Lewis Brinson (OF-MIA) Brinson had a huge night Friday going 3 for 4 with a 3-run homer. The home run off Chris Archer gave the Marlins the lead in the 6th inning, as Brinson continues to swing a hot bat since being reinstated from the DL following a hip injury. He has collected at least 1 hit in all 6 games since returning going 11 for 22. The recent hot streak has finally been enough to bring his season average over .200, as he entered September with just a .186 average. The overall line (.208/.250/.365) is tough to stomach, but Brinson is still only 24 years old and could very well still tap into his potential from being a 1st round draft pick - provided he can improve upon a dreadful 4.3% BB rate and 29.2% K rate.
Rhys Hoskins (1B/OF-PHI) Hoskins went 1 for 4 with his 28th home run of the season Friday night. Hoskins has been mired in a deep slump dating back to August 28, going just 2 for 31 with 2 RBIs, so the home run was a nice way to potentially bust out of the slump. Hoskins has proven to be a streaky hitter, especially in the power department this season as his home runs have come in clusters. The slugger owns a .246/.356/.486 line in his sophomore season and he needs just 2 more home runs to approach 30 for the first time is his career. The counting stats have been solid as well as he has chipped in 78 runs, 85 RBIs, and 58 extra base hits as well.
Kevin Kramer (2B-PIT) Kramer made his first MLB start Friday playing 2nd base and batting second and went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Kramer, who picked up his first professional at bat Wednesday lined a single to right field in the 3rd inning Friday to collect his first MLB hit, then drove in the tieing run in the 7th inning. The 24-year-old Rookie posted a strong .311/.365/.492 line with 35 doubles, 15 home runs and 13 stolen bases in 129 games at AAA prior to his call up. The infielder has 2B eligibility in most leagues but picked up 15+ starts at both SS and 3B this year and could slot in around the infield through the season's final weeks - he actually shifted over to 3B late in the Pirates victory Friday night.
Derek Holland (SP-SF) Holland was solid again Friday night, allowing just 2 ER on 2 hits with 5 walks and 8 strikeouts over 6 innings. The outing is even more impressive when you consider he gave up a single to open the game then a 2-run home 2 batters later, and those were the only hits he allowed. Holland does have a 3.38 BB/9 this year so the 5 walks (1 IBB) aren't unexpected but Holland continues to strike out batters at the highest rate of his career as he is sporting an 8.84 K/9. His 3.54 ERA is shaping up to be a career best as well as he has lowered it considerably over his past 5 outings, allowing just 5 ER over 29 innings. Holland will look to stay hot during his next start Wednesday vs the Braves.
Clayton Kershaw (SP-LAD) Kershaw tossed 6 innings of 6-hit baseball, allowing 2 runs while striking out 7 Friday night. Entering the game with a 2.40 ERA and 0.97 WHIP are hardly numbers to be concerned about but Kershaw is having a slightly down year as injuries have slowed him. His K/9 is down significantly from last year (10.39 to 8.70) which could be due to his average fastball velocity being down almost 2 mph (93.1 to 91.5) but he has dropped his HR/9 from last year (1.18 to 0.89) and slightly decreased his already low BB rate to 1.37 BB/9. The days of a sub-2.00 ERA may be gone as Kershaw begins to pitch into his 30's, but there's no denying he is still in the upper echelon of starting pitchers that have come along over the past 20 years.
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