A little off base: Aybar's tearing it up
We're finally back to full weeks worth of fantasy play again. No offense to the All-Star Game, but it does force us to have back-to-back short periods, where just one five-run game by a pitcher, or a couple three-game slumps by hitters away from disaster.
In my case, they actually turned out well (thank God), but that's not to say most people would likely do without them. But now we're back in business. Six and seven-game weeks all around, two-start pitchers, legitimate numbers. Now we're talkin'!
Who's Your Lefty!?!
Coming into the season, it was clear that Chad Billingsley was the Dodgers ace. He had a monster season in '08, and the departures of Derek Lowe and Brad Penny opened the door for him, and maybe even Hiroki Kuroda, to take over as the No. 1 man. That's no longer the case, folks. I don't care what the depth chart may say, Clayton Kershaw is this team's best starter, and he'll likely remain that way for the next 10-12 years. The 21-year-old hasn't even been in the big leagues a full season, but it doesn't matter to me. He's won his last five decisions, the Dodgers have won each of his last seven starts, he hasn't even allowed a single earned run in five of those seven outings (3 R in 44 2/3 IP) and has only given up one lousy home run in his last 15 appearances! In just over a month, he's seen his ERA fall from 4.50 to 2.95, has 42 strikeouts and just 21 hits allowed in 44 2/3 innings. If he could last more than seven innings (which he's hit just four times, and never gone into the eighth), he'd be considered one of the best in the game right now. Just give him time, and that provision won't need to be used any longer.
Super Stud of the Week
I'd like to applaud myself for making the free agent pickup of the month recently, when I acquired Erick Aybar of the Angels right as he was in the middle of his current 20-for-38 (.525) 10-game stretch, in which he's hit one home run, driven in 12 runs, scored nine times, stolen a pair of bases and improved his average more than 40 points (from .267 to .308). He's hit safely in nine of those 10 games; eight of which have been multi-hit nights! That's ridiculous production, especially from a utility infielder I was able to pick up off the scrap heap. Thanks, Erick. Keep it comin', my man.