- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
Florida Marlins right-hander Anibal Sanchez stymied the San Francisco Giants on Thursday with a one-hitter, walking one and striking out eight. It was his first shutout since his September 2006 no-hitter. Sanchez is owned in 17.4 percent of ESPN standard leagues, despite a 3.33 ERA and a pace for 13 wins and 143 strikeouts.
Outfielder Scott Podsednik made his Los Angeles Dodgers debut, starting in center field and leading off. He was hitless in three at-bats but walked and stole a base. The fact Podsednik's arrival pushed Rafael Furcal down to second in the lineup is interesting, though it doesn't change the fact Manny Ramirez is likely a week or so from coming off the DL. Podsednik is mixed-league worthy until then.
Lefty Joe Saunders made his Arizona Diamondbacks debut Thursday in Philadelphia, hurling a strong seven innings, allowing only two runs. Saunders, acquired in the Dan Haren trade, isn't a worthy mixed-league pick-up but those in NL-only leagues can't be as choosy. Just don't count on many strikeouts ... or wins.
Saunders threw his 108 pitches to Miguel Montero, who happens to be the most-dropped catcher in ESPN standard leagues. Montero homered Thursday, a nice change since he hadn't done so in 25 games since June 19. Montero, who missed two months after April knee surgery, hit 16 home runs in his breakout 2009. Give him time. He'll be a top-10 catcher again, maybe even this season.
New York Mets right-hander R.A. Dickey came within two outs of a shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals, getting his first win in more than a month. Dickey hadn't been struggling in his six-start winless string; on the contrary, Dickey's July ERA entering Thursday was 1.89, though he was 0-3. With a 2.32 ERA and 1.16 WHIP this season, and a really large home ballpark, the knuckleballer should continue his success.
Chicago White Sox right-hander Freddy Garcia tossed six effective innings Thursday, allowing three earned runs, getting his 10th win. Garcia was coming off an awful outing in Oakland but fantasy owners should trust him at home, where his ERA is more than two runs better than his road mark. Next up for Garcia: a road game in Detroit, one to avoid.
Eric Karabell recaps Thursday's action in the majors, highlighted by Anibal Sanchez's one-hitter against the Giants.