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Young Mets ace Matt Harvey came into Friday with a 4-0 record, a 1.43 ERA, 0.72 WHIP and 62 K over 56.3 IP. The 24-year-old stud has been simply amazin’ for the troubled Mets, and possibly will be the only bright spot as the season wears on. Harvey had not been the beneficiary of much run support in his previous three starts and Friday would be no different. So as any true star would, Harvey out-shined the competition. Not only did he bounce back from a rocky first inning to last 7 1/3, Harvey knocked in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the 7th inning off of Cubs starter Edwin Jackson, who had matched Harvey for most of the afternoon. Harvey improved to 5-0 on the year with the victory, allowing 2 runs (which the official scorer felt were earned despite bad defensive plays from Davis and Tejada). Harvey issued no walks and whiffed six, as he saw his ERA rise to an impeccable 1.55.
Recommendation: If you own him you don't even think about selling Harvey; you enjoy knowing that he has the “it” factor and he's on your fantasy team.
May 1st, 14 games in the past for the Nationals, is the last time Adam LaRoche didn’t register a base hit. Over his current 14-game streak, LaRoche has been a man on a mission at the plate. Friday night was no different for the veteran first baseman, as he was the offensive star for the Nats. LaRoche extended his streak with a 2-for-4 performance-- but wait, there’s more!-- his two hits Friday night were both homers, giving LaRoche FOUR round-trippers over the last three games.
Two weeks ago, LaRoche’s his slash line was sitting at a horrendous .129/.204/.247 with a .451 OPS. Riding the current scorching-hot hit streak, he now boasts a slash of .226/.307/.406 with a .713 OPS. While these are not eye-popping stats, the uptick in production certainly is. If you'll recall, last season LaRoche ended the year on a similar offensive tear to end up producing some impressive end-of-year stats. For the veteran to hold value in roto leagues, his owners will have to deal with cold and hot streaks; for head-to-head leaguers, the current streak may be the high point of the season. What's his secret? He met with former teammate and future Hall-of-Famer Chipper Jones two weeks ago to analyze his swing, and apparently found out what he needed to do to turn his approach into a success.
The Braves must be thinking: "Hey Chipper, give a call to B.J. Upton, would ya?"
H2H Recommendation: LaRoche is a now mediocre CI option for roto, but in H2H play you may be looking at the best time of the year to see what you can get for the streaky slugger.
Put It on the Booooooard, Yes!
Friday night was full of moonshots, long balls, way back, back, back bombs and even a few grand salamis. So instead of my normal NL & AL Hot shots I am going to do an “Outta Here Overview” for Friday night.
David Wright went 3-4 with a dinger and swiped base; Daniel Murphy went yard as well for the Mets; Jordan Pacheco made his first homer of the year count for 4 points going grand style and Carlos Gonzalez also launched a CF homer in a wild win over the Giants; Buster Posey also homered in the game; Adam Rosales and Josh Donaldson were the heroes for the A’s as they both popped solo shots; Joey Votto and Jay Bruce went deep for the Reds in a loss to the Phillies; Justin Upton cleared the bases then high-fived three of his buddies at the plate after an absolutely mammoth grand slam; Raul Ibanez went deep once Friday after hitting two on Wednesday; Kendrys Morales joined in the fun in an extra-innings loss to Cleveland which saw the scorching hot Jason Kipnis hit a 3-run walk off jack; Matt Dominguez went yard for the ‘Stros; Giovany Soto has now homered in back-to-back games with a solo job Friday; Chris Dickerson hit a three-run tater and JJ Hardy put up a solo shot in a high-scoring affair with the Rays, who saw Kelly Johnson touch all the bases with a three-run shot and drive in 4 total in Friday’s Tampa Bay win; Jedd Gyorko had one hit in five tries and it was a solo bomb; Ryan Zimmerman hit a solo homer going 2-for-4; Jimmy Rollins is heating up with the bat and hit one over the wall at the Bank in Philly; David Freese finally hit his first bomb of 2013 and it was the four-run flavor; veteran Eric Chavez went yard in a solid 4-for-5 night; Andrew McCutchen homered in a 3-for-5 effort and Pedro Alvarez deposited a blast into the Alleghany River; Adam Dunn and Alex Rios went way gone for the Sox; Drew Stubbs went yard for the Tribe; and finally, last but certainly not least, Pedro Florimon sliced one just over the RF fence in Minnesota.
Double Dippers: These overachievers liked hitting a homer so much they went back for seconds on Friday night:
Paul Goldschmidt hit numbers 11 and 12 on the year. He's now hitting .337 with 35 RBI… Wow, he’s good.
Adam LaRoche smacked number 6 and 7 on the year. What’s hotter than en fuego?
Aramis Ramirez cranked numbers 2 and 3 on the year. Welcome back sir.
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Follow Shawn Caswell on Twitter: @CasKnowsRoto