season performance of 4.20 ERA and 1.53 WHIP.
Josh Johnson made a 2nd rehab start last night at the Double-A level, going 4.2 IP, 4 H, 7K, 3 BB, and 1 ER. With that line, fantasy owners can expect to see Johnson back with the Marlins by early next week, perhaps Monday against the White Sox. If healthy, Johnson can provide a nice boost to fantasy teams. He was 12-7 last season with a 3.10 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and .236 BAA. It may take some time for him to get back into form, so be careful from the get-go, but if you're looking to make a roster move, he may not be a bad option.
Brad Penny was the next in-line to shut down the slumping NY Mets. He lasted 7.0 IP and gave up just 1 ER and didn't allow a single walk while striking out 7. Penny has been the Dodgers ace and a huge fantasy value with a 2.18 ERA and 1.17 WHIP this season. This season's performance is quite an improvement from last year's totals. Despite having the obvious ERA and WHIP decreases, Penny has held opposing hitters to just a .242 BAA, a drop from .279 last year and .270 in 2005. It'll be tough for Penny to keep this pace all season, so it wouldn't surprise me to see a couple of rough outings mixed in here at some point. For now, he's the man.
Ian Snell tossed the first complete game of his career, giving up 7 hits in 9.0 shutout innings with 7 K's and 2 BB's. The outing against the Rangers was his 6th of the season and Snell lowers his ERA to 2.63 and WHIP to 1.14. Even when Snell isn't winning games, he still gives owners plenty of K's, averaging a K/9 of 7.3 and a K/BB of 2.7. Nothing but up-arrows for the Pirates youngster.
I was actually at this Cubs game on Wednesday night and Sean Marshall looked really good, going 8.0 IP while giving up 7 hits and 2 ER. One of the earned runs was a monstrous HR by Richie Sexson early in the game, but Marshall settled down nicely and kept the Mariners in-check to earn his 3rd straight win. He only recorded one strikeout, but didn't walk a batter and worked fairly efficiently and quickly. Marshall is a perfect 5-for-5 in quality starts this season and becomes a decent flier with a two-start fantasy week against the Rangers and White Sox, two struggling teams, next week.
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