Is the Hot Nolasco Sauce back? Do Jason Bay's two home runs mean he's starting to get the power swing going again? Find out in the notes from yesterday's roundup...
It was Hot Nolasco Sauce night in Puerto Rico yesterday as Ricky Nolasco went seven innings allowing four hits, three earned runs while walking no one and striking out nine. Now, in his last two outings, Nolasco has 17 strikeouts to only one walk. The problem, however, continues to be allowing the long ball. In those two outings Nolasco has allowed four home runs. On the season, Nolasco now has allowed 19 home runs and is on pace to blow by his career high in home runs allowed of 28 set back in 2008. While it is nice to see the strikeout totals rise, there is just no way to trust Nolasco right now given his problems with mistake pitches, though he is worth holding onto just a little longer if you can afford the roster spot.
The two home runs allowed by Nolasco came off of the bat of Jason Bay, who now has six on the season. By this time fantasy owners figured that Bay would be having an off year if he even had double the home runs he has currently. His two shots last night came in Hiron Bithorn Stadium, a park considered to be very friendly to hitters. While both homers were hit very well to the opposite field, it is unlikely that either would have gotten out of Citi Field. Bay certainly has the power potential to improve in the second half, but it is unlikely that we'll see any monster numbers this season.
With another home run last night, Carlos Quentin now has hit eight homers in the month of June, giving him 13 on the year. Quentin seems as healthy as he has been in a little over a year now and if he can continue that way I wouldn't put a .275, 15-plus home run second half past him.
Francisco Liriano left the ball up in the zone against the Tigers last night and allowed six earned runs on nine hits because of it. Liriano has now thrown 98.2 innings on the season. His career high in innings pitched, which came last season, is only 136.2. Keep a close eye on his velocity and location in his next couple of outings. There is a chance that fatigue could come into play at some point this season.
Despite hitting a home run and pitching eight solid innings, Dan Haren allowed 10 hits while walking one and striking out six. What can you do at this point but hope that things turn around in the second half.
Ubaldo Jimenez has now allowed 10 runs in his last 11.2 innings. The damage last night came via a three run home run off the bat of Scott Hairston. After only allowing one home run April through May, Jimenez has allowed four this month. However, because of his ability to keep the ball on the ground, his career high for home runs allowed is only 13, so the home run problems shouldn't last too long.
Seth Smith has as many home runs (11) as Carlos Gonzalez and has done it in 89 fewer at-bats.