We come back roaring off an extended holiday weekend with another excellent dog days slate. This time we get four aces—including one in new digs. Check ’em out!
Aces in Isolation
RHP Jacob deGrom (NYM) versus Philadelphia RHP Ben Lively
deGrom’s been wonderful this season. Though, his August was merely good instead of tremendous like his previous couple months had been. In six August starts, deGrom pitched to a 3.92 ERA with 44 strikeouts, nine walks and 39 hits allowed in as many innings. The Mets were 2-4 in those starts. And it was a bit of a step back after posting a June ERA of 2.75 and a July mark of 2.72. On a Mets team headed nowhere fast, deGrom is second in the NL in strikeouts (206), third in innings (178.2) and ninth in ERA (3.43) and WHIP (1.17).
RHP Stephen Strasburg (WAS) versus Miami RHP Odrisamer Despaigne
Strasburg’s August was abbreviated but absolutely excellent. This includes last time out when he blanked the Marlins for a six-hit shutout. Strasburg fanned eight batters, walked one and induced 17 grounders from the 24 batters who put the ball in play. That’s about as dominating of an effort as a pitcher can have in a non-perfect game/no-hitter. And, he’ll get a chance to back it up against the Marlins again this time.
Despite missing nearly a month, Strasburg is still fifth in the NL in ERA (2.90) third in WHIP (1.07). Plus, he’s also ninth in strikeouts (164). Strasburg had a 1.89 ERA in four July starts, then backed it up with a 0.86 mark in August.
RHP Zack Greinke (ARI) versus Los Angeles LHP Hyun-jin Ryu
Greinke quietly mowed down his old friends last time out. Now he will get a chance to do it again, as he finds the Dodgers reeling a bit—though they still have more wins this season (92) than they did all of last season (91) with nearly a month to go. The sky’s falling in Los Angeles, and Greinke’s content to just let it keep plummeting—at least for another day.
August was….adequate for the 33-year-old righty. He posted a 4.00 ERA with a 39-12 K/BB ratio and 36 hits allowed in as many innings for the Snakes, who were 4-2 in his starts over the month. One needn’t look hard on the NL leaderboards for Greinke. He’s fourth in WHIP (1.07), fifth in strikeouts (188) and seventh in ERA (3.08) and WHIP (1.07).
RHP Justin Verlander (HOU) versus Seattle LHP Ariel Miranda
Well, the sun has set on Verlander’s time in Detroit. But now he’s in Houston with a legitimate chance to not only get back deep into the playoffs, but to grab that World Series ring that eluded him in with the Motor City Kitties. Verlander hasn’t been on top of his game all season long. But, he has been solid of late as he’s gotten his ERA down to 3.82 with more than a strikeout per inning and good secondary rates. His ERA hasn’t been lower since early April, and August was the icing on his going-away cake, as he posted a 2.36 ERA and 50 strikeouts against just seven walks in 42 innings.
Verlander also allowed just 26 hits, as he was absolutely dominating down the stretch, which no doubt helped punch his ticket out of Detroit. Though, he had to decide at the last second if it was something he was willing to do. Will he be glad he did? We’ll find out soon.