White Hat Sports Headlines

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Diamond Points

Well I can honestly say this was one of the longest weeks in Major League history. With the Mets and Nationals going 14 innings thursday night and the Padres and Rockies going 22 innings the same night, alot of people didn't think the weekend would ever get here. It has, here we are and we are getting dangerously close to the dog days of summer, which will be upon us before we know it.

~Daisuke Matsuzaka became the first American League pitcher to earn his 4th win of the season. While besides his first start stateside this year in Oakland and the home opener against Detroit he has been pretty ordinary. Against the Yankees he walked too many, and last night against Texas he went into alot of deep counts and gave up one out doubles to make a potentially easy inning's level of difficulty jump up a couple notches. The good news is that he is finally getting the run support that he lacked last season and it pulling out victories that he never would have last season.

~Brian Bannister picked up his first loss last night against the Oakland Athletics. Bannister had started the season as statistically the best pitcher in the American League. Heading into last night's contest he was 3-0 with a sub-1 ERA, leading the league in both categories. His loss last night was inevitable, but who it was against might be somewhat alarming. The Athletics have not set the world on fire with their offensive prowess, (or their new home alternative black jersey's) but before last night they had only hit 6 home runs on the season. As a Red Sox fan, I can name two of them; one by Mark Ellis, the second batter of the season and the other by Jack Cust against Boston in their first game in McAphee Coliseum. Who gave up these two homers? That's right, the aforementioned Matsuzaka. Apparently the A's rise to the occasion when they face the league's best. Which leads me to Diamond Point Number 3.

~Weekly there is an argument between my friend Tom and I and more than frequently it's about which pitcher to trade, pick up or drop in fantasy baseball. For the first three weeks of the season Livan Hernandez had been the focal point. This week that changed with his need for a starter in his "other" fantasy league. Looking strictly at the number so far this season there was a name that immediately jumped out at him. Zack Greinke. Greinke has made three starts heading into today's contest with the A's, and won all three against some of the AL's best, Detroit, New York and Seattle. Each game he has pitched atleast 7 innings, including a complete game victory last time out against the Mariners and over all has a tidy 0.75 ERA. So why didn't I think this was the best pitcher available? (Because I'm not a fad guy, I don't pick up guys just because they have had a great first week of the season. Chris Shelton anybody?) Look at his career thus far, he has been demoted to the minors, to the bullpen, i think there were a few times during the Tony Muser Era in KC that they might want to demote him to Japan. He has taken leave of absences from the team and from just pitching in general. Psychologically he has had alot weighing on his shoulders since the first time he stepped onto a Major League mound, as a 20-year old on May 22, 2004. Perhaps this is the year where Greinke can turn it around, or Oakland might continue it's routine this year of tagging league leaders and nobody else. We'll find out Saturday in Oakland.

~Sterling Pingree

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