Sometimes there’s a game with so much fantasy goodness, a game with so many notable nights for so many fantasy-relevant stars, that it’s almost overwhelming to choose which players to single out. Last night, the Braves came back from 9 runs down to complete their biggest comeback since 1987 and pull within 2 1/2 of the first place Nats, winning the game 11-10. This was a wild one, folks, I don’t know where to start. I know what you’re thinking, “Enough about the game man, how did it help my team!?” Calm down, my overzealous friend. Did I ever tell you about the time the Atlanta Braves overcame a 9-0 deficit? Ahem. Well, the “Birthday Boy” Stephen Strasburg pitched 5.1 innings and gave up 4 ER, striking out 5, but Tommy Hanson was worse, surrendering 8 ER in just 4 IP. Michael Morse (3-for-6 with a 3-run HR) hit the longest home run in Nationals park history (465 feet) and Ryan Zimmerman added a 3-run homer of his own to get the Nats off to a huge lead. Stephen Lombardozzi extended the lead to 9-0 with a 2-run single in the 5th; he was 3-for-5 with a SB. Then Atlanta got mad. The Braves rallied big time with help from Brian McCann (2-for-6 with a 2-run HR), Freddie Freeman (3-for-6 with an RBI), and Martin Prado (1-for-6 with 2 RBI). Dan Uggla also had 3 hits and 4 runs, Jason Heyward added two hits of his own, and Michael Bourn added a key 2-run triple to grab the lead. Despite Danny Espinosa‘s home run to tie it in the ninth, Paul Janish capped off the Braves historic comeback with a single in the 11th (he was 1-for-4 for all you Janish owners out there). I hope you reaped some of the fantasy benefits of this showdown, and if you don’t own any of those players, you probably have a lot fewer teams than I do. I can’t believe I covered that whole game without mentioning Bryce Harper. Oh, there he is. Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:
Homer Bailey – 8.0, 1 ER, 10 Ks for his 9th win. He’s got 4 wins and a 1.76 ERA in July. I have trouble trusting a guy named Homer, but he’s as hot as anyone and definitely worth the start next week at Houston.
Josh Beckett – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 7 Ks. There’s a theory about Beckett in even numbered years: Don’t draft him. Too good to drop, too bad to trade, I’d be careful starting him next week in Texas.
Adam Lind – 2-for-4 with an RBI now batting .333 in July. OK, well, if Grey isn’t going to pick him up, I’m going to.
Neil Walker – 2-for-4 with a HR. His first homer since Grey told me to pick him up, and I haven’t looked back!
Pedro Alvarez – 1-for-4 with his 20th. I was wrong about Trumbo, but Pedro deserves donkey status as much as anyone.
Jose Reyes – 3-for-5 with the slam and legs! Now has an 8-game hitting streak and should get that average above .300 in no time. No way Jose is going to bat .270 all season, I could see Reyes having a big second half. I can also see clearly now the rain is gone. Johnny Nash. Google it!
Ryan Dempster – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 H. The scoreless streak ends in the first inning at 33 IP. Well, I probably wouldn’t pitch well either if I spent the day listening to how my team was frantically trying to trade me. Just a hiccup for Dempster, he should be fine next week — but he probably won’t be a Cub.
Johan Santana – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 H. Nooooo-han! He gave up home runs to Matt Kemp and Luis Cruz before getting pulled after three. Johan has a 6.54 ERA since the no-hitter and has given up 11 home runs. His last 3 starts have been especially brutal, giving up a total of 19 ER. I would consider benching him until he throws a quality game. Enough of the bad news, the good news is, his name remains a lot of fun to say.
Tim Lincecum – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Ks. His second quality start in a row. That’s back-to-back wins for the former Cy Young and at this point that is something! I can’t advise you to BUY Tim Lincecum just yet, he’s not to be trusted. But he gets the Padres next week and if he can string together a little 3-game winning streak, I’ll start to consider maybe possibly beginning to think about the prospect of perhaps buying him for cheap. Maybe.
Brandon Crawford – 2-for-4 with a grand slam and 5 RBIs. I include Crawford in all my trades hoping someone will think he’s Carl and accept. Actually that’s a lie, I don’t own Brandon. But if I did I would totally do that. I am a liar and I’m sorry for getting Brandon Crawford involved.
Ryan Howard – 1-for-4 with his 2nd home run. If he can just hit 20 more it would be totally worth drafting him. I keed, Ryan should be a good source of power for the rest of the year, especially once he starts to see regular ABs.
Luke Hochevar – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Ks. Apparently, there is a team out there that’s safe to start Hochevar against. Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2012 Minnesota Twins! Just to spite me the Twins won this game in extra innings. Damn you, Twins! Spited!
