Charlie Morton‘s start yesterday of 7 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks wasn’t incredible in itself, but other than Lenny from Laverne and Shirley when he was wearing a Lone Wolf jacket and Burgess Meredith when he broke his glasses on The Twilight Zone, nothing in this world is to itself. There’s befores and afters, causes and effects and chewy watermelon Now and Laters. Morton has now strung together six straight starts and nine of his last ten, dropping his ERA to 3.00. His K-rate isn’t particularly inspiring, but his walk rate is more than solid and his xFIP is 3.62, which tells us he’s not that far from a guy you start every time out. With all of that said, I still don’t trust him for his next start vs. the Cardinals, but then he gets the Cubs and Padres, and for those two starts, I’d absolutely gamble that Morton is worth his salt. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Neil Walker – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 10th homer. Is it just me or does Neil Walker sound like what the nurse writes on a rehabbing person’s progress chart?
Jose Tabata – 3-for-4, 1 run, 2 RBIs, now hitting near .350 in the last week. He’s hotter than the flashes his 63-year-old wife has.
Carlos Gomez – Sat out Monday with the prickly five-star general soreness, who’s still easier to talk to than Major Fatigue.
Norichika Aoki – 2-for-4, 1 run, hitting over .350 in the last week, but with no speed or power whatsoever. Does he know people are trying to win fantasy championships here? No, that’s not Aoki-doki!
Tyler Thornburg – 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 4 Ks. His ERA is at 2.08. Oh. Okay. Wait, what?!?! Interrobang interrobang interrobang. Well, his xFIP is 4.84, so I wouldn’t touch Thornburg even if he were portrayed by Richard Chamberlain.
Daisuke Matsuzaka – 3 IP, 6 ER. Dice-K, there’s way too much meat on your gyro ball.
Domonic Brown – Has mild tendinitis in his Achilles. You know what should fix this? Putting a Trojan condom on your foot. Has anyone tried that for Achilles problems? I should’ve stuck with pre-med.
Cole Hamels – 7 IP, 1 ER, 2 baserunners, 8 Ks. He’s on a lot of abandoned teams that are finishing out of the money that are making it inadvertently hard for the teams contending. All the times you should’ve benched him in April, can’t you bench him now?
Stephen Strasburg – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks. The Nationals limited his innings so he can pitch on the final game of the season if they’re within one game of .500.
Felix Hernandez – 6 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks vs. Kansas City. King Felix didn’t have a gem in his crown with the Royals. Bam! Three almost puns in one sentence! I am your ruler! Okay, maybe I overstated that. Rajai is your ruler, I’m merely his loyal custodian. F-Her left with a lower back cramp, but says he’ll be fine for his next start. Hopefully, because for the last two starts he’s been anything but fine.
Danny Duffy – 3 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners (4 BBs), 4 Ks. Duffman must find control! Duffman learned pitching economy from Edinson Volquez! Duffman is a very risky start for Ks!
Alcides Escobar – 1-for-3, 1 run and 2 steals (17, 18). For a few weeks now I’ve been saying he would get to 25 steals on the year and make his season seem better than it has been. Yup.
Travis Wood – 7 IP, 4 ER, 11 baserunners, 3 Ks and pitchslapped by Henderson Alvarez (6 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks). In a game that sounds as riveting as the Game Show Network reruns they’re airing on Time Warner’s Showtime channels. Divvy up your billions of dollars and give me back my Ray Donovan!
Christian Yelich – 3-for-4 and his 3rd homer. With Wil Myers cooled off, Yelich is running with the rookie nookie freak flag. He’s hitting near .400 in the last week with two steals and two homers in the last ten games. Amazing how focused he can stay heading into his senior year of high school.
Coco Crisp – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 17th homer, but left yesterday’s game after fouling a ball off his shin. I was gonna say in yesterday’s roundup that the only thing ever holding Coco back is his health. Stupid premonitory thoughts!
