Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Encore! Encore!

Friday, June 15, 2012

This past Wednesday was a special one for baseball fans, who were privy to perhaps two of the best pitching performances we'll see all year – both on the same night.

Matt Cain and R.A. Dickey are currently leading contenders to start for the National League in the All-Star Game and each helped his case with an absolutely brilliant outing. Cain of course hurled a perfect game that ranked as one of the most dominating performances in baseball history, while Dickey tossed a one-hit shutout that could become a no-hitter after league review (though that's highly unlikely). Cain fanned 14 hitters in his gem, Dickey 12. Simply dazzling.

It's been the same story for much of the season with these two. Dickey has turned in quality starts in all but one outing for the Mets, and set a franchise record with 32 2/3 innings of scoreless ball before yielding an unearned run in the ninth Wednesday. Cain has been a workhorse as usual, leading the NL in innings and batters faced, and he's also been more effective than ever with an MLB-leading 0.85 WHIP and a spectacular 6.0 K/BB ratio.

These guys have been flat-out awesome, and fortunately for their owners, they'll both pitch twice in The Week Ahead.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Matt Harrison: @SD (Marquis), COL (White)
David Price: @WAS (Wang), @PHI (Hamels)
CC Sabathia: ATL (Minor), @NYM (Dickey)
Jake Peavy: CHC (Garza), MIL (Wolf)
Scott Diamond: @PIT (Correia), @CIN (Latos)

Decent Plays

Tommy Milone: LAD (Harang), SF (Cain)
Jerome Williams: SF (Cain), LAD (Harang)
Jonathan Sanchez: @HOU (Happ), STL (Lynn)
Rick Porcello: STL (Lynn), @PIT (Correia)
Clay Buchholz: MIA (Buehrle), ATL (Minor)

At Your Own Risk

Hector Noesi: @ARI (Miley), SD (Marquis)
Derek Lowe: CIN (Latos), @HOU (Happ)
Jake Arrieta: @NYM (Dickey), WAS (Wang)

National League

Strong Plays

Lance Lynn: @DET (Porcello), @KC (Sanchez)
Matt Cain: @LAA (Williams), @OAK (Milone)
Cole Hamels: COL (White), TB (Price)
R.A. Dickey: BAL (Arrieta), NYY (Sabathia)
Aaron Harang: @OAK (Milone), @LAA (Williams)
Matt Garza: @CWS (Peavy), @ARI (Miley)
Wade Miley: SEA (Noesi), CHC (Garza)

Decent Plays

Kevin Correia: MIN (Diamond), DET (Porcello)
Mark Buehrle: @BOS (Buchholz), TOR
J.A. Happ: KC (Sanchez), CLE (Lowe)
Mat Latos: @CLE (Lowe), MIN (Diamond)

At Your Own Risk

Chien-Ming Wang: TB (Price), @BAL (Arrieta)
Jason Marquis: TEX (Harrison), SEA (Noesi)
Randy Wolf: TOR, @CWS (Peavy)
Alex White: @PHI (Hamels), @TEX (Harrison)
Mike Minor: @NYY (Sabathia), @BOS (Buchholz)

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Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to Rotoworld's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter at nnelson9.
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