John Smoltz is pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals…and pitching well.
Smoltz looked like he was done after signing a big contract with the Red Sox in the off-season. In 8 starts, Smoltz had an ERA of 8.32!
At age 42, why would anybody even think of taking a chance on the future Hall-of-Famer?
The Cardinals did and Smoltz looked like the second coming of Bob Gibson. He went just five innings this weekend against a very poor hitting Padres team, but his line was 5 IP, 3 hits, 0 walks, and 9 strikeouts. At one point, Smoltz struck out 7 straight Pads!
I must admit, I’ve been a lifelong National League fan, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to admit it. The AL dominates in inter-league play and in the All Star games. Then, pitchers like CC Sabathia last year and Cliff Lee this year move over the NL and go from great pitchers to unhittable pitchers.
Sabathia this year is back to human now that he’s back in the AL. After going 6-8, 3.83 for Cleveland last year, Sabathia went to Milwaukee where he was 11-2, 1.65. This year, with the Yankees, Sabathia is 15-7, 3.59. Great numbers, but not the Brewers-like numbers of last year.
As for Smoltz’s prospects as a stretch fantasy baseball addition, Smoltz could fare well in his next start. He’ll take the mound against the worst team in baseball, the Washington Nationals. Smoltz’s fastball was in the low 90′s in his debut against San Diego and we know his control has always been outstanding. If your league allows you to pick up starters for just a game, I’d consider adding Smoltz this week since it’s the Nats. If he has another good start, pick him up Smoltz permanently.