Yoenis Cespedes – 2-for-4 and his 21st homer. If he gets to 30 homers by the end of the year, there’s gonna be a lot of fantasy teams unknowingly moving from 8th to 7th place.
Derek Holland – 4 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, 1 K. Hey, Holland, take that effort back to the…Thanks-for-nothing-lands! Amiright?! What? No? Oh.
Esmil Rogers – 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 5 Ks. Is he related to Josmil Pinto? Yeah? Cool. Thought so. This was obviously a terrific start, and I’d roll him out there in his next start vs. the Twins. That’s more because of my confidence in the Twins being garbage than in Esmil being solid.
Brandon McCarthy – 9 IP, 4 ER, 5 baserunners, 2 Ks. People in leagues that count innings pitch, rejoice!
Yasiel Puig – This guy is a goof. I’m just putting that out there. There’s a new head case playing major league baseball and his name doesn’t rhyme with pig. Every day there’s a new report of something with him. Yesterday, he left the game after an awkward slide, injuring his knee. Tomorrow, he’ll probably kidnap Dinger, the Rockies mascot.
Andre Ethier – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 11th homer, hitting near .375 in the last week with two homers and has a couple more games in Coors, then goes to Cincy. Not two terrible parks to take a flyer on him if he’s available in your league.
Carlos Gonzalez – Sprained middle finger still bothering him and could be shut down for the year. Grey’s big brain one, CarGo’s inability to stay healthy zero!
Josh Rutledge – 2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI and his 9th steal. How about that sleeper pick?! So, Rutledge is back, and I’d grab him if he becomes a hot schmotato, I wouldn’t just grab him hoping he starts hitting. Not enough time to be sitting on some hope, which sounds like a depressing fortune cookie.
Jason Castro – Out with a knee sprain; the same knee he had surgery on two years ago. Guess who I grabbed to replace him? Okay, try and guess after you imagine me laughing like a person who should be in an insane asylum. Come on down, Salvador Perez! Feel free to bring your ornate-framed pictures of your abuelita.
Chia-Jen Lo – 1 IP, 4 ER. He entered in the ninth, but it was a tied game. Whatever the case may be, I wouldn’t own anyone in the Astros bullpen unless I was George Bush and was trying to prove how you can’t get fooled again after getting fooled once.
Jose Altuve – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI and his 31st steal. Elias Sports Bureau reported that with Altuve’s steal and four hits he used as many steps as it would take to walk to the moon from the lowest point on earth.
Chris Carter – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs. This was a Hitter-Tron call for me since last week, and we have one more day left of Carter being in a favorable matchup today as the Astros face a peg boy lefty. Come, join me in my batty call.
Chris Colabello – 2-for-5, 5 RBIs and two homers (5, 6). He’s showing why in Minnesota they call cola pop.
Paul Konerko – 1-for-3 and his 10th homer. Someone should’ve stopped him when he plunged a knife into the painting of himself.
Justin Masterson – Left his start with a sore rib cage. He should go to Tony Roma’s, that’s a place for ribs.
Jason Kipnis – 1-for-4 and his 17th homer. Four homers, three steals and hitting .240 since the break. I wouldn’t say my call to sell him at the end of the 1st half looks that bad.
Bud Norris – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks. Have we started getting excited about playoffs yet? Think the O’s have a chance? Rays? Not the Yankees again, right? Text us your thoughts and maybe they’ll be read live after the break. *shuffles papers* Okay, coming up next, a blurb for Matt Wieters.
Matt Wieters – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer. Had it already been nine days since his last multi-hit game? Yes, yes it had.
Chase Headley – Missed his fifth straight game with a sore lower back. If your season is riding on Headley’s return, I’m guessing you’re playing in a 2012 throwback league. Grab B.J. Upton too, he was great last September.
Chris Archer – 3 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 10 baserunners, 4 Ks. Archer shooting bows through your H2H hopes and dreams. Not cool, Archer, not cool at all.
