Jeff Kent- LAN- Cold- For the 5th consecutive game, Kent failed to get a hit and is 1-for-23 since returning to the lineup from a strained hamstring. He has gone from the penthouse to the outhouse, as Kent was on a tear, batting .447 with 5 homers and 20 RBI in July. Right now, the only way it looks like Kent could get a homer would be by buying a souvenir from The Simpson's Movie (d'oh!). It certainly appears that there are lingering effects from the injury.
Nomar Garciaparra- LAN- FYI- There was no injury that forced Garciaparra out of last night's game in the 4th inning. It was a rare ejection for the LA third baseman. He took exception to the calls of home plate umpire Tom Hallion, expressed his displeasure vehemently, and then was given the rest of the evening off to think about what he had done. No suspension should be forthcoming.
Roy Oswalt- HOU- Hot- Oswalt ran his personal winning streak to 5 with a dominating performance against the Dodgers (of course right now half of the people reading this could dominate the Dodgers, but I digress). He threw 8 innings, allowing 1 run on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3. Oswalt has not allowed more than 1 run in his last 5 starts, posting an ERA of 0.82 to go along with a WHIP of 0.79 in that span. Three of these 5 games have been on the road (although in pitcher-friendly San Diego, Florida, and LA) and his performance has helped narrow some extreme home/road splits. The fact that Oswalt's road ERA is still 5.01 as compared to a home mark of 2.17 tells you just how extreme those splits were. There may still be some trouble if Oswalt faces a strong offense on the road in a less favorable park, but there is less worry than there was earlier in the season.
Paul Maholm- PIT- Hot- Did the Pirates declare yesterday Turn Back the Clock Day because they were making up rainouts from earlier this season? They and the Giants certainly put together an old-fashioned pitchers' duel for the first game, clocking in at 1 hour and 51 minutes for the contest. A good part of the speed of the game can be ascribed to Maholm's efficiency. He needed just 91 pitches to toss a complete game, giving up 1 run on 3 hits, walking no one, and striking out 4. Of the 30 batters Maholm faced, he disposed of 13 of them with no more than 2 pitches. He has made huge strides in the control department this season, dropping his BB/9 rate from 4.14 in 2006 to a very respectable 2.55. In his last 9 starts, Maholm has thrown 7 of the quality variety, adding consistency to his repertoire.
Rajai Davis- SF- Hot- Davis returned to Pittsburgh, where he was traded from on July 31st, and made himself at home in his old park. He went 3-for-8 in yesterday's doubleheader, with 3 doubles, a walk, 2 runs scored, and RBI and 2 stolen bases. Davis is now batting .405 in 13 games with the Pirates and has a whopping 2.50 Batting EYE (admittedly in a very small sample size of 37 at bats.) After a couple of seasons at AA and AAA where Davis' Batting EYE had slid, he had corrected it to a level of .84 at AAA Indianapolis before being called up by the Pirates in June. It was enough to think that he can provide some offense (but not power) when he gets playing time. The Giants have given that to him and he has come through. His speed has shone through, with Davis collecting 8 SBs with San Francisco. That aspect alone will give him fantasy value.
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