Our season-long leader, Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka, was brutal in his last start. 5 innings pitched, but 5 walks, 5 hits, and only 1 strikeout. Needless to say, he took a big hit. His past performances kept him in the lead, in addition to the rest of the starters having less than stellar weeks, but the gap is narrowing. Phil Hughes had a fabulous, no hit outing, before getting injured. He’ll miss the next month, but in the meanwhile, he’ll sit in second place.
Tim Lincecum debuted for the Giants on Sunday, and struck out 5 in 5 innings, but he walked 5 as well, and the Phillies capitalized on his mistakes. The top seven rookie starters are all around league average. Everyone else has been a significant detriment to their team.
All the relievers have been good for their teams. Hideki Okajima’s no-look delivery is getting plenty of attention, but Joe Smith has been every bit his equal, and hasn’t allowed an earned run yet in 15 1/3 innings pitched. Smith has been a bit lucky, but his numbers so far indicate a superb performance. Smith is walking a few too many, but striking out a ton of guys, and has been paltry with the hits. Of concern, however, is that Smith is on pace for nearly 100 appearances. This is hard on anyone’s arm, but especially a player so young and fresh, I have to assume the Mets are going to scale back Smith’s appearances in the near future.