Matt Cain – Threw a 90-pitch session and is expected to start on Saturday. Prepare to get your hopes up to have them crushed once again. Again, that would just be a terrible fortune cookie.
Julio Teheran – Will be skipped due to the Braves having a huge division lead and Teheran’s innings mounting like your girlfriend on a mechanical bull at that place with sawdust on the floor.
Jordan Schafer – 4-for-5 and 3 steals. That’s now 7 steals in the last week and five in the last three days. Cheez Whiz and Ritz crackers, there’s some serious SAGNOF going on these last few weeks. You don’t even need Zimmermania to get excited about Jordan Schafer. Though, he did leave with lower back soreness. Though, Part II: Why Do They Keep Making Thoughs; it’s considered minor.
Paul Maholm – 5 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 4 Ks vs. the Mess. Pretty yawnstipating start as the Braves jumped out to a huge lead and he cruised to the Ivictory Coast and got the free room at the W.
Freddie Freeman – 2-for-5, 5 RBIs and his 18th homer. You could abbreviate his name Fr-Fr, which the periodic table tells us is Francium-Francium, which reminds me of Corrina, Corrina, which starred Whoopi, and every game I don’t own Freeman, where he does well, makes me want to say whoopee-doo. Coincidence?
B.J. Upton – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI. Member what I said about 700 words ago about Upton having a great September last year? Well, stranger things have happened. Like him being unownable for the last five months.
Trevor Plouffe – 3-for-3 and his 13th homer. Plouffe goes the dynamite! Another one of those guys that I think can have a huge September to make his overall numbers seem a lot better.
Brian Dozier – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 16th homer. That’s his 4th home run in the last ten games. Yeah, I have no idea where it’s coming from, but I’d own him until it ended.
Carlos Beltran – Sat out yesterday’s game with Wainwright on the mound. Beltran didn’t want his knees buckling in the outfield after every curve.
Yadier Molina – Left the game with wrist soreness. His brother, Bengie, put butter on it because everything’s better with butter, but that failed to show any results. Now Bengie’s going around saying everything’s better with butter except wrist soreness. It’s far from pithy.
Adam Wainwright – 6 IP, 6 ER, 12 baserunners, 3 Ks. How reassuring is it for Wainwright owners that next year I’ll be able to say he was terrific in 2013 if you throw out two starts vs. the Reds? Not reassuring at all? I didn’t think so. As if you need me to say this, but it’s a really lousy time for Wainwright to be going way wrong. I would hold, and pray for better results in his next start vs. the Pirates.
Mat Latos – 9 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 2 Ks, 2.98 ERA and a 14-5 record. This will be his fourth straight extremely solid season, or so I read between hashtags on his wife’s Twitter page.
Shin-Soo Choo – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 19th homer, and 2nd in as many games. My preseason projections of 108/23/79/.296/20 don’t look that off, but I was counting on him getting at least hundred at-bats in the two hole, and that’s not gonna happen.
Joey Votto – 1-for-4 and his 21st homer. But only one walk? C’mon, Joey!
Zack Cozart – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 1 RBI, hitting near .400 in the last week, as he continues to hot schmotato around the field like his feces smells like Reese’s Pieces.
Tyler Flowers – Will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. He hopes to be able to throw a curve again by next March to fantasy baseballers who think he’s going to breakout.
Marcus Semien – White Sox called him up. Weird, usually White Sox cover up Semien. He reminds me of a young Big FraGu. Not a good average (.250), but 17-ish homer power and similar speed. For now, he’s nothing but a AL-Only flyer due to playing time concerns.
Doug Fister – 7 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks vs. John Lackey (7 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks). Imagine there’s a crocodile hazard up ahead and two crocodiles in the hazard are labeled “Sonavabench!” Did you maneuver Pitfall Harry over the hazard?
Miguel Cabrera – Didn’t play yesterday but supposedly put on a show in batting practice. He’s a regular Max Patkin!