Oliver Perez- NYN- Hot- Perez continues to throw the way the Pirates thought he would after what was expected to be a breakout season in 2004. Unfortunately for them, Perez is now a Met and his third quality start in 4 outings benefits New York as they attempt to pull away in the NL East. Perez gave up 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks in 7 IP while striking out 7. The strikeout numbers coupled with only a pair of walks are particularly comforting to Perez owners. In his last 4 starts, covering 25 IP, he has fanned 25 batters, but he had walked 5 in each of his 3 appearances before yesterday. Showing that he can still mow hitters down without issuing too many free passes is a positive for Perez.
Brad Hennessy- SF- Cold- With Randy Messenger nearing a return form the DL, Hennessy's hold on the closer role will get more and more tenuous if he doesn't turn it around. He blew his third save in 5 appearances yesterday, allowing a 3-run homer in the top of the 9th that lost the game. Hennessy is far from automatic when it comes to finishing a game and there will be some challenge from Messenger for the 2008 closer spot.
Ryan Howard- PHI- Hot- The almost day off Sunday may have been just what Howard needed. Yesterday he went 2-for-5 with a double and his 38th homer of the season. Howard's overall numbers are off or this year, but no one outside of ARod and Prince Fielder has hit more homers. Inside of ARod and Prince Fielder, it's too dark to see the ball and get good wood on it.
Tony Armas- PIT- Hot- Make it 3 quality starts in a row for Armas, and his best one yet. He tossed 6 shutout innings, needing only 65 pitches to get through them. Armas owns a 2.50 ERA in his last three starts, along with an 0.89 WHIP and 13 Ks in 18 IP while walking just 4. He could be a sleeper for 2008, as he will only be 30 years old and has had some moderate success in the past.
Ubaldo Jimenez- COL- Hot- Jimenez turned in another quality start yesterday, his 5th in his last 6 outings. In that span, Jimenez has a 2.39 ERA, very impressive for a Rockie. He has walked 10 in 37/2/3 innings in this stretch, a good mark. The only disappointment right now is his falling K ratio. Over his last two starts he has only struck out 5 in 11 innings as opposed to 23 in 26-2/3 in the 4 previous starts. For a pitcher who pushes 100 mph on his fastball, this is not a good sign. Jimenez has a slot in the 2008 Colorado rotation. If he can reclaim his strikeout ability he could be that rarest of pitchers, a Rockie who has fantasy value.
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