Closing Time: Johan down, Jake looming, streamers galore

Scott Pianowski
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When it comes time to assemble the 2009 Mets season wrap, let's hope James Cameron is available. We know a shipwrecked team when we see one.

Johan Santana(notes) became the most recent of the star-crossed New Yorkers on Monday - he's got a sore elbow and won't make his scheduled Tuesday turn. Teammates told Marty Noble of that Santana might need to have surgery on the elbow. Even if the Mets decide that Santana can get better with rest alone, there's no good reason to expose him to any more work this season. The plug was pulled on New York's playoff chances a long time back.

Things aren't much better for the Mets on the offensive side of the ball, where Carlos Beltran(notes), Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado(notes) remain in limbo. Jeff Francoeur(notes), one of the team's more productive hitters of late, missed Monday's game with a bad thumb and an MRI revealed a tear. Jerry Manuel is optimistically terming Francoeur as day-to-day.

Brad Penny(notes) has mercifully been removed from Boston's rotation, a move that could have come a lot earlier. Junichi Tazawa(notes) can step in as needed, though Tim Wakefield(notes) (calf) is just about ready to come off the DL. And perhaps the Red Sox will get something out of Daisuke Matsuzaka(notes) later in the year; he worked three scoreless frames in a rehab appearance Monday.

We know we're losing more and more baseball readers every day – football is here and non-contending teams tend to check out in late August in September. That doesn't make our work any less important; if you are here, it's likely you're pushing for a championship and we want to help you get there. With that in mind, you'll see a lot more streaming discussions coming forward as we try to play every day on the schedule as perfectly as we can.

Let's take a quick look at the best options available to grab for Wednesday (all of these pitchers are currently available in the Yahoo Friends & Family League). We're looking at the best chance to get a win for this one start, this is not a long-term value grade.

1. Kenshin Kawakami(notes) vs. San Diego: When in doubt, pick on the Padres.

2. Marc Rzepczynski(notes) vs. Tampa Bay: He's already got 12 sharp innings against these guys (just two runs), and Tampa's offense is less formidable on the road.

3. Gio Gonzalez(notes) at Seattle: Safeco couldn't be more adequately named given the Mariners offense, and GG has 31 whiffs in his last 28.2 innings.

4. Derek Holland(notes) at New York: It's hard to roll in the Stadium, I get it, but maybe the kid is ready. His last month certainly jumps out at you (four wins, 28 K, 1.85, 0.91) and working in Arlington hasn't bothered him one bit.

5. Doug Davis(notes) at San Francisco: He's still got the ERA below 4 and this is a digestible spot. In smaller leagues, see if Jonathan Sanchez(notes) is out there (he's not in my groups).

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The Jake Peavy(notes) era in Chicago is just about ready to go. He worked five scoreless innings at Triple-A Monday and the White Sox have a slot to fill now that the struggling Jose Contreras(notes) has been pushed into the bullpen. Is Jake on the way, Ozzie Guillen? "I don't make that decision. I just say I need another pitcher. That's Kenny [Williams's] decision." Given that Peavy would face the Yankees if he returns this weekend and he'll probably be on a modest pitch count, this is one of those times where you put on your scouting cap but you don't put the big-name pitcher immediately back on your active roster.

Injury Blog: Scott Downs(notes) is back with the Jays but he's not going to close right away. To make room for Downs on the roster, Edwin Encarnacion(notes) (hamstring) moved to the DL. … Pablo Sandoval(notes) missed most of the Coors Field marathon due to a strained calf. … Ichiro Suzuki(notes) (calf) didn't play Monday but hopes to get back in a day or two. … A sore lower back knocked Carl Crawford(notes) out Monday. … Justin Morneau(notes) (inner-ear infection) returned to the salt mine and went 0-for-2 with two walks against Baltimore. … There's no structural damage in Aaron Cook's(notes) shoulder so he might be able to pitch again this year. … Joe Saunders(notes) (shoulder) is ready to go Wednesday against Detroit. … A pair of Reds are down for a while, Chris Dickerson(notes) (ankle) and Ryan Hanigan(notes) (post-concussion problems). Dickerson's injury should lead to an extended trial for Drew Stubbs(notes).

Speed Round: Cliff Lee(notes) spotted the Mets a pair of unearned runs but otherwise he was dominant in Monday's matinee victory. He's now 5-0 with a 0.68 ERA since joining the Phillies; he'll work against the Braves on the weekend. … John Smoltz(notes) must be thrilled to see the AL East in his rear-view mirror. He dominated the Padres Sunday, and his next two starts will come against the Nats and Pirates. … Chris Davis(notes) answered the call at Triple-A (.327/423/.536) and he'll be back with the Rangers in time for Tuesday's series at New York. … Jason Giambi(notes) signed a minor league deal with the Rockies and might be around to steal at-bats in September.