Pitchers were fantasy factors around much of baseball Thursday, whether they rocked like the Francisco Liriano of old or stumbled in their debut like Scott Kazmir.
Liriano was extra sharp Thursday. His good cheese struck out eight. He walked two and allowed four hits in seven shutout innings. He has a 2.08 ERA this season. Deep breath. He might just be back.
In his 2010 and Angels debut, Kazmir was extra dull. He allowed three homers, eight hits and only struck out two in just four innings of work. He walked three.
The nine other most notable performances from Thursday:
Ryan Braun — Hit his third homer in four games. Braun went 3-for-5 with two runs, three RBI and walked once. Yeah, he’s good. You knew that.
Bud Norris — Struck out nine in just five innings of work. He also only allowed four hits, walked three and didn’t allow an earned run. With his K/inning potential last season we should all keep an eye on him.
Mike Pelfrey — Another outstanding pitching performance, this time against Colorado. Pelfrey struck out six in seven innings of shutout ball. He allowed five hits.
Robinson Cano — Hit a pair of jacks and drove in three runs. Cano’s hitting .395. By all indications he will at least live up to the standard he set last year.
Alex Gonzalez — Had a career high four hits, drove in three and scored a run for the Blue Jays. He’s hitting .349 this season.
Josh Johnson — Struck out 10 in just six innings of work. A much sharper Josh Johnson in outing two. He allowed one earned run on five hits and walked a batter. Brought his ERA down to 4.50.
Aaron Harang — Meanwhile, Harang’s ERA is going in the opposite direction. He struck out four, but allowed eight earned runs, and walked two in just four innings of work against Johnson’s Marlins. His ERA is up to 7.88.
Dan Haren — Suffered the old ND, but struck out seven in 6.1 IP, allowing six hits and one earned run.
Cameron Maybin — Homered and went 3-for-4 to lead the Marlins 10-run attack. Maybin scored twice and walked once in the win.