Johnny Damon- NYA- Hot- Damon went 2-for-5 to extend his current hitting streak to 7 games and has hit safely in 12 of his last 13. He has definitely benefited from good luck, with a .290 BHIPx, but he also had the exact same singles average in 2005, which also happens to be the last time Damon batted over .300, so it is not guaranteed that there will be a regression to the mean to cool him off.
Jack Cust- OAK- Cold- Almost 60% of the times Cust steps to the plate one of three results occur; walk, strikeout, or homer. In the last two games it has been overweighted to the first two of those as he has gone 0-for-6 with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. Cust’s BHIPx is still at a high .279 level so no improvement in average can be expected. In addition his OBP has fallen to .377, when it was over .400 for much of the season. The occasional homer just isn’t worth the drag in other categories Cust brings with them.
Ervin Santana- LAA- Hot- Ervin “Magic” Santana ran his record to 13-5 with a win against the Orioles. It was not an official quality start, since he was charged with 4 runs, but it wasn’t far off. Santana gave up 8 hits, walked none, and struck out 7 in 7 IP. The strikeouts are the part that he keeps racking up and is probably a large part of his success this season. He has increased his K/IP ratio to .96 from .84 in 2007. This has left him on track to post career best marks in wins and ERA to go along with an already-achieved season high in strikeouts.
Jason Bay- BOS- Hot- Bay continues to tear up the AL, although his 2-for-5 night with 2 runs scored actually caused his average with the Red Sox to drop to .423 since he was “just” .400 for the game. A caution sign exists in Bay’s Batting EYE since the trade. He has drawn 3 walks while striking out 6 times, putting his EYE closer to the .42 mark he has last year when he hit .248 than the .69 EYE he brought over from the Pirates this year along with a .282 average. Bay’s averages have followed along with his EYE over the years, so if he doesn’t get that back up his hot streak could show some major cooling.
Garrett Olson- BAL- Cold- Manager Dave Trembley can say he didn’t think that Olson’s 117-pitch effort in his last start had any bearing on his terrible performance last night. However, almost a year ago on August 11, 2007, Olson had his only other major league start over 110 pitches. He threw 115 against Boston. Olson followed that start up by lasting only 2-2/3 IP against Toronto and giving up 5 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks. Trembley would be wise to follow the general guideline of not letting a young pitcher throw more than 110 pitches in a game with Olson.