Justin Verlander – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Ks and his 11th win. Rumor is he’s dating Kate Upton? Really, Justin? Man, some guys win at everything. Many times those guys are baseball players.
Brennan Boesch – 1-for-3 with a double. Grey’s BUY streak continues (sort of)! You should have seen this double too, it was sweeter than candy.
Jim Thome – 3-for-5 with a HR. Oh Orioles, WHY WON’T YOU DIE! I’ll tell you why: Thome Time! Da na na na — can’t touch this! Jim Thome could be a nice pick up if you need power in AL only and deeper mixed leagues. The Orioles crushed the Indians for 10 runs. Consider this a good Thome time to pick him up?
B.J. Upton – 2-for-6 with the slam and legs! The Lesser Upton Brother looks to be heating up a bit with his third multi-hit game in his last five. He looks comfortable in the lead off spot, and I’m comfortable with the stats he’s had so far — win win. Now don’t go putting Carlos Pena back in that spot, Joe!
Ben Zobrist – 3-for-4 with a SB including the game winning double. I’ve learned playing fantasy there are “Zobrist-guys” who swoon over that 15-15 potential, and there are those that think, “What do they see in this guy?” I am a Zobrist guy, so I will happily brag that I knew BenZo’s numbers were coming.
Drew Pomeranz – 3.0 IP, 7 ER. Just when you thought it was safe to start Pomeranz at Petco… BAM, the Padres score 7 runs! I wouldn’t start this guy on your team.
Josh Rutledge – 3-for-4 with a SB. We keep telling you to take a look at Rutledge only if you’re desperate for help at SS; well I’m not exactly desperate, but I am intrigued. Keep on doing what you’re doing.
Carlos Gonzalez – 2-for-5 with the grand salami! He prefers chorizo. Is that racist? I don’t think so … it’s too stupid.
Carlos Quentin – 3-for-5 with his 9th home run as San Diego scores 9 runs. Quentin could be worth buying if you could get him cheap on the chance that he’s traded to a contender. Carlos Quentin batting behind, let’s say, Andrew McCutchen, could add some serious value.
Tommy Milone – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 10 Ks as the A’s pitching outdueled the Yankees. Wowza. I never looked at Tommy Milone as a K guy, but I’m looking now. I hear you, and I see you. His sixth straight quality start. Absolutely worth a flyer in Toronto next week.
Yoenis Cespedes – 4-for-5 with a SB. My name is Yoeeeniiiiis… now has an 8-game hitting streak with 6 of those multi-hit games and 3 home runs. El cubano es en fuego! (That’s Spanish!) And the A’s top the Yanks to win their 12th game of their last 14!
Robinson Cano – 2-for-4 with a HR. He hit the home run in the ninth inning to tie the game. He did it because — of course he did! He’s Robbie Cano and he can, and he’s awesome at it.
Bud Norris – 4.1 IP, 9 ER, 5 BB, 7 Ks. UGH. That will do a number on your ratios. But hey, 7 Ks? Nice! Amirite!? I’ll take it!
Justin Upton – 1-for-4 with a 2-run HR, 3 RBIs. At this point, I am so numbed to Upton’s mediocrity this year, any show of power makes me giddy. I almost spit out my nightcap (warm milk, obvs) when I saw this. J-Ups, it’s not too late to save my season!
Mark Trumbo – 2-for-4 with his 27th HR. His 8th in July. Trumbo might hit 35-40 HRs this year. How many are you gonna hit? That’s what I thought.
Albert Pujols – 3-for-4. Trumbo must have stolen all his power! Seriously if Trumbo hit 5 less homers and Pujols five more — we’d be talking about how great they both have been. Share the wealth, Trums.
Jered Weaver – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Ks and his 12th win. His WHIP now sits at 0.95. Do I even need to mention Weaver anymore? Blurb should look more like “Jered Weaver — Pitched game.” You figure out the rest.
Mike Trout – 2-for-4 with his 15th HR, his third in the past 5 games. Scholars long ago recited ancient scripts and tales about the legends of the true “Five-Tool” player. Very few still alive today have actually seen one play. It was the Catatafish who originally prophesied that the legend of this superstar player would one day come true and he would lead the Angels to the Promised Land (with his home run and speed potential). The Catatafish named a phenom who could not only hit for power, but could steal plentiful bases, hit for a high average and play great defense. So it was written, and as the Catatafish had foretold, Michael Nelson Trout rose up to be the one who would one day fulfill this prophecy and bring balance back to the AL West.
Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap, as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!