The Moose goes for 20, the Tribe auditions closers, and CC keeps burning it at both ends. All that and more in this week's Week That Was.
Mike Mussina: Mike Mussina won number 18th with six innings of one-run ball Thursday against the pale hose. It certainly has been quite a comeback year for a pitcher many figured belonged next to that eight track tape player and pet rock. All he has done is post a 3.67 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and a whopping 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio. For those in need of wins in the last week of the season, Moose is your man. There is no doubt that the Yankees will do everything humanly possible to get him his first 20 win season in his (Hall of Fame?) career. N.B. All that talk of Moose not being a clutch playoff pitcher is nonsense. Who pitched 7 innings of shutout ball in the 1-0 win marked by the famous Jeter backflip to nail Jeremy Giambi? Who pitched 8 innings of 2 run ball in the miraculous two out, two run, bottom of the ninth Scott Brosius World Series Game? Who came in and got out of a bases loaded no outs jam with the Yankees already down 4-0 in the famous Aaron Boone beats the Sox 2003 ALCS game 7? The answer to all those questions in none other than the Moose.
Fausto Carmona: Fausto Carmona was tossed from the game Friday night, essentially ending a woeful season. Given that a suspension is likely, Carmona owners should reserve him and hope he returns to 2007 form in 2009. Will that happen? Hard to tell, however, a sophomore slump in his second year as a starter is not a reason to panic. He is more likely than not to be a very productive starter in 09.
Adam Miller: According to reports, the Indians will put their top pitching prospect Adam Miller on the Joba plan - in other words, they say they are going to make him a reliever. Well, time will tell. However, if you are looking to catch lightning in a bottle, Miller could well provide it. There are even whispers that he could close. I don't buy that, but he could pile up the strikeouts coming in and throwing gas from the pen. If you are in a keeper league and can stash him for a buck or two, do it. Stated another way, invest in talent.
Jensen Lewis: Despite all the Adam Miller talk, there are also reports from the Tribe that current closer Jensen Lewis could keep the job next year. Frankly, why shouldn't he keep the job? After all, he is 10-10 in save opportunities. Other than that, I cannot recite you stats, however, I will say that I always liked this guy. If you want to play a hunch with me, you will grab Jensen now before it is too late. Buy!
CC Sabathia: CC Sabathia will start on three days' rest this weekend. Well, the abuse of his soon to be 100 Million Dollar arm continues. If you own CC this year, you have no choice but to hope that he survives on three days rest. If you are thinking of keeping CC next year, adjust the price way down. The conditioning is not there, the arm has been abused, and now he is being forced to pitch on short rest. This whole thing is a prescription for disaster. You have been warned.
Alex Rodriguez: In the starkest example of how fantasy and reality deviate, ARod is piling up another stellar fantasy season despite being allergic to ducks - ducks on the pond that is. Despite missing a few weeks with the quad injury, ARod has 35 dingers, 100+ runs and rbi, 17 swipes and a 300+ batting average. Imagine what his numbers would have been had he been able to hit at all in the clutch. Alas, he couldn't, he didn't and we are left saying "imagine if . . ."
Adrian Beltre: Adrian Beltre underwent surgery on both his shoulder (bone spur) and on his left thumb (ligament replacement). While the Mariners are saying he will be ready for next year, I would reduce his value substantially. First, he may have a setback given that there are two separate injuries that need to heal. Second, hitters often have a tough time returning from any type of hand injury. Third, he has hit over .270 only once since his career year in 2004. Bottom line - I would pass unless he is super cheap next year.
Cameron Maybin: Cameron Maybin came out hacking in his first Fish start, going 4-4 with two runs scored. That is the good news. The bad news is that the Fish could be enticed to let him start in 2009. He is not ready. Maybin, while a terrific talent, is still very raw. He hit only .276 in AA and there is little reason to think that he can come anywhere near that in the show without at least a year (if not two) in AAA. Pass unless you are in a serious dynasty league.
Brad Ziegler: Brad Ziegler showed that he is human Wednesday, blowing his first save and giving up his first home run. I guess his owners will have to live with that gaudy ERA of 0.82. Life is tough indeed. While I can write a bunch of reasons why he will not repeat this success, it is hard to argue with that success. Plus, it is such a good story.
Kei Igawa: My wish for the 2009 season - the New Yankee Stadium rubber is never Kei-toed.
And last but not least, Schultz Says: "I made horrible calls on Travis Hafner, Eric Bedard and Victor Martinez this year but I did do one thing right: if you listened to me and not my by-lined overlord, you grabbed Evan Longoria -- hopefully pretty cheaply because this guy is a franchise builder. 25 HR, 78 RBI and .281 in only 110 games should have you doing the Ryan Braun dance of 07. Next to Cliff Lee, who let's face it, no one drafted, Longoria is the free-agent find of the season.
Miguel Cabrera's second half surely deserves mention. At the outset of the season, the oft-pudgy youngster seemed lost upon his move to the American League. If you bailed on him, hide your face in shame. He set career marks for homers and RBIs last night and despite the hiccup at the beginning of the year, seems poised to secure his spot amongst the fantasy elite.
Cameron Maybin, the centerpiece of the Cabrera-Dontrelle Willis (ha ha cough cough sucker), is having a fantastic start to his September call-up. You don't need me to tell you that he's not going to hit .800 over the last couple weeks of the season. However, keep an eye on Maybin and when the swirling winds speak of him being called up and given a full-time role, pounce and pounce quickly. This kid has the skills and he is developing and progressing quickly.
All right, like Owen Wilson I'm throwing seven different kinds of smoke and none of them seem all that fascinating as football season is now in full swing.
Next week: the 2008 All-Schultz Year-End Awards
Response: I kind of like Eddie Harris saying "I'm throwing every kind of junk I can think of skipper." But hey, what do I know - I was wrong about Longoria and Yuniesky Betancourt among others if anyone is keeping track (other than Schultz of course). Anyway, I figure we may not even see October before Schultz sees the light on the Brownies and turns his focus to Lebron's last season in Cleveland. But then again, I could be wrong about that too.
Enjoy the last weekend of summer.