- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
San Francisco Giants left-hander Jonathan Sanchez struck out 12 Los Angeles Dodgers over seven strong innings Thursday, winning his 11th game. Sanchez continues to aid fantasy owners, and this is a career high in wins, but maybe one of these years the flamethrower can win 15 or more games.
St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Jake Westbrook shut down the San Diego Padres over eight shutout innings Thursday, but it was only his second win in nine starts with the NL club. Westbrook has pitched well for the Cardinals, with eight quality starts and a 3.26 ERA; with the Cleveland Indians he posted a 4.65 ERA. Where Westbrook pitches in 2011 is critical to his success.
Indians right-hander Fausto Carmona tossed seven strong innings of two-run ball and for the seventh consecutive start induced 10 or more ground ball outs. Carmona, who took a shutout into the seventh inning but allowed a pair of solo home runs, sports a 3.81 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. Those who gambled on Carmona, who had been awful since 2007, were rewarded.
New York Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey got his 15th win Thursday, giving up two runs in seven innings. Still, he remains an enigma, with his 1.43 WHIP awfully inflated for his 3.84 ERA. Pelfrey is next scheduled to face the Florida Marlins on the road, and with a road ERA of 5.30, avoid him.
Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Kelly Johnson delivered three hits and an RBI Thursday, but he's been ordinary since April. Since hitting nine home runs in April, Johnson has only 12 since. He will likely finish the year a top 10 second baseman -- he's sixth now -- but will you overdraft him in 2011 based on his April?
Minnesota Twins outfielder Delmon Young had three hits Thursday, including his 18th home run, and lifted his season batting average to .300. He's knocked in 102 runs. Young entered Thursday hitting .196 in September and fantasy owners were cutting him, but this is a reminder how talented he is.